New American

As you may have read, because I can’t stop talking about it: It’s been a little rough around here lately.

We bought a new house – yay? But we could afford it, I keep quipping, so it sucks. It may be kinder to day that it’s a bit of a fixer-upper, and even more of one than we expected going in, but isn’t that always the way? You don’t check to see if there’s a light socket in the bathroom fixture when there’s a tenant cutting his kid’s hair in there. (So, no, it’s not just a burned-out bulb, as it turns out.)

No hot water for a week. No stove for two and a half. Suffice to say that we weren’t cooking a whole lot.

So, with all this in mind, my husband had one gig at Lewis and Clark that ended at 4 on a Friday afternoon, and another at University of Portland that night. “It might not be worth it to come home in between…” he started. “That’s fine!” I perked up. “The kid and I will come meet you for dinner!” Done and done.

So we got the chance to go hang out near the University of Portland, which is outside our normal dining range (and even further away now that we bought a house on the other side of 205, which I’m still coming to grips with). I’d eaten at New American once just after they opened, and chatted with the owner about what they did—comforting meals to make life easier for the neighborhood and for families—and thought that sounded just about perfect.

It just about was.

veggie burger

We met early, around 5:30, to make sure the Mister got to work on time. The patio next door at Old Gold was buzzing with happy summer weekenders, but New American had just one couple out eating on the patio. Maybe they were enjoying the happy hour menu that runs from 3-5pm every day.

How it works

Order at the counter, and food is brought to you. Or, you can order online ahead of time, and pick up your order at the counter.

You can order family style, choosing mains and sides to fill out your meal, or you can choose entrees that come with fries or salad. We went with two entrees and an appetizer for our little family.

What we ate

We started with fried asparagus, which came with a little chive dip and maybe wanted a bit of sriracha and salt. Luckily, you can grab your own sriracha and salt, so we were happy there. Even the kiddo ate some spears, until he decided that he hated it. Kids.

photo 1 (3)

Next came our grilled cheese, veggie burger, french fries, and kale salad.

I don’t know about you all, but when I order a grilled cheese sandwich out, it better be the best grilled cheese sandwich in the world, or else I feel duped. At least, that’s the way I felt before I had a kid. Luckily, we all loved this sandwich. Half of me wants to know how they got that flaky, perfect grill on the Grand Central bread, but the other half of me is afraid that it’s mayonnaise. Somehow the battered fries ended up on my side of the table, though we were ostensibly sharing. My husband got a few, too.fries, yay

The veggie burger was big. Not hulking, but honking. After cutting it in half to share, it was a little challenging to eat with my hands. The patty is housemade, with quinoa and beans for plenty of protein. After cooking, some of the whole beans in the patty ended up a little al dente.

Kale salad was freshly and thoroughly dressed. Personally, I prefer a little time for the dressing to break down the kale a bit, but we didn’t leave a bit behind.

Next time we’re in the area, we won’t be able to say no to the desserts, made in house. New American also houses and sells Bees and Beans, a local chocolate and candy company, specializing in honey candy. Have you ever had this stuff? You should. It’s available at Pastaworks and a few other places around town, too.

All in all, we had a very satisfying, relaxing, and affordable meal. If we lived in the neighborhood, this would be a go-to for casual family outings. They also offer a great bar service, though we weren’t able to explore that much on this visit.

Have you tried New American? How about for brunch? Tell us all about it!


New American
2103 N. Killingsworth St.


  1. pechluck (@pechluck) says:

    Yes, Bees and Beans chocolate bars are amazing, small but potent in flavor and textures! Glad you love them too. I have the same thing with grilled cheese – it better not be something I can make myself drunk, it better stand out or I’ll be sad I wasted my money on the grilled cheese that should only be on the menu for little kids with a disclaimer that it’s a “kids menu grilled cheese” instead of adult standard grilled cheese.

  2. Create/Enjoy (@SuzannahStanley) says:

    This place has a great name and concept! Never been but will have to add it to the list for work lunches. I always appreciate local, sustainable focus and options for grain-free and high quality meats. (I was vegetarian and vegan for 13 year and am mostly recovered, but I don’t eat out much because the quality is not always that good!)

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