The pandemic has already claimed several restaurants Portland could previously hardly imagine living without.
It could be worse, however—and it certainly could get worse before this is all over.
For now, though, we should learn from the losses already incurred to never take any institution for granted. That's the basic idea behind Esquire's recently published list of "100 Restaurants America Cannot Afford to Lose." And two Portland eateries are included among them.
One is Nong's Khao Man Gai, whose titular dish is one of the enduring classics of Portland food.
"It looks simple on the plate: poached chicken, white rice, sliced cucumbers, a sauce, a soup," writes critic Jeff Gordinier. "But each bite reveals the care that she and her team have poured into it, and a lunch here leaves you feeling the way you feel after you've had matzo ball soup in a dependable diner: nourished."
The other, Peter Cho's Korean-focused Han Oak, is newer to the landscape, but has only needed three years to become a local staple and inspire effusive essays from national food writers.
"Han Oak blends into the Cho family's backyard, and a meal there has the casual vibe of a family reunion around a picnic table," Gordinier writes. "The mere thought of never being able to return to Han Oak makes me heartsick."
Check out the complete list here.
Related: The Landmarks We Lost.