Posts for November, 2009

November 30, 2009

Blogvana

There are a lot of neat food blogs out there, but every once in a while I stumble up on one that’s irresistible. Like Bakerella. Beware, clicking into her site right now may cause you to fritter away most of your Monday morning looking at cake pops. This post in particular might pique your interest, provided you are a fan of Sesame Street. Which everyone should be. 

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Tall Tales

The kitchen door swung open and Jen gasped as an ancient ham and gruyere omelette hissed menacingly and darted behind the refrigerator. She surveyed the carnage. It was never pretty when the leftovers went on a rampage.

November 25, 2009

Every Time a Restaurant Opens, a Foodie Gets Her (Third) Chin

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The ripping and tearing sounds you’ll hear in the week following Thanksgiving aren’t your favorite jeans finally giving up the post-11-helpings-of-leftover-stuffing good fight, it’s the brown paper coming off the windows of four new Portland restaurants. Or so we hope. Keep your fingers crossed for the following eateries to throw open their doors as scheduled. Read full story »

November 24, 2009

Grüner & Foster Burger Updates

This is probably old news to most of you, I accidentally let both of these press releases age in my inbox for a few days, but they caught my eye this morning while I was trolling for job offer emails from French champagne houses in need of tasters, so I will post them now, old news or not. 

First up, Foster Burger. 

 
Reply
 
 

Kurt Huffman

 to info

show details Nov 20 (4 days ago) 
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Portland, Oregon
Daniel Mondok (Sel Gris) and Andy Ricker (Pok Pok, Ping) will team with ChefStable to open a burger bar at 5339 SE Foster in Portland sometime this January.  The menu will be simple and inexpensive with a focus on signature meat (ground in-house), hand cut fries, simple salads, milk shakes and a full bar.  The 48 seat bar will feature a heated 50 seat outdoor smoking patio which will be open year-round.
For more information e-mail:  info@fosterburger.com

Next, good news from Chris Israel about Grüner, which is only blocks from my apartment, so I’m extra excited about it. It’s a long one, but just click to keep reading. Read full story »

November 21, 2009

Five Food Funnies

Here are my favorite food funnies of November, thus far.

1. Girls in cute dresses making Ham Daquiris

 

Read full story »

November 19, 2009

The Scoop on Fifty Licks

fiftylickstruck2Ice cream lovers (and I hope that’s all of you), put down that tub of Haagen Dazs or Coconut Bliss and pay attention–there’s a new ice cream maker in town, and he and his trusty Carpigiani have big plans to seduce you with their cold, creamy creations, passion for excellent local ingredients, and maybe even the sweet strains of the ukelele.

I sat down this week with Fifty Licks‘ Chad Draizin in the marvelous smelling Lower East Burnside kitchen he shares with Abby’s Table and Salt, Fire & Time, over a bowl of soup generously provided by kitchenmate Tressa Yellig, and we talked about Chad’s winding path from college dropout to beer brewer to ice cream man (all before the age of 30), his passion for the “science nerd” aspects of ice cream making, the impromptu tequila and chocolate-fueled think tank that resulted in the name Fifty Licks, and his dreams of his very own scoop shop filled with retro waffle makers, shoestring fry-studded malted ice cream, and of course, plenty of jimmies. Read full story »

November 19, 2009

Lovejoy Bakers Opens Today!

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The line wasn’t quite out the door yet this morning when I arrived at brand new Lovejoy Bakers, but it was getting close.

A partnership between former Pearl Bakery head baker Dan Griffin and the owners of Pizzicato Pizza, Lovejoy Bakers’ opening was eagerly anticipated by neighbors, industry folks, and curious food lovers alike. I’ve been peeking through the brown paper on the windows for weeks, myself. Maybe even months. Having suffered through meals at three of the four restaurants who occupied and then unoccupied the space before the arrival of Lovejoy Bakers, I was sincerely hoping the fifth time would be a charm. It’s certainly looking, and tasting, hopeful.

Inside the beautiful glass and steel-framed bakery, tantalizing freshly baked breads and pastries were lined up in neat rows, a full coffee bar fueled those on their way to work with Ristretto Roasters brews, and a selection of fresh fruit, natural juices and sodas, sparkling water, and Nancy’s organic yogurt filled the cold case by the registers.

I ogled the lunch menu, which includes 17 sandwich selections like open-faced smoked salmon tartine with creme fraiche and egg salad with lemon zest and chives, a few soups, house cheese and charcuterie plates, breakfast sandwiches served all day, and salads like roasted beet and citrus with chevre and the Lovejoy Salad–Bleu d’ Auvergne, San Daniele proscuitto, house-roasted turkey, sliced egg, and cured olives in a tarragon dressing. For pictures and menu click here>> Read full story »

November 18, 2009

They Eat, They Tweet: 12 Food Tweeps You Should Follow

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@jenlikestoeat

What with Twitter being all the rage these days, it’s hard not to be a follower, even though Mom told us it was a bad idea because no good comes those who channel their inner lemming. Just the other day, overwhelmed by the relentless tide of incoming tweets rolling down my @jenlikestoeat page, I cleaned out my “following” box, and in the process took stock of my favorite existing tweeps, and added a few new must-reads.

Here’s my list of 12 of today’s tastiest Tweeters. If you aren’t already following them, you probably would enjoy doing so, assuming you give two twits about food. (I know. I’m sorry. I could not help myself.) Read full story »

November 17, 2009

Julefrokost 2009

I got this invite from Mette today. In true Mette style, it was exquisite.

A traditional Danish Christmas lunch, Julefrokost starts at 1 pm, and from what Mette tells me, lasts at least seven hours.

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“You are invited to our Annual Holiday Lunch for victuals and cheer. Arrive prepared for good food, drinks, and conversation,” reads the invite in both Danish and English when you lift up the four tiny doors that Mette painstakingly crafted with an X-Acto knife. Then it spells out a few menu teasers. “Schnapps, herring, fish, liverpaste, cucumber salad, beer, ryebread, mackerel, and more.”

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Apparently, Danish Christmas lunch also involves a great deal of Aquavit. Oh my.

November 16, 2009

Confessions of a Snack Smuggler

moviepicnicLast week, my boyfriend and I went to see The September Issue, a rare treat since neither of us ever seem to have the time for the luxury of a movie-theater movie. I was set for movie snacks, I’d just gotten a sampler pack of Theo chocolate bars as a birthday gift and it was securely buried in my handbag beneath a scarf. Eschewing my stash of chocolate, he bought a small soda and a small popcorn at the theater snack counter, the total for which came to $11, which sent him into spasms of indignity. To which I said, “That is why you SMOS–Smuggle Your Own Snacks.” 

I’ll probably get my Regal Crown Club card pulled for this post, but I’m a firm believer in packing in your own movie snacks. It’s not just the outrageous cost associated with in-theater snacks, it’s the selection and quality control. It’s true that a few theaters around town, like The Academy Theater in Montavilla or downtown’s plush Living Room Theater or (depending on how you feel about the McMenamin’s menu), any of the McMenamin’s theaters, serve up a decent spread at a not-too-ungodly markup, but almost invariably the first-run theaters serve up the same tired boxed candy, oversalted popcorn, and conventional soda. The food-lover needs more. 

Michelle and I are huge advocates of the above-and-beyond theater repast. We shared a bag of freshly made cart tacos at Wolverine, we feasted on strawberries, chocolate and Brie in The Proposal, and we took a bottle of Veuve and Riedel flutes to the Sex & the City screening, unintentionally popping the cork at a pivotal point in the opening sequence and earning a theater-wide ovation for it. A few weeks ago we went somewhat thematic and smuggled hot Altengartz bratwursts into New York, I Love You, and packed a French picnic for Coco Before Chanel–ham & gruyere sandwiches, green olives, crisp apples, good dark chocolate, little cans of Sofia Blanc de Blancs, and tiny bottles of Segura Viudas cava. The picnic fit in a small Banana Republic bag, and the ticket-checker didn’t give it a second glance. 

It made me wonder what other people smuggle into the movies. Please, do share your Confessions of a Snack Smuggler. What’s the finest feast you’ve taken into a movie? Do you smuggle your snacks in the giant purse you reserve for moviegoing excursions, in your back pocket (oops), in your scarf-with-pockets? Email them to jen@underthetablewithjen.com. I will compile the best ones and post them, sort of a la Cosmo confessions, but less raunchy. Well, I think they’ll be less raunchy, anyways. Who knows what memories people might dredge up about what they snacked on at the screening of 9 1/2 weeks.

November 12, 2009

Getting To Know Elias Cairo and His Meat

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As the eagerly anticipated restaurant and salumeria Olympic Provisions prepares to open in the Produce Row neighborhood of the Southeast waterfront next week, there’s a lot of buzz surrounding the OP and its roster of influential and accomplished partners, which include Clyde Common owner Nate Tilden, Clyde Common Executive Chef Jason Barwikowski, and former Executive Chef of Castagna Elias Cairo, who will assume the unique title of “meat-curing chef.”

Last weekend Eli, Michelle (Eli’s sister and OP co-owner) and I went to breakfast at Broder (one of Eli’s favorite breakfast spots) and talked a little bit about his globe-trotting meat-loving adventures, his taste in meat-curing music, his favorite spot to get meat, his ironic stint as a happy teenage vegan, and why Olympic Provisions will be the biggest and most exciting challenge of his career.

Read full story »

November 12, 2009

Are You Playing Foursquare?

foursquaregirlOnce upon a time, I was not fond of Foursquare. When you are forced to wear glasses AND a headgear in elementary school (why yes, this did scar me for life, thanks for asking), you develop a wariness of games involving hard rubber balls being bounced in the vicinity of your face.

But time changes everything. Teeth get straightened. Nearsighted eyes get Lasiked. The scars of youth are replaced by those inflicted by adulthood. And one day, you wake up and Foursquare is the most compelling thing since bacon-infused chocolate–Foursquare the location-based social network, that is.

I’m new to the Foursquare scene, myself. My first introduction came this summer, as I read Whiffies Fried Pies owner Gregg Abbott’s tweets declaring himself mayor of this or that. At first, I ignored them. I thought he had delusions of grandeur, or was living out some sort of weird twisted mayoral recall-gone-wild fantasy. Au contraire, he was “playing” Foursquare, a fast-growing mobile social networking phenomenon with a loyal and quickly expanding Portland following and strong implications for social food lovers about town. Read full story »

November 12, 2009

Tale of Two Pie Heavens: Part 1

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Once upon a time a wise man, I think it was Jack Handy, said: “When you die, if you get a choice between going to regular heaven or pie heaven, choose pie heaven. It might be a trick, but if it’s not, mmmmmmmm, boy.”

Some people’s idea of pie heaven is holing up in a warm kitchen with a lot of cold butter, a rolling pin, a heaping fruit basket, and a library of spices, while other people’s idea of pie heaven is walking into Random Order bakery, pointing to the brandied peach pie and handing over their money. Let’s not quibble–there’s no right or wrong pie heaven.

But with Thanksgiving on the horizon, it’s time to think about where you stand, because while the turkey gets a lot of space on the T-Day playbill, it’s the pie that brings down the house–warm spicy pumpkin pie, could-die-happy-now chocolate pecan pie, cinnamon and nutmeg-laced good-old-fashioned apple pie.

Whether you believe the road to pie heaven is paved with good intentions, Grandma’s secret lard-laden crust recipe, or cold hard cash, Portland’s pie scene has something for you. Read full story »

November 12, 2009

Tale of Two Pie Heavens: Part 2

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Not wanting to make pie is nothing to be ashamed of. Not everyone has pie-making in their blood, or even a remote interest in breaking cold butter into a willing mound of flour, rolling out a flaky dough, wrestling it into a pie pan, crimping it, and filling it with deliciousness.

Fine. So be it. But there must be pie on the Thanksgiving table, so you are going to have to go out and forage in the urban wilds of Portland to find it. Fortunately many fine local bakeries are opening their pie-making arms to you. Here they are.

Read full story »

November 11, 2009

Nostalgia

Someone cute just sent me this. Considering I paid $6.25 for a ham sandwich at lunch today, I feel wistful. I could sure go for a 25-cent deluxe tulip sundae right about now. 

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November 5, 2009

Love at First Bite: The Sugar Cube

sugarcubeextI woke up so all aflutter this morning, I half expected to see plane tickets to Paris on the nightstand. But then I realized that my morning butterflies were just preemptive insulin spikes resulting from my anticipation of the Grand Opening of much-missed The Sugar Cube food cart, the newest and sweetest addition to North Portland’s Mississippi Marketplace.

Read full story »

November 4, 2009

Chef Ben Bettinger Tells All

(Okay, so maybe Ben didn’t tell all, but he did tell me what it’s like being named Restaurant of the Year when your kitchen is barely four months old, he revealed his early affinity for melted Brie and apple sandwiches, and he admitted that while he works at one of Portland’s premiere cocktail hotspots, after a long night in the kitchen he drinks Coors from the can.)

benbettingerAfter nearly a decade spent in the kitchens of some of Portland’s most respected restaurants, 30-year-old chef Ben Bettinger has come into his own at four-month-old Beaker & Flask, a much-anticipated cocktail bar and restaurant that garnered a significant buzz around town leading up to its rather prolonged opening on June 25th. Read full story »

November 3, 2009

A Dish-Free Thanksgiving

dishwasherDear Dishwasher,

I’m sorry to break it to you like this, but your services won’t be required this Thanksgiving. Yes, I know you’re accustomed to full racks four times over on Turkey Day, I know you were ready and willing to bravely spray, wash, rinse and pulverize at least 25 pounds of turkey gristle, butternut squash soup smears, port and tangerine zest-accented cranberry sauce glops, pecan pie crusts, and the half-eaten remnants of Aunt Martha’s dreaded leaden corn muffins like you do faithfully every year, but this year Mother has asked that we dine out, and Mother always get her way.

Cordially,

Jen

PS: If you’re thinking of picking up some freelance work on T-day, you might try one of the following bastions of Turkey Day gluttony:

Read full story »

November 3, 2009

Do You Have What It Takes to Get Yelled At by Chef Tom Colicchio?

cheftomcolicchioishotBravo TV’s Top Chef combines two of my favorite things–food and reality tv–and affords me the opportunity to gape at sexy Chef Tom Colicchio, so it was exciting to hear that Top Chef is holding auditions for the show’s 7th Season right in here in our dear Portland, next Sunday, Nov. 15, between 10am – 2pm, at the Benson Hotel. 

The stakes are high and so are the producers’ expectations. Contestants must have “a passion for food, creativity, a thorough knowledge of cooking techniques and trends and oodles of charisma.”  According to the 24-page application, hopefuls must also:

*Create a culinary interpretation of the lyric “Eleven Pipers Piping” from the song “Twelve Days of Christmas.”

*Create a dish based on the color yellow.

*Dish on who your least favorite chef is and why. 

*Describe your most embarrassing moment. 

*Reveal an odd fact about yourself or talent you possess. 

*List any celebrity chef contacts you have. 

You also have to submit a five minute video, in which you are directed to “show off.” 

“We want to be impressed with you as a chef, but we also need to get to know you as a person and your personality–make us laugh, cry, have fun…most of all, be YOU,” requests the network.

That’s all very nice, but after reading through all 24 pages of the application, my one question was not answered: Is Tom Colicchio going to be there giving out free smooches or what? Because if he is, even I could be persuaded to make a video revealing my passionate, charismatic rendering of yuzu pancakes with corn and yellow bell pepper salsa in a French’s mustard & lemon reduction.

November 1, 2009

All You Can Eat Tastebud Pizza and Salad

tastebudallyoucaneatIf you’re prone to the Sunday evening blues, and are known to stay home alone eating leftover lo mein, watching Ace of Cakes reruns, and trying to forget that you are working class and thus have to return to your cubicle in roughly 12 hours, take heart–starting TONIGHT, Tastebud Pizza has brightened your Sunday nights considerably with their new All-You-Can-Eat Pizza and Salad extravaganza.

Each and every Sunday night from 5-10pm, at Tastebud’s pretty little hidden dining room at 3220 SE Milwaukie (across the street from the Aladdin Theater), for $15 you can choose from 4-5 kinds of seasonal brick-oven-baked pizzas (think roasted squash, pancetta, pears, and spicy kale) and a variety of winter salads, and then keep on with the pizza and salad-eating force and don’t stop ’til you get enough.