Well, here we are, Eat Beat fans: my very last post for the blog and magazine. A tremendous thanks to our many readers, new and old. Without you, there is no Eat Beat, no Portland Monthly, and certainly no food scene. Your fanatical food worship is the lifeblood of this city’s restaurants and bars. God knows it’s going to need your mouths, opinions, and patronage when the face masks finally come off.
Although my job title has changed over the years—most of my time was spent editing the print magazine’s eat and drink section, our outdoors coverage, and narrative features—Eat Beat has been a consistent side-hustle for a solid decade of my life and roughly 1,340 articles. Here’s a quick spin through some of the highlights:
- Taste-testing and ranking all of Portland’s incredible artisan foodstuffs, including but not limited to: kale chips, hummus, hot sauce (twice), and, of course, bagels. (The quest ended in 2018 with Bernstein’s Bagels. It’s the best in the city, case closed.)
- Nine years of sweating over our Best Restaurants cover story with food critic and mentor Karen Brooks.
- Discovering then-unknown Earl Ninsom, Jose Chesa, and Peter Cho (to name a few) with only an inkling of what they would bring to the city’s food scene.
- Ranking all of Timberline Lodge’s dining options. Brutal!
Recipe testing over 200 dishes with Portland chefs. I won’t play favorites, but this holiday baked goods roundup, Beast’s French onion soup, and Clare Gordon’s chocolate bakba remain in heavy rotation.
- Staging an entire Nordic feast with former editor in chief Kelly Clarke just because we were on a Game of Thrones kick.
- Feast Portland’s inaugural year, 2012, when suddenly the country saw us for the DIY, cart-hauling food weirdos we are. FYI, the drugs were working. (This was before sobriety was cool.) Thanks to Bon Appétit for bringing the stash.
- Once, with no multimedia training (how does a camera work?), I followed and filmed Tastebud’s Mark Doxtader around the PSU Farmers Market while he made breakfast tacos.
- Wild trips out into “the field,” including a sea bean foraging trip with Gregory Gourdet, Restaurant Beck’s chef Justin Wills, a massive lamb cookout with Laurelhurst Market at Hawley Ranch, and a few visits to see some guy named Ben Jacobsen, when his “salt factory” was a decrepit oyster graveyard.
A decade of eating and tracking my way through the scene has left me with one big takeaway: Portland truly is special. I'm originally from New York, where the multicultural influences are rich and the pockets are deep. But neither New York, nor San Francisco, nor Chicago has the DIY gumption and scrappy, bootstrapping spirit of our city. Going into a post-COVID era, I think that's worth remembering.
That’s it from me. Eat like hell, Portland!