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5 Things to Eat and Drink This Week

Five spots that scream summer, Portland-style

By Lauren Carlos July 8, 2020

Beet “poke” bowl with garden greens, edamame, avocado, cucumber, watermelon radish, puffed wild rice, herbs, miso dressing

How we managed to find ourselves in the middle of summer, we have no clue. But what we do know is that the folks behind Portland’s food scene are working hard to keep culinary creativity alive. For your consideration this week: iced matcha bubble teas, cashew-based lavender rose soft serve, CBD kombucha on tap, and a fancy-pants French picnic at the park (read: rosé all day). These five spots are well worth the (takeout) trip. 

Smith Tea and a Seasonal Grain Bowl from Chef Karl Holl

When a renowned specialty tea maker and a creative farmer-chef collaborate, amazing things can happen. As a new experiment, Smith Teamaker and Portland Monthly 2018 Chef of the Year Karl Holl are coming together for lunch: a colorful bowl of greens and grains that captures Holl’s “farm-first” philosophy, paired with a sweet treat and an iced tea from Smith’s new collection. Up next week: beet “poke” bowl on a bed of puffed wild rice, watermelon radish, edamame, and avocado, plus a spearmint brownie and iced hibiscus mango tea to wash it down—all for $15 a pop. Runs through the end of summer.

Sugar Street Bakery & Bistro

After nearly a decade of making custom wedding cakes and cupcakes, this bistro and catering company knows exactly how to satisfy your sweet tooth. Owners Justine Flaherty and Kenric Craver, who’ve been providing free lunches for children in need during the pandemic, passionately serve both individual customers and the community at large. “There is such pride and accomplishment woven into being a Black-owned business,” says Flaherty, “and doing whatever little things we can for others is our mission.” Swing by for a morning espresso and grilled panini on ciabatta, build your own bowl with an array of veg and protein fixings, or lick the frosting off a freshly baked, gluten-free cupcake (or custom-order a dozen to share).

Soma Kombucha Taproom

Hidden from street view, this kombucha speakeasy in St. Johns whispers “escape from reality” as you slip off your shoes and sip a crisp, ice-cold fermented tea on tap. With more probiotics per bottle than most other brands, Soma’s self-professed “world’s healthiest kombucha” is alcohol- and vinegar-free. It also has a natural carbonation and sweetness due to Soma’s slower fermentation process, says owner Jean-Pierre Parent. The self-serve tasting room offers a rotating selection of up to eight flavors, acidic cold-brew “coffee-boocha” to CBD-infused mangosteen and ginger. Both the St. Johns and SE Belmont locations are open with limited hours, but look no farther than your neighborhood New Seasons to grab a growler to go.

Måurice’s Le Pique-niquer + aMYLK Nut Milk

Forget PB&J and lukewarm string cheese. The acclaimed Måurice, now back and open for preorder takeout, will make your summer picnic très chic. The downtown luncheonette’s new Le Pique-niquer for two includes a sandwich choice—perhaps a Niçoise salad in focaccia or a roasted ratatouille option, with fresh mozzarella and confit tomato olive oil—sided by radishes with butter, a trio of cookies, and, of course, a bottle of rosé. While the offer lasts, each purchase of Le Pique-niquer includes local company aMYLK’s plant-based nut drink made with organically grown ingredients from local farmers. Preorder online Monday and Tuesday for Friday pickup or Saturday delivery. 

Guava Matcha made with real fruit pureé and organic matcha sourced from Uji, Japan

Tea Bar

Portland's deeply Instagrammable café chain Tea Bar is as delicious as it is aesthetically pleasing. CEO Erica Indira Swanson founded Tea Bar in 2014 at age 23, after moving from China to Portland. She set out to create a new, modernized experience for tea lovers in a city saturated with coffee shops—and that’s exactly what she did. The hip franchise still serves a menu of tea lattes and bubble teas bobbing with boba made daily using Grade A tapioca pearls. A bonus: swirly cashew-based lavender rose soft serve, free of artificial flavors or dyes. New fruit-flavored matcha drinks sport real fruit purées and organic matcha from a small family farm in Uji, Japan. Pinkies: up. Portrait mode: on. Locations on NW Northrup and SE Division are open for to-go orders or outdoor table seating.

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