The Nordic Home Is Closing

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Photo credit: The Nordic Home

We were very sorry to read the news of The Nordic Home closing. They are a sweet little shop tucked into a corner space in the 42nd Street Station shopping center on 42nd Avenue in the Hollywood District. It was a nice place to get Swedish candy and other tasty foods and products originating in the Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland). Continue reading “The Nordic Home Is Closing”

Four Things I Learned This Week (January 3)

Happy New Year, everyone! I took much of the holidays off from the blog, and am glad to be back. I hope everyone had a good time during the holidays. I don’t know about you, but the fact that Christmas and New Years both fell on a Wednesday caused time to feel a little wonky, so there’s a chance I heard some of these things last week, too. So it goes.

Year End Roundups, Roundups, Roundups. The Oregonian put together a several restaurant roundups—one for 2019 and one for the decade, painful restaurant closures, and new dishes for 2019. Karen Brooks at PoMo tells us about “the year’s best dishes you never heard of.” 2019’s Best Bites from the Merc. Best food neighborhoods from Eater. No doubt there will be people who disagree with these compiled articles.

Doe Donuts is Open! Yes, they are finally open in their new space by the Hollywood Theatre. Plus they have softserve and scooped ice cream in addition to their vegan donuts.

New Seasons’ Central Kitchen closed… just temporarily? What a mess. Workers showed up to find out they couldn’t clock in. Then they were told it was only temporary. From my vantage point, there was a lot of back tracking from management. I hope things improve for the folks who need it.

Closings: Bar Avignon and Russell Street BBQ felt abrupt and we will miss them.

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.

Restaurant Updates: Pizza, Bagels, Brunch and More

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I thought I’d catch us up on the current status of stories I’ve been following here on the blog.

The Lift Off Lounge is open. Newcomer praised as a highly anticipated “non dive-bar” for the neighborhood (Rose City Park/Hollywood), The Lift Off Lounge had their soft opening last week; response from the neighborhood seems pretty positive. On Tuesday they posted on their Instagram account, “Thanks to everyone who came out to support for our soft opening weekend!!!……. we will be opening for regular hours sometime this week.” From what I can gather, 5pm seems to be their opening time of choice until they establish their regular hours. 5216 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland

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Photo credit: The Lift Off Lounge Continue reading “Restaurant Updates: Pizza, Bagels, Brunch and More”

Four Things I Learned This Week (October 4)

Here we go again—four new-to-me things I learned in Portland food this week.

Raclette returns to Cheese Bar. You know the weather has cooled down when the raclette comes out. Cheese Bar (6031 SE Belmont Street) does a terrific version every Wednesday, “until the tulips come up in the spring.” The melty cheese action starts at 5:30pm and goes until the cheese is gone. For $7 you get a plate of roasted potatoes, ham, cornichons and house mustard all topped with this wonderful Alpine cheese.

The rent is too damn high in Montavilla. Townshend’s Montavilla Teahouse (7940 SE Stark Street) is closing; the last day is Sunday, October 13. Word on the street is that they can’t afford the rent. This is just the latest in Stark Street closings, with the fear of gentrification nagging with each shuttering.

But there’s a new tea spot coming to NE Glisan. Neighbor Benjamin K reports that Glisan Halal (7830 NE Glisan) will open a small cafe next door. They’ll offer Arab-style tea (“black tea with cream brewed with cardamom, cinnamon and sugar”) and small bites (e.g. sambusas). Look for them in a couple of months.

Delores has a new bar menu. A small but focused menu, the food at the bar at Delores (1401 SE Morrison Street) sounds delicious! Save a kielbasa slider for me.