As the COVID-19 outbreak in Oregon continues to impact the local restaurant market, stories are popping up across the city, from food cart owners giving away free meals to chefs starting Instagram cooking classes. In this new version of AM Intel, we dive into different ways the state’s food service industry has been responding to the global pandemic. For more COVID-19 stories, check out our larger story stream.
A La Carte August
When restaurants were forced to transition to takeout and delivery models, they generally went one of three ways: They closed altogether, started offering an a la carte takeout menu, or began selling pre-ordered prix fixe packages. Two of 2019’s hottest restaurant openings, Filipino restaurant Magna and Thai barbecue bar Eem, started with pre-ordered meals — Magna offered a three-course pre-fixe, while Eem sold various packages with cocktail mixer add-ons. This week, however, both restaurants will start serving a la carte takeout for dinner. At Eem, from 11 to 8 p.m. every day, customers can order curries, bbq fried rice, and papaya salads via phone or by simply walking up to the Williams restaurant. Down in Southeast Portland, Magna will start serving a takeout menu of fried chicken adobo, banana-leaf-wrapped fish collars, sides like pancit bihon, and desserts like ube cookies with pandan icing; that menu is available Thursdays through Saturdays from 4 to 8 p.m., in addition to the restaurant’s lunch takeout from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Both restaurants will also continue pre-ordered dinner service, for those who like to plan ahead.
Knock Back a Shot
Red Fox, the North Albina bar steps away from the Cherry Sprout Produce Market, has reopened for takeout, but instead of opening the patio for seating, the bar is doing something a little different: Customers can order custom shots to knock back while they wait for quarter-pound burgers; shots include “mezcal margaritas” and nitro fernet.
For the first time since the restaurant temporarily closed in March, Castagna will start offering two-person, “rustic” takeout meals on Fridays and Saturdays. Starting this Friday, Castagna will serve a menu of bun cha, a Vietnamese pork noodle dish, available for pre-order via Tock. The restaurant’s wine bar, Ok Omens, has also reopened for dining and drinking on the patio.