2019 in Portland was a year of comfort food, of chicken and barbecue and thick slabs of pizza. It was a year of tumult, of lawsuits and national attention and the looming presence of Nicolas Cage. The restaurants that won us over served soothing curries and mounds of noodles, poured tall glasses of whiskey and served pastries with smiling faces. There were conflicts, and protests, and devastating closings. There were stories of underdogs and newbies with huge wins. And there were feasts, upper case and lower case, lavish and casual, meaty and vegan — the dualities that seem to define this city.
This package explores the year in dining, but in the words of Helen Rosner, “Food is politics, of course.” A year of dining is so much more than food — the people, the conflicts, the drama, the impact. The interpersonal dynamics between chefs and diners, the personification of restaurants and carts, the money and farmers and labor that goes into what appears on the plate. This package goes over the great food and drinks, but also everything around them — in other words, what made 2019 a year of dining in the first place.