Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Grassa | NW Portland

Who's in the mood to carbo-load??

A Hoppy Medium

Grassa - another outpost from the geniuses behind Lardo - just opened a second location right around the corner from us, here in good ol' NW Portland. Our 'hood, as bumping as it might be, was seriously lacking a fast-casual spot with incredible food and decent beer on tap. Thanks to Grassa, that void has been filled.

Now, first things first: Grassa just opened their doors here in NW, so this isn't a review. I just want to share my initial thoughts on this new spot here in my own neighborhood, as I've been anxiously awaiting its opening - and I think it's worth the early visit.

The concept behind Grassa, in my own words, is a casual atmosphere (you order at the counter, then seat yourself) with a high quality yet simple menu (simple meaning your options are pasta, mostly, with a few additional appetizers and sides - think salad, garlic bread, cheese plate).

Barley Brown's Hand Truck Pale Ale | A Hoppy Medium

Z and I dined there last Friday night, and we both ordered a Barley Brown's Hand Truck Pale Ale to start. (It's a solid, local pale ale). To start, we also had the surprisingly impressive Cheese Board ($8) served with a generous amount of roasted garlic, grilled bread, oil-cured tomatoes, and the most decadent Cambozola cheese.

Cheese Board at Grassa in NW Portland, OR | A Hoppy Medium

We also opted for the house Garlic Bread ($3), which had odd yet welcome notes of orange zest in each bite. We eagerly heaped the creamy cheese, sweet roasted garlic, etc. on each crusty piece of bread, getting a bit too full too fast - but calories don't count on Fridays, amiright?

For our entrees, we each got one of the two vegetarian pasta dishes on the menu (sadly, Grassa doesn't seem to modify meat dishes for vegetarians - even if the request is simply "no pancetta"). I got the Spaghetti 'Aglio Olio' ($8), tossed with garlic, chile flake,  olive oil, Grana, and breadcrumbs.

Spaghetti Aglio Olio at Grassa in NW Portland, OR | A Hoppy Medium

Z got the Cacio e Pepe ($9), made with truffle butter, sea salt, cracked black pepper, and Grana.

Cacio e Pepe at Grassa in NW Portland, OR | A Hoppy Medium

While both dishes were quite simple, the flavors were spot-on, and the pasta texture was perfectly toothsome. For the prices, the serving sizes were quite huge - we both went home with half of our dishes as leftovers (the bread and cheese beforehand may have helped with that, though).

I'm definitely excited to make a return visit to this new Grassa location, despite how dangerous its proximity to me will be for my waistline.

Have you checked out the new Grassa yet? 


  1. these pastas look incredible. so fun to have this new spot in your hood!

  2. Yum, now I am craving pasta!