Review: Salt & Straw

Salt & Straw Ice Cream

When I was growing up, on hot summer days dad used to get everyone into the car and head out to Lancaster, California to pick fat juicy cherries and sweet peaches from the old orchards. We'd make a day of it, hiking in "The Devil's Punchbowl1", having a burger at some roadside dive and driving home tired and happy, the … [Read more...]

Spella Caffe


By guest writer Axel Benjamin Coffee Roaster Andrea Spella tells me over my morning cappuccino that he developed his love for coffee when he was just a kid. Growing up in a second-story apartment above a bakery in Chicago, Spella's Italian-American family would make stout stove top coffee with a Moka Pot. Today, … [Read more...]

Coffee Guide: Caffe Umbria

Caffe Umbria portland

Caffé Umbria appeared on the scene a few months ago, with all the flash and glamour you'd expect for a major restaurant opening. Getting through the door and fighting my way through the mob, it was hard to believe all of this fuss was for yet another coffeehouse. This new cafe is in the Casey Building, at the corner … [Read more...]

Coffee Guide: Coffehouse NW

Cup of coffee

That Coffeehouse NW has become a destination for coffee fans citywide is a miracle. The pedestrian-hostile, auto-drenched corridor of Burnside Street is anything but cute—not so much resembling the two-lane, café-lined Eastside connectors like Belmont and Mississippi. And while Coffeehouse NW was trying to build its … [Read more...]

Review: Random Order Coffeehouse


(updated 6.2012) There is a really good bakery just down the street from my house. The thing is, you’d never know it was there unless you were to go inside. You see, it’s not a bakery. It’s a coffee shop. But aside from croissants and scones brought in from Pearl Bakery, all of the items are made on site, daily. A … [Read more...]

Review: Fleur de Lis French Bakery & Cafe

Fleur de lis Portland Bakery

Refreshed: 6/12 - hours, text. Major update on its way! A few weeks ago I was enjoying a quiet cup of coffee at Fleur de Lis Bakery, when I overheard two women at the next table talking about “Food Dude”. This has happened to me several times, and I always enjoy hearing what people have to say. “You know his secret”, … [Read more...]

Ristretto Roasters


Note: Ristretto Roasters now has two locations which are listed below. Their coffee is also found in many local area restaurants. My hands are shaky after I spent a happy afternoon at the new Ristretto Roasters on NE 42nd & Fremont. They are one of the few Portland coffeehouses that roast their own coffee, so it … [Read more...]

Stumptown Annex

Coffee Beans

Most coffee is a commodity. If you like, you can trade coffee futures, and most of the money in coffee goes to publicly traded transnational companies. And I don’t just mean the first mate of the Pequod. Nestle, Philip Morris/Kraft, Sara Lee, Proctor & Gamble, Dunkin’ Donuts, and McDonalds are all significant … [Read more...]