When I wrote the first part of this back in April, we were 3 weeks to a month into the quarantine, with no idea how long it would last. Here we are now, on July 29th (Holy crap where did the time go?) and there’s still no end in sight. Thanks to some overzealous states trying to rush re-opening, we’re entering a second phase of the pandemic and basically back to where we were on March 16th when the lockdown started.
We’ve also added another layer to the pandemic in true American fashion, with the unjustified murder of several people of color and the resulting civil unrest and protests that have followed.
We’ve continued our support of local businesses through take-out and online ordering. Things are starting to re-open but for now we are going to still be cautious, and it might be awhile before we sit down in a bar again. So here’s a list of places we’ve been supporting recently.
Blazin Gyro – Oh man is this place amazing. Very traditional lamb gyro and awesome falafel. And you have to try the Greek Fries. Thick round cottage potatoes topped with shaved feta and oregano. It comes with “Blazin Sauce” which is a fry sauce, but spicy. Real spicy. Be warned.
Ezells Famous Chicken – This Seattle based chain recently opened it’s first Oregon outpost pretty close to us at Washington Square, so we decided to give it a try and it was really, really good. Traditional Southern style fried chicken with sides like Mac and Cheese, cole slaw, beans etc. The chicken was still crispy even after sitting in the box for the 25-30 minute drive home, and was even better the second day reheated in the oven. The family is originally from Texas, so they know their stuff! We also decided to patronize this place because it is a Black owned business. They need our support now more than ever.
The Mac – The Mac is a food truck in Tigard, specializing (as you might guess) in Mac and Cheese. Another Black owned business we specifically chose to patronize, the truck also features fried chicken, smoked chicken and smoked potatoes, among other delicious treats. We tried the mac and cheese with smoked chicken, a fried chicken thigh, fried pickles and some of the smoked spuds. It was all delicious, and ironically the mac and cheese was the “worst” thing on the plate (by worst, I mean a 4.5 star in a group of 5 stars). It was still good, but the mac and cheese overshadowed the smoked chicken, whereas the fried boneless thigh, fried pickles and smoked spuds (with cheese and bacon) were all out of this world.
Clinton Kitchen – This one was disappointing, not because of the food, oh no, but because they were closed! A couple of weeks ago we tried to go here on a Friday, specifically for the Friday fish fry, but they were closed. I hope they aren’t closed for good. It’s still on the list of places to try. A traditional soul food menu that features fried chicken, fried catfish, gumbo, po’ boys, collard greens and more. I hope they get to reopen!
For more Portland area Black owned businesses visit I love Black Food PDX
The Lodge At Cascade Brewing – This is where we ended up going after we discovered the Clinton Kitchen was closed. We got food to-go, but sat down inside to have a pint while we were waiting. That was a bit odd, considering it was empty inside (on a Friday evening), and half the tables were gone to allow spacing. First time we’d been inside a place and had a draft beer in a long, long time. They had added a big tent to the back parking lot to serve as outdoor seating. The Chicken Bacon Guacamole sandwich was amazing, sadly the fries weren’t great. But still not bad for takeout.
McMenamins Sherwood – This is the closest McMenamins to where we live now, and we’ve gone there twice now for take-out and growler fills. I think by now they are doing inside seating again, but at the time, they had a table blocking the front door that basically turned it into a walk-up window. Order online, go pick it up, easy peasy. Two words – Cajun Tots. We make tater tots at home in our air fryer, but of course the “real” ones are better. Nothing like some deep fried potatoes to fulfill your soul.
That’s it for now. The way things are going, there will probably be a part 3.