Thanks to a Covid-era workaround, you can enjoy a midnight snack well beyond midnight in Portland’s Kerns neighborhood. Just because it comes from a vending machine doesn’t mean it’s junk food, either. At Pix Patisserie’s Pix-O-Matic, the goods behind the glass are actually delicious.
After a short-lived attempt to become an astronaut, Pix founder Cheryl Wakerhauser set her sights on pastries, training in Southern France under world-renowned pastry chef Philippe Urraca. Her frequent travels in and around both France and Spain “absorbing culinary traditions and techniques” were manifested in the opening of Pix Patisserie in 2001, alongside an adjoining tapas bar called Bar Vivant. Nearly two decades of churning out elegantly creative pastries beside an extensive champagne selection next door made Wakerhauser’s combination establishment a local go-to for post-meal indulgences.
The Pix-O-Matic, then, is Wakerhauser’s Covid-era, contactless solution to keeping her customers within reach of all of Pix’s and Vivant’s greatest hits, 24/7. The refrigerated vending machine is stocked with a rotating selection of fresh-baked pastries, chocolates, French cheeses, and more. On any given day, you may find Pix’s signature desserts like the Amelie (orange vanilla crème brûlée atop glazed chocolate mousse) or Incognito (lemon mousse and ginger streusel atop rich cheesecake), though savory favorites like conservas (premium tinned seafood) and grocery items like fresh local eggs also make appearances. Augmenting the offerings are inedible but relevant hygiene products like masks and sanitizer as well as last-minute party favors like sparklers and cocktail mixers. There’s even a “pop-up slot” that features goods from other local businesses.
All of which is not to say the Pix-O-Matic is without ambiance. The machine is serenaded 24/7 by a curated playlist and mood lights to give drive-by customers an in-house experience. There’s even an on-site photo booth to document your visit in either still-life or GIF form, because who would believe you if you told them this divine macaron came from a vending machine?
Know Before You Go
The Pix-O-Matic is cleaned and restocked each day at 10 a.m.