Portland’s eternal summer is now. Meet it on your terms with these cooling treats and dishes.
For a Truly Revitalizing Frozen Margarita
Craving a brain freeze that’ll leave you tipsy? Follow-up to Alphabet District’s Fish Sauce, Short Round serves Vietnamese drinking snacks at 3962 SE Hawthorne Blvd., and its frozen watermelon margarita ($9) is made with fresh, juicy watermelon.
For a Deep Dessert Menu by Portland Cooking Royalty Gregory Gourdet
As PoMo highlighted earlier this summer, Departure executive chef Gregory Gourdet is killing it in the dessert department as usual, with a fleet of options for most diets, including gluten-free and plant-based. Incorporating ash or charcoal into frozen desserts is a trend on the move this summer, so try the coconut ash pudding ($12), a textured bowl of coffee ice cream, whiskey caramel, coconut ice, puffed rice, brownie chunks, and roasted coconut. The whole thing can be vegan by substituting Departure’s rice-based ice creams.
For a Refreshing Salad
Currently on the menu at Rue — the farmer-driven restaurant with French swagger — the tomatoes and peaches salad ($12) brings two of the world’s most robust fruits together. Each bite drips with cooling and sweet juices. Other restaurants may feature this style of salad, but Rue makes it all its own with inventive herbs, like marigold leaves and fennel pollen.
For Plant-Based Ice Cream That Might Be Better Than Regular Ice Cream
Never underestimate the powerful creaminess of the nut. This year, Vancouver, B.C.-based Virtuous Pie chose Portland for its first U.S. expansion, and it brought its potent plant-based ice cream recipes along. The flavors are made with either a nut-and-coconut base or just a coconut base (for those with nut allergies), and the pizzeria teams up with local businesses to create some of its flavors, like the coffee and doughnuts ice cream, featuring Heart Roasters coffee and gluten-free doughnuts by Back to Eden Bakery. Get the plant-based chill in scoops, waffle cones, sundaes, affogatos, and ice cream sandwiches, as well as by the pint. Prices start at $4 for a single scoop.
For Ice Cream and Deep-Fried Xurro Cookies
Still haven’t tried 180’s ice cream xurro sandwich ($5.25)? This is the weekend to see just how chocolate and vanilla ice creams meld with puffy, fried-to-order dough. 180 only promises two flavors of ice cream, but there may still be some Salt & Straw left over from this week’s pop-up at the xurro shop.
For the Hot Soup Test
Does eating hot food really cool you down? Test the theory for yourself at either Ha & VL or Rose VL — the famous Vietnamese soup shops ($10.50) in deep Southeast. Remember, the rich, complex, nourishing (cooling?) soups usually run out by 1 p.m. for a reason.
For a Lick of the Shave Ice Movement
This is the summer shave ice really took Portland by storm, and one of the top spots for Hawaiian-style shave ice ($6) is Kauai-based Wailua Shave Ice, which made its debut on West Burnside as well as the Eater PDX heatmap this summer. Find another option — one that lets you add ice cream to the mix ($6) — at the Ice Mama PDX food cart inside Piedmont Station pod, at 625 NE Killingsworth St. And on an obsessive hunt for shaved cool this summer, James Beard awarded PoMo food critic Karen Brooks brings word of “Portland’s best shaved ice” at Courier Coffee Roasters: a Japanese-style option ($8), located at 923 SW Oak.