Before the first week of 2018 is over, I wanted to review the top posts of 2017 to see what people were reading. Turns out the most popular topic is… pizza. Portland is an excellent pizza town, so it’s understandable. The article about Chin’s Kitchen closing for a short week for renovations was the top post, thanks in a big part to the Oregonian linking to us. Thanks, guys.
I thought because it’s the end of the year, I’d expand the top posts from the traditional 5 to 10—so here we go!
Welcome to another edition of First Tastes, were we showcase good eats at new-to-us spots in Portland. This city is full of delicious food and lots of places to check out, so no doubt this column will run for some time.
Each day for the past couple of weeks, I’ve walked into my local Trader Joe’s on the way home from the gym, hoping to see the arrival of one of their most delicious products, Cranberry Fest cold pressed juice. I’m happy—no, thrilled—to say: it’s back!
Earlier this week, Esquire published an article by Amanda Cohen, executive chef and owner of NYC’s Dirt Candy, one of the most influential vegetable-focused restaurants in the US. In the article, I’ve Worked in Food for 20 Years. Now You Finally Care About Female Chefs?, Cohen expresses anger and frustration at the media for this: “Women may not have value as chefs, but as victims we’re finally interesting!”
Well, looks like my suspicions were right—a new restaurant is indeed opening up in the old Pono Soul Farm Kitchen space. Saima Thai & Sushi is moving in and is “coming soon.” There’s been activity inside since the start of December; my guess is that they will open either a) in time for the holidays, or b) after the new year.
Yesterday was the first day Sizzle Pie Hollywood was open (soft opening), so we headed over for some slices—and to check out the space. Turns out they didn’t do any kind of major overhaul, but the place feels more spacious, fresher, neater. I was told that it took about a month and half to get it all spruced up.
I’m currently out of town on a “working vacation,” but I still got the news via email from the neighborhood that Sizzle Pie is moving into the old Atomic Pizza spacenext door to the Hollywood Theatre. Their Instagram account confirms their arrival in late October, and a renovation.
Update 9/22/17: Atomic Pizza Hollywood is closing Saturday, September 23 (see comment below this post).
It’s been a rough day in NE Portland food news—this morning I heard that Pollo Norte has closed their original location (5427 NE 42nd Avenue) and around noon I heard that the Hollywood location of Atomic Pizza will close on
October 28 September 23. Atomic Pizza was the first place I ate at after moving to Portland, so I have a lot of nostalgia wrapped up in the place.
I know there’s a lot of difficult stuff going on in the world right now, so I’m going to tell you about something that I hope will inspire you and put a smile on your face. Monday, August 21 to Sunday, August 27 is Support Black Owned Restaurants Week here in Portland. The point of this restaurant week is pretty straightforward—support and eat at black owned businesses. And the restaurant week’s organizers have put together some excellent tools to help you decide where to find some seriously good eats in town.
While walking in the neighborhood, I spied this poster up at the Hollywood Sizzle Pie. Yes, the Santa Slice is making a return. From what I could tell from online media, they did this in 2015 and it caused a lot of buzz. As you can see in the photo, the Santa Slice is an 18-inch slice—basically the size of a whole pizza.
On my way to the gym today, I passed by Chin’s Kitchen, like I often do, and found this sign up on the window:
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