Food News

Food News: Reel M Inn to Close Temporarily

Smith Teamaker will open its first standalone cafe in NW this spring. Plus, takeout specials from Gado Gado, Oma’s, and Masia; Kann is taking reservations; beer fest at home; and how to smell like Salt & Straw.

By Katherine Chew Hamilton November 18, 2020

A tea latte from Smith Teamaker, set to open its first standalone location this spring.

Smith Teamaker plans its first standalone cafe

Smith Teamaker, the company founded in 2009 by the late Portland specialty tea guru Steven Smith, is planning to open its first standalone cafe on NW 23rd and Glisan Streets in spring 2021. This is the company’s second brick-and-mortar space; the first is a tasting room in Southeast, where guests can currently get to-go cups of tea, tea lattes, and cookies from chef Karl Holl in the same place where Smith’s teas are produced. (Prior to the freeze on indoor dining that started this week, Smith Teamaker also offered in-house tea service and tea flights.) Holl was PoMo’s 2018 Chef of the Year, and his summertime weekend offerings at Smith Teamaker’s tasting room were shouted out in a PoMo July 2020 edition of places to try

Holl will be the culinary director at Smith Teamaker’s new location, where he’ll continue to serve a plant-based menu. The space will be designed by Andee Hess of Osmose Design, known for her interior design at eating and drinking spots across Portland, including multiple Salt & Straw locations. And of course, there’ll be plenty of teas to choose from. Details of the menu are still pending, but the company recently launched a line of iced teas and wellness teas; its offerings also include black, green, white, oolong, pu-erh, and herbal teas.

Tempting new takeout specials from Gado Gado and Oma's Takeaway


Feeling festive? For the holiday season, Gado Gado is offering a special takeout meal featuring pork hock lacquered in sweet soy sauce and date pork jus, served with braised collard greens, eggs served in sambal tomat, ayam lawar (chicken salad with tender greens and coconut), pickled mustard greens, house sambal, krupuk (shrimp chips), roti bread, and Oma’s aromatic coconut-clove rice. The dinner is $90, feeds 2-4 people, and is available Thursdays through Sundays. Order via DM on Instagram with at least 12 hours’ notice, or online at Resy. Meanwhile, sister restaurant Oma’s Takeaway is offering Malaysian curry-rubbed fried chicken takeout dinner specials, which come with biscuits to slather with kaya butter, burnt honey chili vinegar, charred scallion ranch for dipping, wok-fried greens, pickles, and Oma’s rice with sambal, fried egg, peanuts, and candied anchovy. It even comes with a signature Rice Krispy treat for dessert. Order online for dinner Wednesday through Sunday via Resy with 24 hours’ notice.

Paella and xurros at home


Chef Jose Chesa’s restaurant Masia, which opened at the Hyatt Centric hotel in downtown Portland in February, is also pivoting its menu with takeout specials due to the freeze on indoor and outdoor dining service. Starting today, they’ll be offering paella to-go, as well as paella cooking kits and paella pans for sale for aspiring Spanish chefs. The takeout menu will also include a special Hamburguesa Masia, ribs, flauta sandwiches stuffed with jamon iberico, xuixos (fried pastries stuffed with crema catalana), and plenty of xurros from 180 Xurros. They’re also offering to-go discounts on wine, beer, sherry, and vermouth for the authentic Spanish dining and drinking experience.

Reel M Inn closing temporarily


In unfortunate fried chicken news, beloved dive bar Reel M Inn, considered by many to have the best fried chicken in town, announced via Instagram on Saturday, November 15 that they would be closing for an undetermined period of time starting November 18, after Governor Kate Brown’s announcement of a statewide freeze that would shut down indoor and outdoor dining in Multnomah County for at least four weeks. Shortly after the announcement, Reel M Inn was sold out of chicken for the following two days.


Reservations open for Gregory Gourdet’s Kann 


Chef Gregory Gourdet’s upcoming Haitian restaurant, Kann—originally slated to open at the end of 2020—is making another pop-up appearance this year, this time in Southeast in a temporary yurt village. (Kann also popped up in July at Mama Bird’s in Northwest.) At this pop-up, which is slated to last three months, Gourdet will be serving guests six-course meals, with pescatarian and vegan options available, plus beer and wine pairings. The opening date was originally set for December 3, but the opening date has been tentatively pushed to December 18 due to the four-week freeze on indoor and outdoor dining. Reservations are available on Resy.

Enjoy a remote beer fest


Beer festivals as we know them are canceled for the foreseeable future, but in December, Occidental Brewing is letting customers celebrate its annual Humbug Lager Fest at home. The take-home package includes 12 different lagers from 12 different breweries, including Gigantic, Fort George, Bearlic, Breakside, and of course, Occidental. The package also comes plenty of provisions from Urban German: two sausages, a pretzel, and a 16-ounce container of goulash. Packages, available online for pickup and delivery, are $60 before Thanksgiving and $65 after. 

Smell like a waffle cone

Salt & Straw's new fragrance, A Whiff of Waffle Cone.

For the holiday season, Salt & Straw, in conjunction with Portland fragrance maker Imaginary Authors, has launched its own fragrance called “A Whiff of Waffle Cone,” and it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like—waffle cone-scented perfume. The scent is described as having notes of vanilla, heavy cream, and salted caramel, plus accords of amyris, orgeat, and Saigon cinnamon. The scent is also available in candle form; both are sold online here.

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