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5 Things to Eat This Week in Portland

Light and easy summer fare.

By Lauren Carlos July 29, 2020

Canteen's Hawthorne juice (orange) and Sweet Greens (green). 

Two months into summer, six months into a global pandemic, 100 degree heat and way too many pints of Häagen-Dazs. It’s peak season for greasy goodness like hot dogs and hamburgers at socially distanced barbecues, while the jingles of ice cream trucks taunt us with sweet treats as they drive by. We’ve all eaten our feelings at one point or another. But it’s never too late to start fresh and try something new and healthy—especially in a city of local farmers, fermenters, health food connoisseurs and diehard plant-lovers. From Brazil-inspired açaí to seaweed swaddled sushi donuts, here’s five healthy spots to try this week.

1. Fuel Café

There’s no shortage of breakfast places in PDX, but this coffee shop-turned bustling brunch spot on NE Alberta takes your standard American breakfast up a notch. Fuel Café has something for vegans and meat lovers alike, with everything from rosemary pork sausage to basil hemp seed pesto bowls. Its version of “fuel for the soul”? A vegan twist on a reuben that cocoons grilled tofu and sauerkraut between slices of rye, washed down with a chilled champagne-lemonade “sunmosa” with lavender syrup and fresh berries. Open for takeout and dine-in with limited seating.

2. Carioca Bowls

Carioca Bowl's summer refresher bowl blends açaí with watermelon and basil, topped with granola and fresh berries.

Image: Chris Crabb

Read: açaí heaven. Richard Matusow opened a tropical-Brazilian-themed-hut-meets-yoga-studio in Northeast Portland five years ago. Carioca Bowls serves classic açaí and creative bowls like the coconut oil-topped Copacabana, with add-ons from cashew butter to bee pollen. Open for dine-in and takeout on NE Alberta and NW 21st.

3. Fermenter

Your neighborhood “beneficial bacteria emporium” boasts all things fermented to keep your gut happy, from kimchi and kombucha to bread and beer. Opened last summer on SE Morrison, the small batch artisan restaurant takes a fully vegan approach to the fermentation process, making probiotic-rich products like tempeh and shio koji entirely from scratch. The namesake Fermenter Burger stacks an onion-smoked tempeh patty and house-made dill pickles on a Grano Bakery stecca roll, finished with a chickpea miso sauce. Open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining.

4. Canteen

The trendy organic juice bar has been squeezing up flu-slaying elderberry smoothies and CBD matcha elixirs since it opened back in 2012. Choose your own blended adventure with add-ins like maca or pea protein, or go for something more substantial: Canteen’s plant-based walnut taco salad tossed in avocado-curry sauce. Newly open for online ordering and takeout from SE Portland and Lake Oswego locations.

5. Wasabi Sushi PDX

Take a break from Voodoo and swap it with a sushi donut: a ring of fluffy sticky rice enrobed in generous cuts of rainbow sashimi and avocado. Started as a food cart in 2015 by chef Alex Nuang, Wasabi Sushi PDX reimagines traditional sushi rolls as sushi donuts, seaweed swaddled sushi burritos, and sushi burgers with purple rice patties and sides of sweet potato fries. Gluten-free and vegan options are available for the wheat and meat-averse. Swing by the original food cart in Happy Valley or dine in at brick-and-mortar locations on SE Madison and NE Sandy Blvd.

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