Food News

A New Lunch Counter Will Feed Portland's Sex Workers

Meals 4 Heels was originally designed for dancers who needed clean, healthy meals late at night, Nikeisah Newton now offers lunch, too.

By Katherine Chew Hamilton May 3, 2021

One of Newton's grain bowls

Portland might have the highest number of strip clubs per capita—but its late night food options are surprisingly limited. As for meal options that are open late and healthy? The choices were almost nonexistent until Nikeisah Newton’s Meals 4 Heels came along in 2019. Inspired by a former partner, a dancer whose healthy meals drew envy from her colleagues, Newton founded a healthy grain bowl delivery service tailored toward sex workers, with vegan and gluten-free options available. Her business was revolutionary, earning praise not only in Portland Monthly, but in Eater PDX, Willamette Week, and the New York Times. Newton was also named one of Thrillist’s Hometown Heroes of 2020—not just for her business model, but for her support of BLM protestors, the Black Sex Workers Relief Fund, and the PDX Stripper Strike. 

Now, Newton’s creative, health-conscious meals will be available during daylight hours, too—out of a window at the Redd on Salmon Street (831 SE Salmon St). The first service is on May 3 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. From there, the cafe will be open weekdays from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Look out for bowls like the G.T.P. (Gettin That Paper), a vegan and gluten-free combo of roasted tom kha cauliflower, tamarind sweet potato glass noodles, pickled cucumbers, and truffled tomatoes atop a bed of massaged kale and garnished with toasted coconut and furikake. We’re also tempted by the Freegan Vegan, another vegan and gluten-free option that combines a bed of kale with green rice, sauteed mushrooms, roasted sweet potatoes, apples, and plantains topped with spiced nuts, Salsa Lizano, and toasted coconut. Bowls are $13 each; outdoor seating is available, and delivery via CCCPDX is coming soon.

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