Portland restaurants and food carts as signs of the zodiac

In some ways, we live in the golden age of astrology – or, at least, the age of media. Instagram accounts design memes for specific zodiac signs; TikTok users are breaking down the astrological makeup of everything from liminal spaces to White Claw flavors. So it’s time we figured out the Portland food world map. Below, find our quick and dirty guide to Portland restaurants in the form of zodiac signs:

Aries: Coffee Rowan

Ever since Spencer Ivankoe opened this southeast brunch cafe, he’s been on a mission to become Portland’s restaurant royalty. Not only will the restaurant serve brunch but too it will make wine dinners, and collaborative dinners, and there will be lobster rolls with truffle aioli. This stubborn perseverance aligns well with Aries, especially considering the absolutely star-studded collaboration dinner the restaurant hosted earlier this month.

Taurus: Saint-Jacques

Listen, a Taurus is someone who can appreciate the good stuff: Champagne, caviar, foie gras, all consumed in a comfortable, sultry space that feels sophisticated but mostly relaxed. Dinner at St. Jack’s can be a quiet affair, which suits a Taurus who has absolutely no interest in going anywhere fast — at least not until the Cherry Jubilee is over. .

Gemini: sunny noodles

There’s a reason Diane Lam has become famous within the Portland restaurant scene – she’s outgoing, a good communicator, and extremely fun. The various iterations and lifecycles of his Sunshine Noodles restaurant – pop-up-turned-residence-turned-restaurant – match the adaptable nature of a Gemini. The fact that Sunshine Noodles constantly feels like the life of the party also gives it a Gemini vibe, but when it wants to be, Lam’s cooking style can take a more reserved approach.

Cancer: La Fondita

Sitting at the counter of this Mexican restaurant in northwest Portland, you can’t help but feel cared for, Cancer-style. The tortillas are hot and fresh from the comal; the soups are hearty and nuanced; guisados ​​are nourishing and soothing. There is a certain level of nostalgia or sentimentality in service to La Fondita, which matches the Cancer mindset.

Leo: Eem

Eem knows that she is this girl; she has no choice but to be that girl. Everyone loves this Thai barbecue spot, with its fun tropical cocktails and colorful curries. Early in the pandemic, Eem became a natural leader when it came to developing new service models and taking public positions on behalf of the industry; today, the restaurant’s all-caps Instagram captions serve up that classic Leo flair for drama.

Virgo: Berlu

Just by looking at chef Vince Nguyen’s cooking, you’ll know the fine-dining Vietnamese restaurant screams Virgo – the dishes are meticulously arranged and perfect, not one element out of place. That being said, Nguyen is not one to point fingers; he remains modest about his own work and quickly knows where to improve. Like a real Virgin, Berlu’s service is attentive and gentle, water glasses filled and napkins folded.

Libra: Mucca Osteria

The ultra-romantic downtown restaurant Mucca exudes the sultry vibe of a libra, heightened by the elegant exposed brickwork and art hanging on the walls. The dining room’s soft tones showcase Libra’s love of serenity. And, true to form, Mucca’s dishes are often well balanced with savory and sweet notes, sour dishes complemented by the judicious use of butter or olive oil.

Scorpio: The Pigeon

Gabriel Rucker, the owner of this gourmet restaurant in East Burnside, has a mysterious and irresistible charm. You’ll never know what’s coming on a menu – scallops with guacamole fava? Marinated pork ear terrine? Profiteroles with foie gras (ok, you know there is one)? Rucker and his partner Andy Fortgang’s combination of passion and determination has kept this restaurant at the top of Portland’s culinary charts for more than 15 years, and it shows no signs of slowing down – serious Scorpion energy.

Sagittarius: Oma’s Refuge

Freewheeling vibes come in spades at Oma’s Hideaway, with magnetic energy vibrating off walls covered in sea creatures. The pantry pulls in ingredients and inspiration from around the world: any given meal may include raita, fruity pebbles, pistachio zhoug, char siu pork belly, or egg yolk. salted egg, with shots of Jell-O to start and a boozy slushie as a nightcap. The central energy of Oma’s party shows this propensity of Sag for the gregarious.

Capricorn: Ringside

You can’t stay open in Portland for more than 75 years without a healthy dose of perseverance, which is typical of a Capricorn. Ringside’s combination of seasoned and diligent servers; tried-and-true steakhouse staples (like James Beard’s favorite onion rings); and the hardworking kitchen staff made it a favorite among longtime Portlanders for decades, and that Cape-esque discipline paid off.

Aquarius: Erica’s soul food

Erica Montgomery, the owner of this northeast Portland food cart, isn’t just a chef knocking out exceptionally flavorful wings and smothered chicken; she is an activist, a strong advocate for the rights of marginalized communities around Portland. This humanitarian nature is similar to that of an Aquarius, especially when combined with Montgomery’s proudly eccentric nature. You can see her dancing or singing in her cart as she tosses peach sriracha wings or boils peanuts. And hey, what *other* cart in town is going to serve pumpkin spice wings on special?

Pisces: Malka

This dreamy, maximalist southeast Portland restaurant exudes fish, with imaginative dishes that incorporate countless homemade components. The names of each of the dishes (Ziggy Stardust On a Big Ol’ Boat, Important Outer Space Helmet) capture the creativity of a Pisces, and owners Jessie Aron and Colin McArthur have the often open-hearted public presence. associated with the sign.

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Sandy A. Greer