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Posts Tagged ‘Food’

How Clean is That Portland Restaurant?

January 19, 2009 No comments
Find Out How Clean it Really Is

Find Out How Clean it Really Is

In the past month I’ve had the unfortunate luck of getting sick after eating at a local restaurant (Bangkok Restaurant).  As I was feeling quite under the weather I spent some time searching the Internet for some site or resource that could have clued me in to the less than clean kitchen that my meal must have come from.

I finally found the Multnomah County Health Department Establishment Inspection Database a fantastic resource that lets you peek into the kitchen and see just how clean everything is.

The results are pretty eyeopening.  On the good side some of my favorites Dove Vivi,Vita Cafe , Kuhn Pics Thai, La Bonita, Vegetarian House and Paradox Cafe all scoring in the high 90’s or getting perfect 100.  On the bad side a number of places I eat didn’t fair so well.  Nicholas Restaurant had a pretty long list of issues and a paltry 77 score, Pad Thai Kitchen 61,  and places like Laughing Planet and Opposable Thumb Gallery Cafe seemed to have the very common issue of employees NOT washing their hands when they should.

Of course this database is just a peek at one point in time in the life of a restaurant, but it’s a good starting point to see just how clean the places you’re eating at really are.

Categories: Food, Portland Tags:

Slaying The Green Dragon

November 13, 2008 4 comments
The Green Dragon Portland

The Green Dragon Portland

Recently there’s been a lot of talk about restaurants closing due to a dramatic drop in business (including the sad news that one of my favorite Portland restaurants Kalga Kafe closed).

This week we received news of an entirely different sort:

The Green Dragon, an extremely popular watering hole for Portland’s tech set, and the standing location for the ever growing Beer & Blog has been set to be sold to Rogue on Friday November 14th.

Initial response has been overwhelming negative to word of the buy out with some pretty harsh comments posted over the news the popular brewpub may be transformed into a Rogue Taproom.

The Green Dragon has made its name for the ever changing wide variety of brews on tap, regular ‘meet the brewer’ events and as the destination of choice for many Portland tech events.

To commemorate the slaying of the Green Dragon Beer & Blog will be holding a final sendoff for the beloved brewpub on Friday (reportedly the last day for the dragon).

The sale of The Green Dragon in such a challenging economic environment lends great weight to the view that the area surround The Green Dragon, Grand Central Bowl and Holocene is destined to be Portland’s next big hot spot

The Green Dragon will be missed. We hope other beer bars like The Horse Brass, Belmont Station, Bye and Bye will step up to fill the gap created by the sale of the Green Dragon.

Ed note: Read the good follow up piece in Draft Magazine about the Rogue purchase of the Green Dragon

Categories: Beer, Books, Food, Interview Tags: ,

Vote With Your Dollars

October 29, 2008 No comments

voteWith the presidential election looming most people are myopically focused on voting for president, but the second most important vote you can make right now is with your dollars. Times are tough and not all businesses are going to survive this recession. Already this month three notable eateries have announced that they are shuttering their doors (Rocket, Mercado and Banh Cuon Tan Dinh)  and more are soon to follow.

The dollar may be down on the world market, but it’s never been stronger here at home. With each dollar you spend you are making a vote, you’re voting for the business that you give your money to and perhaps voting against the places you aren’t. During tough economic times people often default to the lowest cost option out there. Companies like McDonald’s and Wal-Mart thrive because people think they get more for less there – something in tough times sounds appealing. If this current economic mess has taught us anything it’s there’s absolutely no such thing as a free lunch and today’s low low deal might have some unintended consequences tomorrow.

So I encourage you to think about the long haul. Want a beer? Skip Rock Bottom Brewery and pick your beer up at Belmont Station. Want a movie? Rather than Netflixing it ensure the future of independent cinema and local art houses and catch a movie at the Hollywood Theater or Cinema 21.  Want some food? Support local farmers at your local farmer’s market or visit the People’s Food Coop Farmer’s Market.  Chose Voodoo Doughnuts over Krispie Kreme,  Laughing Planet or Los Gorditos over Taco Bell, Pad Thai Kitchen over TGIFridays…. and yes Stumptown, Cellar Door and Z Beans over Starbucks.

There’s never been a time in your life where what you spend and where you spend has mattered more. So pick the places you love and give them your business, odds are they’ll be around to thank you when this whole economic mess is all over.

What local business are you rooting for to survive? Post your favorite in the comments!

Categories: Politics, Portland Tags:

Nutshell Restaurant in Portland is Screwed

September 1, 2008 No comments

Even Bigfood Would Be Bummed

Even Bigfood Would Be Bummed

The restaurant started out of a simple proposition – create a unique place which served gourmet food that used fresh local and natural ingredients and didn’t have any animal products. The words VEGAN weren’t plastered across the sign or on the menu. The food was just Vegan by nature. The restaurant had its roots in a series of very successful Vegan family dinners run by then Tabla chef Sean Coryell. Coryell went to great lengths to produce intricate and flavorful dishes using a wide range of exotic ingredients. Speaking with Sean at those family dinners you’d hear his absolute passion for the food.

Coryell enthusiasm fueled a nearly year long effort to build Nutshell. Opened in late 2007 and located on North Williams, Nutshell won raves from the Veg community and even won over some hardened omnivorous Portland foodies. But no sooner had it opened than the signs began to show that things were not well behind the scenes. An ever changing menu and constant experimentation by Coreyell and almost manic fascination with expanding the restaurant to Tokyo, Hawaii… “global man” created an environment where food could be extremely hit or miss.

Coryell’s departure from Nutshell marked a significant change. The menu with a thousand revolving dishes was simplified down to just a handful, the portions cut back significantly and although the restaurant was built with an open kitchen as its centerpiece the men and women in the kitchen made it perfectly clear they were all about business.

This week Nutshell made another turn. With rumors circulating about its demise and increasing complaints about the food and service Nutshell added butter, eggs and cheese to just about every dish on the menu (There’s even an egg on their pizza). With a bad taste already in their mouth this move infuriated the Vegan community and signaled another clear step towards the end of this once beloved eating establishment.

So what went wrong? Were Coryell’s eyes too big for the patron’s stomach? Did the Tabla team bungle things behind the scenes as they did with the Ten 01 opening? Or is it too much to thing Portland can sustain a gourmet vegan restaurant? (or even a Vegan Strip Club?) I think Portland can absolutely sustain Vegan restaurants, even a gourmet one, but like all restaurants they need to be well run. Just because something is Vegan doesn’t mean it’s going to be an immediate success and adding eggs to your plates doesn’t mean you’ll stay afloat. I’ll be surprised if Nutshell didn’t shutter its doors by the end of the year or completely reinvent itself (ala Ten 01).

Categories: Food, Vegan Tags: , ,

Laughing Planet – Good Solid Eats

August 13, 2008 No comments

laughingplanet I met my friend David Walker today at Laughing Planet on Belmont for lunch. I’ve been to the restaurant many times but today as we were finishing up our lunch it struck me how much I enjoy eating there and just how consistently dependable it is.

What makes Laughing Planet works so well is that they’ve got a very simple concept – healthy bowls and burritos with lots of options. Being Vegan I appreciate just how many vegan friendly choices they have on the menu, and with a fair share of meated options it’s an easy choice when meeting a friend whose omnivorous. I also like that you can add tofu or tempeh to any of their options. Although I’m Vegan I can’t say I have much love for tofu. It’s “OK” and if prepared right I can enjoy it. I enjoy the tangy almost nutty taste of tempeh much more and always feel more full than when scarfing down tofu. I’m also a fan of seitan and it’s various ‘fake meat’ forms.

Its easy not to appreciate some of the good things in life, especially places we visit on a regular basis. They fade into the fabric of things and so it’s nice to just stop for a moment and say… Wow, this place is really something…I’m glad its here!

Categories: Food Tags: , ,