The owner of SE Hawthorne’s Quarterworld arcade is opening a Nintendo- and Super Mario Bros-themed restaurant next door: WWeek reports Baoser will open the final week of May to serve bao — fluffy steamed buns stuffed with flavorful fillings — by Alan Torres, the former chef-owner of now-shuttered Baowry.
Among all the beards, tattoos, head shops, and cat t-shirts, SE Hawthorne is already home to some of the trippiest food in Portland. Toadstool styles surreal cupcakes after psychedelic mushrooms, and there’s the fast-food vegan restaurant Next Level Burger. Will Baoser’s bao, with fillings like “Yoshi steak,” be able to attract the acid-washed jeans and high-tops?
With a chef like Torres, who has a proven ability to not only make modern bao but to transform a legit NoPo crackhouse into a bustling restaurant, it is definitely possible. The closure of Baowry was a real loss for St. Johns, and speaking with WWeek, Torres said he’s been hanging onto some recipes he’ll put to use at Baoser. Around 13 bao options, including one with peking duck, are planned for lunch and late night (open till 3 a.m.). Torres has been known to make such combinations as an egg-and-bacon breakfast bao with shrimp chips.
Located at 4809 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Baoser also will sport a Super Mario Bros-inspired decor. This includes a faithfully reproduced Bowser’s castle.