Whole Foods and Wild Oats Food Fight
Remember the talk about the Whole Foods buy out of the struggling Wild Oats Markets chain? Well, it appears the merger might be kaput due to government market (no pun intended) regulations, and eagle eye news sleuth Jack Bog, has an interesting take on the whole deal. Could it be a right wing conspiracy?
Jonathon Gold and Willamette Week Talk Food Writing
Did you know that the Association for Alternative Weeklies is holding their annual conference in Portland next week and that Willamette Week is sponsoring it? One conference panel description really caught our eye:
“Across the country, newspapers are dropping their restaurant reviews — and that includes some alt-weeklies. Meanwhile, reader reviews and restaurant blogs are encroaching on the domain of the professional food critic. So are restaurant reviews still worth the headache? Is the professional food critic even necessary anymore? Are there alternative ways to write about food and cover the restaurant industry? And if you are going to do reviews, what are the ethical considerations? A panel of AAN members argue the stomach-churning pros and cons. Bring your own Pepto-Bismol.”
Hmm. “…restaurant blogs are encroaching on the domain of the professional food critic.” Really? Do you think they are referring to any specific blogs here in Portland?
With WWeek editor Kelly Clarke moderating, and the fact that they managed to snag Jonathon Gold from the LA Weekly (the only person to have ever won a Pulitzer for food writing), this should make for some lively discussions.
We may need to sneak in the back door and check it out.
Ten-01 is Back in Action
It has been a rough first year for Ten-01. Originally, this was an ambitious and expensive restaurant, with one of Portland’s priciest menus and pricey Pearl district location to match. It also got repeatedly slammed in the media, including one of the most scathing reviews from a local paper we have read in quite a few years.
But it looks like Ten-01 might have really pulled it together. We attended their private Preview Dinner this week, and were impressed. Ten-01 didn’t hold back either, serving seven decadent courses, coupled with very well thought out wine pairings for each course. With new chef Jack Yoss (former executive chef at W Hotel restaurants in LA, and Food and Wine ‘Chef of the Year’ nominee in 2004) as well as rising star sommeliers Erica Landon and Savanna Ray , the restaurant looks poised to once again be a contender in the fine dining category in Portland. So how was the food? Outstanding. We’ll have a complete overview next week.
I’m glad to see Ten-01 making a turn around.
More Daily Café News
We were wrong about the new Daily Café coming to the South Waterfront – as a few here pointed out, it’s already there. I jumped on the old bike and cruised up there last weekend. Apparently, it is hidden in the OHSU medical building next to the tram. Here’s a bit more Daily Café news to make up for my mistake. Food In Bloom (the owners of the Daily Café ) are remodeling their “lunch counter” at Montgomery Park into yet another Daily Café.
Cupcake Jones is going in next door to the new Ben and Jerry’s in the Pearl District – 10th and Hoyt st. Cupcakes anyone? Hmm… reminds me of an old girlfriend.
What happens when you send an email to around 10,000 people stating your restaurant is open, and then don’t staff up? A disaster! After hearing nothing but glowing praise for the new Clyde Common on Stark street, I got a barrage of angry emails this week. Tales of hour waits between appetizer and entrees.
Fox Tower Redux, and Other New Restaurants
NW Hayden is opening Tondero in the Fox Tower on Sept 1. Formerly known as working name: Basante. Tondero will feature Latin fusion food — small plates, big flavors, colorful cocktails, and a ceviche bar on the first floor. The owners are making interior changes that will make the space more accessible, lively and fun including the upstairs Bongo Bar. Menu, low to moderate price range.
More Indian in Portland. NW Tandoor Indian Kitchen has opened at 406 SW Oak St. Not sure of their regular menu, but they do have a lunch buffet.
Another opening, The Manhattan Café ;, is going in on NE Broadway between Thatch Tiki Bar and Pour Winebar.
Finally, we have a new Pizza restaurant opening next week at 28th and NE Glisan. It is called Dove Vivi (where you live). “It all begins with the cornmeal crust- crisp and light, but rich and buttery. The toppings are all prepared in house, many rotating seasonally, and featuring such things as homemade fennel sausage, mushrooms in a wilted parsley-thyme marinade, roasted eggplant, blue cheese, fontina, and provolone. A real show-stopper is the fresh corn pizza, starring snipped chives, balsamic marinated roasted red onions and smoked mozzarella.