4 Things You Must Eat (and Drink) in August

Portland Monthly food critic Karen Brooks dishes on the restaurants, obsessions, and under-the-radar finds of the month.

By Karen Brooks August 1, 2014 Published in the August 2014 issue of Portland Monthly

Bakeshop's peach handpie

Image: Karen Brooks


Kim Boyce’s Bakeshop puts the swagger in whole-grain sweets, but this summer she’s knocking out a series of straight-up addictions, from crusty maple swirls to strawberry tarts that seem possessed by crazy-good berry jam. It would be criminal to let August pass without a peach handpie, its crackling pastry jaws clamped around voluptuous, fire-singed fruit chunks. In any season, the twice-baked almond croissant is a game changer, clad in a force field of crunch and oozing near-custardy almond paste. 5351 NE Sandy Blvd

Bowery Bagel's Korean BBQ bagel

Image: Karen Brooks


If your Jewish grandmother binge-watched Oldboy and other Korean revenge flicks, her kitchen table would include Bowery Bagels’ latest experiment: bulgogi beef and kimchi schmear on a miso soy ginger bagel that arrives in a hail of toasted seeds and sweet-hot crystallized ginger. It’s an audacious riff on Korean barbecue, Vietnamese banh mi, and New York boiled bagel purism that tastes like chewy Asian gingerbread with meaty street cred. With a little more funk and finesse, it could be a blockbuster. Available Fri–Sun only. 310 NW Broadway


What happens when a serious chocolatier gets ahold of ice cubes and a cocktail shaker? Iced tea–infused drinking chocolate and cold chocolate milk as you’ve never sipped it, shaken with fury and habanero caramel sauce. The pinnacle of Alma Chocolate’s little-known summer drink listis the frosty tingle of a Thai Coconut Cup: velvety coconut milk, dark chocolate intensity, and milk chocolate ganache melded with sparks of lime, ginger, and chile. What’s cooler than being cool? Ice cold. 140 NE 28th Ave 

Kachka's Herring Under a Fur Coat

Image: Karen Brooks


“Honey, let’s order the...Herring Under a Fur Coat?” Who knew something that sounds like a bad kids’ storybook title is actually a beloved seven-layer salad from the Motherland. It’s one of the year’s best surprises at Kachka, that clever house of Commie kitsch and playful Russian snacking. Fork into this colorful picnic of potatoes, herring, beets, mayo, and hard-boiled eggs, then knock back nose-tingling horseradish vodka—for the party. 720 SE Grand Ave

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