Portland Butch: Laurelhurst Market

July 29th, 2009
Dreaming of charcoal...

Dreaming of charcoal...

I met up with Ben Dyer of Laurelhurst Market mid-day on a weekday late last month. I was working on a story all about Portland’s new wave of meatmen for the local alt. weekly Willamette Week and I did double duty asking him questions about his newest meaty venture for my book as well. Laurelhurst Market opened this spring and business has been booming for the butcher shop/restaurant since. Ben and his partners formerly owned Viande Meat Market in City Market in Northwest Portland and are the current owners of Simpatica Catering and Dining Hall.

I felt kind of bad when I joined him at the bar because he’d just sat down for lunch and hadn’t yet taken a bite of his sandwich. I asked him to please eat but he wouldn’t and so during the entire interview we both eyed his housemade roast beef, pickled red onion, zuke pickle, butter lettuce, cheddar and fresh grated horseradish sandwich on Fleur de Lis multi-grain that he’d made. It was difficult.

It was kind of like when you look at something in the bright sun and then look away and the image of that object imprints itself on everything you look at. As I drove home that afternoon I saw roast beef sandwiches with fresh grated horseradish on Music Millenium’s door, the Laurelhurst Theater marquee, at the entrance to Foti’s Greek Deli and walking with some sort of death wish right down the middle of the road.

During the day the butcher shop sells sandwiches — choose your own fillings as well as several daily specials. Most sandwich ingredients are prepared in house including from scratch deli meats, pickled vegetables and soon-to-be housemade cheeses. Although you can’t eat them in the dining room (dinner service only) there are a few covered tables in front of the building.

With four full time employees the butcher shop also sells housemade pates and rillettes, pancettas, foie gras torchon, bacon, andouille, tasso, deli meats, and sausages. In the case whole meats usually include Piedmontese air cured beef and local pork (two of the biggest sellers) chicken, rabbit, buffalo and lamb. There’s also usually one or two items made somewhere else such as hot or sweet sopressata from Claudio’s in Philadelphia.

There’s so much going on at LM that’s it’s hard to know what to include. Some of my favorite things include this…

The case may be small but it packs a lot in.

The case may be small but it packs a lot in.

This…

Air cured, grass fed Piedmontese beef from Montana

Air cured, grass fed Piedmontese beef from Montana

And this…

Look up and you'll see what you've been missing on the board. Sorry it's a little blurry.

Look up and you'll see what you've been missing on the board. Sorry it's a little blurry.

My favorites from the restaurant so far are the marrow bones and the steak frites.

Laurelhurst Market
3155 East Burnside
503.206.3097
www.laurelhurstmarket.com

Worth the Wait: Hopworks Urban Brewery

July 27th, 2009
You're not allowed entry unless you bike to Hopworks' first Biketoberfest all day Saturday, September 19th.

You're not allowed entry unless you bike to Hopworks' first Biketoberfest all day Saturday, September 19th.

Months before Hopworks Urban Brewery opened its doors in March of 2008 I was chomping at the bit. I’d been drinking HUB beers — along with many other lucky Portlanders — since fall 2007 at various pubs and restaurants around town and they were good. Very good — especially the IPA.

Hopworks owner Christian Ettinger didn’t plan to open the doors to his extreme green Southeast Powell Boulevard brewpub several months after he’d started wholesaling kegs to local establishments but that’s just the way it worked out. According to Christian the production facility took a lot less time to build out than the upstairs brewpub. It’s a good thing it did because it was genius marketing. Folks drank delicious local mystery brew at top Portland pubs and the buzz about it and its home built and built.

I met up with Christian recently at the brewpub and talked with him about what it’s like when everyone tells you you shouldn’t do something and you do it anyway (open a brewpub on a busy arterial lacking in foot traffic), his architect dad Roy Ettinger who was HUB’s contractor, Christian’s plans for another Hopworks (probably within the next two years), and 3,440 barrels of organic beer on the wall. That’s the number of beer barrels HUB brewed from its opening in March 2008 until March 2009 — a lot more than the 1,500 Christian anticipated for HUB’s first year. He’s been maniacally busy since retail and wholesale is booming and on the home front Christian’s wife gave birth to their second child two months after HUB opened.

At HUB there are always 10 beers on tap and two cask beers. The six standards include HUB Lager, Crosstown Pale Ale, Velvet ESB, Hopworks IPA, Survival Stout and Deluxe Organic Ale. There are also always four seasonals on tap which keeps the brewers and customers happy.

Hopworks recently started bottling.

Hopworks recently started bottling.

HUB owner Christian Ettinger won best brewmaster and brewery with Laurelwood Pub and Brewery in the 2004 World Beer Cup. Here he promotes peace and his ability to count.

HUB owner Christian Ettinger won best brewmaster and brewery with Laurelwood Pub and Brewery in the 2004 World Beer Cup. Here he promotes peace and his ability to count.

Hopworks uses spent fry oil from the restaurant upstairs to fuel its brew kettle and delivery truck.

Hopworks uses spent fry oil from the restaurant upstairs to fuel its brew kettle and delivery truck.

Reuse is a big part of HUB's aesthetic and culture.

Reuse is a big part of HUB's aesthetic and culture.

Hopworks Urban Brewery
2944 SE Powell Blvd.
503.232.4677
www.hopworksbeer.com

Portland Fermentation Festival — August 27th 6-8pm @ Ecotrust

July 24th, 2009
Are you thirsty for some dandelion wine? If so I've got the perfect event for you...

Are you thirsty for some dandelion wine? If so I've got the perfect event for you...

Come be a part of the Fermentation Revival! Thursday, August 27, 6 – 8 pm

Ecotrust’s Billy Frank Jr. Conference Center 721 NW 9th Ave. Portland, OR

Free!

Share & taste homemade live ferments by local enthusiasts
Demonstrate your fermentation techniques
Answer questions & Exchange cultures
Special guest Sandor Ellix Katz, author of “Wild Fermentation”

Want to share your live ferments?*
Then send an email to pdxfermentfest@gmail.com with the following information:
Your Name
Phone Number
Email Address

Please specify which category of ferment(s) you are bringing:
Liquid Dairy
Solid Dairy
Bread
Liquid Non-alcohol
Alcohol
Pickles
Kraut
Soy Ferments (Tempeh, Natto, Miso)
Other

Questions to Answer:
What is the name of the ferment? Must include a one-sentence description, including an ingredient list.
How long have you been making this ferment?
Describe any problems or challenges you’ve encountered in making this ferment and how you solved them.
Can you bring at least one gallon of this to share?
Can you bring 100 photocopies of your recipe to share?
(Consider also providing suggestions on how to use your ferment in recipes, etc.)
Do you have any starter cultures to share?

Entries must be received by noon on August 1st. No late entries will be accepted.

Logistics:
We’ll supply tables, chairs and the 1 ounce tasting cups.
We’ll also provide a few trash receptacles to share, as well compost and recycling bins.
Please note: there is no refrigeration on the premises. There is a sink with tap water available.
You must bring your own cooler with ice (if necessary) along with any serving utensils you might need.
If you have starters to share, please bring containers to share them in.
The event is from 6-8. Load in and setup will be from 4-5:45; everything must be loaded out by 9pm.

Please help us by passing this along to your fellow fermenters! We hope to see you on August 27th!
Get in touch via email at: pdxfermentfest@gmail.com.

*Live ferments are made without heat or vinegar.
For more information, visit Sandor’s website, www.wildfermentation.com.

Homemade sour and spicy fermented pickles

Homemade sour and spicy fermented pickles

Slow Food Portland

July 16th, 2009

Last week I met up with Amanda Peden chair of Slow Food Portland. We met at Ecotrust so I got to have a cup of tea from Citizen Coffee which I’d been wanting to check out ever since Laughing Planet Cafe owner Richard Satnick told me about it. I showed up three hours early for my meeting with Amanda when I was supposed to be on the other side of town meeting with the folks at Nossa Familia Coffee. Lucky for me it all worked out and I blamed my calendar. Stupid calendar.

Even though Slow Food Portland is the oldest Slow Food chapter in the country (it precedes the national Slow Food USA in New York) and even though I’ve been in Portland now for seven years I’ve never been to a local Slow Food event. Many have piqued my interest though especially in the past few months.

Slow Food has the reputation in some parts as being a foodie wine and cheese club but it isn’t in Portland and not so much in any of the worldwide chapters. The Portland chapter has 450-plus members and hosts mostly low dough and sometimes no dough events. Within the last couple years more young people have gotten involved — half of Slow Food Portland’s steering committee is now 35 years old and younger.

Here are some images taken from some popular Slow Food Portland events this spring and summer…

Glen Andresen is one of many who talked at Slow Food Portland's bicycle tour of urban homesteaders this June.

Glen Andresen is one of many who talked at Slow Food Portland's bicycle tour of urban homesteaders this June.

Music at a Slow Food Portland hosted Farmworker Housing Development Corporation tour this May.

Music at a Slow Food Portland hosted Farmworker Housing Development Corporation tour this May.

In March Slow Food Portland hosted Bryant Terry author of Vegan Soul Kitchen at the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center for a book event and cooking demo.

In March Slow Food Portland hosted Bryant Terry author of Vegan Soul Kitchen at the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center for a book event and cooking demo.

Some other things that I learned while talking to Amanda:

Slow Food Portland members pay dues that go to the national office — $60 a year per individual, $75 per couple, $30 for students. Since the national office doesn’t financially support its US chapters each one does its own fund raising. Slow Food Portland is volunteer-run.

On July 21st Slow Food Portland will host another of its well attended happy hours from 5:30pm to 7pm at the North Mississippi Pastaworks. Cory Schreiber, former chef-owner of Wildwood will speak about Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School program for a bit and then folks can ask questions and hang out. The happy hour is free and food and drinks can be purchased. At Slow Food Portland’s last happy hour at Castagna Lisa Weasel spoke and about 70 people attended.

Another big Slow Food Portland event will be on Labor Day, September 1st — in conjunction with Portland’s TBA. Have you ever been to an Eat In? Read more about it here.

Slow Food Portland
www.slowfoodportland.com

Tea drunk with Portland’s Tea Monk

July 13th, 2009
Table for two with the Tea Monk

Table for two with the Tea Monk

Last week was hectic. It was one of those weeks where I felt like I just couldn’t quite keep up. I was late for a couple appointments for the book (I’m usually on time or early) and felt overwhelmed by too many freelance deadlines. In the mornings coffee didn’t seem to have the usual zing to the point that it felt like someone may have switched my beans out for decaf. And then I drank tea. With the Tea Monk — aka Paul Rosenberg — of Portland’s Heavens Tea and Sacred Arts Center.

As I walked up to the big purple Southeast Hawthorne area bungalow that’s home to Heavens Tea I felt a tug of deja vu and when I stepped inside and saw Robyn Shanti at the dining room table I knew why. I’d been to this house — Shanti’s house — in late 2006 to interview her for a story for the Portland Tribune about the Sustainable Business Network of Portland and its Buy Local Day. A few months after that interview the Tea Monk moved in.
I talked to Shanti for a bit and then took off my shoes before heading upstairs for my date with the Tea Monk.

At the top of the creaky staircase I was met with incense, candles, shrines and offerings, tea in all sorts of shapes and sizes, sacred art from various centuries and a tiny burl table with pillows for seats on an Oriental rug in the middle of the attic room. We took our seats across from one another and for the next few hours did nothing more than talk, laugh and tell stories over round after round of rare and transportive teas.

I hope that more people will experience the magic that I did in drinking tea from more than 200-foot tall trees; tea from 1,500 year old trees; tea that tasted like the essence of root, bark and leaf from one steeping to the next. With a lot of aged puerhs — which Rosenberg specializes in along with aged oolongs — you can get more than 20 steepings from the tea. Each steeping brings something new to the cup.

I tried a couple Chinese and Taiwanese teas that afternoon that were so deep and elemental in flavor that I had what Rosenberg refers to as “memories of things that never happened.” I hope that’s not just a nice way of saying delusional.

If you get a chance I highly recommend you check out some of the Tea Monk’s tastings. Some upcoming sessions include:

Rare oolongs of China and Taiwan
Drinking the forest — the aged teas of China
The art of brewing tea and the classical tea ware of China
and
Young puerh tea tasting

Here are some images from the afternoon that saved my week…

White tea leaf buds from 1,000 year old trees in Yunnan Province.

White tea leaf buds from 1,000 year old trees in Yunnan Province.

White tea with the Tea Monk

White tea with the Tea Monk

Paul Rosenberg aka the Tea Monk with a rare 8-pound Golden Melon aged puerh from Yunnan Province

Paul Rosenberg aka the Tea Monk with a rare 8-pound Golden Melon aged puerh from Yunnan Province

Flower tea -- sacred spring rose buds from Sichuan Province.

Flower tea -- sacred spring rose buds from Sichuan Province.

Heavens Tea and Sacred Arts Center
503.230.0953
www.heavenstea.com
Visit the website for a full calendar of Heavens Tea tastings and tea sessions