PHOTO: Beef Brisket from Kachka. Photo by Cheryl Juetten.
BY KERRY POLITZER
It’s hard to believe that spring is almost here. If the season of seders has caught you by surprise, don’t stress about preparing the large family meal – these restaurants have got you covered. And if time doesn’t permit you to set the table, you might even opt to dine out.
The acclaimed Kachka (960 SE 11th Ave., 503-235-0059, kachkapdx.com), which specializes in the cuisine of the former Soviet Union, offers both options. Not only will the restaurant be offering a special seder dinner at the end of Passover on April 12, the deli upstairs will sell items for home seders throughout the holiday. You’ll be able to purchase house-made matzah and brisket by the pound. If you want to dine in, buy your tickets in mid-March.
Mother’s Bistro (121 SW Third Ave., 503-464-1122, mothersbistro.com) will not be doing a Passover seder this year. But owner/chef Lisa Schroeder will be cooking up matzah ball soup using her mother Belle’s recipe. Chopped liver, braised beef brisket and potatoes, flourless chocolate cake and matzoh brei (breakfast only) will also be available for dine-in or takeout during Passover.
New Seasons (various locations; catering.newseasonsmarket.com as of March 14) will have quite a selection of Passover goodies this year, most of which will be available for ordering on their website. In the prepared food section, you’ll find apple-raisin or leek-ricotta kugel, brisket braised with tomatoes, beet salad, tzimmes, chopped liver, grilled salmon and, of course, matzah ball soup. If you plan for more of a do-it-yourself affair, you can purchase grain-finished brisket, roasting chickens and leg of lamb in the meat section. The fish counter will sell a gefilte fish mix. Top it all off with a flourless Passover chocolate almond torte (only available for in-store purchase). Order March 14-April 5 with pickup between April 5 and 9.
Some of the most exciting Passover dishes in town will come out of the Jacob and Sons kitchen (337 NW Broadway, 503-226-1400, jacobandsonspdx.com/passover-menu). Items will be available for pickup on April 4-6 from 9 am to 3 pm. You’ll be able to order the traditional seder plate as well as main courses such as spring leg of lamb, zaatar-crusted steelhead and whole roasted chicken. A full family seder consists of a roast chicken, salad, matzah ball soup, crispy potatoes with whipped schmaltz aioli, charoset, maror, faux chopped liver and a box of Shira’s Passover cookies, all of which are gluten free. The cookies include coconut macaroons, blackberry brownie bars, raspberry thumbprints, lemon bars and chocolate chip meringues.
The plant-based deli Ben and Esther’s (6912 NE Sandy Blvd., 503-477-5714, benandesthers.com) will be serving a vegan seder plate, substituting the traditional shank bone and egg with alternatives that are free of animal products. The deli will also offer macaroons and matzah bark.
For a convenient kosher seder, the online grocery Seattlekosher.com makes deliveries in Southwest Portland. Pickups also are available at two locations: Chabad of Northeast Portland, (3310 NE Shaver St.) and Chabad of Southwest Portland (6612 SW Capitol Hwy.). Click on the Passover foods link for a selection of meats, deli items, baked goods and more.
Another kosher option is Kashrootz Catering (Kashrootzcatering@gmail.com, instagram.com/kashrootzcatering), which offers pickups at Kesser Israel (6698 SW Capitol Hwy.). This year, you can preorder Passover salads, soups and ready-made dinners, which may be picked up on April 2.
Whether you prefer to dine out for Passover, prepare a home-cooked meal, or serve a hybrid of home-cooked and prepared foods, you’re sure to find what you need in Portland.
The Safeway on Barbur Boulevard has long been a central grocery address for kosher food. It features expanded kosher sections for wine, meat, cheese and frozen goods (and a kosher bakery when it’s not Passover).
Others stores with more limited selections include other Safeway locations, Albertsons, Fred Meyer, Trader Joe’s and the Costco in Tigard.