Old News?

Dovetail Bakery has opened at NE 31st and Alberta. I’m told they used to be be in the wholesale baking business in St. Johns. According to my source, they have good items.


I twittered last month about Chef Paul Hyman of Nel Centro getting the boot. Reviews around town have been mixed at best. The owner, David Machado, has taken over the kitchen. Such a pleasant patio, I hope he can tweak the food to match.


Byron Beck says that Bruce Carey Enterprises is opening a pizza place in the pearl. “Word is that Via Tribunali will pop up downtown and will be a co-venture with another restaurant group that’s already started to make a splash in the Portland market. No word on when Via Tribunali will actually open, as the venture is still in the early stages.”

Well, he’s got one pretty good restaurant. Maybe this one will be good too.

The Bakery Bar at 2935 NE Glisan has gotten approval on their liquor license. Cocktails should be available soon. This seems to be a trend in bakeries… Random Order has a full liquor license, and Lovejoy Bakers which was excellent in my two visits, also pop to mind.


Rumor has it the new Barista coffee opening date has been pushed back slightly. They hope to be serving as of March 1st, just after the one year anniversary of the Pearl District location. Sterling Coffee Roasters opens this Sunday in the little tiny space next to the NW Portland Trader Joe’s, just in time for a Valentine’s day coffee outing.


As I reported back in October, Tommy Habetz and Nick Wood of Bunk Sandwiches, were negotiating to take over the space at 1028 SE Water St., across from clarklewis, for a venture to be called “Bunk Bar“. This is finally a done deal. The second location will have a bigger kitchen, allowing them to expand their sandwich offerings.


Cha Ba Thai restaurant is opening in the old Vita Cafe spot at 3024 NE Alberta. Just what the street needs, the fifth Thai restaurant in 15 blocks. No word if the existing Sandy location will remain open.


Liquid Solutions, “Purveyors of World Class Beer, Tea and Coffee” has closed. A reader wrote asking if I know where their leftover inventory from the liquidation sale went. Anyone?


Micha Camden, the owner of DOC, Fat’s and Yakuza, is opening yet another restaurant. This one will be a burger joint called Little Big Burger in the old Chow space at 505 NW 14th in the Pearl District. The look and feel of the space, will be more upscale than the previous tenants.


I get lots of press releases and restaurant newsletters. Lots. To be honest, at this point, I hardly read most of them, but rather skim them quickly and post them for those who might be interested. One, however, stops me in my tracks every time. It is the Andina newsletter. I can’t imagine how much work they put into it, but it is usually profound, always educational, and always an interesting read.  I think I pointed it out last year too, which means I must just be a sucker for love stories.


Speaking of a new look and feel, I just finished a redo of the Press Release section of this site. All press releases are broken down into the three categories you see on the front page: Restaurant News, Other News and Alcohol related news. It’s easy just to scan those columns, but if you are looking for something more specific like, “wine tasting”, just click on the alcohol menu, and select wine from the drop-down menu. Finally, if you prefer the standard blog experience, click on “Blog Format” on the top menu.

For those wanting press releases posted: I have done my best to find and assign thumbnail photos to each post, and have incorporated logos where I can find them. If you want to send one in, I will keep it in my files, and do my best to remember to associate it with your posts.

Of course, if you haven’t been to the main site for a month or so, you may not know it has had a total makeover. It’s MUCH easier to find things now.If you are one of the subscribers who rarely visit the site, take a look. The increased speed of a dedicated server and the new design has caused traffic to skyrocket, so there are quite a few more comments. The mobile version of the site has also been tweaked quite a bit, and looks really nice on iPhones and whatnot.

Finally, I want to thank all the people that write in with news tips, article links etc. I really appreciate it when someone takes the time to drop me a note.


Your thoughts are welcome

      • Food Dude says

        She just meant if you go to this website with an iPhone, you get an optimized, and different looking site specially designed for mobile devices. You don’t even need to get an app!

  1. says

    Let’s hope the existing “wait staff” of Cha Ba on Sandy doesn’t train the people on Alberta. That said, Cha Ba will corner the 5 Thai restaurants market when it comes to crab fried rice.

  2. says

    what? more Thai food on Alberta??? I just don’t understand how Alberta could support more. I am kind of excited, as I have liked meals at Chaba Thai & never make it to their Sandy location any more. However, it just seems like the last thing Alberta needs. I really, really wish an Indian restaurant would open on Alberta. With vegan/vegetarian options, it seems like it would be a huge $ maker, since there are hardly any Indian options in NE PDX.

    Oh, and I like the Andina newsletters, too. Good stuff.

  3. DinahDavis says

    Hi FD;

    I tried sending a note to you, but your anti-spam validation process wasn’t happy with my answer to Is Fire Hot? (Yes.)

    Apparently fire is not hot.

    I did want to wish you well, I hope you feel better very soon, and we will all miss your reviews.

  4. livetoeat says

    I was out for a walk and happened upon the new Dovetail Bakery right after it opened. I tried their Pumpkin muffin and it was the best pumpkin muffin (or bread) I have had in this city. I had almost given up on muffins because they are often too dry, but I couldn’t get enough of Dovetail’s pumpkin muffin. I made a deal with myself that I could only get one if I walked there. When my brother came to town I bought him one, but I ate it in the car before I ever picked him up. They aren’t cheap at $2.75 a pop, but if you want a flavorful muffin with an excellent crumb, this is it. I tried a scone and it wasn’t my favorite. It’s hard to beat Bakery Bar for scones.

  5. Dave J. says

    A bit of news: “It’s a Beautiful Pizza” on Belmont/34th has closed. It was faaaar from the best pizza in town, but it had been around for 15 years or so, and was a friendly part of the community. That’s a pretty nice space, though, so it’ll be interesting to see if someone puts a restaurant in there. Belmont could definitely use something interesting.

    • pdxyogi says

      Not so sad to see “Beautiful Pizza” close. Last time I went about five years ago, found a large sharp toothpick baked into my slice. Showed it to the counter dude, he grunted and shrugged “Huh…don’t know how that got in there…” No apology, no offer of another slice or a free beer.

      • Dave J. says

        Agreed. I was never a fan of the pizza, really…I live literally three blocks from there, and have gone one time in 8 years of living in the ‘hood. I am really interested in seeing what happens to that space, though. (And more than a little annoyed that as businesses in the area continue to close, somehow my arch-nemesis Dixie Mattress Company remains stubbornly open.)

        • pdxyogi says

          Yup, hippie pizza at its worst.

          Dixie Mattress isn’t going anywhere. They own the building, and the business keeps passing to the next generation in the family.

        • CO says

          The angst and misplaced white guilt that has been shown towards DMC lately is hilarious. Get over yourselves….they make mattresses and employ people. I would hope that you can at least see the good in the latter!? Yeah, the name might be a little cringe inducing, but did you ever stop to think that they have spent decades building name recognition and reputation with that name, and it might hurt the business to change it? Simply so a bunch of SE hipsters can feel less guilt ridden about a past they had nothing to do with? pardon my frankness, but hobbies people…..look into it!

          • Kernel says

            I don’t care much about the name. Sure, I think it’s antiquated and not the most socially responsible thing to fly those flags. But I don’t lose sleep over it.

            What does piss me off as a neighbor is the fact the storefront looks like something from blighted Detroit. It’s a dump, plain and simple.

          • Food Dude says

            I don’t want this to careen into whether Dixie Mattress belongs in the neighborhood. Back to food please

  6. NYC-PDX says

    Went there once in 2008 and would never return to “Beautiful Pizza” as it was anything but. Surprised they lasted as long as they did with such awful pizza and even worse service. The space is large enough, but would need some major remodeling for a more upscale (or even just mid-scale) venture.

  7. John E says

    We went to Nel Centro for the first time since Dave went back to the kitchen and it was both very crowded and improved.

  8. Tommy says

    Yeah, not the best pizza in the world, but I didn’t think it was horrible or anything. Although I definitely wouldn’t be as generous if I’d found a toothpick in my pizza and wasn’t offered a replacement slice. That’s pretty bad. I was glad to have it around when I lived in that hood, though. Nowadays my nearby go-to za shop is Pizza A Go-Go. They do a pretty mean pie.

    • Mike says

      I did Pizza A Go Go for a while, because they were the only place that delivered, but I got tired of having to re-cook the pizza because it was always undercooked. Was never sure if they meant to deliver it par cooked or they just thought that’s how pizza was meant to be . . .

  9. reflexblue says

    I just heard that Al Forno Ferruza on Alberta is switching to coal ovens… is there another pizza place in town that does this. They plan on using waste coal from back east which is reportedly, even more toxic than your average VOC loaded coal. Any plusses to burning coal?

  10. gal4giants says

    reflexblue – 13,000 BTUs per pound for coal and roughly 6,500 BTUs per pound for wood.

    I personally hope someone has been trained with coal ovens before this takes place.

  11. steve wino says

    I don’t know about the environmental side of things but I do know that coal fired ovens are old hat in NYC and, when I was checking out where the locals got good pizza, saw them mentioned as if they were a plus.