4 Things You Must Eat (and Drink) This September

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

By Karen Brooks September 2, 2014 Published in the September 2014 issue of Portland Monthly


The dye-free sprinkles have landed. So have organic gummi bears, gluten-free animal crackers, and crushed chocolate-gobbed cookies from Portland’s lauded Bakeshop. Curated toppings (20-plus at last count) star at Eb & Bean, an artisan, organic, soft-serve frozen yogurt pioneer that features the milk of happy, co-op cows, one table (communal), and blackboard shout-outs to local purveyors. I’m already hooked on the aptly named “Tart” fro-yo, squiggled beneath a brisk blast of marionberry compote and the wild crunch of oat streusel. The earnest website assures us: “Each 4 oz serving contains up to 60 billion probiotics!” Is that with or without a topping of Pinkleton’s Curious Caramel Corn? 1425 NE Broadway


It’s not a microroaster or coffee-bean think tank, but Sellwood’s Either/Or percolates with fresh energy—every inch, every sip of this Scandinavia-meets-vintage coffee shop is considered. Owner Ro Tam ferrets out fine roasters for artful lattes while crafting seasonal sodas like grapefruit and honey with cracked black peppercorn and a float of pomegranate seeds. Espresso flights include a daily “taste pairing”; recently it came in the form of shaved ice, papaya spears, and orange blossom water. The house Tanglewood Chai is the big find, hot or cold, reverberating cinnamon and rippling with fresh ginger. Tam, wisely, has bottled it. 8235 SE 13th Ave


Quietly, while we were all hunting for our next ramen fix, Ryan Roadhouse has been perfecting Portland’s best Japanese food secret at Nodoguro, a weekly pop-up-meets-fine-dining dinner experience at Evoe/Pastaworks on SE Hawthorne Boulevard. In ever-changing feasts, you might meet Oregon tuna sashimi inside a chic pull-top can; the world’s teeniest cucumber, blossom included; and mackerel crackling under crushed turnips and long white onions (pictured). 3735 SE Hawthorne Blvd


Yes, Angel Face’s made-to-order drinks—based on across-the-bar conversations, not plucked from a list—are shaking up the genre at this super-cute cocktail companion to maverick restaurant Navarre. But I can’t stop thinking about its thoughtful anti-bar food: an elegantly coiled house-made boudin blanc sausage, earthy sparks of grape-must mostarda, and perfect fries peeking out of a silver vase. 14 NE 28th Ave

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