Unemployment has hit 10.1%. Suzie Orman, financial “adviser”, was on the Oprah show, and said that people should stop eating in restaurants to save money. Wait a minute. She wants us to boycott an industry that supports 14 million people? This is going to help everyone?
Due to the outcry, Ms. Orman retracted her statement the next week, but the damage has been done. This is all restaurants need.
Piggins. Piggins? Piggins! Greg Higgins wants to open a restaurant called Piggins?! When I first started hearing this rumor, I dismissed it, but then the Oregonian ran the story. The name sounds like something that was dreamed up during a college party. “Dude, this is such good bacon. We should totally open an all pig restaurant! (pause to inhale) We could call it, like… Piggins!”
A major television station is looking for pictures of James Beard for an upcoming project. Does anyone have or know of collections? Drop me a note, and I’ll pass on the information. This can only be good for Portland!
Speaking of television, it’s no secret that The Food Channel is filming all over Portland this week. A few restaurants are looking for diners; I’ve gotten mentions from Otto’s Sausage & Meat Market, Pine State Biscuits, Arleta Library, Blueplate and Pok Pok. Both are closed for some time this week during filming. As if Pok Pok doesn’t have big enough lines already. It’s, um… for the “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” show.
The official Blog for Food total for February 2009 was $2,283. $1 = 5 lbs of food, so that means we’ve helped buy over 11,000 pounds of food for hungry people… pretty impressive. Thanks to everyone who helped! I’m sure we will all do it again next year.
R.I.P. – Rocks Sports Bar, NE Alberta and 19th.
Alu on MLK has closed. Apparently, the owner hasn’t been able to find a buyer. Ex-employees are not happy, and there are rumors Boli (Bureau of Labor and Industries) is involved.
There have been lots of questions as to the fate of Portland Menu Guide. I received an email from someone at LAX-Magazine to say that they have published a new issue, however, I haven’t seen one around Portland yet.
Speaking of menus, restaurants should know I’m happy to publish them for no charge, complete with pictures. We get quite a bit of traffic in the menu section.
Speaking of website traffic, the piece on making butter is drawing visitors from all over the world. So many, I’m thinking of renaming this site The Butter Chronicles, and having every post about butter. No wonder recipe sites are so p0pular! Hits are up about 8,000 a day (even on normally slow weekends), with a crafts site called Angry Chicken sending more people than any referrer ever. Thank you Angry Chicken. I appreciate everyone who links to this site!
The Portland Farmers Market opens this weekend on the South park blocks. Their announcement raised my eyebrows because it included a bit that dogs will no longer be permitted.
…Portland Farmers Market will no longer permit shoppers to bring their dogs or other pets to its Saturday and Wednesday markets in the South Park Blocks, due to repeated concerns of market vendors and shoppers. The pet policy applies only to the organization’s two busiest farmers markets, where long lines at vendor stalls and food carts form each Wednesday, and crowds in excess of 12,000 gather on any given Saturday.
Portland Farmers Market hopes that dog owners will find it easier to shop with their pets resting at home. Customers with children or those who are sensitive to dogs won’t have to avoid the dogs, and vendors will be able to focus on sharing goods without worrying about canine noses poking over the tables. The new pet rules are similar to those in place at farmers markets in Beaverton, Hillsdale, Seattle and San Francisco. All markets will be open to service dogs.
I was a bit bothered by this, but after some reflection, it makes sense. The market packs with people, and I’ve seen big dogs knock over stacks of produce, and small dogs get stepped on, not to mention a few fights. It’s probably for the best, but I’ll miss wandering through on Saturday mornings with mine, especially since he carried everything I bought (he’s absolutely perfect in every way on a good day).
The US Barista Championships took place last weekend, with local Alex Pond making it through to the finals. Unfortunately, no one from Portland made it all the way. Why is it that Portland, known for our coffee scene, never seems to make it into the US finals? Hmm.
The competition was entertaining to watch, though at times it seems a bit silly to me, as I don’t really see how much of it has anything to do with a barista’s real working life. (Cue angry fusillade from baristas)
The Sixty Minutes television show did a good profile on Alice Waters of Chez Panisse last weekend. Worth watching, especially since you can see it here). Sigh. Now I want to jump on a plane and go for dinner.
A month ago, I wrote about a restaurant in Europe that was letting customers pay what they thought the meal was worth. According to KGW, Blue Sage, a restaurant in Lake Oswego, has copied the idea. (was a link, but it’s bad now)
A follow up to my parking meter story: Mayor Adams has now backed away from the idea of extending hours later into the evening, and instead, now favors raising the price by .25 an hour, and expanding the program to seven days a week, with payment required from 1pm – 7pm.
I wonder, has anyone looked to see what the cost is going to be to change all the parking hours signs vs. what the income will be? How long will it take to pay for all of this? Sunday parking enforcers, reprogramming meters, changing all the signs. Hmm. I know I’m in the minority, but I would much rather see the gas tax raised to pay for street maintenance. It spreads the pain equally over everyone, and those who put the most wear on the streets, pay the most tax.
Remember when Consumer Reports Magazine rated McDonalds coffee better than Starbucks? Now they have posted a new set of ratings with “Eight O’Clock Coffee” coming out on top. Starbucks did not even merit an honorable mention. According to the press release, “The independent testing firm reported “Starbucks Coffee Colombia Medium, $11.53 per pound, didn’t even place among the top regular coffees and trailed among decafs. While the Regular rated ‘Good,’ testers noted it had flaws such as burnt and bitter flavors; though milk and sugar may help”. Ouch!
Gourmet Magazine is realizing we aren’t all rich. According to this article in The NY Times,
Reflecting the bad economy, Gourmet, which usually writes about expensive restaurants and faraway travel, has added a feature about what to do with leftovers, and put a ham sandwich — albeit a fancy one — on its March cover.
Food & Wine’s March issue includes an essay on buying the cheapest bottle on a wine list. Bon Appétit’s April cover trumpets a “low-cost, big-flavor” pizza party.
“There is an incredible opportunity,” said Ruth Reichl, the editor in chief of Gourmet. “People need help learning to cook again, and they need advice on less-expensive ingredients, and we’re trying to give it to them.”
Morgan Brownlow opened his new Cafe 401 today. Hours are 8am to 3pm, 7 days a week. No other information yet. It’s at 401 Ne 28th Ave, Portland, OR 97232