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Ava Gene’s Team Temporarily Brings Italian-American Classics to Chinatown

Plus, a tiny chef and a new lunch startup.

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Ava Geno’s
Katie Newburn/Official
Brooke Jackson-Glidden is the editor of Eater Portland.

The moment so much of Portland has been waiting for arrives this weekend: Yonder, the fried chicken counter from 2016 Eater Young Gun Maya Lovelace, opens Saturday at 11 a.m. Yonder’s debut has dominated the food news cycle this week, but a few news bites have fallen under the radar. Find a few of them below:

GENO’S PLACE — While Italian institution Ava Gene’s closes to revamp the space and renovate its incoming pizzeria, the restaurant’s team will pop up for six weeks at the former Davis Street Tavern space, 135 NW Fifth Avenue. Red sauce pop-up Ava Geno’s will serve dishes like rigatoni with bolognese and chicken cacciatore in a $45 prix fixe, complete with choices of antipasti, pasta, and main dish, as well as dessert. Ava Geno’s begins April 16 and runs through May 24; interested eaters can make reservations here. [The Oregonian]

REVISITING THE VERN — Classic Portland dive bar The Vern has reopened. Now owned by the folks behind The Elvis Room and Lay Low, The Vern is serving no frills cocktails to drink around its fire pit — a remnant from the Overlook. Also known as Hanigan’s, the bar is located at 2622 SE Belmont Street. [Portland Mercury]

LUNCH PAL — Startup meal service MealPal has started serving diners in Portland. Users choose plans that offer a certain number of lunches each month, which they can reserve for pick-up at around $6 per meal. Portland has more than 70 restaurants and businesses in the MealPal network, including MOD Pizza, Garden Bar, and Kure Juice Bar. [EaterWire]

AMUSE PLUSH Portland’s hottest celebrity chef is five inches tall, and he bakes pies in bottle caps. The Tiny Chef is a rotund culinary icon who often sings while he cooks and makes teeny-tiny pans of tomato sauce on Instagram. If that’s not worthy of a Follow Friday, I don’t know what is. [Portland Monthly]


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