Oregonian Continues Downward Spiral

[Updated at the bottom - Twice]

Another update: I was told today that the Oregonian was raising home delivery rates by 22% effective December 1st. Nice to know.

I’ve been sitting on the sidelines all day, watching the reaction to the latest Oregonian missive across the bow of foodies. It’s all very entertaining. People seem surprised that the paper actually followed through on their plans to dumb-down the newspaper, to make it something the average reader would be able to understand it. Let’s face it: the Oregonian has reportedly lost 55 thousand readers over the past two years. The rise of electronic media and blogs have relegated their paper to endangered species status. Now that the NY Times has updated their iPad reader to display all content for free, would anyone even consider buying the O? As usual, they sit on the sidelines, floundering along as their readers rush towards other sources for well-written news. It’s not just the food writing suffering (those these writers are terrible!), it is every section of the paper.

It seems to me, that though they get lots of national press, the food community is quite small. As a dying institution, the O doesn’t really have a choice but to go after a larger demographic; the group of people who, for whatever reason,  are willing to shell out the dollar a day. Perhaps they own birds, perhaps they change their oil at home, but to many people, it still has a place in their lives. Let’s face it, with circulation statistics like these, the Oregonian has no choice but to scrape the bottom to hold on to their last few readers.

As I said a few months ago, the problem with this new editorial direction, is that the newspaper has become an embarrassment to Portland. We are a city known for its restaurants. A great number of tourist dollars flow into our strained coffers because of this reputation, yet, the newspaper belittles this entire group of people. Can you  imagine what a potential tourist would think if their only knowledge of our city came from a read of today’s paper? I can only imagine city hall is furious over these changes, and the good people over at Travel Portland must be sitting at their desks with their jaws in their laps. It’s a shame that the outsiders who now manage the Oregonian, are willing to lay waste to the reputation of our city for better circulation.

What is it about today’s edition that has so many people upset? Let’s take a look.

They published three articles:

1. A non-foodies food guide. You might be a foodie if:

  • Your dog’s food dish is a charcuterie board
  • You only chew artisanal gum
  • You hate American cheese. And, honestly, America.
  • You think a food court is where Rachael Ray should be tried for culinary crimes against humanity
  • You might be a foodie… if you’re rich

It is true that I wrote a similar article for the Portland Mercury back in 2006, but it was completely tongue-in-cheek, and (I think) the answers were pretty entertaining. Do any of the Oregonian articles elicit a smile? Anyone? It seems to me the O stole the article from Alison over at the Merc., but didn’t have a writer who was good enough to make it entertaining.

2. Non-foodies food guide: Four foodie fallacies — busted!

Highlights:

  • Fast-food restaurants aren’t as clean as fine-dining establishments.

Well sure. You could eat off the floor at the Ford assembly line, but that doesn’t make the food better, and most people I know think the opposite of this claim.

  • Kobe beef is the only great steak.
  • Non of the foodies I know think this; and I can only think of one who has even tried
    real” Kobe beef.

  • Only trendy restaurants use local ingredients.
  • This followed by a quote from Chris Dussin, president of Old Spaghetti Factory (and the ill-fated Lucier – no wonder it failed so quickly), who is:

  • “sick of the foodie buzzwords “local,” “sustainable” and “fresh.”
  • Interestingly, words that Dussin threw about with abandon when he opened his flagship restaurant.

    Finally, we are given a list of Dependable local chains that rank high on diners’ lists.

    Dutch Bros. Coffee

    For the foodies: All standard coffee drinks are poured as doubles. And Joe Brown packs as much rock-star charisma as the most lauded baristas.”

    Old Spaghetti Factory:

    “Dussin, 54, recently expanded his business, opening Lucier, now a private dining space, and Pearl District hotspot Fenouil. And though foodies have remained silent where Old Spaghetti Factory is concerned, those other Dussin properties have gotten their share of foodie chatter.” So the Dussin listed above complaining about foodie buzzwords, opened two of the restaurants who used them heavily in advertising. As for Fenouil, I don’t believe Dussin “opened” the restaurant – he purchased it just before he opened Lucier.

    Brace yourself; it gets worse:

    Sayler’s Old Country Kitchen

    For the foodies: Steak dinners priced by the ounce; onion rings made from a family recipe that goes back 50 years”.

    Um, most cooking 50 years ago wasn’t very good. Note of interest, I once went to a Sayler’s for a party. Tasted one dish and found an excuse to leave. Sat in the car and read a book until everyone else came out.

    Finally, Shari’s, and Taco Time, the latter which they compare to KoiFusion:

    Did you hear about the latest foodie craze? Gourmet taco trucks.

    Often, they don’t have a set site: The owners announce where they’ll be serving their high-end grub on Twitter (see, for example, twitter.com/koifusionpdx). Foodies follow them around like ‘tweens with Bieber fever.

    (For the record, the Blue Mountain Burger at Burgerville right now is probably the best fast food burger I’ve ever had – yet they don’t even mention the LOCAL chain).

    It must be really difficult to be employed by the Oregonian right now. I wouldn’t be able to look anyone in the face. It’s a testimony to our poor economy that there are enough desperate journalists out there who will write this stuff. I can’t wait for their “Militia News” section!

    Updated: Check out this from Kelly Clarke over at Willamette Week

    “Rarely are staffers here at WW struck speechless, but The Oregonian A&E section’s “Non-foodies food guide” did it. Oregon’s paper of record devoted four pages to explaining why foodies (ahem, you) are assholes and why you should spend your hard-earned dollars at Shari’s, Taco Time, Old Spaghetti Factory and other quasi-local chains (Taco Time is based in Scottsdale, Ariz.).

    Your thoughts are welcome

    1. gawdpdx says

      The thing that irritated me the most is that the main article isn’t a review at all. Sayler’s has a big steak. So what? What kind of steak, what’s the price, what kind of sides do you get and how are they done? I read through the whole thing and thought, well maybe this is supposed to be like the Saturday car insert or the Sunday housing section. Nope, the whole thing was just pointless. I learned nothing about the places profiled and I certainly wasn’t given any information that challenged what I already know and believe about the places. This in a rag that has shrunk incredibly and has dropped writers that presented information that was informative and well written. Maybe my new year’s resolution will be to get over my need to read the comics. That’s the only thing that keeps me maintaining my subscription.

    2. Steve Wino says

      Sad, so sad. Wait for the upcoming articles in the pipeline, like “Top Elementary School Lunchrooms Reviewed” and “Grazing at the 7-Eleven, Good Food Without Guilt.”

    3. John Book says

      I’ve been Bieber-ing, I mean, going around on Twitter today as I normally do and there were countless references to how the Oregonian has sunk to an all time low. After reading your article here, I now know why.

      The writing examples above look worse than high sch– no, intermediate/middle school papers. What’s next, an article on how to properly fix the time on your VCR? Or “Television: They Make Them Much Lighter Than a Bag Of Dog Food”. I can’t imagine what their other coverage is like, something along the lines of “man in shirt, 72, walks. He gets hit. He falls, doesn’t die, but almost. Just almost.”

    4. Food Dude says

      Where’s Patrick Coleman when we need him. I bet he would throw himself on the Taco Time vrs. food trucks grenade. Patrick? I’ll reimburse you. ;)

    5. Homer's Son says

      Steve Wino, Food Dude did an amazing April Fool’s spoof of 7-Eleven as fine dining.

      If the Oregonian’s article was a spoof it failed … if it was food writing, it was really off track. Maybe they were just trying to get a rise of people who like good food, but it just made me regret that I spend a buck on the paper for something to read at lunch.

    6. Travel Geek says

      Man…I’ve never missed Roger Porter more. Sad sad day.

      On a side note, I work at the Welcome Center at PDX, where I help hundreds of tourists every day with their Portland & Oregon travel questions. Guess what questions I get asked the most? Questions about food carts, brewpubs, wine, coffee and restaurants–and no one has ever asked me about Shari’s or Taco Time. In fact, some people will specifically tell me NO CHAINS!

      If the Oregonian thinks that what is left of their readership is interested in this drivel, fine. But the people travelling to Portland–and spending lots of their money in our state–do not give a fig about food coverage like this. As you say, why does our food scene get better media coverage from print media thousands of miles away than it does by our own, local newspaper?

      And I wonder how many subscriptions were cancelled today?

    7. Kevin says

      Worse than the choices is the faux-folksy, jes’-folks tone, which is both forced and patronizing: Those crazy foodies with their foams and their sustainables and their “gour-may taco trucks”! It’s like Those crazy teenyboppers and their rock-and-roll! Then, of course, you get to the sidebar, which is like a Larry the Cable Guy routine.

      The prime directive in journalism — besides telling the truth and getting it right — is remembering your audience. Who reads The Oregonian‘s food section? Obviously it’s people who are interested in food, and this article and these sidebars not only forgets that completely, it goes out of its way to insult them.

      Snobbery is bad. Reverse snobbery is worse.

    8. Fat Milo's Mom says

      I have to admit that my husband & I still buy the daily newspaper in its paper form- we buy this paper to share with our patrons at our restaurant in Sherwood. That’s right- we own a local diner in Sherwood Old Town. We buy a paper newspaper. We leave it on the counter for others to read. Some of these people have lived in Sherwood their whole lives, & pride themselves on not being Portlanders. Most of them I wouldn’t call “foodies”, but believe me, they care where their food comes from. It had better be Baggenstos potatoes on their plates. I walk over to Ray’s produce on the corner to buy Oregon grown produce daily. I am willing to bet the Oregonian counts small “rural-fringe” towns like Sherwood as part of the audience they were speaking to in this new guide. They couldn’t be more wrong. We here in the land of 99W Red Robins & Shari’s really look forward to Foodday on Tuesday. Or we did. We don’t have food carts, but we have our pride, and we love local establishments that aren’t chains, source their food locally & use natural beef for their burgers. Screw you, Oregonian, I think you were talking to us & you blew it.

    9. Steve says

      To me, the thing is – they’re a NEWSpaper. They’re supposed to be reporting on what’s new – what’s happening now. I suspect most of their readers, foodies or otherwise, already have some experience with Shari’s. What more do we need to know? On the other hand, there’s new food carts opening all the time, most of them serving a pretty down-to-earth menu and also providing a service to nearby office workers and so forth. There’s nothing elitist about them. So why denigrate them, even mildly? It seems incredibly short-sighted.

    10. says

      One of the best responses I’ve read is from food writer (and my friend) Giovanna Zivny on her blog. Among other things, she says, “Less amusing is the bottom line here. Us foodies apparently hate America. The foodie community in Portland is full of people who care deeply about what they do. People who are concerned about natural resources, education, immigration, animals, and getting food to the hungry. People who are generous and have a sense of humor. People who eat good food, but also enjoy the occasional candy bar from a gas station. But they aren’t dogmatic about it. They are also concerned with beauty and deliciousness. What’s wrong with that?”

    11. Vanessa says

      Shari’s? Shari’s?! Do the “writers” at the O know that almost all of Shari’s food comes to their “restaurants” pre-cooked and frozen? Do they know that people are spending money for TV Dinners there?
      Oh, and since they are dumbing down their articles for the (apparently) “unwashed masses” … do the “masses” even know what Kobe beef is? I guess the “writers” not only do, but also eat it themselves; how else would they know to critique it? Ridiculous.

    12. MrDonutsu says

      I really love when this sort of quote gets dropped, “But when was the last time you got a smile from someone at Stumptown?”

      Always makes me feel like hot stuff because I always get a smile and some nice chit-chat at Stumptown (and all the other fancy-pants coffee shops).

      (But of course, so does every other customer who is able to smile and/or talk in the fashion of a reasonably functional human being).

    13. Food Dude says

      I’m seriously considering doing some reviews based on this inept series of articles.

      1. Taco Time threw down the gauntlet, so how about a review of Taco Time versus Taco Trucks
      2. A review of Shari’s pies
      3. A review of (gack), Saylers.

      If we are lucky, maybe we can get Roger Porter to cover Ihop’s new “Rooty Tooty Fresh ‘N Fruity” breakfast combos!

    14. Jim says

      I haven’t read the Oregonian in years, but the ‘non-foodies’ guide as you describe it sounds downright embarrassing. I’m not really surprised that the paper continues to de-evolve editorially due to the marketplace trends you list. Seriously, the old adage that ‘great cities have great newspapers’ hasn’t really applied for years now. Cities that have ‘great newspapers’ are now the exception rather than the rule. Like many other formerly dominant mainstream media properties (network TV, top 40 radio) newspapers are in a no-win situation. Either they try to evolve to compete in a new world they really don’t understand, or else they move in the opposite direction–appeal to a ‘lowest common denominator’ that keeps getting lower as media continues to evolve and fragment. Obviously a ‘race to the bottom’ isn’t the best longterm strategy but the newspaper industry is in desperation mode.

      For the Oregonian, I guess hoping to appeal to ‘less sophisticated’ palates may be a good business decision but at the same time it looks like an effort to appeal to misguided stereotypes. Not all ‘foodies’ are effete urbanites and/or Obama voters. Nor are all ‘regular folks’ oblivious to qualitative differences in food. Maybe I have a different perspective having grown up in the South where the love of good food cuts across all socio-economic classes but I know plenty of ‘rednecks’ that love good food. I spent many years in South Carolina and the emphasis on fresh, local food has never been the exclusive province of ‘foodies’. Seafood restaurants ranging from 5 star gourmet places to joints where you eat off paper plates brag about having ‘fresh local seafood’. Buffet restaurants advertise ‘fresh local produce’. So on and so forth…

      Then again, when I was living in Charleston, SC–a city with an abundance of great seafood dining at all price points–I was constantly amazed that the Red Lobster parking lot was always full. Some people just don’t care about what they eat. But to assume that everyone who does fits a particular economic/political/social profile is a huge mistake.

    15. Jim says

      I concur with mrdonutsu’s comment–can’t speak about the other stores but I go into the Stumptown in the Ace Hotel frequently and the staff is always very pleasant to me.

    16. says

      What baffles me is why the Oregonian made restaurant preference an “us vs. them” issue. And actually, the term foodie is a moving target. I don’t consider myself one, though I eat out a lot, mostly at moderately priced restaurants that serve regional/local and organic food. Besides the taste and comradeship that flows from a good meal, it’s a matter of health. And by the way, “health” was mentioned one time in article.

      Why does a newspaper castigate me because I want to know where what I eat comes from? And the idea that everyone who shares these values is somehow a snobbish elitist is baffling.

      When so many local and state economies are struggling — and Portland and Oregon have plenty of problems — at least here there’s a vibrant complementary cycle that benefits everyone: local/regional food producers grow/make wonderful products. The many diverse restaurants buy it, and people of all ages and economic backgrounds flock to them. On top of that, this cycle attracts an untold number of out-of-towners to spend money here. But all this is apparently a bad thing.

      If the Oregonian wanted to write a piece about the best dining places to eat at if you’re on a tight budget — fine. But the goal seemed to be to trash a large segment of the population and economy while pandering to others.

    17. culinarykitten says

      gosh. does this mean that the oregonian has fully divested itself of MIX magazine? this whole thing just makes me sad, and i’m sure many of the food writers at the oregonian are absolutely mortified about it. yes.. ‘foodies’ get to be pretty annoying. i understand this. i own this.

      we are going into the holiday season, however which brings with it many opportunities to choose locally crafted wines, cheeses, chocolate, baked goods, spirits, as well as local restaurants, farms, and yes..even those pesky food carts! how sad that our local paper chose to attack rather than support them. i only hope for their sake that the article backfires miserably.

      and this comes from someone who adores the old spaghetti factory. for shame that the owner comes off as a bitter old guy here. and sayler’s? i was all about trying sayler’s simply for the irony of that huge photo image of a steak on top of the place. i went in and turned right back around when the smell of cigarettes permeated the dining room. irony can only take you so far.

    18. says

      Can we all just say we’re humiliated to admit the “O” is our “paper of record”? Of course God may smite my keyboard for even putting “O” and “paper of record” in the same sentence. On another note I just reread your April Fool’s spoof of gas station food. Funnier now than when I read it the first time…”The nachos were warm as if there was a cat on my lap, the chips sticking together like five girl scouts lost in the woods, but in a more satisfying way.” F-cking classic, FD! Good to laugh while we mourn the loss of quality local food writing.

    19. Foamer says

      Okay, I don’t know (or care about) who the owner is, but Old Spaghetti Factory will continue to hold a nice soft spot in my heart – when I was stationed in Hawaii it was my regular (and very affordable) Sunday dinner away from the barracks.

      And I still love their Browned Butter & Mizithra Cheese spaghetti.

      And it’s still very affordable (on those occasions when I’m driving by on 205 at the right time).

    20. Sue Prize says

      Normally would never make a comment but this one takes the cake for me.

      It’s a real slap in the face and a real turn in the wrong direction. All of us in the food world work very hard and long hours because we are passionate about what we do and we want everyone to learn and experience food on multiple levels.

      A foodie is more about where your food comes from, how it was produced and how it is sustainable for both the environment and also the economy. Whether you go out for a meal of chicken fried steak or a meal of seared scallops. The important thing is a conciousness of where and how.

      When I heard of this new direction I was in disbelief. I convinced myself that they were not going to do stories on chains but they were going to try and educate the masses on the options they have for the same style of restaurant they may eat at now, showing them the plethora of portland carts and restaurants available to get a good down to earth meal at an affordable price, that is made with local and sustainable ingredients.

      This article, however, is a slander against Oregon’s farms and the markets/restaurants that support them. Foodie is not a four letter word or an elitist movement, it is a movement towards a healthier and sustainable way of life.

    21. Thebean says

      I’m excited. I’ve put off canceling my subscription for months. Just haven’t gotten around to it. Now I get to do it with GREAT UMBRAGE! (Mostly I will miss the Sunday ads and coupons. Please don’t tell the other foodies.)

    22. Kevin says

      I read DeAnn Welker’s explanation/apologia/defense this morning and I’m more convinced than ever she doesn’t get it. When you have dozens of your consumers telling you something, you should be listening, not coming up with tortured explanations as to why they’re wrong.

      A food section doesn’t have the broad-based appeal of, say, a sports section, but it does have a passionate readership of people who probably turn to it before any other department of the paper; in that way, it’s more like the books section.

      Imagine a books editor commissioning a big, splashy roundup of books that consisted of a couple of Harlequin romances, a quickie biography of a teen star, and “101 Uses for a Dead Cat” — then upped the ante by commissioning a sidebar titled “You Might Be a Book Snob If…,” telling people they were un-American if they liked good literature.

      That’s the gravity of editorial ineptitude and misjudgment here. If Welker worked for me, her job would be in jeopardy.

    23. Food Dude says

      TheBean – I find you can get the coupons from the leftover newspapers at coffee houses.

      The saddest part about the Oregonian, is that MIX is pretty darn good. I actually buy it every month, and will continue to do so. Food Day was getting much better the last time I looked, but I haven’t read it since I canceled my paper a few years ago.

      WineGuyWorld – you win comment of the week :) Thanks. I liked that line myself.

      Kevin’s comment really strikes a cord with me

      The prime directive in journalism — besides telling the truth and getting it right — is remembering your audience. Who reads The Oregonian‘s food section? Obviously it’s people who are interested in food, and this article and these sidebars not only forgets that completely, it goes out of its way to insult them.

    24. Food Dude says

      Kevin, this line from DeAnn Welker’s explanation really got me –

      That said, I think this story was a refreshing change from what we at The Oregonian normally write about dining in Portland. Don’t get me wrong: I am proud of our Dining coverage of the higher-end hotspots (including the recent A&E cover story on six hot new places, by one of our regular restaurant contributors, Michael C. Zusman).

      I’d can her too… along with the writer, for such a poor series of articles. On the other hand -
      Willamette Week has some information about the author of the piece

      ” today’s Oregonian A&E feature pandering to backwater yokels whose all-night pie consumption at Shari’s is spoiled by the knowledge that somewhere young, thin people are fucking behind food carts and looking down their effete noses on American cheese? It was written by a freelancer named Lee Williams.

      Why does that name ring a bell? Because this is the same Lee Williams who, four years ago, helped the FCC shut down Portland’s pirate radio station, the Portland Radio Authority.

      In the WW article, she really comes off as a scumbag.

    25. JDG says

      Let me add just one contrarian viewpoint here, to speak to the question raised by Michael (“why the Oregonian made restaurant preference an ‘us vs. them’ issue”), and illustrated with the observation made in this thread by Jim (“in Charleston, SC –- a city with an abundance of great seafood dining at all price points –- I was constantly amazed that the Red Lobster parking lot was always full”) but which is a recurring theme in almost every food blog/forum I’ve ever read.

      There has always been a modestly insulting and elitist undercurrent in the discussion threads on food websites towards those with pedestrian tastes. Usually they take the form of faux naivete (“I just don’t understand why X went out of business but is always packed”), or simply making a reference to McDonalds or the Olive Garden when trying to make a comparison that is intended to be insulting. I believe this O article is a singular reaction to that relatively quiet but nevertheless constant theme.

    26. JDG says

      (HTML parser ate some of my text. Sentence should have read “I just don’t understand why X went out of business but [chain restaurant] is always packed”.)

    27. Charlie Chambers says

      Yep, glad they decided to promote underappreciated chain dining. Pretty much all the smaller, interesting places have already received coverage as well as all the food carts. Two things unique and amazing about Oregon, the food and the outdoors. Both of which, they do a miserable job of coverage.

    28. Lauren says

      Mr. Zusman’s comment on Eater was very nice

      “The article is a travesty. I am ashamed it appeared in the same paper I’ve been writing for over the last five years. My apologies to Byron Beck who apparently knew more about this ill-informed piece than I did. Beyond everything else, I love and celebrate the wonderful food culture that has evolved in my hometown since I was a kid growing up here and I found the article personally insulting and insulting to our nationally renowned restaurants (carts, trucks, bricks & mortar alike), chefs and operators. I’m still shaking my head in disbelief.”

    29. Ambler says

      I’ve read the article and I’ve read through all the comments….But I still can’t figure it out!!!

      How do I decide where to eat if I don’t want to be a foodie? Am I supposed to pick and “chain” restaurant? Is that the only criteria? Couldn’t possibly be it. Is it a question of price? There are many celebrated Portland area eateries in the lowest of low price percentile. Not to mention the food carts which were effectively written off as the exclusive domain of foodies. I don’t want to be caught dead buying food from one of the mobile snobbery dispensaries which Portland is know for nationwide. What on earth is the rubric I use for assesing what is and what is not a restaurant tainted by foodieusness? I mean really….the last thing I want is to be lumped in with a group of people who enjoy eating and maybe pontificate on the subject a wee bit too much, but all this article did was confuse me. I say, live and let live. If you want to eat and raphsodize about fresh, local, creative, delicious, affordable, expensive, world renowned (yes, they’ve heard of Portland in other countries), envelope pushing, boundary breaking, city and state encompasing, nourishing, refreshing and sometimes awe inspiring cuisine then fine. Do it! But please foodies: explain to me how I stear clear of such places. You’ll have yours, I’ll have mine and we can all masticate in peace. Seperate but equal, right? Can anyone shed some light on this, because I’m Stumped…

    30. morris says

      What a well researched article this is.

      “We’ve been here 41 years, and we’ve probably served, at this location, well over 400,000 people,” says Chris Dussin”.

      That’s 27 people a day.

      “It can’t be that bad if that many people are willing to spend their money and come here and eat with us.”

      It can if your sales are only $250 a day, and half of it is being comped off to family.

      Or ……

      “The large steakhouse (Saylers) is also white-tableclothed, and a lot prettier than its cartoon counterpart.”

      With an inset picture of a nice somewhat elderly lady tucking in at a very dark brown looking table? (Really …. http://media.oregonlive.com/ent_impact_dining/photo/8964771-large.jpg)

      And the priceless one …. For the foodies: Remember pie? It might be the ultimate comfort food. Even the restaurant (Sharis) near the airport sells 1,000 slices a week. “People have tried to take it on the plane,” says night manager Jacqueline Francis. But most can’t wait, and end up snacking it down long before takeoff.”

      There’s two night time flights. Sun Country to Missuola and a UPS flight to Des Moines. Even if “most” is 100 people, surely there’s a math issue here, unless they’re buying 10 slices each to cram.

      Now, in all seriousness, what a seriously crap piece of “journalism” this is for many more other reasons.

      E&OE would have been an appropriate disclosure. Burgerville, etc etc.

    31. Pascal says

      I stop reading the O quite a while ago… Even before Karen left. This whole thing is just trash and they will never realize how stupid they are.
      I think the best thing to do is to ignore their commitment to mediocrity and do what this city do best: a commitment to quality ingredients and a passion for feeding people correctly and honestly.

    32. pantisocrat says

      If nothing else, The Oregonian’s article shows how thin-skinned the “foodie” community is here in Portland. Take away the social weaponry that many foodies employ in talking to non-foodies and all Hell breaks loose. How else can one display how much smarter, hipper, socially conscious, and a proponent of sustainable eating habits than flipping off fast food restaurants as one drives by in a Prius. Apparently it stings when the ridicule is focused on the self-entitled. I can’t believe how many calories are being burned concerning an, admittedly, poor attempt at tongue-in-cheek writing. Hey…great idea…let’s get into a fist fight over a pig in front of a strip joint! What? Oh…sorry…already done by the enlightened food prince of McMinnville. Foodies of Portland relax; have a piece of pie.

    33. Food Dude says

      In case you didn’t see the addition at the top of this post, I was told today that the Oregonian is raising home delivery rates by 22% on December 1st.

    34. The Wizard Tim says

      Why do people still use the term “foodie”, is it because our culture has no direct link to food? The term foodie needs to go away, far, far, away….

    35. themick says

      Chris Dussin sounds like a genius. He’s sick of the descriptors “local and sustainable” and “FRESH”. What restaurateur in his right mind would want to tout his fare as “fresh”? I hope none of the 27 people his restaurant serves daily (thanks for the math Morris) read this or this could be catastrophic to his customer base.

    36. Jeff Shultz says

      I think Food Dude was a bit selective in his quoting there with Chris Dussin – his next line is: “If they never used those words again, I’d just be happy as heck. Because everybody here in the city is trying to give as good, local, fresh product as they can.”

      I get tired of buzzwords too.

    37. Mary Roberts says

      I sent the following to the Oregonian stump and subscription departments:
      This past Thursday’s article “Non-Foodies Food Guide” is the last straw.

      1) We were dismayed when your new owners fired so many experienced long time Oregonian writers after an honorable history of “no-lay-offs”
      2) We worried about your insensitivity toward Oregonians love of our environment, livability, and civility.
      2) We thought your trend toward reporting more sensational news and away from genuine journalism you were recognized for in the past was alarming.
      3) We were disheartened when your annual restaurant guide lacked the breadth and quality writing of the past when we saved and referred to it again and again through the year.

      But we still supported having a “local daily” and thought the paper would find its’ footing and improve. But when the Friday entertainment section of the paper insults us purposefully- that is enough: “You hate American Cheese. And, honestly, America.’?

      May you attract the kind of subscribers you are wanting. But I ask you: do they read?

      As for us, please cancel our subscription.

    38. Rebecca says

      I think an article about local chains would be interesting, possibly. Maybe this is how this started out but then thought instigating a “class war” or battle would be better. Too bad.

    39. Wowzers says

      I think next week they’re writing a review on the Hungry Man dinner offerings by Swansons. The worst part of the whole thing was the editor’s sad justification of it all. Holy crepe!

    40. zumpie says

      Hey, I like Dee Ann Welker from her TWOP recaps, think the staff at Stumptown are a pack of pretentious jerks, and that our “food scene” (aside from the carts, my local burrito one ROCKS!) is just beyond absurdly over rated…but SHARIS???? REALLY????

      I was once dragged to a Shari’s by two co-workers. Although my French vanilla cappucinno was fine (I sometimes enjoy those super fake powder ones at convenience stores, so yes, I can low brow it), my Belgian waffle was so nasty I literally could not eat it and preferred to go hungry. Honestly, how do you screw up a waffle? And no, it wasn’t Eggo (which might have been an improvement), it was freshly made in the waffle iron and completely FOUL.

      I wouldn’t exactly use Fenouil as bragging rights if I were OSF, either. The time I had brunch there, all the pastries were stale, my potatoes were burnt and my bacon was raw. Seriously basic stuff, the restaurant was half empty and their kitchen couldn’t even begin to get it right. The hostesses were very polite and it was pretty, though.

    41. sidemeat says

      Dude,
      Lay off on Shari’s pies.
      Pie, like anything else,
      is had in context.
      Shari’s covers a LOT of bases,
      and times when normal people are sleeping.
      Remember quality pie?
      Right there, across from the hospital?
      2 A.M. pie in the pearl(sorta pearl)
      in that space that’s been empty forever?
      Tom Waits cafe kinda pie?
      I mean to say,
      if being a foodie has gotten in the way of someone maybe enjoying a slice of truckstop pie and ice cream at some odd place at some odd time with maybe some less than meet your mom sort of people,
      when you were sure that life had better things in store for you, then maybe being a foodie gets in the way of enjoying food?
      Shoot, warm mine up please, two scoops of vanilla.

    42. Steve Wino says

      On, no. The descent continues. Today, the Oregonian reviews Vancouver restaurants, most of which are the reason I eat in Portland and not Vancouver, where I live. I give Tommy O’s is a solid B grade but, with the exception of a nightly special or two, the menu hasn’t changed over the years. The rest? “Fugetaboutit”

    43. Steve Wino says

      I let my disgust get the better of me on my previous post. I didn’t see that the review also included Roots. It doesn’t deserve “Fugetaboutit” but it doesn’t save the Oregonian from the criticism.

    44. sustainability_is_not_hype says

      the review was boring and not very funny but the hyperbolic response by pdx gourmands was hilarious.

      • Food Dude says

        SINH, I’m sure if the O had attacked trailer parks in Gresham, you would have been similarly upset. Different things are important to different people.

    45. wine&dine says

      It is shameful for The Oregonian to denigrate the ‘foodies’ in PDX. The New York Tines with THEIR credible sources has recognized PDX as a food destination. Oh Oregonian you bite the hand that feed you! I have cancelled my subscription as well as many of my ‘foodie’ friends with dogs.

      Bow Wow!!

    46. wine&dine says

      It is shameful for The Oregonian to denigrate the ‘foodies’ in PDX. The New York Times with THEIR credible sources has recognized PDX as a food destination. Oh Oregonian you bite the hand that feeds you! I have cancelled my subscription as well as many of my ‘foodie’ friends with dogs.

      Bow Wow!!

    47. Joisey says

      “SINH, I’m sure if the O had attacked trailer parks in Gresham, you would have been similarly upset. Different things are important to different people.”

      OH NO YOU DI’INT!!!!

    48. sustainability_is_not_hype says

      “if the O had attacked trailer parks in Gresham you would have been similarly upset.”

      sin duda, food dude.

      algunos de los migrantes que viven en “trailer parks” en gresham cocinan comida riquisima.

    49. chefken says

      While I certainly share everyone’s disdain for the atrocious aricle in question, and certainly recognize the descent in quality writing and news coverage at the paper (though, to be honest, I’m still a diehard subscriber. – I know, Iknow…), I’m curious:  Whle the O is clearly well below the journalistic merit of big-market papers such as the NY Times, Washington Post, etc., what about cities of similar size to Portland?  How does the O stack up against the Cleveland paper, or St. Louis’?  Inquiring minds want to know.

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