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 

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

Eat Here Now

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

Review

Winged Victory

Gabriel Rucker, head chef at Le Pigeon serves up a mastery of French inspired dishes like Lamb's Head Shepherds Pie. Little Bird Bistro is one we're sure you'll flock to.

02/14/2011 By Karen Brooks

Article

Bike-Centric Food Cart Super Pod in the Works on SE 82nd Ave

This summer, Mississippi Marketplace food-cart visionary Roger Goldingay aims to bring bike culture into the street-food world.

02/11/2011 By Karen Brooks

Eat Here Now

The Big Egg Cracks Open Again

After a winter food-cart hiatus, Portland’s fried-egg sandwich sanctuary returns with new ideas and cult classics.

02/09/2011 By Karen Brooks

Eat This Now

Grüner Climbs New Mountains

Expansion plans, a vegetarian-forward mushroom burger, and an alpine feast to benefit a local non-profit keep Grüner in the food spotlight.

02/02/2011 By Karen Brooks

Eat This Now

At Meat Cheese Bread, a Frontier Grows

With bold imagination, SE Stark Street’s quirky storefront helps define Portland as a new kind of sandwich city.

01/26/2011 By Karen Brooks

Review

Artfully Uncool

Bar Mingo chef Jerry Huisinga serves up some creative Italian dishes at affordable prices.

01/19/2011 By Karen Brooks

First Impressions

St. Jack Puts the Portland in Paris

A new patisserie blends Clinton Street vibes with chic éclairs and made-to-order madeleines.

01/19/2011 By Karen Brooks

Breaking Food News

FIN TO CLOSE AFTER VALENTINE’S DAY

The daring Southeast Portland seafood restaurant tanks itself after a promising six-month run.

01/17/2011 By Karen Brooks

Eat This Now

The Best Cubano, Ever. Really.

Bunk Sandwiches’ pork belly cubano just might change your life.

01/12/2011 By Karen Brooks

Eat Here Now

Building a Better Biwa

Southeast Portland’s cozy Japanese den of delights bolts down the formulas to make a lasting impression.

01/05/2011 By Karen Brooks

Stocking Stuffers

The Year’s Sweetest Spot: Alma Chocolate

Northeast Portland’s outstanding chocolate shop is now a stronghold of hot chocolates and edible art—and the gift that keeps on giving.

12/22/2010 By Karen Brooks

Review

Ocean's Heaven

Fin takes advantage of our proximity to two rivers and an ocean.

12/21/2010 By Karen Brooks

The Year in Food

Dining 2010: Picks and Pans

Portland’s top tastemakers dish on this year’s defining restaurants, addictive dishes, and trends best left in the recycle bin. Pull up a chair a...

12/15/2010 By Karen Brooks

First Impressions

Little Bird’s Landing

Le Pigeon’s bistro spin-off blends Paris and indie Portland with some low-flying food.

12/08/2010 By Karen Brooks

Food News

Charcuterie Wars Coming!

The owners of Chop Butchery and Nick’s Italian Café will show off their meat-curing prowess in new projects opening next spring.

12/08/2010 By Karen Brooks