OP Wurst Division

Memorial Day is almost here! Bring on the summer sunshine and backyard (or balcony) bbqs of burgers and hot dogs and picnics please! In between bbqs, you can also get your fix on for fun American food at OP Wurst, which now has 3 locations. I’ve visited and enjoyed a couple times the haute hot dogs of OP Wurst at Pine Street Market, but given how that indoor gourmet food court is the home of several mini restaurants, there is always a lot of hustle and bustle and it doesn’t seem like a place to sit down for a long spell with sausages and drinks. Now I do have a place to do both though – OP Wurst Sausage Bar on Division has opened and with the larger kitchen, offers more options then the Pine Street location, has a big outdoor patio, plus offers a full bar. Here’s a look!
OP Wurst on SE Division, several of their gourmet haute hot dogs OP Wurst on SE Division

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Shipwreck PDX

I was able to attend Shipwreck PDX at their first pop up in March at Jacqueline, and they made my Eater PDX top pop up list. I plan to attend again at their next pop up in May 15 next from 5 PM to 2 AM at Taqueria Nueve, which is now additionally partnering with Rum Club while waiting for your table. It’s a strong sign how they are continually improving and actively making choices by learning from their experience in March.

Shipwreck PDX food menu Shipwreck PDX drink menu
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Fukami Dinner Recap

Fukami was included recently on my Eater PDX roundup of Portland Pop Ups. Fukami currently is popping up at Davenport on Sundays and Mondays only at 7:30 PM at their bar so limited to 8 seats per dinner. On the menu is an $95 omakase menu (gratuity not included, additional beverages available a la carte). In case you were wondering what the omakase dinner might be like, here’s a look at an example dinner I enjoyed in March that includes 19 bite size courses of which a dozen are seasonal nigiri courses.

Fukami - a 19 course small plates dinner

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Imperial Session New England Beer Pairing Dinner

This quarterly dinner series by Imperial Session duo Advanced Cicerone Ryan Spencer (Bailey’s Taproom) with dishes from Chef Spencer Watari (Clyde Common) pairs beers and food. Unlike many beer and food dinners, this pop up concept does not beholden itself to any particular breweries or restaurant so they can select any beer or dish to make an interesting pairing without worrying about representing or promoting any business. The last dinner focus was on beers from New England.
Imperial Session New England Beer Dinner Imperial Session New England Beer Dinner Imperial Session New England Beer Dinner, Ryan pouring beerse for one of the courses Imperial Session New England Beer Dinner

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Shigezo

What is your favorite little restaurant in your neighborhood that you can go to any day for a quick date? For F and I, it used to be a Mediterranean place but that closed own recently and now our spot is Shigezo Sushi Izakaya and Sushi. Shigezo is a Japanese restaurant that has a large menu that can make omnivores, vegetarians, vegans, and the gluten free all happy. They offer sushi, but I particulalry love their rice bowls, grilled items, and ramen. I even find room to squeeze in desserts. Here are some of our favorite dishes.

For the vegetarian and vegans out there, here’s a starter for you from the happy hour menu: Deep fried tofu in hot soy broth, or the Temaki, or hand roll of the Veggie Roll with avocado, cucumber, shiso leaf, daikon sprouts, yamagobo, and sesame seeds.
Shigezo Agedashi Tofu appetizer with fried tofu, mochi, ginger, grated daikon, shishito pepper Shigezo happy hour Temaki, or hand roll: this is the Veggie Roll with avocado, cucumber, shiso leaf, daikon sprouts, yamagobo, and sesame seeds

Shigezo has a Robata Grill, so you can order individual skewers like these – Thigh, Breast, Pork Belly, Quail Egg and Bacon, and Flank Steak skewers. Thankfully, Shigezo has much more space so you won’t be elbow to elbow and in a cloud of smoke like the typical hole in the wall izakaya in an alley in Tokyo! They have about a dozen skewers so not as many as an in izakaya, but half are meat and half are vegetables so they are great appetizers before your meal. Or just order skewers as a snack accompaniment to drinks like beer or sake, which is what most people do in Japan. The skewers are part of the happy hour menu!
Shigezo has a Robata, so you can get grilled skewers like these - Thigh, Breast, Pork Belly, Quail Egg and Bacon skewers Shigezo has a Robata, so you can get grilled skewers and the skwers are on their regular adn happy hour menu

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