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In Another Pandemic Pivot, Berlu Starts Serving Vietnamese Noodle Soups on Fridays

Plus, Son of Man releases a cider vermouth, and more news to start the day

A table at Berlu is covered in bowls of noodle soup, slices of cake, and other pastries
Berlu’s noodles and pastries
Christine Dong / Official
Brooke Jackson-Glidden is the editor of Eater Portland.

Berlu Begins Serving Vietnamese Soups Starting Today

Back in the day — as in, last year — Berlu was the place to go for a minimalist tasting menu. These days, however, it has become something like a minimalist Vietnamese restaurant: Chef Vince Nguyen’s Vietnamese bakery pivot became one of the city’s new favorite bakeries, with its chewy pandan bánh bò nướng and aesthetically pleasing fruit tarts. Now that the restaurant has stopped offering its Berlu at Home tasting menus, however, Nguyen is diving deeper into the world of Vietnamese cuisine, with a Friday takeout noodle soup special: Each Friday, the restaurant will serve one meat soup and one vegan soup, filled with house-made noodles, all naturally gluten-free. Today, the shop will offer a bánh canh trảng bàng, a pork neck soup with sausage and fermented rice noodles, as well as a vegan shiitake mushroom soup with lobster mushrooms and grilled cabbage. The soups must be pre-ordered by noon on Friday via Tock, and are available for pick-up from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. [Portland Monthly]

A Gorge Cider Company Releases Two New Oregon-Made Vermouths

Son of Man, the Columbia River Gorge company known for its Basque-style cider, has released two new vermouths. One uses a sagardo — cider — base, with cinnamon, star anise, and orange peel. The company’s other vermouth uses a wild-fermented rosé base, with citrus peel, tarragon, and rhubarb. Both are for sale at the cocktail bar Someday this Sunday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.; they’re also for sale online. [EaterWire]

Botanist Closes — Potentially for the Season — As It Weather-Proofs Its Patio

Botanist, the cocktail bar newly perched on a Pearl District rooftop, is temporarily closing to try to weather-proof its patio, but it’s unclear how long that break will be. The team is hoping the bar will only be closed for a month, but the rise in COVID-19 cases — there were 805 new Oregon cases reported yesterday — also impacts how long the bar will be closed. “Increasing covid cases mean we need to put both our team and our guests safety first,” the Instagram post announcing the closure reads. Today is the bar’s last day before the temporary shutdown. [EaterWire]

In Other News...

• GrindWitTryz finally opens its restaurant Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Read more about it here. [EaterWire]
Wedgehead, the pinball-themed bar in the Hollywood District, reopens today with reservations for specific “pods” of seats. All the pinball machines will be set to free-play. [EaterWire]
• A number of Portland restaurants — Ok Omens, Eem — have created individual structures or tents for outdoor tables, to keep people distanced but cozy. New to the list is Imperial Bottle Shop, which has built colorful a-frames for picnic tables outside. [NSB]
• Local baker John Franz has started distributing loaves of bread to unhoused Portlanders via a little hand-pulled wagon, which he’s calling Bread Bloc PDX. People can donate to the cause via GoFundMe. [EaterWire]