We’re waist-deep in Support Black-Owned Restaurant Week, a celebration of 88 black-owned Portland restaurants, wineries, and food carts in one of the whitest major cities in the United States. Ending August 26, SBORW spreads across the Portland Metro Area, with live jazz, happy hours, and plenty of food, ranging from the fufu of Burkina Faso to classic American soul food. The week is mainly about awareness of the various black-owned restaurants in Portland, from the Caribbean to Ethiopia, as well as places like Mama San Soul Shack and Abbey Creek vineyard.
“Every culture is unique, and everyone needs to expand their horizons,” says organizer William “Dub” Travis III, aka the owner of Dub’s St. Johns and craftsman of heavenly powdered-sugar-dusted chicken and waffles. “I never thought of my restaurant as a black restaurant just for black people. Sometimes, people just want to support us because we’re a minority... There are some pretty amazing Pan-African chefs out there, and people might not know that.” Travis sat down with Eater Portland to discuss his picks for the week, from spaghetti-hawking food carts to Ethiopian mainstays.
“Everybody should go to stupid burger,” Travis says, and it makes sense: This former food cart’s loaded burgers, stacked with things like hotlinks, mango habanero chutney, or mozzarella sticks.
Go: 2329 NE Glisan Street
People often think of Solae’s as the place for live jazz or blues, but Travis commended the lounge for its soul food, from its gizzards to collard greens. The lounge will host live jazz in honor of the event Friday, August 24.
Go: 1801 NE Alberta Street
Kee’s Loaded Kitchen
Chef-owner Kiauna Nelson’s Instagram-famous food cart is known for its wicked large portions, heartbreakingly delicious chicken wings, and saucy piles of spaghetti. To see what’s at the cart that day, like the cart’s Facebook page.
Go: 4709 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Sengatera Ethiopian Restaurant
From lamb tibs to assortments of vegan wats to scoop with injera flatbread, Sengatera pulls out the stops when it comes to exceptional Ethiopian restaurants. Go on Friday, when a dj will play nothing but Ethiopian music for SBORW.
Go: 3833 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.
For a full list of participating restaurants and black-owned businesses, check out the list on the event’s website. For a good guide to the events this week, check out Portland Mercury’s breakdown of the schedule.