Think you know all about Portland’s foodie scene? Honey, it’s time to try Tusk’s farm-to-table Middle Eastern deliciousness with Foodgod.

Alright, let's talk Portland, Oregon — a city that teems with quirky charm and an ever-expanding food culture. But if you think the Rose City is just about food trucks serving gluten-free pancakes and breweries fermenting exotic IPAs, think again. A culinary siren is calling your name, beckoning you to experience an array of flavors that are anything but ordinary.

Welcome to Tusk on Burnside, where the anthem of Fleetwood Mac harmonizes with Middle Eastern cuisine, all presented through a farm-to-table lens. We're not talking about your typical falafel or shawarma.

No, darling, Tusk is about taking Middle Eastern flavors and Oregon's freshest farm produce to new, fabulous heights. The marriage of world-renowned Fleetwood Mac's nostalgia-inducing melodies with an ever-changing menu that respects Mother Earth is nothing short of a masterpiece.

Fleetwood Mac Vibes

Naming a restaurant is like naming a child — it says a lot about your aspirations, your style, and even your sense of humor. So when executive chef and owner Sam Smith opted for "Tusk," the decision wasn't made lightly.

Fleetwood Mac’s album "Tusk" wasn't just an epochal moment in music. It marked a departure from the band's previous sound, diving into something more experimental. Just like the album, Tusk the Portland restaurant is Sam Smith's daring leap into the culinary unknown.

The melodies of Fleetwood Mac, forever preserved in vinyl and Spotify playlists, permeate the restaurant's aura. It's that evergreen backdrop to your meal, evoking nostalgia while pushing boundaries.

Smith’s affinity for Fleetwood Mac reflects not just in the restaurant’s name, but also in its ethos. The urge to break free from the mainstream, to try something new, and to take a chance on something that could be remarkable.

Visual Splendor: The Décor

Walking into Tusk (2448 East Burnside Street) is like stepping into a slice of California heaven, if heaven were a Bohemian artist’s loft with a knack for the finer things in life, which, you know — it might just be. The walls are washed in a dreamy blend of bone and wheat, allowing your eyes to rest. But lest you get too comfortable, splashes of pale pink and gold pepper the space, a visual pop that complements the earthy undertones.

And just when you think you've figured out the design philosophy, a framed photograph of Keith Richards, lounging in a pool with just a Speedo for modesty, catches your eye. Unconventional? Absolutely but somehow it works, like so many other things about this unique restaurant.

The decor lets you know you're in for a lavish, unique experience, something as memorable as the chords of a Fleetwood Mac classic.

A Taste of the Middle East, With Local Flair

Tusk isn't playing games when it comes to flavor. Let's begin with the flatbreads, shall we? At Tusk, they're not just slapped together.

These flatbreads are a labor of love, crafted from premium Willamette Valley wheat and spelt. Imagine the wafts of earthy, nutty aromas emanating from the oven as these golden disks make their debut. Yass, queens, you're dining in style.

Then, there’s the freshest seasonal produce. Forget those wilted lettuces and overripe fruits that haunt supermarket aisles.

Tusk teams up with local farms, allowing the menu to dance with the seasons. You'll find salads that feature the crispest apples in autumn and grains that borrow the succulence of summer tomatoes. Think of them as this season’s couture for your taste buds.

And let's not neglect the spices, which offer a star-studded cast imported straight from the Middle East. From sumac's tangy flair to za'atar's earthy complexity, these spices elevate Oregon’s produce from wholesome to divine. The culinary fusion creates an homage to traditions, both near and far, married together in a flavorful embrace that respects its origins while daring to innovate.

Signature Dishes You Can't Miss

Honey, if you think you've tried every variety of hummus, think again. Tusk's hummus is to die for, made with heirloom Dutch bullet beans in lieu of the expected chickpeas.

The result is a creamier, richer texture that hugs the palette like your favorite cashmere sweater. And oh, the flatbread that accompanies it — buttery, crispy, and warm — is the carb companion that will sweet talk you into breaking your keto diet streak with ease.

But let's move on to another showstopper: the barley. You have a medley of roasted carrots lending their sweetness, medjool dates offering chewy delight, and Aleppo pepper sprinkling its gentle heat over the dish.

The brilliance is in the play between sweetness and spice renders each bite a novel experience. It’s culinary storytelling that keeps you riveted until the last crumb.

Big Taste, Small Footprint: Sustainability at Tusk

Tusk is your go-to for fabulousness and environmental friendliness — the whole eco-glam package. By collaborating with local Oregon farmers for its ever-evolving menu, the restaurant not only amplifies the flavors but also lowers its carbon footprint. Supporting local agriculture is a win-win. It benefits community businesses while ensuring the utmost freshness in every dish you savor.

Did we mention that this focus on sustainability goes beyond the menu? Even the restaurant's energy-efficient kitchen appliances and waste reduction strategies align with its eco-conscious philosophy.

As you sit there enjoying your spiced flatbread and heirloom bean hummus, you can revel in the fact that your dining choice is a love letter to Mother Earth. Now, how’s that for guilt-free indulgence?

Creativity Over Tradition: A Culinary Philosophy

Hold the falafel, because Tusk's kitchen is where tradition undergoes a full makeover. Sure, there are dishes you'll recognize, but it’s like they’ve been to culinary finishing school. How?

Well, credit the head honcho, Sam Smith. His culinary journey — incidentally featuring a stint at the esteemed Zahav — bestows upon Tusk an audacity that's fresh, eclectic, and infinitely chic.

Let's talk lamb tartare decked with rose petals. It's the epitome of Smith's culinary prowess, a testament to fearless gastronomic exploration.

While lamb tartare itself might tickle the edges of the expected, adding rose petals? That’s like remixing a classic rock song with an electro beat; you never knew it could be this good.

This isn’t fusion for fusion’s sake. It's a well-thought-out blend that pays respect to the old while ushering in the new, and honey, it is fabulous.

A New Culinary Wave in Portland

PDX has its quirks, bearded baristas, and thrift stores packed with retro treasures. Yet, its culinary landscape was crying out for something more vibrant, more daring. Among Southeast Portland’s various eateries, Tusk makes its presence known like the diva at a karaoke bar — irresistible and unforgettable.

Bridging the culinary expanse between the Middle East and the Pacific Northwest, Tusk creates a dialogue where spices from ancient markets whisper secrets to Oregon’s freshest produce. It’s a matrimony of worldliness and locality, one that doesn’t spurn tradition but revitalizes it.

Dinner Menu Highlights

The dinner menu at Tusk is like a well-curated playlist: it begins with an introduction that leaves you intrigued, follows up with hits that keep you hooked, and concludes with an encore that you didn't see coming but absolutely needed.

The Mezze Platter is a stalwart in similar restaurants, a culinary mélange designed to wow you right out of the gate. But at Tusk, it’s elevated. The marinated feta is our favorite individual mezze. Creamy and a little salty, it’s the perfect counterbalance to the mezze platter, made even better by roasted peppers, dates, and crunchy almonds.

If you get the Grand Mezze Platter or the Falafel and Labneh Mezze, you’ll also get a taste of Tusk’s zhoug, a spicy Mediterranean-style sauce that’s not to be missed. We’d recommend asking your server if you can get a side of it no matter what you order, especially if you like spice — because  it’s truly out of this world.

When it comes to mains, the Seared Oregon Coast Albacore is as close to perfection as a fish has ever come, making it the undisputed star of this culinary narrative. Served up with some green tomatoes, habanada, endive, and savory-sweet brown butter, you really can’t go wrong. The tangy snap of the green tomatoes brings freshness that’s more refreshing than an ocean breeze, while habanada peppers add a soft touch of heat

To finish off your meal, the Sweet Corn Custard Tart steps onto the stage like the unexpected hit single in a critically acclaimed album. It's whimsical yet grounded, featuring sumac peach that’s as intoxicating as a love ballad, and basil that delivers an herbaceous note, tying up the culinary tale in a refreshing bow.

It rounds out your experience, ensuring that your gastronomic affair at Tusk is the stuff of legends. Trust us, this menu takes you on a sensory roller coaster that leaves you both satisfied and yearning for your next visit.

Leaving on a High Note

So what's the Tusk experience in a nutshell? It’s the culinary equivalent of jamming to a Fleetwood Mac album in a silk robe while discovering an old love letter in a forgotten book. The food is superb, the ambiance chicer than a Hollywood red carpet, and the ingenuity? Well, it makes tradition look like it's been binge-watching makeover shows.

With the flavors of the Middle East in a loving embrace with Portland’s farm-to-table ethos, Tusk is a gastronomic milestone. So, yeah, go ahead — cancel those other dinner plans. Tusk is the only RSVP you’ll need.


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