Karen Brooks holds one of the most prestigious titles in the food world: winner of the James Beard Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Review Award for 2017. This was her second time as a national finalist. After this, it’s all gravy.

Brooks eats, drinks and thinks about food for Portland Monthly, where she continues her journey as Portland’s opinionated, trend-spotting food critic. She pens monthly restaurant reviews, writes and photographs the print magazine’s Word of Mouth column (aka: what I’m obsessing over now), drives the annual Best Restaurants issue, contributes to various food-cover packages, and breaks news for the magazine’s food blog, Eat Beat.

Karen began her journalism career at alt-weekly Willamette Week, doubling as food critic and Arts & Culture editor. Then she jumped ship to The Oregonian, doing double-duty again as Arts czarina and Food Critic while creating two of the daily’s most enduring sections: the weekly A&E and the annual Diner guide. At Portland Monthly since 2010, she’s continued her mission of ferreting out new restaurant models and maverick thinkers defining Portland’s food voice.

In her spare time, Karen is rabid NBA baller and film/TV junkie and author. She’s penned nine books to date, most recently a deep dive into Portland’s punk-rock food scene, The Mighty Gastropolis: A Journey Through America’s New Food Culture. 

Portland's Best Water

Rogue River Feud

Zane Grey, famed author of such western novels as _Riders of the Purple Sage_, was one of the architects of the hardscrabble mythos of the American West. After a memorable fishing expedition on the lower Rogue River in 1925, Grey memorialized the Oregon w

06/16/2009 By Alexis Rehrmann

Review

Street Cred

Ping is the latest venture from Pok Pok mastermind Andy Ricker. Ping insists on bringing Portlanders authenticity in its beguiling menu options. But unlike Pok Pok, Ping doesn't have standout dishes. What you'll find instead is an intriguing collection of

05/26/2009 By Martha Calhoon

Style Essential

Breezy Does It

Soak up Portland's summer sun in these one-piece classics.

05/26/2009 By Melissa Tessitor

Get Out

Hikes & Bikes

One of the best things about living in Portland is the ease with which we can escape the city for more rugged delights. So we paged through guidebooks, consulted local experts, and wore a little leather off our own boots...

05/20/2009 Edited by Kasey Cordell With Brian Barker By Kaitlin Johnson, Ariel Bleicher, Victoria Nguyen, and Bart Blasengame

Now Read This

Fond Farewell

Emily Chenoweth’s debut novel is a compelling and delicate tale of a family’s painful loss, realized within relationships new and old.

05/19/2009 By Isaac Darnall

CHEAP DATE

There Is a Cod

British-born chef Michael “Mick” Shillingford craved the traditional fish-and-chips of his native land, so Shillingford opened the Fish and Chip Shop last October. World-class? Maybe not. But until your next trip to the United Kingdom, a fine placeholder

05/19/2009 By Clarissa Fong

P-Town Diary

Escape from New York

Another Brooklynite trades the Big Apple for a Portland state of mind.

05/19/2009 By Daniel B. Smith

College Ball

Duck Blind

The University of Oregon baseball team returns to the diamond with bravado—and uniforms you can see from Kansas.

05/19/2009 By Bart Blasengame

Living Here

In The Zone

Is this the year Oregon schools finally get serious about seismic safety? Earthquake expert Yumei Wang hopes so.

05/19/2009 By Linda Baker

Article

12 Revolutionary Companies

Transforming the city that works (and yes, they're hiring.)

05/19/2009 By Sally Powers

CHEAPDATE

Little Red Bike Café

It's a cozy, sunlit refuge that opens at 7 a.m. each morning, six days a week.

05/19/2009 By Joanna Kang

Article

Age of Innocence

Hoping to bait a serial killer on a lonely Oregon highway, two teenage girls attempt to embrace their dark sides.

05/19/2009 By Stacy Bolt

Food News

Stalk Market

When the price of wheat soars, there are winners (Oregon grain growers) and losers (you).

05/19/2009 By Tom Colligan

INTRODUCING

Indish

Portland's newest Indian restaurant, Indish, offers authentic Indian home-cooking.

05/19/2009 By Isaac Darnall

Cool Cocktails

Happy Hours

It's the revival of vodka, gin, and whiskey. These spirits are being brought back to life thanks to Portland's distillery movement. Here's a guide to 24 of the most delicious—and more.

05/19/2009 By Kasey Cordell and Bart Blasengame With Brian Barker and Kaitlin Johnson

Beer

Belgian Bliss

With a rare yeast and a competitive spirit, brewers across town are concocting heavenly ales.

05/19/2009 By Tom Colligan

Article

Good Morning, Portland

A few thoughts on breakfast from our Editor in Chief

05/19/2009 By Paige Williams

Portland's Best Breakfasts

B... Is for Bacon

We spent weeks eating breakfast all over the city to bring you a comprehensive roundup of morning eats (and drinks!) at sixty-four restaurants. Portlanders, prepare to grow hungry.

05/19/2009 By Brian Barker, Camas Davis, Nino Padova, Lynette Sanchez, and Bart Blasengame

CHEAP DATE

Belly Timber

At Belly Timber, set in a purple Victorian on the corner of SE Hawthorne Boulevard and 32nd Avenue, the half-size portions are remarkably plentiful. And even if you do opt for a full serving, not one item is priced over $20.

05/19/2009 By Camas Davis

Music

Jick Magnet

Rocker and literate lyricist Stephen Malkmus talks about yogic singing, fatherhood, and his impending death.

05/19/2009 By Bart Blasengame