Four Things I Learned This Week (January 17)

Well, it was a busy, intense week filled with interesting work and home improvements, leaving the blog a little dry this week. But I’ve got you my Friday list of four things I learned this week in Portland food. Good stuff, no lie.

BYOM(ilk) at Movie Madness. Light on the food news but heavy on the awesomeness, I’ve learned that Movie Madness is showing Saturday morning cartoons: “You’re never too old for cartoons! Indulge your inner child with beloved classics from the 60s through the 90s. Any 5th Saturday of the month will be a special movie edition. Cereal selection available at concessions. B.Y.O.M.”

Ben & Esther’s expands. For a “side gig” it’s pretty successful (Twitter was a side gig once, too)—Roseway’s favorite bagel spot is expanding up to St John’s. Boy are they in for a treat. P.S. They have some pretty good looking gefilte fish, too.

“Follow the white rabbit.” More than simply a Matrix quote, Montavilla’s Hungry Heart bakery is launching a new project called White Rabbit. It will open up in the old Townsend’s space (RIP). More from their Instagram account:

“White Rabbit will be a café and bakery featuring a daily breakfast/brunch/lunch menu alongside the coffee & pastries you know and love, as well as expanded bread offerings. We’re hard at work on the menu; the new, much larger kitchen gives us a lot more room to play, so while you can expect to see some familiar items from both Heartbreaker and Hungry Heart, we’re also excited to be dreaming up your new favorite brunch dish. Our projected opening date is mid-spring, and we promise to keep you posted!”

Burmese noodles coming soon in NW. Very exciting news about more Burmese food coming to town. It’s a cuisine that we could all use more of; when I lived in Queens it was challenging to find. Kyay Oh is the name of the new restaurant, named after the Burmese noodle dish. You’ll find them at 833 NW 16th Ave, the location of Top Burmese’s original space. Read more in PoMo’s interview with the owners. Check them out on Thursday, January 23.

Four Things I Learned This Week (January 10)

No big introduction, let’s just get to the news!

Bing Mi has new digs. One of my favorite food trucks in Portland is the Bing Mi truck—they make the delicious Chinese jianbing street snack. It’s all things savory, spicy, sweet, and eggy. I love them. This week I learned that they have found a new location, since they were part of the group of trucks in the Alder Street pod forced out because of the impending Ritz Carlton hotel development. Details on their move:

“Good news friends: We signed the lease to move our food cart into @nobhillfoodcarts_pdx pod. Yep, Bing Mi is moving to Nob Hill Food Cart pod which is located at NW 23rd Place and Thurman St hopefully open late January or early February 2020. After struggling for a long time since our cart at 10th&Alder closed, we’re excited that we will be reopening our food cart in the NW. We can’t wait to make more delicious jianbings and potentially some other authentic Chinese street foods. We’ll update again once we’re sure about the opening date.”

Delish knish news. Ben & Esther’s Bagels keeps adding the hits to their menu—this time it’s knishes! Cheese and potato right now, with kasha (buckwheat) to come. That is a real-deal Jewish deli delight. They look fantastic from what I can tell. Also treat yourself to one of their black & white cookies while you’re there.

The churros are returning… the churros are returning!! Portland Monthly shared the news that Jose Chesa is bringing back a scaled-down version of 180 Xurros and Xocalata inside the lobby of the impending Hyatt Centric hotel at SW Alder and 11th, likely in February. More details:

“The new iteration of 180 Xurros and Xocalata will serve grab-and-go Spanish flauta sandwiches, smoky pimenton lattes, and hot xurros to order at its long tile and stone counter. It will stand as a super casual companion piece to the Chesa’s next project, Masia (pronounced “mah-seeya”), the hotel’s anchor restaurant (read our October 2019 news story here). Those xurros will make an appearance at Masia, too, during the rustic-refined Spanish breakfast and brunch.”

New businesses at Providore. I love this market with its fun selection of high-quality products and the excellent Arrosto connected on the side of the building. Good Stuff NW shared news of some new businesses coming to the market, including Revel Meat, a new venture by Old Salt’s Ben Meyer and James Serlin; and Kenny Belov’s Two X Sea (Two By Sea), which will set up in the space vacated by Flying Fish Company. Sounds like two fantastic additions to an already excellent market.

Four Things I Learned This Week (December 20)

Back on track and here with the news—here’s four things I learned this week.

Portland, Prince of Barbecue. Texas Monthly magazine proclaims it: Portland has the best Texas Barbecue scene outside of Texas. That’s pretty high praise. The article gives shout outs to Holy Trinity Barbecue, Matt’s BBQ, Podnah’s Pit Barbecue, Bark City BBQ, Botto’s BBQ, and Bullard.

The Rock scoops Portland. This week we learned that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has purchased a stake in Salt & Straw, and has put together a couple new flavors for the holiday season “based on Johnson’s “Dwanta Claus” character.” Here are the descriptions from Salt & Straw:

I Saw Mommy Kissing Dwanta Claus: We upgraded the classic kiss cookie with peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough and a milk chocolate caramel fudge swirl. Then we brought the naughty with rich whiskey ice cream.

The Rock’n Around the Christmas Tree: We hid one of Dwanta’s favorite “cheat day” gifts under the tree—gooey brownies made extra indulgent with buttery frosting. Pacific Northwest spruce ice cream gets decorated with raspberry jam and glacé cherries, just like you’d find in fruitcake.

Peppermint Cocoa, Cinnamon Chai Spiced Eggnog (v), and Chocolate Gooey Brownie round out the holiday flavors this year.

Guide to Fish & Chips on the coast. Not really about Portland, but awesome just the same if you like fish & chips as much as I do (Bennett’s Fish Shack in WA is my overall fave in the PNW region), this is an exciting map of 14 fish & chips spots on the Oregon Coast from Jennifer Burns Bright. I know what I’ll be doing on the coast when I’m out there.

Masía’s Instagram woke up. New Spanish restaurant from Jose Chesa, Masía, published their first post on Instagram yesterday.

“Hello, friends! We’re building and testing and cooking and getting ready to open very soon! In Spain a Masía is a rural home away from home, and we’re building our space in downtown Portland in that spirit: your Spanish home away from home here in Portland. A cozy and welcoming place to escape and enjoy all the very best flavors of Catalan cuisine with family and friends. Stay tuned!”

They’ll open on the ground floor of the upcoming Hyatt Centric hotel on SW Adler and 11th, hopefully in January 2020.

Four Things I Learned This Week (December 13)

Welcome to Four Things I Learned This Week! We have a nice variety this week—enjoy!

Twisted Croissant expands. Good news for Twisted Croissant fans: you’ll be able to find their products at Zupan’s Markets! Via their Instagram page: “Starting Monday @zupansmarkets will be carrying our croissants! NW Burnside, Lake Grove in Lake Oswego, SW Macadam in John’s Landing. We are excited and thrilled to be at their markets!

New Seasons sold to South Korean’s company.  Big news in the local grocery store scene: New Seasons was sold to South Korean company Emart. Sale should be finalized in the new year. New Seasons has been owned by an out of state company for a while, so now it’s owned out of the country. There was hope that it could have become worker-owned, but that did not come to pass.

Coffee molecule love. Fascinating little tidbit on Facebook: “I was told that this light fixture is a caffeine molecule! How cool is that?!! This is at Case Study Coffee on NE Alberta.”

Tinker Tavern coming to Montavilla. Not much out there right now but a new drinking and eating establishment named Tinker Tavern is opening in the old Eco Baby Gear location in  Montavilla (7890 SE Stark). The liquor license indicates Eric Mahan of Stammtisch and Prost! is involved.

Four Things I Learned This Week (November 8)

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:

MAKE BAKLAVA
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.