North Portland Soul Food Restaurant Adds a New Location

A church-based Portland restaurant is expanding. Po’ Shines in the Kenton neighborhood is opening Po TAGO (to go) on NE Alberta. Po’ Shines has been around for a couple of decades and has a location on Denver Ave, plus a catering business, but it’s more than that.  It’s also a non-profit that teaches job skills, feeds the needy, including thousands of seniors during the pandemic, and there’s a culinary school as well.  The idea is to teach chefs how to carry on the tradition of soul food cooking in America.

PoʼShines Cafe De La Soul opened its second location on Jan 17th. Po TAGO located on 501 NE Alberta.

You can hear more of the story here:

Americans love soul food.  Pulled pork, catfish, mac and cheese, cornbread, peach cobbler, and sweet tea are among the favorites.   But soul food’s origin actually came from a troubling period of our history:  slavery.   American slaves were given scraps to make meals out of.   One of the dishes that came from that is very traditional but also controversial:  Chitlins.  You either love them or hate them, there’s not a lot of in-between.  Chitlin’s, or Chitterlings as they’re also called, are the innards of pork and other farm animals that have been cleaned, boiled, and grilled.  They’re still popular in Europe and in Latin countries, and of course in the deep south.

My sister-in-law Cynthia is from the south and I asked if she had ever had them.  Her answer was a hard NO!   She does love to cook soul food (minus the chitlins). A big part of cooking includes catching her own fish!


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