Inside Tanaka, the New Shokupan Sandwich Shop and Japanese Bakery in Downtown Portland

Perhaps the most fascinating thing about Tanaka — the new shokupan-centric sandwich shop and bakery from the team behind Afuri — is the fact nothing like it already exists in Portland. Part Japanese patisserie, part katsu sandwich shop, part brunch cafe, the combination seems to be an obvious win in Portland, a sister city to Sapporo, Japan with a passion for baking and a strong sandwich culture. Tanaka is more centrally located than Oyatsupan, the beloved Japanese bakery in Beaverton; it offers a wider selection than Tokyo Sando, the blockbuster food cart known for its shokupan sandwiches, and the now-closed shokupan cafe Kimura Toast Bar.

Instead, Tanaka —

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