Posts for November, 2010

November 23, 2010

W+K Pietopia

Just last week, the New York Times declared pie the new “it” dessert, pushing cupcakes from their long-held pedestal. I’m sure grandmothers the world over cackled uproariously. Imagine, pie being trendy? Those creative geniuses over at Wieden+Kennedy likely had a laugh too, as they’ve been elevating pie to its rightful place at the top of the pastry chain for the past decade, in the form of the annual W+K Pie Contest.

Yesterday afternoon, following the sweet smell of fresh pie and competitive spirit, Mette and I stuffed our forks in our pockets and stopped by the W+K building to witness this raucous celebration of pie–complete with plenty of crust, crushed spirits, and cream-filled orifices. Read full story »

November 19, 2010

Meet and Eat: 10 Top Portland Supper Clubs

‘Tis the season to be eating with others, but once the Thanksgiving turkey has been reduced to stock fodder, the family has packed up and left you with naught but memories and lots of dirty towels, and the leaf has been taken out of the dining room table and put back to its normal use as a makeshift TV tray for two, you may be craving that lovin’ Table For Twelve feeling. Behold, a cheat sheet of 10 Portland communal dining experiences and supper clubs, just for you.

Read full story »

November 18, 2010

Weekend To-Dos

With Thanksgiving on the very near horizon, many of us will be spending this weekend cleaning the house, putting fresh sheets on the sofa bed, stocking up on butter, cranberries, brandy and Valium, and chasing a reluctant Mr. Wattles around the backyard with a hatchet. If you find the time, however, here are a few diversions.

apertivotasteuniqueAperitivo Hour at Taste Unique
Fri. 11/19, 4-7pm
2134 SE Division St. Portland
tasteunique.com

Perhaps you’ve spent many a Tuesday night with cartons of Taste Unique‘s bechamellian vegetarian lasagna and moka-brewed coffee-spiked tiramisu, maybe you’ve munched a lunch of their warm, chewy flatbread, bean soup and Spaghetti alla Carbonara, perhaps you’ve even been to one of their weekly communal dinners…but have you experienced this homey Italian kitchens newish Aperitivo Italiano yet? Three hours, 20 traditional Italian appetizers, one glass of wine, $15. It’s excellent end-of-the-week math, if you ask me. Bigger better visual>>

Read full story »

November 17, 2010

A Laurelhurst Gobbler This Year?

If Laurelhurst Market is your go-to neighborhood butcher shop stop for everything beast and fowl, get your feathers in a bunch over their naturally raised, hormone free, antibiotic free, air-chilled Nicky USA gobblers, which can be ordered ASAP for your Thanksgiving table.

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Screw the blast freezer, I'm one of them swanky air-chilled birds!

What’s the big deal about an air-chilled bird? As Chef Ben Dyer says, “Most birds are slaughtered and sent through a blast freezer tunnel, making them rock hard in a super fast time. Have you ever thawed a frozen anything and noticed the water that comes out? That’s not ice, that’s the moisture from inside the meat. These turkeys are air chilled, which allows them to retain way more of their natural moisture, resulting in a moist, flavorful and delicious finished product.”

If this sounds like the bird for you, call the Laurelhurst butcher shop at 503.206.3099. Turkeys can be ordered in the 12-16 pound range, although there will be a few that are 20 pounds and up.

November 17, 2010

Free Cooking Class With Beaker & Flask Chef

Curious about how to forage and cook your own wild edibles? This Saturday, Nov. 20, at 2pm, you can cook with super cute Beaker & Flask chef Ben Bettinger at the Pearl District Whole Foods for a complimentary “Cooking Where the Wild Things Are” class focusing on local wild edibles.

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Chef Ben Bettinger, foraging in the Beaker & Flask kitchen

What’s a wild edible? Delicious plants/fungi/herbs (ie: wild strawberries, dandelions, nettles, burdock, salsify, ginger, watercress, mushrooms, truffles, etc) that you can pluck right out of the ground and eat. Ben will cook up some tasty dishes in the lovely Whole Foods kitchen and give you some tips about how to forage in the Pacific Northwest without poisoning yourself. If this sounds like your cup of truffles, email mary.crowe@wholefoods.com to secure a spot in the class. Did I mention that this class is free? You have nothing to lose but your foraging ignorance!

Where: Whole Foods Pearl, 1210 NW Couch St. 503.525.4343
When: Sat. 11/20, 2pm
How Much: It’s FREE. No really! Ben is that nice.
Sign Up: By emailing mary.crowe@wholefoods.com

November 15, 2010

Behind the Meaty Wanderfeast

Travel Oregon just concluded their 10-week Oregon Bounty Wanderfeast series, which features beautifully shot and edited videos that give you fascinating behind-the-scenes insight into the phrase “farm-to-table.” Olympic Provisions’ salumist Elias Cairo‘s “Meat Week” masterpiece, which posted a few weeks ago, was shot at Sweet Briar Farms in Eugene at the end of August, and we went with him to see what it was all about. So I suppose this post is a behind-the-scenes look behind the scenes? Or something like that. Read full story »

November 12, 2010

It’s Cool To Eat At School

Sometimes, by booking services with novices, you can get steeply discounted haircuts, eyebrow waxes, massages, brake jobs, and gallbladder surgery. Fine dining is no exception—if you reserve a table at a culinary school restaurant, you can often enjoy lavish multi-course meals for the cost of a glass of wine at a nearby bistro.

sharpextThat said, like student-administered haircuts and amateur gallbladder surgery, not all culinary school restaurant meals are created equal and can sometimes prove quite painful. Recently opened Sharp Restaurant, which offers the public a glimpse into the stylings of the Art Institute of Portland’s International Culinary School, is a risk that pays off with an excellent meal and an excellent value–$12 for an upscale three-course lunch in a white tablecloth setting.
Read full story »

November 11, 2010

Weekend To-Dos

If your street looks like mine, you’re probably planning to spend the whole weekend with Mister Rake and approximately 4 billion soggy sycamore leaves. If you decide to take a break, or realize the futility of your efforts, give up raking, and hope for an early snow to conceal your slothfulness (my favored method of yard maintenance), here are a few fun weekend food events.

Drink Oregon-made Belgian-style beer at Bailey’s Taproom’s BelgianFest, sample obscure beer-tails at Brewing Up Cocktails, indulge in a four-course James Beard-inspired cocktail brunch with din din, sample artisan cheese and charcuterie at Foster & Dobb’s anniversary party, dress up in your Saturday best and hit the NW Food & Wine Festival, eat and learn at the latest Open Kitchen dinner, and EAT FREE POK POK WINGS at Pok Pok’s birthday party. (I know you think I just dreamed that last one, but it’s REAL! I promise!) Read full story »

November 10, 2010

Lonesome’s Pizza and Midget Salad

As anyone who attended school with me can attest to, I was abnormally short most of my young life and coming in at around 5′ today, that “growth spurt” everyone was always promising never did materialize. In fact, my elementary school nickname was “Midget.” And now you know a painful little piece of my past. Please don’t use it against me.

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Me at my Sweet Sixteen **

As a result, I am perhaps inordinately fascinated by real midgets, so when I came across Lonesome’s Pizza, a super quirky delivery-only, super late night pizzeria owned by, in their own words: “3 rednecks, a gay guy, and a midget, out to win you over,” I was hooked. Reading the website, it all sounded fantastic–the honest mission statement, the until-4am delivery, the in-box swag, the wild and crazy pizza names…the midget was just the cherry on top. Read full story »

November 9, 2010

Thanksgiving Pie: Make It, or Fake It?

When Thanksgiving rolls ’round, as it’s apt to do in November, many of us are faced with a sobering conundrum:

pie-stack-of-three

Do I slave over a hot oven to make ravishing rows of Sunset magazine-worthy homemade pies, or do I pay someone else to do all that and watch Home for the Holidays three times in a row while drinking hot buttered rums in preparation for having to spend three entire days with my crazy family?

It is a very serious seasonal dilemma.

Should you decide to take the rum and Robert Downey Jr. route over the domestic goddess/god scenario, here are a few local pie-xperts who can help you fake it, and fake it good.

Read full story »

November 8, 2010

Restaurant Row Just Keeps Getting Better

I walk past Ken’s Artisan Pizza often, on my way to the grocery store or Crema or Alma or Staccato Gelato, and I love to peek inside at everyone chomping away on their spicy Soppressata pies. Or whatever pies they’re eating, although I have no idea why you’d ever cheat on the Soppressata, it’s the perfect pizza.

Everyone inside Ken’s always looks so happy, warm, and well-fed. Except on Monday nights, when nobody looks happy or well fed, because Ken’s is closed and anyone sorely craving a soppressata pie after an excruciating first day of the workweek has to run home and cry into their Wolfgang Puck’s frozen four-cheese about it. (Or, cross the mighty Willamette, somehow find parking along NW 21st, and get in line at Ken’s Artisan Bakery’s Monday pizza night.) That is, until…TONIGHT. A new reason to like Monday!

kensartisanpizza

And with Bruce Bauer‘s recently relocated Vino wineshop getting ready to open any day now across the street from Ken’s, and the second, double-decker Grilled Cheese Grill coming to the parking lot between the new Vino and Crema, 28th Avenue just keeps getting better and better.
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