Barista Coffee, Billy Wilson’s new venture is now open at 539 NW 13th street.
He’s got some beautiful equipment including a stunning vacuum pot, and coffee from Stumptown, Ecco Caffe and Chicago’s Intelligentsia: you can pick which bean you want them to use for your cup. This makes for some interesting comparisons. Of course a selection of beans from the variously featured roasters are also for sale. Along with building-out and opening the shop, he’s getting ready for the United States Barista Championships – both a last minute decision to compete and the baristas that will undoubtedly be swinging by, not to mention his significant other is going to give birth any day now. Stop by the shop and see if she does it while you are there! Highly recommended… er.. the shop, not the birth.
Is it bad manners to photograph food in restaurants?
This week there is an article on the subject in the Pitsburg Post-Gazette. This paragraph stuck with me:
I, too, love looking at pictures of foods I’ve eaten, cooked or even just drooled over at a farmer’s stall. I sometimes wistfully recall places and restaurants past where I wish I’d snapped a picture. But there’s a good reason I don’t actually have that many pictures of restaurant meals. When that first dish arrives at the table, even though my camera is at hand, I often find that I would rather just enjoy the meal and the company without worrying about the light, whether I’ve repressed my flash, or whether everyone else’s camera is better than mine. No matter what you tell me, I just don’t think that looking through a camera lens at a dish is as pleasurable or memorable as looking at the dish itself.
So snap your photos, because food photographs are lovely to have. But try to remember that part of food’s pleasure, its beauty, is its ephemeral quality. Sight is only one of our senses, and it’s certainly not the most important one when it comes to experiencing food. So until they invent a machine that can capture a dish’s aromas and tastes along with its physical appearance, I’ll consider a camera far less essential than a good appetite and a pleasant companion.
I watch people all the time that eat without paying attention. Sometimes I wonder if they even know what they are eating.
Restaurateurs are resorting to all kinds of tricks to get diners in the door.
Now from MSNBC comes this: Pay What You Want. So far the restaurant (Panera) is making money:
“Customers have already paid 20 percent more than the original price,” he said, confident that he will more than cover his expenses for the month. “People want to be polite and would be embarrassed not to pay enough.”
This got me thinking – What is the most you are comfortable paying for an entree? For me it’s around $30. More than that and I tend to look at other menu items.
The 2009 James Beard Award semi-finalists have been announced. For Portland:
Outstanding Restaurant: Higgins
Rising Star Chef of the Year: Gabriel Rucker – Le Pigeon
Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional: Stephen R. McCarthy – Clear Creek Distillery
Best Chef NW: Scott Dolich – Park Kitchen, John Gorham – Toro Bravo, Daniel Mondok – Sel Gris, Naomi Pomeroy – Beast, Gabriel Rucker – Le Pigeon, Cathy Whims – Nostrana. Hmm… they didn’t leave out many people.