The space at 4422 S.E. Woodstock Boulevard – formerly occupied by “El Gallo Taqueria” – is now the home of “Viking Soul Food.”
For 12 years, owners Megan Walhood and Jeremy Daniels have had a food cart on S.E. Belmont and 42nd Avenue – just one of a few places in Portland that offers Scandinavian food. Yes, this soul food is Scandinavian!
In late November, while operating their food cart, they expanded their business by opening a “brick and mortar” restaurant on Woodstock. The intimate inside space can seat ten, and picnic tables outside on the sidewalk offer alternative seating.
Viking Soul Food has become a favorite place to eat “lefse,” a hand-made Norwegian-style potato flatbread that Viking Soul Food makes daily.
Both Walhood and Daniels love to cook, telling THE BEE, “Megan grew up cooking lefse every year for the Holidays, and her Norwegian family exposed her to several other Nordic dishes. Once Jeremy experienced lefse, he knew it was something special that should be shared with the local community!”
For now, they are focusing on introducing people to their mainstays – Norwegian meatball lefse wrap and house-smoked salmon lefse wrap. Their smoked salmon is cured for five days in a rub of cardamom, coriander, and caraway, before being smoked with juniper wood. “We are also offering our beloved seafood chowder, our unique side dishes, and our sweet lefse wraps [plain lefse slathered with butter, sprinkled with sugar],” remarked Walhood.
Besides Walhood and Daniels, the staff at the new Woodstock restaurant includes kitchen manager Christa Andrews and Devon Olson, who also works part-time at “Wyrd Leather and Mead Hall” on S.E. 41st and Holgate in a portion of the former “Ye Olde Towne Crier.” They describe it as “another fantastic Nordic business in the neighborhood.”
On Nov. 27, Paul Cullinan was entering Viking Soul Food on Woodstock to say hello to the owners before he returned to his current job at the Portland Fish Market just down the street. He informed THE BEE that he was a steady customer of their food cart on Belmont back when he worked in the Hawthorne neighborhood.
Cullinan remarked enthusiastically, “The Norwegian meatballs and beet salad are my favorites. And I am super excited to have another family-owned and operated business on Woodstock Boulevard!”
About their new Woodstock location, Walhood and Daniels say, “Our experience so far in the neighborhood has been nothing short of amazing in terms of the welcome we have received. We feel so incredibly honored to be part of this community!”
Viking Soul Food is open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. For a look at the menu, photos, and reviews, go online (vikingsoulfood.com).