Karen Brooks eats, drinks and thinks about food for Portland Monthly, as the magazine's trend-spotting food critic. Karen's reviews and think pieces ferret out the restaurants, food carts, and maverick thinkers defining Portland's food voice. In 2017, Karen won one of the food world's most prestigious titles: the James Beard Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Reviewer Award. She's penned nine books on food and drink, and in 2020 guest-starred on Hulu's food series, Eater's Guide to the World 

EAT HERE NOW

Good Food Here: The Guide

A year-old cart pod on SE Belmont Street grows in strange, wonderful ways—not all of them involving good food.

05/18/2011 By Karen Brooks

EAT HERE NOW

Chop Thinks Big With Small-Batch Charcuterie

A new shop selling cured meats and inventive pates is another step in Oregon’s New Charcuterie Frontier.

05/11/2011 By Karen Brooks

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Eat This Now: Chicken Dinner at Tastebud

Tastebud delivers heavenly, smoky charred birds on its weekly Chicken Dinner Night.

04/22/2011 By Karen Brooks

Review

It Takes a Village

St. Jack restaurant in the S.E. Clinton neighborhood is a sweet slice of Lyon in Portland, with boudin sausages, bulk local wine, and a boisterous mood.

04/22/2011 By Karen Brooks

Breaking Food News

Chef Kenny Giambalvo Resigns from Bluehour

Portland’s house of swank will conduct a national search to replace their leading kitchen man

04/15/2011 By Karen Brooks

Hometown Pride

Pomeroy, Paley, and Pine State Biscuits

Your Portland TV guide for the week

04/13/2011 By Karen Brooks

Eat This Now

Perfect Pie: Lauretta Jean’s Serious Slice

Behind serious all-butter crusts and farm-fresh produce, Kate McMillen’s new pie stand is a player.

04/13/2011 By Karen Brooks

Exclusive Interview

Naomi Pomeroy on Top Chef

Fear factor and survivor: Naomi Pomeroy dishes on Top Chef Masters, debuting tonight on Bravo

04/06/2011 By Karen Brooks

Food News

St. Jack Launches Sunday Brunch

Seafood innovator Trent Pierce resurfaces at St. Jack with a new all-day Sunday brunch and raw bar.

04/06/2011 By Karen Brooks

First Impressions

Aviary Has Wings

Asian-fusion cooking comes to NE Alberta with bold beauty and modest prices.

03/30/2011 By Karen Brooks

Food News

Inside the James Beard Awards

On Monday, four Portland chefs and two cooking scribes made the final ballots for the 2011 James Beard Foundation awards. With winners announced in May, the ...

03/23/2011 By Karen Brooks

Hometown Pride

Secrets of an Iron Chef

A behind-the-scenes look at Vitaly Paley’s April 17 battle with Jose Garces on Iron Chef America.

03/23/2011 By Karen Brooks

Eat This Now

Wake up Call: Brunch at Irving Street Kitchen

Just when you thought Portland couldn’t exceed the bacon-donut-biscuit speed limit, here comes Irving Street Kitchen flashing a green light to keep the South...

03/16/2011 By Karen Brooks

Breaking Food News

Little Big Burger Multiplies

Micah Camden to open a second Little Big Burger on N Mississippi Avenue.

03/14/2011 By Karen Brooks

Review

Ramen Rave

Launched just last fall, Boke Bowl has become a wildly popular noodle craze. Find out where the next monthly, “pop-up” restaurant will be.

03/10/2011 By Karen Brooks

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The Big Egg

The Big Egg serves up some meticulously handcrafted breakfast sandwiches with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

03/10/2011 By Karen Brooks

Eat This Now

Tastebud’s Best-Kept Secret: Wood-Fired Birds, Butter, and Biscuits

Once a week, a SE Portland pizza house transforms its menu into a farmhouse feast.

03/09/2011 By Karen Brooks

Eat This Now

Vegetarian Swank, At Last

Genoa and Beast set a welcome new table for meat-free eating.

03/02/2011 By Karen Brooks

Eat This Now

Ramen Freaks and Geeks

Fast-foodies are lining up for a taste of Japanese comfort, from Mirakutei on East Burnside to Bokebowl, a new ramen pop-up. Our souped-up tour includes bowl...

02/16/2011 By Karen Brooks