In the before-times, Eater Portland contributors shared their favorite meals of the week in a column we called The Best Dishes the Eater Portland Team Ate This Week (original, right?). Now, Eater Portland writers are rarely leaving their homes, let alone visiting restaurants; takeout and delivery are the only real ways we can interact with restaurants, outside of social media. Instead, this column will include takeout favorites from Eater contributors, from takeout standbys to new “pivots.” For a more extensive guide to takeout options right now, check out our guide to dining during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The best thing I had last week were the cocktails I made from an old-fashioned kit I got from The Smokin’ Oak. It isn’t as complex and interesting as The Smokin’ Oak’s Ol’ Smoky with smoked bitters in a bourbon barrel smoked glass, but, in the absence of a good bartender and a real bar to hang out at, it’s a decent pre-prohibition-style Old Fashioned that requires minimal skill.” -Rachel Pinsky, Eater Portland’s Vancouver correspondent [Editor’s note: Sure wish Oregon allowed cocktail delivery, too. Washington gets to have all the fun.]
“Over the weekend, I turned to Kayo’s Ramen Bar for a much needed comfort food meal. I wasn’t sure how well the kale potstickers would hold up via delivery, but I quickly regretted not getting two orders. The leftover black vinegar and chili oil that came with the potstickers will soon make an appearance in a home cooked meal. As always, the vegan tantan ramen was the perfect balance of fiery and creamy. The last time I had Kayo’s ramen was in January, which I had shared in a previous Best Dishes round-up; revisiting this bowl now was a bittersweet reminder of more normal times.” -Waz Wu, Eater Portland vegan correspondent
“Even though it seems like years ago, just last month I was desperately checking Nodoguro’s reservation page hoping for a cancellation so I could swoop in and buy last-minute tickets for a celebratory birthday dinner. Clearly, hardcore sushi wasn’t meant to be, but I did perk up a little when Portland’s own omakase specialist started offering bentos to-go. Sure, sipping miso soup and eating octopus and salmon sashimi with disposable chopsticks on a sofa while watching TV isn’t the same as watching raw fish being sliced a la minute and plated beautifully from a counter seat. Having the option for at-home Japanese delicacies is pretty luxurious, though, and in these dark days I’ll take any reminders of what Portland’s restaurants do best.” -Krista Garcia, Eater Portland contributor
“I was always a big fan of Carte Blanche and was eagerly awaiting the arrival of Malka, but never managed to make it in during the weeks it was actually open before everything was shut down. Seeing as I’m stuck inside with no car, I was excited to see that Malka delivers — the first thing I ordered was the Noodle Incident, which is basically the fanciest mac and cheese with chopped hot dogs you can find in the city. It’s a welcome comfort food in rather rough days. Later on, I also ordered the iconic rice bowl Important Helmet for Outer Space, which is almost, but not quite, overwhelming in its flavors and textures. Just very grateful for it, and everyone else, who are open and delivering, and I know it’s not remotely possible for everyone.” -Alex Frane, Eater Portland contributor and guest editor
“I’ve had some really great delivery over the last month. In mid-March, my partner and I got sick, which made us entirely reliant on restaurant delivery and the kindness of friends; I remember orders from Quaintrelle, Yonder, and Mee-Sen fondly. However, it felt like such a victory to be well enough to go pick up an order from Vietnamese cart Matta, on a day sunny enough I could wear a romper to go do it. We went a little overboard, but it was worth it: I was reunited with my favorite dish of theirs — a caramel-y, brothy, not-too-sweet thit kho with tender pork belly — as well as a fresh cabbage salad, a tender beef stir-fry with a good dose of funk, and an order of pandan doughnut holes. Richard and Sophia Le have a great understanding of balance: Dishes are light where they need to be, layered and soulful otherwise. Waving at the Les from outside their cart, the window firmly shut, definitely shattered the illusion of this being just another Thursday; still, visiting one of my favorite neighborhood spots after being confined to a bed for so long felt like a step in the right direction.” -Brooke Jackson-Glidden, Eater Portland editor