Recap: ‘Somebody Feed Phil’ Tours Portland
Netflix food show Somebody Feed Phil, featuring Everybody Loves Raymond writer and executive producer Phil Rosenthal, just dropped its season five yesterday. Of particular interest to PoMo readers: this season contains Phil’s first-ever visit to Portland, where he crams in a ton of heavy-hitting carts, cafes, and restaurants, calling Portland a world-class destination for street food on par with Rio, Marrakesh, and Bangkok. This marks at least the third time Portland has shown up on a food TV show in the past couple years—counting Hulu's Eater's Guide to the World and Top Chef Season 18. With Portland back in the national spotlight for its food scene, where does Phil visit?
After a quick opening scene shucking oysters with Top Chef Portland contestant Shota Nakajima on the coast, Phil’s first stop is the Prost food cart pod, where he simultaneously snags food from Desi PDX, Fried Egg I’m in Love, and Matt’s BBQ, guided by Oregonian food writer Michael Russell. There’s a stop at Kachka for pelmeni, too, where he hears the origin story behind the restaurant and gets a bit of Bonnie Morales’s family history.
Next, Phil heads out on a bike ride to work up an appetite for the next meal. As a bike nerd, I have to point out the massive inaccuracy when Phil emphasizes, “Yes, this bike ride is in the city!” when it’s very clearly filmed on the Banks-Vernonia Trail. Why not bike in Forest Park? After biking across Tilikum Crossing, it’s time for a meal at Han Oak—also a pick of our own Karen Brooks on Eater’s Guide to the World—where Phil devours a cheeseburger bao and lettuce-wrapped barbecued meat.
Phil’s eating adventures are also punctuated by kayaking in Clackamas County, followed by a visit to Netarts Bay to visit Jacobsen Salt Co with chef Shota. And no Portland visit is complete without coffee (the double-decker bus that houses Tōv Coffee) and doughnuts (vegan, of course, from Doe). He also visits one of our favorite new carts of 2021: Ruthie’s, famous for its Mormon grandma-style rolls and local meat and produce all baked in a wood-fired oven. He even squeezes in a visit to summer 2021’s Feast Portland festival, where he meets food cart legend Nong Poonsukwattana and falls in love with Nong’s Khao Man Gai sauce, just like the rest of us.
Sadly cut from the episode was a visit to Portland Ca Phe for ube lattes, ca phe sua, and all seven varieties of banh mi, led by Simpsons showrunner and fast food critic Bill Oakley, who praises the sandwiches as “some of the best I’ve ever had.” You can still watch that video online here.