The News Never Stops

Adam Sappington, of The Country Cat Dinner house and Bar tells me the new restaurant is opening April 27th.

“The restaurant is based on the fundamentals of regional American food traditions that bring to life memories and tastes that reflect the bounty this country has to offer.” “The menu at The Country Cat has a wide offering of vegetarian, seafood, and meat appetizers and entrees. The menu reflects the season- Spring vegetable Hand pies, Salt Water Poached Whole Dungeness crab with Farmsted butter, and Cast Iron skillet Fried Chicken with braised Bibb lettuce and Asparagus.
The restaurant also provides a kids menu, and kids under 10 eat for free on Sunday.

Menu prices range from $4.00 to $23.00. The restaurant offers a full bar and a very approachable regional wine and beer list.” “The Country Cat is located at 7937 Southeast Stark, on the corner of Southeast Stark Street and Southeast 80th, on the eastside of Mount Tabor in the Montavilla neighborhood.”


Beginning Monday April 9th, Alberta Street Oyster Bar and Grill will be serving dinner 7 nights a week. There’s a lot more information over in the press releases sectioni.

Pinocchio Bar & Restaurant will be opening on May 3rd. This is the one in the recently converted condo building across from Southpark Restaurant.

We will be offering dinner for the first two weeks and then add lunch and Sunday brunch services on the 14th. Please join us for dinner at 50% off for the first few days of opening. Reservations recommended for this opening time. Come enjoy some amazing Italian food in the SW Park Blocks.

More on making your own pet food. NPR contributor David Welch passed this link on to me. I heard it on the radio, but forgot to mention it last week.

New book from Portland author Nicole Mones is being published this Spring.

“The novel takes readers into a world of Chinese food beyond the imagination, revealing its philosophy, its concepts, and its astonishing artistic ambitions. Nicole has worked and traveled in China for the past three decades, and she has been writing about Chinese food for Gourmet Magazine for the past eight years. “

A recent test by America’s Test Kitchen compared American vrs. Italian canned tomatoes. An interesting fact: To avoid the 100% US tax, Italian are packed in puree. Unfortunately, that tends to cause them to get mealy and fall apart. In the latest test of multiple brands, tomatoes from the USA easily beat the Italian counterparts.

The Portland Beavers, which open at home April 13, look to have some great new food options in what looks to be a move to attract more foodies to games at PGE Park. The Portland Business Journal reports that PGE Park food concessions, besides taking trans-fat out of Centerplate run food service areas, will also sell more upscale fare like a cedar-plank salmon dish. Other food offerings, which should also generally be available at Timbers games, include new burgers, more meat sandwich options, regional cuisine specials based upon the location from which Beavers’ opponents come from and a Beers of the World stand rotating 30 beers during the season.

Ex-Starbucks Co-Founder Writes Editorial about Current State of Starbucks

Zev Siegl, one of the original co-founders of Starbucks gives his take on the now infamous Valentines Day Memo written by current Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz, and what Starbucks needs to do remain competitive, fresh, and culturally relevant in the face of growing concerns that their brand is in decline. Siegl’s biggest advice:

“First, build thousands of coffee bars, each with its own name and distinctive look. Then hire people who wanted to start their own place to manage them. Recruit a wide range of baristas and indulge their love for tattoos, exotic hairstyles, and facial jewelry. Offer darker roasts in some places and latte art-foam in others. Let real, live artists hang canvases on the walls. Sell no CDs or videos. Have different offerings of baked goods and lunch items in every location. Buy no advertising — live on word of mouth. Focus on certain types of customers; don’t try to appeal to all of humanity. Never mention the words ‘brand’ and ‘management’ together in a sentence.”

Hmm, however there is no mention in Siegl’s advice of making coffee that doesn’t taste like crap. You can read the whole editorial over at

Your thoughts are welcome

  1. MyNextMeal says

    Muir Glen Organic was #2 on the list.
    Hunts Organic was #3, I think.
    I don’t remember what #1 was…it was a brand that I’d never seen before.

  2. says

    Centos are also dirt cheap compared to many other brands of San Marzanos. I buy 8 cans at a time at Whole Foods (cause nobody sells em down here in Salem.) I’ve found alot of the American brands to be too sour and I’d prefer not to have to add sugar (though I guess if the Centos are packed in puree maybe they already have that sugar added? I need to research that.) For me, Centos, garlic, olive oil, and fresh basil make a perfect sauce.

    If it makes you feel better, a UC Davis study found that a 50 percent reduction in both the US import tariff and the EU subsidies (it’s not just us doing this stuff) would actually result in a net increase in dollars to producers (absent any shifts in demand, which would almost certainly happen as the laws of supply and demand are alive and well), so as a consumer your prices would go up. So even with the market distortions you’re making out better at the checkout stand.

  3. Food Dude says

    The winners in order were:
    Progresso Italian-Style Whole Peeled Tomatoes with Basil
    Redpack in Thick Puree
    Hunts Whole Tomatoes

    With reservations:
    Tuttorosso Italian-Style peeled Plum Tomatoes
    Muir Glen Organic Whole Peeled
    Rienzi Peeled Tomatoes
    Cento Italian Peeled Tomatoes (Tasters complained about overcooked, “canned” flavors and a broken-down texture. Strong tomato flavor, but one tinged with “tinny” flavors and out-of-place herbal notes.

    Not Recommended:
    Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted
    Sclafani Italian Peeled Tomatoes

    Interesting about the Cento. One time I was going through cupboards looking for tomatoes when I had run short, and found some Progresso. Compared them expecting to like the Cento better, but found the opposite. Since then I’ve switched.

    They compared canned diced tomatoes a year or so ago, and Cento fell into the “Not Recommended” category

  4. Jill-O says

    I buy the Cento crushed tomatoes (without basil – I like to add my own when I want basil in my sauce…and I don’t always want it there depending what I am cooking) at New Seasons and I have never noticed a tinny flavor or weird herbal notes. I don’t think I have ever tried Progresso’s canned tomato products.

  5. says

    I get the whole Cento tomatoes and I smash the s**t out of them with a potato masher when I make sauce, so maybe I’m missing out of the testing experience. I don’t think I’ve run into those tastes though. I’ll just blame the Vermontian palattes of the testers :)

    The Muir Glen fire roasted ones are pretty horrible. Thank goodness the store put that out for sample, lest I spend my own money on it.

  6. MyNextMeal says

    Okay, I was disturbed at the thought that my memory might be failing me…so I’m looking at my issue of Cooks Illustrated. This is how I read the results of their tasting.

    Recommended (in order of pref): Tuttorosso (has anyone seen these in Portland?), MuirGlen w/Basil, HuntsOrganic, Redpack, Progresso

    Rec with Reservations: Pastene, Hunts, DelMonte Organic, Contadina Roma

    Not Recommended: Cento

    Maybe CooksIllustrated sends out different versions of the magazine with different ratings to mess with our minds???

  7. Food Dude says

    MyNextMeal, I think you are looking at their ratings of Crushed tomatoes. I was talking about whole canned tomato ratings that were on their TV show on OPB last week.

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