The Oregonian got the scoop on two new restaurants that Vitaly and Kimberly Paley are planning for downtown Portland. The “Imperial” will go into the space at the Hotel Lucia recently vacated by Typhoon. The second will be called “Portland Penny Diner”, which will be located across the hall.
As I’ve reported before, Ben Bettinger, most recently of Beaker & Flask, will take the chef position.
Paley says the hotel’s history provided inspiration for the project. He plans to draw on everything from traditional Native American ingredients to the cookbooks of Oregon native James Beard for menu ideas.
But “we’re going to need to modernize things,” he says. “If you look back in history, we had recipes for raccoons and squirrels. We’re obviously not going to do that. We don’t have the same palates today.”
Paley’s menu will include grilled quail and grass-fed beef, black bass and sanddabs, braised elk shoulder and grilled cauliflower steak, Northwest geoduck and caviar.
At the Portland Penny Diner, which will open a few months after the Imperial, Paley plans to tweak Native American-style frybread to make everything from a New York Reuben sandwich to Mexican churros. (The diner is named for the coin Francis Pettygrove and Asa Lovejoy used to decide Portland’s name in 1845.)
The old Typhoon space is quite large. I’m curious how the architects are going to pull off any sort of an intimate feel. It always reminded me more of an open Chinese restaurant than something more upscale. Knowing the Paleys they will pull it off. However, I worry about them getting stretched a bit thin. In my opinion, Paley’s Place quality has fallen a bit since it was my restaurant of the year in 2010. Service isn’t quite as solid as it used to be, and the dishes don’t seem to have the finesse I expect based on experiences from years past. On nights when Kimberly is in the restaurant, this is not the case.
Killing pink Meat Product is Killing Jobs
Since I wrote about “pink slime”, the meat product last month, a lot has happened. The national uproar about the product has forced most fast food chains to remove the ingredient from their meat. Last week, Fred Meyer announced they would no longer be carrying the ‘finely textured beef product’, as have most grocery store chains. It should be noted that more naturally oriented stores such as Whole Foods and New Seasons have never used the product.
Of course politicians have jumped into the fracas, determined to support their local meat industry. From Yahoo News,
Governors from three meat-producing states today defended Beef Products Inc., the company that makes lean finely textured beef, which now-former USDA scientists nicknamed “pink slime,” after a walk through the company’s plant accompanied by ABC News.
“Let’s call this product what it is and let ‘pink slime’ become a term of the past,” Texas Gov. Rick Perry said after the tour, after which officials showed off t-shirts with the slogan, “Dude, it’s beef!“
Stung by consumer reaction to the process used by BPI, grocery stores pulled beef containing the filler off the shelves and BPI closed three of its four plants for lack of demand. The governors said that the treatment the product received in the media was unfair because it is not only safe, but also nutritious and allows grocers to sell leaner ground beef at a lower cost.
“It’s beef, but it’s leaner beef which is better for you,” Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad said. “We take this off the market then we end up with a fatter product that’s going to cost more and is going to increase the obesity problem in this country.”
Yup, because this product is being eliminated, we are all going to become even fatter! On the other hand, we won’t smell like ammonia.