Expatriate’s Jalapeño Popper Steamed Bao Sandwich

An American bar icon gets a ferocious makeover at Northeast Portland’s house of Asian snacks and serious drinks.

By Karen Brooks February 18, 2015

Expatriate's Jalapeño Popper

Image: Karen Brooks

New creations from Naomi Pomeroy and Kyle Webster are rare on Expatriate’s small menu of addictive Asian snacks. But when they come, holy cow, you know you’re eating something special. The newest addition arrived after months in the R&D lab, at least a dozen steamed bun recipes, and one raging desire to make a sandwich you can’t stop eating. A few bites in leaves no doubt: the Jalapeño Popper Steam Bun ($8) looks destined for a slot on Portland’s best ________ a) remixed bar foods b) over-the-top sandwiches c) Portland’s food-as-drug movement.

Parked inside the puffy jaws of a taco-shaped steamed bun: a panko-crusted fiery pepper holding smoky mozzarella. On top: a searing, mouth-wiping mash-up of hoisin, sriracha, and barbecue sauce, a crunch of slaw, and cooling drips of crema. Pomeroy, Portland’s reigning bad-girl chef who doubles as owner of Beast across the street, quickly points out the unobvious: the “popper” is vegetarian.

5424 NE 30th Ave.
Daily, 5pm - midnight

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