Sandwich steaks, saffron rice and other restaurant cuts new for June 2022

June was a bit of a waiting game. Waiting for the rain to stop. Waiting for night to fall (“The sun is awake so I’m awake,” my 3-year-old likes to say). And for restaurant fans, waiting for some of Portland’s best-known chefs and restaurateurs to open their first major projects since the pandemic began. While we wait for Jeffrey Morgenthaler and Benjamin “Banjo” Amberg to open their post-Clyde Common Pacific Standard bar later this month, for Gregory Gourdet to put the finishing touches on his wood-fired Haitian restaurant Kann and brand new Sousòl bar in July, for Duck to expand to Oregon City and Langbaan to get the final permits for their new home in Northwest Portland, here are 10 restaurant news to whet your appetite in June.

Celebrity chef Justin Sutherland is opening a sandwich shop in Portland Big E

Inspired by the songs of Prince, LCD Soundsystem and The Notorious BIG, Portland’s new downtown sandwich shop, Big E, is the first restaurant to open outside of Minneapolis-St. Paul by celebrity chef Justin Sutherland. Found in the game room-style lobby of the new 197-room Moxy Hotel in downtown Portland, 585 SW 10th Ave., the “Top Chef” contestant’s new micro-restaurant serves breakfast sandwiches with eggs in various forms, Tillamook cheese and soft milk rolls from the Oyatsupan bakery in Beaverton. The signature sandwich is the It Was All a Dream, a steak sandwich with – like Biggie’s words – cheese, eggs and Welch’s grape (jelly, although for the record the song refers to the juice) .

Victor Darchini stands outside Caspian Kabob’s upcoming Beaverton site.Courtesy of Tracy Darchini/Caspian Kabob

Caspian Kabob Hosts Grand Opening in Beaverton

Caspian Kabob, Portland’s beloved former food cart, will hold a grand opening at its new Beaverton brick-and-mortar store on Tuesday, June 14. Nearly three years after closing their cart at North Portland’s Prost Marketplace pod, owners Victor and Tracy Darchini are ready to welcome customers to their new restaurant, 3807 SW Orbit St. #110, in the West End District, a new development on the site of the former Kmart where Southwest Murray Boulevard joins the Tualatin Valley Highway. Look for Darchini’s saffron rice and grilled meat skewers, as well as specialties such as sabzi gormeh (a beef stew), salmon skewers and lamb shank with dill rice.

Fast Feathers adds creative wings and sauces to downtown Portland

Speaking of Food Cart Alley, Portland Monthly was first to report that micro-restaurant row Moxy has welcomed a new wing concept from Anthony and Stephanie Brown of currently on hiatus Mexican/Cajun fusion restaurant Nacheaux. Located next to Big E (see above), 585 SW 10th Ave., the wing stand specializes in creative homemade sauce flavors, including Honey Pecans, Mole BBQ and Doritos sprinkled with Dorito, plus sides including tater tots, fries and fried pickles.

Fulamingo (oh oh oh-woah) takes on a wall at Wellspent Market

Fulamingo, the Japanese online market from Erik Hanson and Kana Hinohara Hanson, recently took over a wall in Northeast Portland Wellspent Market specialty store, 935 NE Couch St., Portland Monthly reports. This is the place to come for a convenient selection of Japanese items, including instant spicy cod roe spaghetti sauce, ramen chips, cans of Boss coffee, and affordable sake.

Grand Central Market moves to new ownership structure

One of the best-known bakeries in the Pacific Northwest will no longer be privately owned by longtime family and employees. Instead, Grand Central Bakery announced it would create a “perpetual purpose trust,” a new type of corporate structure that seeks to uphold principles, not profit, company officials said. Two other Oregon companies are adopting this new type of ownership trust. Eugene-based Organically Grown Company and Newport’s famous Local Ocean Seafoods. Learn more here.

Countryside

Hinterland, a food cart pod, located at 2216 SE 50th Ave., Portland, Oregon on Thursday, April 28, 2022.Mark Graves / The Oregonian

Hinterland introduces sustainable model for food cart pods

Portland’s new Hinterland Bar & Carts offers a glimpse into a possible future for food carts. At the Southeast Portland pod, 2216 SE 50th Ave., a carefully selected quintet of carts are surrounded by amenities more commonly found in swanky food halls, including covered seating, large televisions, reusable tableware and one of the best new cocktail bars in town. Portland has hundreds of carts spread across parking lots across the city, but as one cart owner put it in our recent review, Hinterland has set a “new normal” for pods. Visit and you’ll probably agree.

Yonder fried chicken spot to close, reopen as Hissyfit

Yonder, chef Maya Lovelace’s northeast Portland fried chicken restaurant, will close around the end of June, then reopen almost immediately as Hissyfit, a new restaurant with some of the old personality (and cocktails) of Yonder, while freeing the kitchen to experiment with global flavors. A first look at Hissyfit’s menu reveals fun fusion dishes showcasing ingredients from the Pacific Northwest and the American South, such as Korean-inspired cornmeal spring onion pancakes with spicy sorghum syrup, McFarland Springs trout with fresh egg noodles and guajillo-tomato butter, tempura-marinated green beans with smoked cheddar fondue, and koji-cured pork cutlet. Search Hissyfit to open at

The Matador opens a new location north of Portland

The Matador, a popular Mexican restaurant and bar chain with operations in Oregon, Washington and Idaho, recently opened its third Portland outpost at 4101 N. Williams Ave., the company announced in a news release. hurry. Known for its selection of over 100 tequilas, the Peloton Apartments’ new 4,500-square-foot restaurant seats around 120 people both inside and on its terrace.

MidCity SmashBurger serves up the best burger smash in Portland, for just $5.  Pictured: The trolley's colorful Southeast Portland location.

MidCity SmashBurger serves up the best burger smash in Portland, for just $5.Michael Russell | The Oregonian

MidCity extends to Bend; Simmich on his way to Lebanon

Two large Portland food carts are on the move. MidCity SmashBurger, our pick for Portland’s best burger smash, and Pastrami Zombie, sister cart to Ashland-based sandwich shop Sammich, are moving this month. After making a wrong turn in Corvallis, the Sammich cart landed in the new Landing cart pod at Tallboy Brewing in Lebanon, 2055 Primrose St. MidCity, meanwhile, has the spirit of expansion, opening a new cart in the under-renovated original dining room at Boneyard Brewing, 37 NW Lake Place in Bend.

What’s going on at Ocean City Seafood?

Another of Portland’s iconic dim sum restaurants appears to have closed. Ocean City, a longtime rival of Wong’s King Seafood, was shut down during a recent trip to Southeast 82nd Avenue, its building surrounded by a chain-link fence. The Ocean City website remains operational, but no one answered the restaurant’s phone or follow-up emails on Tuesday. Wong’s King, you may recall, closed during the pandemic, with another dim sum spot, Excellent Cuisine, eventually opening in its place.

Rockwood Market Hall heats up Gresham’s foodie scene

New Gresham food hall Rockwood Market Hall isn’t just a destination for fans of po’boys, panuchos or chicken tikka masala. It’s a potential catalyst for growth in its own historically underfunded neighborhood of Gresham. Just steps from MAX, the large facility already has a quintet of smaller eateries, with plans to add half a dozen more, including micro-groceries, all alongside a European-style plaza with a playground, a seasonal kiddy pool and a white tablecloth Mexican Bar and Grill at La Villa.

Read more:

Indian popsicles, Caribbean bar snacks and other Portland restaurant news for May 2022

Dough Zone, Phuket Cafe debut, star chefs expand beyond Portland, plus more local restaurant news in April

Matt’s BBQ heads to Beaverton, Akadi to reopen in the Southeast and more Portland restaurant news for March

Bluto’s goes Greek, Bing Mi adds dumplings and more Portland restaurant news for February

Seattle dumplings, seasonal Burmese salads and more Portland restaurant news for January

—Michael Russell, mrussell@oregonian.com @tdmrussell



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Sandy A. Greer