6 Hot New Portland Eats

Oh, my achin’ stomach. As AMPM once said, there’s just too much good stuff…to eat in Portland, that is! If you’re bored of all your usual haunts and want to spice your dining life up a bit, consider one of these noshworthy and nectarous eastside newbies.

2215 E. Burnside St.
Tue-Thu 5:30-10:30pm; Fri-Sat 5:30-11pm

I’ll sidestep the ‘shoulda named it August’ jokes and get to the point–former DOC Chef Greg Perrault’s recently opened tiny-lovely East Burnside restaurant is a delight. On our inaugural visit, we feasted on a summer salad with pickled strawberries and shallots, roasted carrots and frikeh surrounding an unusual bay leaf panna cotta, smoked black cod with fingerlings and tender French filet beans, and housemade egg noodles tossed with what seemed like five pounds of morels and topped with a poached egg and a sprinkling of chive blossoms, sipped sparkling rosé, and bragged about how close June is to our house. Befitting the neighborhood, the space is intimate and unpretentious, with a small bar manned by popular local bartender Kelly Swenson (who came from Ten 01), herb-filled window boxes, and a stylish suede banquette-lined lounge that will make the wait for a table more bearable. For the time being, Chef Daniel Mondok (Carlyle, Sel Gris, Foster Burger) is Greg’s right hand man, so your plates come blessed with a double dose of culinary talent.



Bunk Bar
1028 SE Water Ave.
Daily 3pm-2:30 am

The agonizing wait for the Southeast Industrial Waterfront’s newest eatery had nearly reached fever pitch when it was announced that they were quietly opening this past Monday, spawning a mini-Twitter seizure. Bunk Sandwich darlings Tommy Habetz and Nick Wood‘s easygoing, mid-afternoon-to-late-night hangout has a sandwich ‘n sides window, a full bar, a long row of cushy booths, and a healthy hipster population–think Rontoms meets Bunk Sandwiches. For those who don’t have time to hang out and savor a pork belly bahn mi, Pie Spot pecan “pie hole,” pint and a game of pinball, step into Bunk’s little adjoining sandwich lair, housed in the space formerly known as Bakery Bar, and you and your fried shrimp po’ boy and Boylan’s grape soda will be on your way before you can say “Pie Hole!”


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1852 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Wed-Sun 5pm-close

Fin surfaced a few weeks ago in the old Sel Gris space on SE Hawthorne, promising sustainably sourced seafood with a Pacific Northwest touch. The single page, conscientiously-curated menu divides Fin’s fishy fare into whet, wade, and plunge (although it was sometimes hard to tell, portion-wise, what the difference was), dessert is dubbed “resurface,” and the wine list is “fluid, and perpetually shifts, swirls and evolves.” Grandiloquence aside, Fin Executive Chef Trent Pierce, a Foster Burger alumnus, is preparing pleasurably sophisticated seafood dishes, like the delicate Nairagi carpaccio in an intensely flavorful white soy ponzu, barramundi with charred sweet corn in a chorizo consommé poured tableside, and creamy sablefish over a kaleidoscopic peperonata nestled next to a slab of pork belly in a pool of squid ink. Fin’s service is knowledgeable and friendly, and the reworked restaurant has some interesting design features, like the cozy minibooths along the west wall, cork floors, and a beautiful reclaimed maple high bar that bisects the dining room, over which hangs a locally-made abstract art piece that vaguely resembles fish bones.



Good Food Here
SE Belmont & SE 43rd Ave.
Hours vary per cart

When I first saw this neat little cart community while en route to Movie Madness, I was sure the tidy shaded picnic area set in a bed of shiny hazelnut shells, the colorful melange of multicultural carts, and the dedicated parking lot had to be a mirage. At last count (this morning), there are 11 carts selling everything from asiago and prosciutto-stuffed flatbread to Big Daddy Tuna Melts and fried Oreos to kimchi-topped pulled pork sandwiches to tortas de mole to farm fresh produce to escargot. Yes, escargot. At the moment, my top three Good Food Here carts are Dog Eat Dawg–I’m in love with their Chicago dog, a fat quarter pound Nathan’s Famous Frankfurter topped with tomatoes, onions, pickle spears, sweet relish, spicy peppers, and celery salt; Créme de la Créme–because where else in town can you dine on croque monsieurs, escargot, and lavender lemon tartlets whilst reading the latest issue of Saveur at a bistro table beneath the awning of a tricked out Frenchie la la-style school bus(??), and Lucille’s Balls…because, well, I have a terrible meatball addiction. Don’t judge me! Good Food Here has space for up to 20 carts, so it can only get better…stay tuned for updates.



Dick’s Kitchen
3312 SE Belmont St.
Daily 11am-10pm

The paper quietly came off the windows of Dick’s Kitchen on SE Belmont a few weeks ago, and since I just happened to be walking by, I stopped in for a hot dog and a papaya drink. The space feels miles away from its former life as the Opposable Thumb Cafe, with unfussy white subway-tiled walls, a small window bar, and a bright red, makes-you-look-thrice geometric mural emblazoned on the back wall of the long, narrow dining room. Dick’s, which serves burgers (including buffalo, turkey, salmon, and vegan versions), hot dogs, sandwiches, salads, sides-a-plenty, shakes and sodas, is noticeably devoted to excellent sourcing–their grass-fed, grass-finished beef is Food Alliance-certified, almost everything from the soft potato buns that cradle the burgers to the zesty ketchup that comes with the distinctive convection-baked fingerling Not-Fries is made in house, salad dressings, condiments and sauces are made with agave in lieu of corn syrup, and the restaurant plans to host “food table” dinner discussions about food, diet and food politics featuring local farmers and ranchers. Dick’s Grand Opening Party is tonight, Friday 8/27, at 6pm, and you’re invited–come meet your neighbors and sample complimentary burgers, Not-Fries, coleslaw, shakes, and maybe even some pie. Plus, the invite promises that beer and wine will be offered “at prehistoric prices.” Like you needed an incentive.



Hair of the Dog Brewery
61 SE Yamhill St.

Wed-Sun, 2-8pm

So I cheated a bit on adding this one to the list because, until next week, you can’t get anything to eat yet in Hair of the Dog Brewery’s cheerful, airy new brewpub on SE Yamhill & Water. But you can sit and sip one of their rich and powerful beers from a bulldog-emblazoned tulip glass, beers like the Greg (named after popular Portland chef Greg Higgins)–a hopless brew made with winter squash, the decadent Fred–a golden ale with hints of toffee, and the heady, oak-aged Fred in the Wood, plus an extensive selection of vintage beers that range from $10-$25 a bottle. Committmentphobes such as myself will love taking a Walk The Dog Around the Block–Hair of the Dog’s term for a flight of 3-oz pours of all six beers on tap. Woof!