Portland News to Chew

Olympic Provisions changes its name, Pioneer Square becomes a cart pod, and major national accolades pile up for Portland chefs.

By Benjamin Tepler February 20, 2015


In a bizarre twist of events, the noted salumeria and restaurant group Olympic Provisions is changing its name to Olympia Provisions. The rebrand comes after a cease-and-desist letter from the International Olympic Committee (as in, the Olympic Games) implicating trademark infringement. The rebrand will undoubtedly cost OP big time in merchandising and name recognition. As a colleague of mine points out, “it just doesn’t have the same ring without the velar stop.” 

GQ just dropped its annual list of the 25 Most Outstanding Restaurants of 2015. At the top of food critic Alan Richman’s list: Langbaan in the number 2 slot, right behind Rose’s Luxury in Washington D.C. Further down the list, Richman names Ataula #13 with Kachka taking up the rear at #19. Luckily, Langbaan just added a second seating on Thursdays at 8:45pm. Don’t get too excited though: they are still booked through May 2015. 

Sok Sab Bai (2625 SE 21st Ave), Portland’s beloved Cambodian food cart turned brick-and-mortar, is shuttering its Southeast Clinton location and returning to its humble mobile roots. A sign posted on the door promises to reopen the cart in “Summer 2015.”


Jake Martin (Genoa, Fenouil), has left his post as Fireside’s head chef to focus on his contemporary American Daphne pop-up series. He will be replaced at Fireside by Jason Blair, former chef de cuisine at The Woodsman Tavern.  


Pioneer Courthouse Square is turning into a temporary food truck pod for the month of February. So far, Tastebud, Bunk Sandwiches, Voodoo Doughnuts, The Dump Truck, and Thrive Pacific NW have staked out a spot. More info at

The rapid expansion of Garden Bar continues. The salad bar-only spot has announced its third location at  510 SW Third Ave. Projected opening: late summer of 2015. 

All Around Town

Jacobsen Salt, the ubiquitous Portland salt tycoon and mineral water upstart is now seasoning Burgerville French fries across the state with fragrant rosemary salt.

ChefStable, the restaurant group led by the unstoppable Kurt Huffman, is getting into catering. ChefStable Catering will bring its locally sourced, PDX-chic sensibilities for everything from 20 person office lunches to 2,000 person sit-down dinners.  

It’s been a huge week for Portland Chefs. The James Beard Foundation recently dropped its semi-finalist nominations for 2015. With 16 nominations, including five of Portland Monthly’s Best Restaurants 2014, it’s shaping up to be Portland’s biggest year yet.

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