FOOD & DRINK
Farm-fresh vittles, a hoppin’ brewpub, homemade banana ice cream … time to dig in
The dining room is cramped and the menu is completely unpredictable—two factors that happen to make Beast a great place to eat. Let us explain. For $28, chef Naomi Pomeroy (formerly of Clarklewis) and her staff will prepare a unique, four-course, prix fixe meal that might feature French toast with candied bacon and pecans, followed by summer vegetable hash and braised pork cheeks, then maybe a farm-fresh green salad so light and refreshing you’ll still crave the homemade ice cream topped with seasonal fruit for dessert. A mimosa is a smidgen extra, but coffee and juice are included, and sharing a meal with strangers at this tiny gem (there are only two tables, both communal) is like eating with friends. Friends who take the first meal of the day as seriously as the last, that is. So get serious. Wake up. Eat here now.
Around here, tapping one brewpub as tops is like trying to positively identify your favorite Bob Dylan tune. Can there really be one that’s the best? But we’re throwing caution to the wind and declaring the recently opened Hopworks Urban Brewery as Portland’s ultimate watering hole: From the bike-themed décor to the recycled building materials to the locally sourced food, Hopworks practically screams “sustainable” from the top of its healthy lungs, and that eco-minded approach to drinking is what makes it this year’s winner. And the beer? Besides being all-organic, owner Christian Ettinger’s creations recently took home two World Beer Cup awards. The Hopworks Organic IPA is particularly invigorating, with hints of pine, caramel, and citrus. So have another round. After all, you’re doing the planet a favor.
At this wildly popular downtown Jewish deli, your garden-fresh meal comes in a bowl twice the size of your face, one that overflows with chopped lettuce, avocado, hard-boiled egg, tomatoes, shredded chicken, and creamy blue cheese dressing. If that’s not enough, a generous pile of house-smoked, salty, succulent sliced pastrami stands in for bacon (and no, the kitchen won’t trim the fat off of that lovely meat—it’s the best part). True, Kenny & Zuke’s doesn’t have the South Beach set in mind with its heaping helpings, but it does seem intent on elevating the commonplace salad to the level of sublime. Mission accomplished.