This week is a mixed bag of good and bad news. Vegan sushi cart Mitate will close at the end of this month, so act soon if you’d like to get another fix. There's a new DIY craft space with wild-topping milkshakes might offer a solid rainy day activity idea. And two beloved Portland burger spots, Canard and Hit the Spot, are getting new brick-and-mortar restaurants this summer. Plus, read on for our pop-up pick—our current favorite in all of Portland right now.
Vegan Sushi Spot Mitate Will Close This Month
We named Mitate one of our favorite new food carts and top new vegan spots in our Best Restaurants 2021 issue thanks to rolls that recreated the textures and flavors of raw fish with ingredients like artichoke hearts, sweet potatoes, and shishito peppers. Sadly, the business announced via Instagram that it will close at the end of this month. “[I]t ultimately came down to whether or not we had the energy and health to continue the journey… the weight of the business has become too heavy for us to bear,” the post reads.
A New Spot for Milkshakes and Crafts Has Opened
Wine and painting is so pre-pandemic. Creative Culture (1452 NE 28th Ave), which opened on April 16, offers towering milkshakes topped with everything from entire cinnamon rolls to cupcakes to Pop Tarts in flavors ranging from strawberry cheesecake to chocolate peanut butter. These shakes—plus BYO wine or beer for ages 21 and up—serve as creative fuel for craft projects, with DIY options including custom wreaths, paper mache cactuses, nail and twine art, and more. There are also ticketed workshops, plus the opportunity to reserve a craft session for a private party. The Portland spot is one of three locations, with others in Missouri and Kansas.
American Gothic and Lobo Return to Cafe Olli April 25
We directed readers to American Gothic and Lobo’s first Cafe Olli pop-up back in March. Turns out, it’s the most spectacular food and cocktail pop-up we’ve had the pleasure of visiting in Portland, point blank. We loved Lobo’s smoked trout salad with crispy quinoa and fermented fresno chile vinaigrette just as much as American Gothic’s wildly creative Capacious as the Sea, a cocktail combining vodka with kohlrabi brine, smoked paprika, oro blanco tequila, and coconut water. We’re hoping that magic will return at the duo’s next pop-up scheduled for April 25 at Cafe Olli (3925 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd) from 5 p.m. until about 9 p.m. So far, they’ve teased one of the cocktail options on the menu: the Cocteau Twins-inspired Heaven or Las Vegas with beet, fresh bay leaf, white and aged rums, aquavit, magnolia, and peony.
A Second Location of Canard Will Open in Oregon City this Summer
Gabriel Rucker’s smash hit casual restaurant, which opened in 2018 next to Le Pigeon and earned itself the PoMo Restaurant of the Year 2018 award, is expanding to Oregon City this summer. First reported by the Oregonian, the new spot will offer burgers and milkshakes through a walk-up window, plus other favorites the restaurant is known for like duck stack pancakes alongside new menu items and cocktails.
Hit the Spot Burger Will Become a Brick-and-Mortar Restaurant
Burger cart Hit the Spot—which landed in second place on the PoMo Burger Cabal’s ranking of the city’s 20 best classic cheeseburgers—announced via Instagram that it will sell its cart, directing its attention toward a brick and mortar restaurant. The new spot will open in the former Brunch Box space at 676 SE Morrison St, with a targeted opening date of early summer.