Andy Ricker of Pok Pok is opening a restaurant at the airport. From a Craiglist ad,
“Pok Pok Restaurants is holding open interviews for our new quick service, pop-up location at Portland International Airport. We are hiring for kitchen, counter service and supervisory positions. Interviews will be held Wednesday September 24th from 10am-1pm at Whiskey Soda Lounge, located at 3131 SE Division St. Qualified candidates must have relevant restaurant experience. The tentative duration of our contract is October 2014 through late summer 2015.” With the opening of two restaurants in Los Angeles – a Pok Pok and a Pok Pok Phat Thai in addition to their NYC locations, Pok Pok is growing in a lot of directions. Is anyone else starting to wonder if they can keep up the quality while being spread so thin?
The Country Cat will be expanding from their popular Montavilla location to join a large group of new restaurants at the airport. According to the Port of Portland press release, it will be a “local iconic casual dining bar featuring a farm to table menu for all age groups, and a full bar featuring local beer and wine”.
According to KGW News, a farmers market has also opened at the airport. Annette and Christian Jolly started an Oregon Farm to Table just outside their Capers Cafe in June. It took off, and they are now open two days a week. From KGW, ”
On Thursday the all organic produce came from four local farmers, including Rossi Farms.
“We are only going to buy direct from farmers, we don’t deal with anybody in the middle,” remarked Christian Joly. “All you see here today was picked yesterday.”
You can pick up a peach for the plane for $1.50 or a carton of mushrooms for $6.
“We’re faced with so much sugar and carbohydrates in the airport shops and this is a wonderful alternative,” said passenger Gail Evans.
… “Can you smell the fresh garlic?” Annette asked as she glanced at Christian cooking peppers and mushrooms for samples. “And during the holidays expect the aroma of chestnuts roasting.”
I’m just going to say it – only in Portland… and I totally love the idea. Of course, there is the problem of taking produce across some state lines, so there’s that.
Salt & Straw has also expanded, opening a shop in Los Angeles on September 13th. True to their roots, ice cream for the new store is handmade in LA using local cream from a family-owned dairy. So that’s four locations for them. Am I the only one who worries about these things? Dammit, I want S&S to be all ours. My grandmother used to say “A flame that burns brightest burns out fast”. She would know, as she was around before electricity was commonly used. On the other hand, she was talking about love, but it still works. Anyway, the always charming Tyler Malek, co-owner of S&S did an interview with Food Republic back in August, with lots of tips for making ice cream at home along with a recipe. It’s a good read. Tyler is very thin for someone who makes ice cream all day – grandmother also said “never trust a thin cook”. Now that I think back, grandmother sure did talk a lot.
If you haven’t tried it, their “Summer Sweet Corn Buttermilk” ice cream is the bomb. They churn it with buttermilk instead of cream. Brilliant. They are like ice cream mad scientists.
Yelpers can rest easy – California is taking on restaurants that try to silence disgruntled customers. According to Engadget, the state “wants to stop the practice of any business, including hotels and restaurants inserting “non-disparagement” clauses into their terms of business. Under the law, any outlet trying to enforce financial penalties onto upset keyboard warriors would be met with a $2,500 slap. Subsequent violations would set them back $5,000, and there’s a $10,000 bonus non-prize if a company is found to be recklessly violating the rules.” The law goes into effect in 2015.
It amazes me that so many businesses are still clueless about social media. You will never win. Never. Never. Never. Never. Never. Never. (Winston Churchill would have said that about Yelp)
Portland Monthly says that Tommy Habetz of Bunk Sandwiches is branching out with Moon Pizza. It will be located “in a former sign store on SE 20th Avenue near the Southeast Powell Boulevard freeway overpass”.
“I’m definitely not an Italian purist. Think classic, 18-inch, East Coast style pizza,” says Habetz. “You should be able to fold it, for sure, but hopefully it won’t be too floppy.” Inspiration will come, in part, from the pies of Habetz’s youth, growing up near New Haven, Connecticut, but Moon will also lean more heavily on local farmers for ingredients than Bunk currently does. He’s already toying with roasted porchetta, thin sliced on a pie with salad on top—a sort of high-class pork belly and sausage pizza.”
According to PM, pasta will not be on the menu, which breaks my heart. Tommy’s “Uncle Margaret’s Chicken Liver Ragu” is on my top 100 list of the best things I’ve ever eaten. I’d do unspeakable things for a bowl of it right now.
Have you tried Jacobsen Salt? It is hand-harvested at Netarts Bay Oregon. Ruth Reichl just raved about it on her blog, saying, “Am I crazy? Maybe. This salt cost $12 for 4 ounces. But I love the way it looks skittering across the top of a fried egg – or just about anything else – and I love the way it feels in my hand. I love the taste too – like a mouthfull of arid ocean.” I agree with her – it is worth the money for those times when you want to nudge a dish over the edge. Olive Strand at The New York Times said, ” If the sign of a good finishing salt is a balance of salinity and minerality, the flavor you find in a pinch of Jacobsen Salt is so pitch-perfect it tastes like it’s from a centuries-old European workshop instead of a start-up in the Pacific Northwest.”
They opened a store in their Portland warehouse this summer at 602 SE Salmon.
Ruth Reichl, author and former editor of Gourmet Magazine was in Portland for FEAST last weekend. It sounds like she eschewed most of the events, and instead hit some of our local restaurants. Ruth LOVED our own OX restaurant, and wrote a terrific account of her meal there in a blog post which she ends with “Portland’s a food-obsessed town with great markets, fantastic sandwich shops, memorable ice cream (Salt and Straw always has a line for its fascinating concoctions) and some of the best Thai food in America. But should you happen to be there, I can only echo what everybody says – go to Ox.”