Blog

September 7, 2010

Sneak a Peek at Grain & Gristle

poorpiggyWant to sneak a peek at Ned Ludd chef Ben Meyer‘s new Northeast Portland restaurant venture Grain & Gristle while helping send some of the local culinary scene’s best and brightest to Terra Madre? Behold, your wish has been granted, courtesy of Slow Food Portland‘s Anatomy of a Feast: A Trio of Terra Madre Fundraising Dinners and Demo. Read full story »

September 3, 2010

Portland Eats Out Launches Today

Much-awaited PortlandEatsOut.com just went live!

portlandeatsout2What is Portland Eats Out, you may ask? In a nutshell, it’s a community-focused dining program supporting local restaurants and the Oregon Food Bank. It encourages you, the intrepid Portland diner, to help bolster our wonderful local restaurants by eating at them on “slow nights,” Sunday through Thursday. Your Portland Eats Out membership card gets you a 15% discount at participating restaurants on those nights (excluding happy hour). And as the only discount dining club that advocates collective giving to help eliminate hunger in Oregon, Portland Eats Out donates ten percent of your membership fee to the Oregon Food Bank.

While Portland Eats Out ‘Staff Eaters’ are out beating the streets to sign up more restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, bars and food carts to join the fun, a whole slew of quality eateries have already joined, including Tabla, Fratelli , Acadia, Olympic Provisions, Genoa, Accanto, Patty’s Wagon, Roythai, Ruby Jewel Scoops, An Xuyen Bakery, Flying Cat Coffee House, Seven Virtues Coffee, Vino Paradiso, Viking Soul Food, Trebol, Ten 01, FIN, Eleni’s, Pepper Box, Lauro Kitchen, Vindalho, India Chaat House, El Palenque, and Yakuza.

To get a membership card of your very own, go to the just-launchd www.portlandeatsout.com, or visit the Portland Eats Out booth at the Belmont Street Fair on September 12th. For up-to-the-minute updates, follow Portland Eats Out on Facebook and Twitter.

Let the eating, saving, and philanthropy begin!

September 3, 2010

Tasty n Sons Does Dinner…Soon

My fantasies of eating thick stacks of peach maple compote and whipped cream-slathered Auntie Paula’s French Toast for dinner come true in less than two weeks–Tasty n Sons has announced the official start date of their new dinner service as Tuesday, Sept. 14.

tastyfrenchtoast

The dinner menu will feature burgers (including the “Toro Bravo” burger), breakfast-for-dinner (a selection of Tasty n Sons’ signature brunch items), some of Chef John Gorham’s favorite classic diner recipes, good beer, and classic cocktails. Initially, dinner service will be offered from 5-10 pm Tuesday through Saturday as the restaurant eases into a daily dinner schedule in a few weeks. They’ll also offer a limited menu during the 3-5 pm afternoon lull between brunch and dinner.

On another note, don’t plan on a tasty Tasty n Sons Labor Day brunch–it’s closed Monday, Sept. 6.

September 3, 2010

Blue Ribbon Créme Fraiche

Congratulations to the ever-effervescent Cheese Czarina, Lisa Jacobs of Jacobs Creamery, for her big win at last weekend’s American Cheese Society’s 26th Annual Cheese Judging and Competition!  Lisa was in good company, alongside cheese greats like Cowgirl Creamery, Bellwether Farms, Mt. Townsend Creamery, Rogue Creamery, Cypress Grove Chevre, and Willamette Valley Cheese. Read all about Lisa’s triumph, her ricotta tears, and where to find this award-winning créme fraiche in Lisa’s weekly newsletter, always a good read… Read full story »

September 3, 2010

Eating With Juan

Adventurous eaters seeking a fresh Portland communal dining experience have a new frontier–Eating With Juan. Hosted every Tuesday night by Navarre Chef John Taboada and his lovely wife Giovanna Parolari, at the Luce event space on East Burnside, Eating With Juan showcases the delicious Yucatan cuisine of long-time Navarre chef Juan Alvarado.

ewjexterior

Read full story »

September 3, 2010

Ate-Oh-Ate Update

At the tail end of Ben Dyer’s weekly Simpatica Dining Hall emailer, comes this update on his new Hawaiian-style plate lunch joint, Ate-Oh-Ate.

For those of you who are interested, Ate-Oh-Ate is coming along quite nicely.  We have been madly working on getting it put together and should be open late next week (like Saturday).  I will let you know for sure in next week’s email.  Thank you for your continued patience – we are all very, very excited to unleash our new baby upon the world.  I have a million things to do between now and then – wish me luck, I’m really going to need it.

spamAte-Oh-Ate will be located at 2452 E. Burnside, and will be open daily from 11am to 9pm. They now have a website, which offers a teensy preview of plates to come–promising “Teriyaki, Kal-Bi, Katsu, Loco Moco, Spam Musubi, Housemade Kimchi, Saimin and more…” along with beer and Mai-Tais. And Spam, of course. As the website explains,

Ate-Oh-Ate is brought to you by the owners of Laurelhurst Market and Simpatica Dining Hall & Catering.  Our goal is to provide you with the finest and most delicious Hawaiian Style food possible.  We use only the highest quality products, including all natural meats, fresh vegetables, real Best Foods Mayonnaise and authentic Spam (accept no substitutions!).  Feel free to dine in or take-out.

September 1, 2010

Hung Far Low Sign Hangs Again

First Thursday’s extra interesting tomorrow, what with the unveiling of the restored Hung Far Low sign over Ping restaurant in Old Town Chinatown. Besides the exposure of the big re-erection, there will be beverages and dragon dancing too. The party begins at 5 pm, with the official unwrapping scheduled for 7 pm. Personally, I try and attend pretty much anything that incorporates dragon dancing into its itinerary.

hungfarlowback

August 29, 2010

Bye Bye, Blueberry Milkshakes

I’m ready for fall, but I’ll miss the fresh blueberry milkshakes of summer. This one was made with small, sweet Liepold Farms’ blueberries from their Portland Farmers Market stand. With fall in the air and all, I was thinking about pumpkin patches and corn mazes the other day, and Liepold Farms‘s looks formidable. According to the website, it’s open between October 1-31, so add that to your list of fall field trips.

bberyshakes

August 27, 2010

6 Hot New East Portland Eateries

Oh, my achin’ stomach. As AMPM once said, there’s just too much good stuff…to eat in Portland, that is! If you’re currently contemplating your weekend feeding schedule, consider one of these noshworthy and nectarous eastside newbies.

junediningroomjunewheatberriessaladjunepastajunefish
June
2215 E. Burnside St.
503.477.4655
Tue-Thu 5:30-10:30pm; Fri-Sat 5:30-11pm

I’ll sidestep the ‘shoulda named it August’ jokes and get to the point–former DOC Chef Greg Perrault’s recently opened tiny-lovely East Burnside restaurant is a delight. On our inaugural visit, we feasted on a summer salad with pickled strawberries and shallots, roasted carrots and frikeh surrounding an unusual bay leaf panna cotta, smoked black cod with fingerlings and tender French filet beans, and housemade egg noodles tossed with what seemed like five pounds of morels and topped with a poached egg and a sprinkling of chive blossoms, sipped sparkling rosé, and bragged about how close June is to our house. Befitting the neighborhood, the space is intimate and unpretentious, with a small bar manned by popular local bartender Kelly Swenson (who came from Ten 01), herb-filled window boxes, and a stylish suede banquette-lined lounge that will make the wait for a table more bearable. For the time being, Chef Daniel Mondok (Carlyle, Sel Gris, Foster Burger) is Greg’s right hand man, so your plates come blessed with a double dose of culinary talent. Read full story »

August 4, 2010

Pok Pok II?

This just in from Andy Ricker…

Pok Pok Noi

I am happy to announce that we have just signed a lease for the space that Podnah’s Pit now occupies on NE Prescott and 15th. Once our buddy Rodney and his crew get their new space on NE Killingsworth built and they move out of the Prescott space, Pok Pok Noi will take the place of Podnah’s. Read full story »

July 16, 2010

Picnics & Pinots

Portland’s brimming with picnic-perfect perches, but sometimes your neighborhood park simply won’t cut it. You want to lay your red-and-white-checked gingham blanket in a land of open air, rolling hills, and views-a-plenty. With the help of a few wine country picnic-savvy readers, I compiled a list of seven picnic-ready terraces, decks, and grassy knolls in the scenic Northern Willamette Valley, plus a Picnic 911 cheat sheet for the spontaneous or slothful picnicker.
Read full story »

July 15, 2010

8 Fun Weekend To-Dos

If you’ve felt like your summer social calendar has been full lately, it’s certainly not going to slow down this weekend. Dress up like a unicorn and patronize N. Mississippi watering holes, sip international ales and lagers in the North Park blocks, run the mini Médoc and storm the giant Bastille Tower of cream puffs in honor of Bastille Day, eat cupcakes and dance like a monkey’s uncle, discover a newfound appreciation for beer cocktails, drink beer and eat burgers in the streets of the Pearl District, and ride your bike around East Portland one-handed (you’ll need the other to hold your Voodoo Doughnut). Read full story »

July 15, 2010

Green With Ruby Jewel Envy

I love my neighborhood, but I have to admit that N. Mississippi Avenue gets cooler by the minute. Literally. This morning, Portland’s beloved Ruby Jewel opens the doors of their first scoop shop, selling handmade ice creams, sundaes, waffle cones, and of course, their signature ice cream sandwiches. It’s giving me a serious case of neighborhood scoop shop envy.  Read full story »

July 14, 2010

Ping Beefs Up Happy Hour

This just in from Ping. Sounds like they are offering even more mouthwatering happy hour delights that you will never get to partake of unless your boss releases you from your Monday-Friday-9-5 prison early. Perhaps you can bribe him with a $5 Kobayashi Hot Dog? Read full story »

July 14, 2010

Spy the Coop

tourdecoopsI’ve always thought it’s got to be a pretty swell life, being a chicken. Assuming you aren’t marked for a neck-wringing and subsequent butter massage and roasting, of course. Or a terrifying group bath. Let me explain. Read full story »

July 13, 2010

Root Beer ‘Rama: A Root Beer-Off

Summer has a lot going for it–temperatures above 40 degrees, the proliferation of cute sundresses in your favorite boutique, and floats. While it’s fun to get innovative with these simple, refreshing desserts — after all, who doesn’t love a caramel espresso float or white peach, cassis, and champagne float — fun fancy schmancy recipes aside, the grandaddy of all floats is still Root Beer. Read full story »

July 9, 2010

Five Fun Weekend To-Dos

This weekend, Portland has something for everyone–ice cream lovers, Francophiles, fútbol enthusiasts, those who worship at the altar of Alsatian-style wine ‘n sausage and old-school heavy metal, and last but not least, anyone who has repeatedly eaten their weight in cherries and yet never seems to learn a lesson.

So tie on your finest red neckerchief, start planning the ideal build-your-own Ruby Jewels ice cream sandwich, dig your favorite Black Sabbath t-shirt out of the attic, stock up on Imodium, and practice your little Dutch headbutts–it’s going to be a fun, fabulous, sweaty, delicious weekend in Portland.
Read full story »

July 3, 2010

Tarboush Comes to Hawthorne

tarbouchextLast night we popped into Tarboush, the new Lebanese restaurant on SE Hawthorne, which opened this past Thursday in the beautiful Victorian that Belly Timber vacated in May. Read full story »

July 2, 2010

Table Scraps Volume 21

Picture 3Today’s Table Scraps newsletter just arrived! If you are being deprived of this weekly dose of restaurant and food event news, your life just isn’t complete. Sign up HERE!

July 2, 2010

The Pink Ladies Rule the Rosé School

rosemoneyshotWith almost two weeks of summer behind us, we’re well into one of the most important seasons of the year–Rosé Season. This past Monday, a bevy of lively pink wine-loving ladies convened at elegant gal-about-town Bette Sinclair’s airy West Hills perch to conduct a thorough tasting of six vibrant Oregon rosés, complete with triple créme Bries and strawberry tartlets, tales of the Bradley Cooper that got away, and a mass pass-out, er, nap. Read full story »

July 1, 2010

One Touch of Pork Belly Buns Makes The Whole World Kin

kinextWith new Portland restaurants opening faster than my weary fork can cry uncle, it took us a few weeks to come round to former Food & Wine Best New Chef and Chicago transplant Kevin Shikami’s new Pearl District eatery, Kin, which quietly opened on NW 14th Avenue nearly a month ago. Read full story »

June 30, 2010

Pasties and Pig Ale at Coalition Brewery

After a long wait for Coalition Brewing Company to open on SE Ankeny & SE 28th (in the old Noble Rot space), Buckman neighborhood beer drinkers got their wish last week. I stopped by the new brewpub this afternoon for a midday snack.

coalitionext Read full story »

June 29, 2010

Vintage Mixer Charms & Lavender Lemonade Mimosas

I cherish my baby-blue KitchenAid mixer with a deep and abiding affection normally reserved for expensive champagne and baby bulldogs. A KitchenAid mixer is a rite of epicurean passage, an objet d’lust, a culinarily-inclined girl’s best friend. After all, what are first marriages for, if not the immediate post-engagement stampede to Williams-Sonoma to register for THIS beauty? And true love, of course.  Ahem.

Given my feelings about stand mixers, I couldn’t help but be entranced by this vintage mixer charm ($36), hanging in tiny pretty Verabel Jewelry Studio (3012 NE Alberta St.). It even comes with a cupcake pan for good measure.

mixercharm

Read full story »

June 28, 2010

Water Avenue Coffee Opens Today

Water Avenue Coffee opened bright and early this morning to a steady stream of caffeine-craving folk bearing welcomes and well wishes. Located in the old Q Center space on SE Water Avenue, the coffeehouse is just around the corner from the much-mourned Southeast Bakery Bar outpost, in which WAC set up service temporarily during the buildout of their bright and shiny new coffeehouse/roastery.

wateravecoffeewateraveint

Read full story »

June 25, 2010

Table Scraps Is Alive!

tablescrapssnapI’ve been really busy with some big projects, and my weekly newsletter, Table Scraps, has been neglected. But it lives again this week, and the latest edition landed in an inbox near you a few moments ago. If your inbox has newsletter envy, you should sign up. You can check out this week’s issue here, and sign up here. Happy Friday!

June 25, 2010

Forktown Food Tours

forktownlogoThere’s nothing I like more than walking around eating, unless it’s sitting around eating or standing around eating. So I was looking forward to trying brand-new Forktown Food Tour‘s foodie whirl around Northwest Portland’s Alphabet District today. Led by fun, food-loving Portland girl Jessica Kleiderman, the tour starts at Besaw’s and ends with a full stomach. Read full story »

June 25, 2010

7 Fun Things To Do This Weekend

Life has given you a weekend, now use it wisely. Here are seven enticing events occurring in Portland this weekend, all of which are almost guaranteed to be a good time, unless you somehow muck it up. You can wax poetic about pie, drink too much organic beer/root beer, pay a visit the Project Grow folks to admire their new garden and pet their pygmy goats and join their CSA, show some cleavage while learning to make medieval stew in the Beaverton Farmers Market’s Shire of Dragon’s Mist, butcher a pig, watch fútbol and stuff crawfish until your belly resembles a soccer ball, or ride your bike around in a vehicle-free NoPo eating pizza, hot dogs, ice cream, and shave ice. Ain’t Portland a kick in the head?! Read full story »

June 24, 2010

FIN To Open in Late July

Here’s the press release announcing “eco-modern seafood restaurant” FIN’s July opening, as well as a few sample menu items.

FIN, an eco-modern seafood restaurant, is slated to open July 28, 2010 under the direction of executive chef Trent Pierce and owner Joan Dumas. FIN will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 5pm to close through the summer. Beginning early fall, FIN will move to a seven day schedule. Read full story »

June 24, 2010

Violetta’s New Happy Hour in the Park

violetta happy hour

June 24, 2010

Gone Shopping

I was poking around in Memento (formerly Greg’s) on SE Hawthorne, when I came across these two gems.

sharkpeelerAn excellent gift for the sharkophile or sharkophobe (depending on whether or not you like the giftee) in your life, this Kikkerland shark peeler deftly skins carrots, zucchinis, and cats.* Kikkerland also makes a darling squid peeler, but it didn’t have teeth, so I eschewed it in favor of the shark peeler. Memento carries them both for the low, low price of $3.
.

hamburger timerWith barbecue season looming, you now have the perfect host/hostess gift for your favorite cowpatty cook. This delightful hamburger kitchen timer will ensure that they never burn the brioche buns again because they’re engrossed in an overly long anecdote about that time they almost qualified for the Krystal Square Off. Except for the puzzling absence of bacon and blue cheese, it is anatomically correct, and sells for only $5.

Memento
3707 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
503.235.1257

*Just kidding, Mr. Whiskers! Please accept my apology for such insensitivity and go back to napping on that pile of freshly laundered pelts.

June 23, 2010

Belated Summer Birthday Shortcake

My dear Mette’s birthday was last Saturday, and since I seem to have “issues” with “remembering people’s birthdays,” (Sis, I said I was sorry like 7,000 TIMES! And you were in Hawaii that week anyway!!) we celebrated it Monday night, with interesting gifts like a hamburger kitchen timer, and a massive Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake, the official dessert of belated summers and belated birthdays.

bdayshortcake

Read full story »

June 21, 2010

Picnicking in the Beaverton Farmers Market Labyrinth

beavertonsign2Despite the sulky grey skies and morose drizzles that have blanketed our fair city of late, signs of summer were everywhere this Saturday at the Beaverton Farmers Market.

There were rows upon rows of ruby-hued raspberries and strawberries, bushels of Rainier and Chelan cherries, fresh watermelon juice, smoking grills lined with racks of barbecued ribs and juicy German bratwurst, buckets of rosy peony blossoms, coconut gelato, sweet tiny golden cherry tomatoes, crates piled high with fat buttery fava beans, tall cups of fresh-squeezed lemonade on ice, and little red Radio Flyer wagons filled with produce and toddlers displaying diverse levels of agreeability.
adelmanpeoniesIMG_1847flowersbairdcherries

cherrytomatoesasparagusstrawberriescloseuplittleredwagon

Read full story »

June 18, 2010

Hot Pepper Chicken Vinho Verde Bath at Lucky Strike

Ah Lucky Strike, fiercely fiery den of Sichuan peppercorn power. Until recently, if I craved a Lucky Strike blaze in my belly (pretty literally), I drove all the way out to SE Powell & 122nd and tried not to feel guilty for being sketched out by the restaurant’s shabby storefront, next to a cigarette store.

Last night, that changed, as Lucky Strike threw open the doors at its new location in the west wing of the Hawthorne Theatre, for a soft opening that was anything but–to my stomach lining at least. Read full story »

June 18, 2010

Violetta Grand Opening Today

This just landed in my inbox:

violettagrandopen

June 17, 2010

Waffles and Strawberries

Sometimes you wake up with a craving that demands immediate attention. Today, that craving happened to be waffles and strawberries. Seeing as I was plumb out of syrup and this morbid weather has sucked every ounce of my motivation, I thought I’d see what newish waffle cart Wicked Waffles had to offer. Read full story »

June 11, 2010

Windshield Wiper Motor-Churned Beer Slushies at Pok Pok

Before you pull the ol’ Snoopy Snow Cone Machine out of mothballs, I think you should know that your snoopyfavorite icy summer treat might have competition. Beer slushies. Yes, you read that right. Behold the immortal words of Pok Pok Executive Chef Andy Ricker–

“This March, I made a trip to Thailand and shipped back a couple of machines to make “Bia Wun”, or “Jelly Beer” in Thai (because the slushy beer looks like jelly to Thai people). They look like this. Well, they arrived a week or so ago here at the Whiskey Soda Lounge, and after sorting out some problems with converting 110v AC power to 9v DC (they run on windshield wiper motors!), we got one up and running today. They work just as advertised. Bia Wun will be a permanent fixture on the Whiskey Soda Lounge drinks board from now on, featuring Singha 22oz beers. One machine will live out on our new back patio, and one in the lounge itself. I am fairly confident that the WSL will boast the coldest beers in town this summer. Bring on the the hot weather!

Thanks, best, Andy”

I’m actually quite overcome by this announcement. The thought of drinking a Singha slurpee made with windshield wiper motor power is almost too much to bear. Bring on the hot weather, indeed.


June 10, 2010

The Marshmallow Test

This is fascinating. And torturous. And delightful. I love the sniffers, the dancing brothers, and the little blond girl who nibbles at hers until it’s mangled but doesn’t actually eat the whole thing. Not sure how she fared in the end.

June 4, 2010

Dining Month Portland vs WoW Celestial Steed

It’s Friday morning and while you should be hard at work, reading snooze-inducing memos and toiling over Excel spreadsheets, you’d rather browse the internet looking at menus, trying to decide where to take your honey for a romantic dinner out tonight. At least, that better be what my boyfriend is doing at work right now.

dmpThis week Travel Portland and a whole host of other sponsors kicked off Dining Month Portland, a month-long celebration of the wonders of prix-fixe dining. During the entire month of June, you can get a special three-course dinner menu for $25 at nearly 50 participating restaurants Portland-wide. Read full story »

May 25, 2010

The Perfect Meal, The Perfect Man

We all have guilty pleasures. Pedicures, romcoms, tawdry chick-lit novels, overpriced handbags, big beautiful glossy cookbooks that you mean to cook out of but never do, eating entire chubs of Olympic Provisions’ salami in one sitting, ordering one of everything on the Fenouil dessert menu, dressing up like a pumpkin and a tomato and walking up and down SE Belmont Avenue handing out strawberries and shilling for the Buckman Portland Farmers’ Market, etc., etc. (Wait, move that last one from Guilty Pleasures to Memories to Repress.) Read full story »

May 7, 2010

Food Writing For Food Lovers

Whether you’re an aspiring or seasoned food writer/blogger, or somewhere in between, this workshop sounds like a great opportunity to hone your craft AND the perfect excuse for a weekend getaway to Seattle!

-J

Blanching, braising, dredging and dicing: words that describe or terms that terrify?

dianne jacobFood writer and editor Dianne Jacob, author of “Will Write for Food,” knows how to navigate the fine line between precision (“sauté”) and dumbing down (“cook”). She’s coming to Seattle next month to share her insights at an all-day workshop entitled “Food Writing for Food Lovers.”

Attendees are expected to include foodies, bloggers, writers, and cookbook authors as well as aspiring columnists, freelancers, journalists , PR professionals, caterers and chefs looking to publish a cookbook or anyone who wants to learn more about the food writing world. Read full story »

May 5, 2010

Giorgio’s Gets Happy

Giorgio’s is one of those restaurants most everyone I know has eaten at, but they can’t quite remember when. Here’s an incentive to get reacquainted with this venerable Pearl District mainstay–for the first time ever since its opening in 2000, Giorgio’s has instituted a daily happy hour. Read full story »

May 5, 2010

Eat Chocolate, Win a Cochon 555 Porkout!

Spotted this on Facebook today. Apparently if you buy one of Xocolatl de Davíd’s Chicharrón bars, you might be lucky enough to find a ticket to the upcoming Cochon 555, where five of Portland’s best chefs will play with nearly a ton of heritage pork as they vie for the title of “Prince/Princess of Porc.” Like you needed another excuse to eat David Briggs’ chocolate.

foitllaXocolatl de Davíd Alright Portland, your time has come. The COCHON 555 US TOUR Golden Ticket contest will be kicking off at 4pm Today!
Purchase one of the specially marked Chicharrón Bars and you could win a ticket to the greatest pork show on earth!
The Chicharrón Bars will be available at the following locations:
Cacao
The Meadow
Cork Wine Shop
Cheese Bar
Meat Cheese Bread
GOOD LUCK!

May 4, 2010

Oregon Has Lowest Rate of Chunks In The U.S.

Last night I was working on an events listing for the Portland Farmers’ Market May newsletter (sign up to get it emailed to you monthly HERE!), when I came across the website for eat.think.grow, a network of state, local, and community partners who support and advocate for better quality school food and garden education in the Portland Public Schools district. These include Ecotrust, Slow Food, Portland State, and the City of Portland. Read full story »

May 4, 2010

COCHON 555

I just got my ticket to the second annual Cochon 555, and I’m hoping you’ll join me next Sunday evening to pig out on more than 750 pounds of pork prepared by five of Portland’s best chefs, sip fine wines from the likes of  Elk Cove, Domaine Drouhin, and Domaine Serene, and help crown Portland’s next “Prince of Porc.”

cochon555

What is Cochon 555? It’s not a fancy car race, as I initially thought when I first heard of it last year. Founded by Brady Lowe of the Taste Network, Cochon 555 is the only heritage breed pig and chef competition in the U.S. Lowe created the event with the intent of raising consumer awareness of heritage breeds, which include Duroc, Berkshire, Landrace, Red Wattle, Gloucester Old Spot, Hampshire, and Yorkshire. Read full story »

April 27, 2010

Worrisome News for Little Meat

Is Big Meat pushing the USDA for burdensome and seemingly unnecessary testing that will ultimately put small meat producers out of business? What do these proposed regulations mean for our local farmers and salumists? Read this informative–and alarming–Salon article.

cow

SALON.COM
Will the USDA doom locally produced meat?
New testing regulations may end small-scale meat production — and keep the market safe for the big boys.
Read article here>>

April 22, 2010

Taste of the Nation Looms!

I’ve been having a terrible recurring nightmare this week. The plot is pretty basic–I’ve just eaten the biggest meal of my life, only to look at my watch and have the horrifying realization that Taste of the Nation starts in mere minutes. My favorite food event of the year has finally arrived and I’M FULL! Suffice to say, I’ll be restricting my diet this Monday to six peas and a small glass of grappa so I’m ready to graze, gorge, sip and socialize all night long.

totnlogo

If you’re wondering what on earth I’m talking about, on Monday, April 26, Share Our Strength‘s 23rd Annual Taste of the Nation fundraiser brings its yearly dose of charitable gluttony to Portland. Your ticket includes unlimited tastes and pours from over 50 restaurants, 20 wineries, and five breweries, and with the roll call featuring gastronomic A-listers like Beaker & FlaskBeastGruner, andSimpatica Dining Hall, you’ll have to be rolled home a la Violet Beauregarde–just don’t crush the Saint Cupcakes stuffed in your pockets.

Hope to see you there! More info and tickets here>>

April 22, 2010

Free Dessert Tonight at Lucky Strike!

Who says there’s no such thing as free dessert? Lucky Strike (12306 SE Powell Blvd.) is offering all celebrants of its 2nd b-day free dessert tonight! All you have to do is show up.

April 22, 2010

A Book Fair For Foodophiles

Tomorrow’s IACP Book Fair is not the book fair of your youth–there isn’t a Judy Blume or Beverly Cleary tome in sight. But it is a literary food lover’s paradise–meet nearly 60 of your favorite foodie authors, including former Gourmet Editor and food critic Ruth Reichl, New York Times’ writer Kim Severson, actress/food writer Madhur Jaffrey, and local cookbook authors like Diane MorganIvy Manning, and Chef Lisa Schroeder. And, if you weren’t already excited enough, wine will be served.

This event will be held at the Oregon Convention Center from 1:3o-3:30pm tomorrow (4/23) afternoon. For more info and tickets, click here.>>

April 22, 2010

Chef Naoko Bento Opens For Dinner

This just in from Chef Naoko. If you haven’t tried her delicious and carefully-sourced Japanese cuisine in her serene downtown cafe (SW Jefferson & 12th), you really must. Now you can go for lunch OR dinner. For more info on the restaurant, see the Under the Table writeup here.

chefnaokobentoChef Naoko is now beginning the third summer season in business, and I have learned so much during this time.  I have made some great relationships with Oregon farmers and suppliers, and continue to get creative suggestions from my customers.  I thank all my customers for making Chef Naoko a success, and now it is time to graduate to  offer dinner service as well as lunches.  From May, Chef Naoko will be open for dinner on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  There will be a new dinner menu, and I do hope that you get a chance to visit us for dinner.  Please see below for our new business hours. Read full story »

April 15, 2010

Sprigs and Foams and Balls In Your Teeth

It’s been a long while since I last passed through the doors of the Castagna dining room, and it seemed like last night was as good a night as any. I was plumb out of champagne and ham sandwiches, my usual Wednesday night dinner. I had a cute new outfit and felt like dressing up a little without enduring the hubbub of the Pearl. And I was curious–as you’ve likely heard unless you live in an earplug factory on Tristan da Cunha, Executive Chef Matt Lightner just won a Food and Wine Best New Chef 2010 award, to keep his 2010 James Beard Rising Star Chef nomination company. Read full story »

April 15, 2010

A Sad Farewell to Half & Half

halfhalfextI type this with a heavy heart, because Portland is losing one of its greatest, quirkiest, most delicious little eateries–after 10 years, Half & Half has been sold to Courier Coffee and will be leaving our lives, taking with it its unparalleled sandwich library, its damn fine pie and deviled eggs, its wonderful coffee, its wacky zine collection, its sea animal squirt guns and retro candy.

I wanted to post this letter, written by Robin Rosenberg, co-founder of Half and Half. It’s a lovely, lovely letter and will quite possibly leave you with a lump in your throat…and a craving for a fluffernutter sandwich and a grape Crush. Read full story »

April 13, 2010

The Best Client Meeting Ever

When I’m not obsessively hunting down new food finds for Under The Table or planning my next fictional trip to Spain or daydreaming about macarons or brainstorming destinations for Mette and I’s new picnic club or writing my upcoming guidebook (more details soon), I’m working with my lovely Wordcake Communications clients.

capitelloNormally I wouldn’t blog about a client meeting because well, on average, how interesting is a client meeting? But today, my meeting was exceptional! Not only is my potential client buying a wine club (fun!), but he came to lunch bearing gifts from the recent Spring Beer and Wine Festival, in which he was a participant. Read full story »

April 9, 2010

South Slavic Supper Club Starts Sunday

If you have yet to experience South Slavic home cooking, and I’d venture to guess few of us have, here is your chance–Chef John Goddard of Bistro Luka is kicking off a private supper club series beginning Sunday. Here’s his invite:

bistroluka

Hello friends,

I’m ready to power into spring with a series of private dining events dedicated to the beautiful home cooking of the South Slavic republics. The first dinner will be held this Sunday, April 11th at 7pm, but if you can’t attend, there will be more very soon. Here’s the menu: Read full story »

April 9, 2010

Food Alliance Scavenger Hunt Tomorrow!

Having trouble committing to Saturday plans because nothing feels quite right? Perhaps that’s because the Food Alliance Scavenger Hunt is that event you’ve been waiting for. Form a team, get free Hot Lips, meet neat people, use your encyclopedic Portland Food Knowledge to win fun prizes.

ScavHunt-newcard

Read full story »

April 8, 2010

New Digs, Same Delicious Cupcakes

If you have a serious cupcake addiction and live in the vicinity of SE Belmont and 33rd, it’s probably been a difficult past few weeks for you, what with Saint Cupcake being closed for its “super cute” remodel.

stcupcakeextThe newly (and aptly) named Saint Cupcake Deluxe shares its SE Belmont Street address (3300 SE Belmont to be exact) with magical marvelous wondrous den of treasures Noun: A Person’s Place For Things. Not only does Noun have the most gorgeous refrigerator on earth (a concord grape-purple Big Chill), but it’s also got one of the most lovingly curated collection of non-stinky antiques, jewelry, vintage glassware and other brick-a-brack in Portland. Noun used to occupy the front of the store while Saint Cupcake brought up the very rear, and as part of the remodel, the two have switched spots, so the first thing you see upon entering is cupcakes, glorious cupcakes. And sprinkles, lots of sprinkles. Read full story »

April 1, 2010

A Tasty State of Mind

tastyext2Jay-Z touts the Empire State of Mind, Steinbeck opined that Texas is a state of mind, and here in Portland, well, Brunch could probably be declared the official state of mind, at least on weekend mornings. So when some of us heard that the team behind one of Portland’s culinary bests, Toro Bravo, was opening a new brunch spot, Tasty n Sons, we dropped in a delighted faint, very nearly losing our spot in the Screen Door line. Read full story »

March 30, 2010

When Life Hands You Cold Wet Muddy Rhubarb, Make a Spring Feast

According to my Justin Bieber wall calendar, it’s supposedly spring, and although all the classic signs of spring are here–the tender young leaves bursting forth and proudly unfurling on the maple trees outside my window seem to be doubling in size every day, I see puppies and lovers slobbering all over each other everywhere, the Portland Beavers open the 2010 season next week at PGE Park, and I ordered a J. Crew swimsuit that will without a doubt not fit–I am having trouble believing. Maybe it’s the 90-mile-an-hour winds and the muddy bootprints all over my kitchen floor. Read full story »

March 18, 2010

A Wondercookie for your Stomach Chakra’s Thoughts

This week we tried two new Northwest lunch spots, sampling Dragon Bowls at Yoga in the Pearl’s new neighbor Prasad, and stuffing sloppy gloppy (in a good way) meatball sandwiches at new Breken Kitchen in NoLo. This sort of hard-hitting food journalism takes energy, and nothing fuels an intrepid foodster quite like the mighty cacao bean, so I’ve also been rather shamefully scarfing Double Chocolate Nibby Wondercookies at Meat Cheese Bread and massive wedges of Mom’s Chocolate Cake at Alma Chocolate. Here’s the sordid tale. Read full story »

March 17, 2010

Olympic Provisions Now Open Saturdays!

This Saturday, celebrate the first day of spring any number of ways–go on a cleaning spree, balance an egg on end, buy a skimpy swimsuit and book a Cancún vacation, dust your collection of sparkling rosés, and join the staff of Olympic Provisions for your first lunch or dinner of the new season.

pastriesBeginning March 20, Olympic Provisions will offer Saturday lunch and dinner service, and will now be open Monday through Saturday from 11 am to 10 pm. The Saturday lunch menu will expand to include a selection of brunch dishes, breakfast sandwiches and sweet and savory pastries, and the bar will be mixing mimosas. Olympic Provisions’ popular Aperitivo Hour menu, offered daily from 3-6 pm, will also be available on Saturday, so stop in and while away the afternoon with a charcuterie plate and a refreshing glass of rosé or Prosecco. Read full story »

March 16, 2010

Ladies Who Brunch

This past Sunday, I had the pleasure of attending a lovely brunch put on by my lovely friends Andrea Slonecker and Lila Martin.
andreaandlila
Andrea (left) is an accomplished cook, food writer, and IACP committee member, and is conspiring on a soon-to-published cookbook with local author Diane Morgan. Lila (right) helps promote Portland and its vibrant food scene as the Media Relations Coordinator for Travel Portland and writes a fun food blog called Eat This! Read full story »

March 13, 2010

Banana Bum

This man is wearing banana underpants. Or rather, underpants made from banana tree fibre, courtesy of AussieBum. For all those times you’ve asked your guy “is that a banana in your pants or are you just happy to see me?”

March 10, 2010

Luck Of The Irish Soda Bread

You can tell how old you’re getting by how you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Once upon a time, St. Patty’s Day meant breaking out my green and white striped cropped tube top and plastic drugstore shamrock baubles and drinking enough green beer to turn my belly button emerald from the inside out.

farandawayThese days, I stay home and watch my Far & Away DVD and make Irish soda bread, with only a smidgen of wistfulness.

Searching for recipes, I found that soda bread is something of a touchy subject, everyone seems to have their own variation, to which they’re very loyal. Going to the source is always a winning strategy when seeking an authentic formula, so I browsed flights to Dublin on Aer Lingus. Then I remembered I was out of vacation time, which squelched that dream, so I started poking around for a more local source. Did I know any Portland Irish? Read full story »

March 9, 2010

Champagne Cleavernova

There are certain party tricks I’d like to master–how to dance the tango, how to turn water into Châteauneuf-du-Pape and loaves into toasted coconut cream cupcakes, and above all else, how to open a bottle of bubbly with a cleaver.

In the video clip below, Olympic Provisions sommelier Carly Laws demonstrates one of her favorite party tricks, a technique known as sabrage, which was apparently very popular with Napoleon Bonaparte’s crowd. Not one to need a fancy saber when a vintage cleaver will do, Carly deftly beheads a bottle of Prosecco with one swift slice, earning our eternal admiration. She also tells me a little bit about how she came to possess this talent in the below interview.

It goes without saying–don’t try this at home. And please excuse my less-than-skillful videography. It’s on my list of things to master.

Read full story »

March 8, 2010

Farmer-Chef Connection

Today my friend Mollie and I attended the 10th Annual Farmer-Chef Connection at Clackamas Community College. We aren’t farmers or chefs, just eaters, but they let regular people come too.

fckeynote

Put on by the Portland Chefs Collaborative and Friends of Family Farmers and sponsored by New Seasons Market, FoodHub, and Cascade Pacific, the event was both informative and inspirational. We were a bit late, rather ironically due to a distracting stop at New Seasons en route, so we missed the opening remarks by HOTLIPS Pizza co-owner David Yudkin and had to slink into seats at separate tables in the standing room-only auditorium. Read full story »

March 8, 2010

Belly Up to Cheese Bar

When Steve Jones announced that he was moving his revered cheese shop from its cozy nook inside Northwest Portland’s Square Deal Wines to the old Parkside Deli digs in Mt. Tabor and fattening it up into a cheese shop/café/neighborhood hangout, you knew instantly which side of the river Portland cheeselovers lived on by the resulting screams of joy/great gulping sobs. Read full story »

March 3, 2010

Tasty & Sons

This just arrived from Toro Bravo, so I thought I’d pass it on.

Htorobravoello from Toro Bravo!

We would like to share with you some exciting news…

We are working on our next project: Tasty n Sons – a Portland brunch restaurant that will be located on 3808 N Williams, at the southern end of the building (in the old Nutshell / Anju space). Read full story »

February 26, 2010

Four Fine Weekend To-Dos

While weekends all too often degenerate into frantic pinballing between sports games, birthday parties, and trips to Ikea, they’re also prime time for new food finds. This weekend Portland has plenty to offer in the way of edible entertainment–Italian wine dinners, Chowder-Offs, new Montavilla sweet spots, and a romantic night at the theater topped off with a nightcap of Hennessy and handcuffs. Read full story »

February 26, 2010

Bella Cupcake Couture

In honor of the pink-bud strewn trees on my street, I must share these “Bird with Cherry Blossoms” cupcake wrappers by Bella Cupcake Couture, possibly the most charming thing since, well, a fresh cherry blossom. Thanks Erin!

cupcakewrapsbirdcherrywrapper

February 25, 2010

Avoid Dinner Desperation with Taste Unique

Sometimes, the thought of going home and having to cook dinner seems about as far-fetched as the possibility of you tearing open your belted beige raincoat on the crowded evening Max train to reveal your sexy pink polyester Ann Taylor sweater set and screaming, “Take me, take me NOW, DERANGED SMELLY MAN WHO VERY VAGUELY RESEMBLES JAVIER BARDEM!” **

Fortunately, you don’t have to do either. If you desperately need a date and some nookie, please see this new match.com ad that I am very fond of. If you desperately need an exquisitely fresh, pre-prepared Italian dinner that tastes and smells deliciously homemade (if you were channeling your Umbrian grandmother that is) please exit the Max train immediately and get to Taste Unique as quickly as possible. Read full story »

February 23, 2010

Cuckoo For Coco

Sometimes I really think that if I was poking around my favorite vintage shop and I found a magic brass lamp containing a genie, one of my three wishes would be for a copy of everything Phaidon Press has ever published.

Phaidon produces lavish, beautiful, exceptional works, and their books related to cooking are tremendous additions to any collection. A few months ago I was starry-eyed over the receipt of I Know How to Cook. Read full story »

February 20, 2010

Get Your Groupon and EaT Well

If you don’t get Groupon’s daily updates via email, Twitter or Facebook, you may have missed yesterday’s offer–“$12 for $25 Worth of Seafood and More at EaT: An Oyster Bar.”

eatgroupon

Read full story »

February 19, 2010

Pop It Forward

This box came in the mail today. It was for Erin. We both got really excited about it. Erin got excited because she rarely gets interesting looking boxes in the mail at work, and I got excited because there was obviously food inside.

getpoppedbox

Read full story »

February 18, 2010

Table For Twelve at Mee-Sen: Fill Your Aching Void With Chicken Wings

This year for Valentine’s Day, Michelle and I did not get what we wanted, even though we asked for very simple things.

Michelle wanted a pink Bentley just like Paris Hilton’s, and for her sewer line not to back up into her basement and for her not to walk down into the basement to do laundry without turning on the light first. I wanted a bulldog puppy with a heart-shaped nose, and a villa in France, preferably one that neighbors the Valrhona family estate. Read full story »

February 17, 2010

Sahagun’s Coffee KA-POW!

Whenever I’m loitering in Sahagun Chocolates, scoping out the Luscious Caramels, and owner Elizabeth Montes tells me to wait just a second because she has something for me, I immediately do a little happy dance inside.

Sometimes she gives me a complimentary Sundrop for being the Foursquare mayor of Sahagun, sometimes she shares a sliver of spicy peanut-y dark chocolate bark, and last Sunday, she presented this: Read full story »

February 17, 2010

Pizza on Wheels

The recent re-opening of Wy’east Pizza made me do some thinking about the marvels of Food Cart Pizza. There are huge advantages to pizza on wheels–it’s cheap, it’s fast, and perhaps most importantly, you don’t have to wait in line for 45-90 minutes to get a seat when you’re struck with a craving. Here are my favorite places to get pizza on the go. Read full story »

February 17, 2010

Garden State’s Gone North

The sun was shining and the chickpea patties were frying this afternoon at the new Garden State food cart in North Mississippi Avenue’s Mississippi Marketplace cart cluster.
gardenstatenorth
Read full story »

February 15, 2010

Bakery Bar SE Sold

I read the following letter on Bakery Bar’s blog this morning (to read more about new tenant Bunk Bar, click here):

SE Water Ave Bakery Bar Sold; Will Close March 2
We are finally able to confirm that Bakery Bar’s location on SE Water Ave has been sold. Its final day of business will be Tuesday, March 2. The new owners are currently making arrangements for an entirely new and very different food and beverage venture. Read full story »

February 14, 2010

Man Candy

Yesterday we visited Northwest Sweets on NW 23rd, and found plenty of goodies for our guys, including a bag ‘o MAN CANDY.
IMG_0056 1
What’s Man Candy? I’ll let NW Sweets candyman Steve Gazda explain: Read full story »

February 12, 2010

Foodlove at Match.com

As you may have noticed, I’m a sucker for cute food drawings. So I’m rather fond of this new match.com ad featuring classic food love matches like strawberries & cream, salt & pepper, milk & cookies, knife & fork, and of course, peas & carrots. It is infinitely better than the “I’m just a goof looking for my ball” ad, which used to prompt me to throw my glass of champagne at the television.

Watch for the fish ‘n chip, it’s my favorite. Read full story »

February 12, 2010

Olympic Provisions in Forbes

It’s not every day you get called “a sausage party” in a writeup on Forbes’
America’s Best New Restaurants list.

Congratulations Olympic Provisions!

op

February 12, 2010

Fried Chicken and JOJOs

Blueplate Chef Jeffery Reiter sent a very succinct email this morning.

Subject: Fried Chicken and JOJO’s

Message: “That’s right. It’s back.”

If you’re thinking that sounds like a fine Friday lunch, you’ll probably want to get going. Blueplate fills up fast.

February 11, 2010

Hungry in Seattle

You can be a lot of things in Seattle–sleepless, wet, caffeinated, a member of a hot, trampy band of medical residents…and of course, hungry. Last weekend sis Michelle and I followed the train tracks to the Emerald City, and had a grand old time.

It occurred to me that our adventure has all the trappings of a romantic mini-break for you and yours this Valentine’s Day weekend. It’s not to late to make the reservations–and won’t you be all the more lauded for your spontaneity? Read full story »

February 11, 2010

Eva Goes to Sky City

Sometimes I feel that the kindergarten set isn’t well enough represented here on Under the Table. So I asked a very special correspondent, 5-year-old Eva, for her impressions of her recent meal at Sky City, the revolving restaurant atop Seattle’s famous Space Needle. Read full story »

February 10, 2010

Mette’s V-Day Picks

Mette Hornung Rankin–my friend, The Bachelor-watching partner, and brilliant designer–sent me a few of her Valentine’s Day foodie gift picks.

doughnutwallet2When Mette first sent me a picture of this darling “Delicious Dough Mini Wallet” wallet by indie designer FluffyCo, I instantly wished it had a cupcake on the front. Then I remembered that doughnuts are the new cupcake. Plus the brilliant magenta hue matches my new Canon SD1200 camera. I can’t wait to flash this baby the next time I’m at Voodoo. Read full story »

February 10, 2010

Let’s Be Frank–I Want Caramels

I love valentines. Growing up, I could not receive them during my formative grade school years due to being raised in a non-V-Day-celebrating religion, which naturally, made me crave them all the more.

Many moons later, when I became a kindergarten teacher (oh yes, I was a kindergarten teacher for 5 looooong years), I overcompensated with lavish class parties that involved 3-dimensional valentine holders and over the top valentine-making projects that far overutilized doilies and lace and ribbon and GLITTER. Why is it that when you are five years old, you simply cannot use enough glitter? Read full story »

February 8, 2010

Your Sweetie Wants a New Pool Boy, I Mean, Cupcakes and Vodka

This Valentine’s Day, I hope you get your sweetie something scintillating, like a younger hotter pool boy/girl, instead of what you were going to get them–flowers made out of fruit. Fruit flowers are so predictable, and they don’t empty the pump basket.

If you don’t have a pool, don’t despair. This week, I’ll be randomly highlighting some great locally-sourced gifts for you to give your Valentine. Why? Because I’m nice. And because I want my sweetie to get these for ME for Valentine’s Day and nothing says “I hope you get me this” like sending him a link to a posting about neat-o Jen-approved gift ideas.

And without further ado, here are my first two picks for What To Get Me Your Sweetie for Valentine’s Day. Read full story »

February 5, 2010

Tour Thailand with Andy Ricker

If you’ve ever wanted to actually eat Thai street food in Thailand, and with Pok Pok’s Andy Ricker no less, here is your chance: Read full story »

February 4, 2010

Check, Please

Even before you read all the entries found at the currently trending Twitter hashtag #thisdateisover, you know the ugly truth–even the most initially promising of dates can curdle faster than custard in a too-hot double boiler.
notmetwo
Tonight, local personalities will fill the Bagdad with their stories of dates gone bad at Planned Parenthood’s fundraiser “It’s Not Me, It’s You: Stories From the Dark Side of Dating.”

Since many dates involve food and eating, most everyone has a terrible tale in this context. I asked some of my funniest pals to contribute theirs. Names have been changed to protect the innocent/guilty. So here you go, and hope to see you tonight. Read full story »

February 3, 2010

Olympic Provisions in Sunset

Congratulations to Olympic Provisions for their meaty mention in this month’s edition of Sunset Magazine! The magazine praised the OP’s soppressata as “crunchy, yet juicy.” What a coincidence, that’s exactly how we describe supercute Meat Curing Chef Elias Cairo.

sunset

January 29, 2010

The Cheese Girl Strikes Again

Cheese Czarina Lisa Jacobs of Jacobs Creamery has big news this week. She’s starting a blog, she’s “rent-able” for parties and private gigs, and she even mentions our upcoming Oregon Cheese Festival adventure this March.

jacobscreamery Read full story »

January 29, 2010

And The Winners Are…

And the winners of Wednesday’s “Will Fan For Chocolate” contest have been chosen!

Winner of ChocolateFest Tickets–Brooke Bailey!

Winner of Chocolate Smarts, the question-and-answer-game that will make you a chocolate expert in the time it takes to snarf a bar of Scharffen Berger–Mindy Novesky!

And the winner of a perfectly whole, unopened, not even nibbled on Xocolatl de David Raleigh Bar–Danny Pettey!

Now if that doesn’t start your weekend off right, I don’t know what will. Besides a lot of champagne, which is why I’m drinking a mimosa under my desk right now.

January 28, 2010

Dear Jen

Sometimes, people send me letters. I love getting letters, especially funny letters and letters with money in them. Yesterday, I received this in my inbox.

Dear Jen,

I enjoy reading your website and feel that you might be able to help with a very difficult problem I have.   For many years now I have been dating a very special girl and she enjoys food.  My problem is that Valentine’s Day is approaching and I’m trying to decide where to take her.  She’s been to most of the restaurants in Portland, loves food, is romantic, fun, pretty, sexy…you get the idea.  I want to impress her but don’t have the money of the Kardashians or the Jersey Shore group.  I thought “Hey! Maybe Beast…but thought my chances were slim and not sure I would want to spend V-Day at a community table.  VooDoo doughuts would be fun…the Globetrotter’s apparently went there but not sure about the romance.   The Food Carts would be fun…but again…the romance.  There’s Paley’s, there’s the Ringside, there’s Higgins…what would you do to ensure a Happy Ending?  Thanks for your help Jen!

Signed,

Anonymous

Dear Brian, I mean, “Anonymous,” Read full story »

January 27, 2010

Will Fan For Chocolate!

Unlike moldy cheese, debtors, and incontinence, chocolate is probably something you want more of in your life.

So, in honor of this weekend’s ChocolateFest, I am giving away some fun chocolatey prizes, and all you have to do to enter to win is become a fan of Under the Table With Jen on Facebook or sign up for my weekly newsletter, Table Scraps! Or both, if you want, you overachiever you.
chocolaterow One click of your mouse and you could win one of the following prizes:

1st: A pair of tickets to this weekend’s ChocolateFest at the World Forestry Center!

2nd: Your very own copy of “Chocolate Smarts!”

3rd: A half eaten Xocolatl de Davíd Raleigh bar! Just kidding, I didn’t even open it.

raleighbar

Deadline for me to tell the WFC who gets to pick up the tickets at Will Call is Friday at 9am, so you must be an Under the Table With Jen Facebook Fan or Table Scraps subscriber by then! I will announce the winner tomorrow morning on the blog, and I will send them a Facebook message/email too, so if you enter, make sure you check your inbox tomorrow.

Thank you, as always, for reading. You are more precious to me than my imaginary family cacao plantation, and believe me, that is saying a lot.

January 26, 2010

Eat, Help, Love

Roasted goat and rum—eat like a pirate and raise money for Haiti at the same time this Saturday night at Olympic Provisions.

I just held a supper club event at Olympic Provisions last week and it was one of the best dinner parties I’ve ever had. The space is gorgeous, the people are wonderful, and the food is A++. You’ll not be disappointed!

olympicflier

January 25, 2010

Etta in the Park

The mobile outpost of someday-to-open Violetta restaurant, the “Etta” truck’s cheery bright yellow and blue visage was a beacon of lunch in the midst of downtown Director Park’s cool granite and glass facade this afternoon.

violettaext

Read full story »

January 24, 2010

Big Pink Chill HALF OFF!

My birthday is a mere nine months away, so you’ve probably started thinking about what to get me. I’m happy to say your search is over. Because the thing I have lusted over more than anything else in the entire universe, including George Clooney, has just gone on sale. HALF OFF!

bigchillwow

I am Half Off. Jen really, really wants me. This seems like a simple equation.

Read full story »

January 21, 2010

Three A+ Lunches Under $10

Round these parts, you can get a lot of lunch bang for your sawbuck. Food carts, downtown dens of midday dining like Blueplate and Hush Hush Cafe, and even some of the fancier restaurants offer plenty–and plentiful–lunch specials that keep you well fed and your bill in the single digits.

new_10_bill_front

Do NOT print this and attempt to buy your lunch with it.

I like to keep my lunch life both cheap and interesting, so I’m always on the lookout for new lunch spots with good deals. Here are three new places where I’ve been eating well and eating cheap these past couple of weeks. Read full story »

January 20, 2010

Pie Thunder From Down Under

When I try a new restaurant or food that captures the affections of my taste buds, I feel the need to spread my joy immediately, via telephone, via text, via departing comments to people in line and passerby near the door.

After all, when you’re in love, you want to sing it from the rooftops, be your l’amour the brooding, surprisingly-muscular-under-all-those-layers-of-black hipster you enjoyed a brief but torrid affair with on the 15 between SW 2nd Avenue and SE 39th Avenue, or be your l’amour a Pie. Yes, a Pie. Pie deserves true love too, or at least a chance at it. Read full story »

January 19, 2010

Dovetail Bakery Open, Pastrygirl Not Open (Yet)

Dovetail Bakery opened their first brick ‘n mortar retail bakery this past Friday at the corner of NE 31st and Alberta, offering long-suffering fans a permanent place to enjoy a hot cup of Courier Coffee and some of the finest vegan pastries in town.

dovetailext2

Read full story »

January 15, 2010

Culinary Nooners Part II

This is part two of an Under the Table series entitled “Culinary Nooners,” where I find out-of-the-ordinary lunchtime destinations so you can have a little midday mini-adventure. You know, spice up your lunch life.

Ever have a nostalgic flashback to your good old high school cafeteria, pining for the days when your iceberg lettuce salad with extra ranch and concave grilled cheese sandwich and 600-oz fountain Coke came on a red plastic tray for the whopping price tag of $5? Yeah, me neither.

But while I may not miss high school “cuisine,” or anything about high school for that matter, there’s just something about a cafeteria. Maybe it’s the comforting lack of atmosphere, the predictably unpalatable but incredibly cheap food, the little cartons of chocolate milk, the 101 stories you can make up about the people sitting in rows at long plastic tables gossiping about work or playing cards or reading romance novels while chewing their rubber hamburger cud.

poffice

In this installment of Culinary Nooners, you’ll get a blast into the past, and a Nestlé Drumstick too, at the Express Cafe in the United States Post Office in the Pearl District, a hidden gem (I use this term lightly, mind you) where your grilled cheesesteak comes with a free bodice-ripper, and you just might be invited to join a rousing game of Uno by a guy wearing a t-shirt that says “I used up all my sick days, so I just called in Dead.” Read full story »