If you’re anything like us, you're just as burnt out on cooking as you are sunburnt. The days are long, but the patience for hours spent in the kitchen are short. But fear not—almost five months into the pandemic, Portland’s food scene still finds ways to keep mouths watering and stomachs satiated. Whether it’s fried chicken in a bucket, Tokyo-based vegan ramen, or swirly soft-serve frozen yogurt sprinkled with sea salt and cacao nibs, here are five spots your stretchy pants will thank you for this week.
This Caribbean comfort food restaurant on SW Broadway is known for chicken so tender it “falls of the bone,” according to owner Tiffany Love and a number of glowing online reviews. The food truck turned restaurant opened its doors in 2014 and serves authentic Belizean-style dishes like ricotta-rubbed chicken and yellow coconut curry soup. With 11 different Belize-imported habanero sauces to choose from, the menu is 100 percent gluten-free, with vegan options available. Open weekdays for dine-in lunch and takeout. https://twitter.com/LoveBelizeanPDX
Portland, meet Tokyo. Founded in 1994 in one of the world’s ramen hotspots, this Japan-based ramen chain opened its first-ever American location in Portland in 2016. Chef Mayumi Hijikata designs each handmade noodle bowl herself, featuring classics like tonkotsu shoyu and spicy paitan as well as vegan ramen in an umami-rich veggie broth. Marukin’s SE Ankeny location currently offers takeout and delivery and just opened a new space for outdoor dining. marukinramen.com
This family-friendly sports bar recently opened for walk-up orders at its Westmoreland storefront on SE Milwaukie. It’s the stuff of dreams for fried-chicken fans, with a menu ranging from three wings to the $32 “full fried bird.” Cofounder and executive chef Doug Adams, also chef at Bullard and a finalist on season 12 of Top Chef, hopes the new Holler Burger (with the obligatory side of crinkle fries) will become a local favorite. Open daily with limited hours for walk-up and online orders. hollerpdx.com
Eb & Bean
Hot days call for cool treats—and few do it better than Eb & Bean. When it’s minutes to close and the line for ice cream is still out the door, you know it has to be good. Culinary entrepreneur Elizabeth Nathan started the shop five years ago with the goal of creating a better version of soft-serve yogurt, minus the artificial stuff, and capitalizing on organic dairy and nondairy options, seasonal flavors, and locally sourced toppings like house-made vegan waffle cone chips and marionberry compote. For the faint of heart (and lactose), a tot-sized swirly peak of vanilla roasted macadamia and chocolate hazelnut pudding topped with sea salt cacao nibs makes a delightful dairy-free treat. Available for pickup online and walk-up orders at the NE Broadway and SE Division shops. ebandbean.com
Pizza Jerk has a reputation for being one of the county’s most creative pizzerias for its inventive topping combos. When Tommy Habetz started the business in 2015, he wanted to put a Portland twist on classic, Connecticut-style pizza. Crowd favorite “It’s Always Sunny in Cully Pizza” flaunts pepperoni with pineapple and honey, while the vegan margherita couples house-made cashew ricotta with garlic and basil. Both locations, on NE 42nd and SE Morrison, are open for takeout. pizzajerkpdx.com