Slurp down a Kimchilada at Han Oak
Hopefully you’re wise to the michelada, Mexico’s answer to the Bloody Mary. Meet the Kimchilada, a chimera from the Korean geniuses at Han Oak (available at Sunday brunch only). Kimchi juice, gochujang, and ginger are blended into a spicy shot, poured into a tall glass rimmed with nori and dried chile, and topped with a garnish of house-pickled radish kimchi and quick-pickled daikon. Top with Japanese beer Orion, and enjoy the super-spicy, fizzy, fermented eye-opener. And don’t get us started on their bourbon-sided kimchi back.
Inhale a Haitian-inspired caramel-peanut xurro at 180
Since April, Portland’s terrific, Barcelona-style xurro and drinking chocolate shop has showcased a monthly chef collaboration, and September's entry (from Departure’s wide-ranging flavor innovator Gregory Gourdet) may be the best so far: a crisp, fat, caramel-packed xurro “relleno” oozing Haitian flavor memories from Gourdet’s youth. Ginger and coconut ping through the middle, crushed peanuts bind the edges, and a wild sprinkle of habanero-thyme sugar rides on top. Available all month.
Spoon into a cold weather curry at Straits Kitchen food cart
Everything thrums with sweet heat, tang, and shrimp paste funk at Sellwood's unique Malaysian-Chinese grub cart, including a generous bowl of skinny rice noodles, chicken, and fried tofu swimming in chile-smoldering, turmeric-stained coconut curry.