It’s been a crazy week with some unusual and new experiences, so let’s turn to more enjoyable things—here’s what I learned about the Portland food scene this week .
There’s a Portland pizza podcast. Yes, that’s right, and it’s a no-brainer kind of thing for this pizza-loving town. It’s hosted by Pizza Jerk Chef/Owner Tommy Habetz: “Portland Pizza Podcast features in depth interviews with some of the biggest names in Pizza today.” There are only two episodes up right now so it’s easy to catch up.
Goodbye Baja Fresh. A tipster mentioned to me that the Baja Fresh in the Hollywood District closed and a post on the Hollywood Boosters Facebook page confirmed it. Maybe it’s not really a big deal in the Portland restaurant ecosystem, but they offered a perhaps slightly healthier, slightly fresher option for those seeking fast food in Hollywood.
Make baklava in Hollywood. While perusing the Hollywood Star during my most recent and outrageously delicious meal at Laughing Planet, I noticed this gem:
Nov 19, 3-4pm. Learn to make baklava just in time for the holidays with Armenian chef Angele Mahshigian. The sweet dessert is made with layers of filo dough filled with chopped nuts and drizzled with honey or syrup. Free. Registration required: 503-288-8303. Hollywood Senior Center, 1820 NE 40th Ave.
Arkansas Black apples in Portland. A tipster on Facebook noted that New Seasons in Hollywood currently has these unusual apples. This fruit is considered very special to some apple connoisseurs, and involves a little bit more time than your average apple. According to Atlas Obscura, “Arkansas Black apples aren’t meant to be eaten straight off the tree. In fact, the best thing you can do to one is put it in the refrigerator and forget about it until next season. Patient pickers are rewarded with a sweet, firm fruit that offers notes of cherry, cinnamon, vanilla, and coriander, but only after having aged it in cold storage for a few months.” I’m definitely intrigued.
Bonus: Shiny Alberta Co-op Grocery news. Glad to hear about the refresh at the Alberta Co-op Grocery, one of my favorite independent food markets in town. More about the project, designed by Portland’s Propel Studio:
“The demographics of this neighborhood have been changing a lot, and a lot of new people are moving here,” [Propel co-founder Lucas] Gray said. “A lot of people just didn’t know the co-op existed or didn’t go in for whatever reason. So part of it was just kind of giving it a fresh look and feel and then creating some transparency so people know that it’s there.”
That involved relocating shelving, merchandise, coolers and other items that had obstructed visibility in the past. The co-op also got all new shelving, new lighting and other accents to make the space more inviting.
“It’s much more visual now,” Gray said.