Thomas Keller Opens “Mexican Laundry” in Hillsboro, Hot Lips Pizza Builds APDS, Stumptown Popcorn!

Stumptown Coffee Roasters to Branch in New Direction

Gossip tends to pour from restaurants in this town, but Stumptown has always kept its future plans pretty close to the chest. That made for quite a surprise last Friday when they announced their fair trade popcorn initiative. Duane Sorenson says it is a “natural progression” from roasting coffee to popping popcorn. “We can use much of the same equipment we have now. The roasters are ideally suited since they are constantly turning over a high flame, which insures the same Stumptown quality in the popcorn that you are used to with our coffee”. “Our master roasters are able to turn out the corn consistent with the fine roast that has made Stumptown Coffee Roasters so successful.” Duane did note that the popcorn will only be available in an unsalted/unflavored version to prevent flavor carryover of flavor to to coffee being roasted in the same machines. The first bags should be available in local Stumptown locations on Monday.

Hot Lips Pizza Announces New Environmentally Safe Pizza Delivery System

Thought all those tubes under the new light rail tracks were electrical conduits? You’d be wrong. Hot Lips Pizza is known for its commitment to the environment, with everything from recycled paper pizza boxes, to using heat from the pizza oven to warm the Ecotrust Building. Now they are taking it one step further with an “advanced pneumatic delivery system”, or APDS.

Taking advantage of the construction downtown, a complex system of APDS tubes are being run to all the major condominium buildings in the Pearl District, with special focus on ‘Green Buildings’ first. As the pizza oven heats, an updraft will be created, causing a vacuum, and powering the system. Precisely timed for maximum upsuck at the moment the pizza is ready, the pie will be pulled into a tube and launched to the appropriate building. In a cooperative agreement with Trimet, signal controllers for the trains will also route pizzas. Heat generated by the friction of passing trains, will act as boosters, keeping the pizzas moving to their destinations. To save the expensive and messy installation of the pneumatic tubes throughout the condominiums, pies will appear at the concierge desk, where they will be kept warm, until being picked up by the ordering party. When asked about icing problems during winter nights, Trimet spokesman Jack Bog, says that pizzas will be generated every 15 minutes to keep the system functional, with the pies popping up randomly in specially modified news rack/urinal kiosks and homeless shelters along the transit mall. This is made possible by a large grant from the City of Portland, and additional Federal dollars.

Thomas Keller to open Mexican Laundry in Hillsboro
The Thomas Keller Corporation, mother ship of Rubechon, Per Se and The French Laundry, will be opening The Mexican Laundry in Hillsboro’s Orenco Center. The food will be a Latin take on his already famous style of dining, with multiple small dishes, so as not to tire the palate. At a recent press event, Thomas showcased the restaurant’s signature dish, a Cone of Lava Lamp Farms Refried Beans, with Sweet Turkey Hills lard and Western Oaxaca Cage Free Chipotle Caviar. Other dishes available for press sampling included Three Beans on a Silver Spoon, and Teaspoon of Grilled Corn with Sweet Goat Saliva Foam. In keeping with the theme of the high tech neighborhood, a second “clean” dining room will be available for guests at an extra cost. Diners will enter through a air shower, where they will don the famous Intel “Bunny Suits”. All food will be served in a sterile environment, with air filtered to 100,000 particles per m³. This will remove any potential odors or taste – and that is the gimmick. Instead of having to concentrate the food yourself, you’ll be told what each dish tastes like, sparing yourself the embarrassment of any mistakes. Note that because of the risk of releasing errant fibers into the air, napkins will not be available. There will be a $ubstantial surcharge for the tasteless/orderless meal option. Opening date is expected to be September 7th.

Starbucks to Buy Starbucks
Having run out of other coffee chains to takeover, Starbucks has decided to buy itself, renaming the chain Starbucks Jr. There are of course, many changes coming to our favorite stores. In keeping with the new brand, drink sizes will be renamed to Papa Coffee, Mama Coffee, and Baby Coffee. In keeping with their zero transfats, “we know what is good for you better than you do” policy, pastry manufacturing for the Northwest region, will be moved to a mothballed Hillsboro area clean room. This is to keep any trans-fats or butter flavors that may be in the air, from making its way into the croissants, ruining their “zero trans fats” claim.

More news from Cuisine Bonne Femme:

City of San Francisco Proposes Banning Additional Products
This week, in a bold environmental and legal move, The City of San Francisco unanimously passed a ban against plastic shopping bags. The law will end the use of plastic bags in supermarkets within six months and chain pharmacies within one year. In addition to this and the Foie Gras and trans-fat bans that the city has currently passed into law, San Francisco is considering other bans as well. Mayor Gavin Newsom announced in a press conference on Wednesday that City Council has drafted language to severely limit all white foods including those found in restaurants and the city’s grocery stores and farmers markets. “For too long our city has had an imbalance of foods on the color scale,” Gavin said, “we need to set a strong example that foods of all hues are not only tolerated, but that they are embraced and celebrated.”

The limits include all white potatoes, white sauces including cream gravies, vanilla ice-cream, white rice, and white flour products. French, Spanish and other foreign cheeses will not be part of the ban. The proposal also includes language that would make it mandatory to add coloring to milk in rainbow shades of blue, red, yellow, or green. Well known San Francisco pastry chef and blogger Shuna Fish Lydon opposes the ban saying, “I’m all for diversity, but this is a blow for those who love our city’s classic sourdough breads, croissants, and other fine pastries. Seriously, I might have to move to Portland.”

Portland Public Market Study Group to Form Study Group
Vancouver B.C. has the Granville Public Market, Seattle has Pike Place Market. Why not Portland?

Now celebrating their tenth year anniversary, the Portland Public Market (PPM) Study Group has formed an additional study group to look at potential funding and locations for a year round public market in Portland. The Study Group Redux (SGR) will spend the next three years gathering past research efforts of the original study group and other PPM study groups including 18 existing Portland Market feasibility studies, 5 outside consulting based studies, and 7 City of Portland sponsored reports.

“We really need to move quickly to study this important issue as we just don’t have enough information yet,” original 1997 Study Group founder and new Study Group Redux Committee Chair, Ron McDonald explains. “Plus, we have to go back and look at additional vacant land and buildings since all the good ones keep getting snapped up by private developers for condominiums.” Current potential locations for the proposed public market include Union Station in northwest Portland, an area underneath I-5 near the Eastbank Esplanade, and several large vacant parcels in Clackamas – where land is cheaper, business taxes are lower, and there is better parking available.

The City of Portland has awarded the Study Group $2.5 million, most of which will go to fund administrative costs and consulting contracts, to produce a report: Portland Public Market Feasibility Study: Version VI, due for publication sometime in 2012.

New Café and Restaurant on Hawthorne: “Smoker” Friendly
Doobie’s Café on 43rd and Hawthorne brings a taste of Amsterdam to Southeast Portland. Featuring hookah water pipes and other “tobacco” accessories, Doobie’s has a laid back vibe and mellow service that assures no one ever feel rushed. The décor includes bright tie-dye wall hangings, comfy bean-bag chairs, and TV monitors that show nothing but cartoons and the Sci-Fi Channel. In addition to an espresso bar, Doobie’s serves an all day breakfast with creative egg scrambles such as the Scooby Doo-Doo (peanut butter, cheddar, and potatoes), grilled paninis like the Friend of the Devil (rustic bread layered with pepper jack cheese, lots of mayo and mustard, Pringles chips, and dilled pickle slices), and an all-you-can eat, make your own dessert bar featuring our special house made “herb” brownies and limited edition Ben and Jerry’s brand ice cream flavors. Live events such as Drum Circle Sundays, and the weekly All Star Burning Man Reunion Jam Band round out the offerings.

Finally, a last piece of news from Joanna Miller:

Jumping on the savory/sweet bandwagon, local fast-food chain Burgerville has added three new milkshakes and sundaes to their list of dessert offerings. Following their tradition of sustainability by incorporating locally grown and produced foods into their menu items, the following ice cream treats will join seasonal selections like hazelnut and fresh blackberry as well as year-round staples such as The Mocha Perk Milkshake, made with espresso from Kobos Fair Trade Coffee.

Morel Mushroom Madness: smooth vanilla ice cream blended with wild morel mushrooms harvested at the base of Saddle Mountain in Oregon’s Coastal Mountain range.

Tillamook Three Ways: A healthy dollop of rich chocolate ice cream sits atop a bed of shredded Tillamook Pepper Jack cheese and is then drizzled with warm, melted Smoked Cheddar. A crisp tuille of Special Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar garnishes the sundae – Sunshine Dairy whipped cream and toasted Oregon hazelnuts, optional.

The Voo Doo-zy: In the Doctor, I’m not getting fat enough, how might I hasten the process category, this shake joins two local treasures: A creamy vanilla or chocolate shake is served alongside one of Voo Doo Donut’s Bacon Maple Bars, which is cut into “dipping strips” and accompanied by a side of ranch dressing.

Your thoughts are welcome

  1. Womby says

    Okay, I believe the first two and the one after them. And also the next four. But Morel Mushroom Madness? That’s the gag one, right? Who would want to drink that? You’ve got to get up pretty early in the morning to pull one over on etc.

    P.S. I enjoyed your utopian pizza delivery vision FD.

  2. LadyConcierge says

    I’m ashamed to say I believed all of them up to the white foods ban in San Fran. You got me, Food Dude! Even better, I passed on the news about Hot Lips’ new delivery system to a handful of Meriwether residents.

  3. Nai says

    Hehehe … you got me there FD. I got as far as Portland Public Feasibility Study when I realized it’s April first today. :-) It would be pretty awesome if such pizza delivery system exist.

  4. xristrettox says

    couldn’t get passed the stumptown one… though if you said that they were going to roast cocoa nibs…

  5. jj says

    ha ha! I was so busy being jealous that Thomas Keller was opening a restaurant in Hillsboro (I’m in Seattle) that it took the ‘bunny suits’ to jog my memory of todays date!

    Thanks for the great laugh!

  6. Pam says

    As I read the bit on Hot Lips I was alternately thinking ‘How can this be possible’?? ‘Gosh, I had no idea the technology had developed this far’ and ‘What a great idea”!!. I was jusssst about to send it on to environmentally-mined friends of mine when I got to the third entry. Thomas Keller? In Hillsboro?? No way. Not yet. Give him another few months and maybe…

  7. sidemeat says

    you people enjoy yourselves,
    (brie and chablis liberals)
    I’M going to an INVITATION ONLY
    tasting of faux gras
    at Simpatica
    Hosted by none other than the
    (Oh man, I hope that mexican laundry
    can handle the stains on my cummerbund!)

  8. suds sister says

    Oh, thanks for the reminder! I forgot that it was today. No matter, there is still time to whip up something ‘tasty’ for dinner and see if my husband actually eats it :)!

  9. sidemeat says

    Oh, Fine,
    So it’s dump on sidemeat day.
    The faux gras tasting
    was a bust
    (laugh simpatica, laugh)
    And the ‘Chariots of Fire’
    tour of taco stands
    was offered by pedi-cabs
    W/O restrooms?
    Why, when I was in chang-mai,
    (special ops, can’t talk)
    the pedi cabs were equiped
    with restrooms of Caligulian comfort
    (don’t ask, you won’t beleive)

  10. Steve says

    I was all set to believe the Stumptown bit because just yesterday I was reading in ReadyMade magazine how old popcorn poppers can be used to roast coffee beans. They specifically recommend the West Bend Poppery model. (“You need one in which hot air enters the chamber through side vents.”) Of course at Stumptown they’d have to import some high-class Italian popcorn popper.

  11. Doctor Stu says

    You got the whole Hillsboro thing wrong! It’s Mario Batali that is opening a restaurant there! Tenative name: Tub-O-Lardo

    And in the Nob Hill area, Emeril, Tyler and Wolfgang are looking for a place! The tenative name for their new venture is Frozencrapville..

    And on Lake Woebegon….

  12. says

    Well, I await the coming in glory of Thomas Keller to Orenco Station, but I can only hope that with a name like The Mexican Laundry, they’ll consider a new twist on the Cuban dish Ropa Vieja.


  13. says

    what’s this april fool’s thing? you mean i’m not going to get my hot lips vacuum tube pizza or my tasteless and odorless thomas keller fare?!?


  14. simple diner says

    Hilarious FD and CBF. I can’t get enough goat saliva foam, it’s just so frothy and fresh, it enlivens any dish.

    The PPM parody cracked me up, but was sadly too close to the truth.


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