Thursday, January 21, 2010

Slappy Cakes

Bring a book or pick up a newspaper on your way to Sunday breakfast at Slappy Cakes, 'cause you're probably gonna have to wait for a table. But what interesting tables they are, and well worth the wait. Each of the dining tables at Slappy Cakes, located at 43rd & Belmont in the old Belmont Garage building, has a pancake griddle built right into it. The batter (buttermilk, pumpkin, or whole-grain) comes in squeeze bottles, allowing the diner to make whimsical cakes in any shape or size they can imagine. Accompaniments such as bananas, nuts, berries, chocolate chips, and even crispy bacon bits, gives way to unlimited combinations of unique flap jacks. Slappy Cakes also has the standard breakfast offerings; eggs any style, hash browns, benedict, etc., but if you want to nurture the pancake artist within, grab a squeeze bottle and go to town.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Vintage Cocktail Lounge

Vintage Lounge is a classic cocktail bar in the Montavilla neighborhood of Southeast Portland. The space is small, yet accommodating, low lit with rich warm tones, and a beautiful hard plank bar top that was salvaged from an old hop barn. The drink menu is long and varied, with 20 house cocktails laced with housemade tinctures (grain alcohol infused with herbs, spices, and/or fruits), every top-shelf spirit you can think of, and a good selection of beers on tap. Or, if you please, owner Justin Akins drink of choice; an Oly pounder. Vintage also has a yummy bar-food menu featuring Pizzetta and hearty sandwiches using their housemade flatbread, including a spicy Roast beef with Serrano Peppers and a classic Philly Cheesesteak. For something a little different try one Vintage's many Absinthe cocktails. And if you've had too many, one of Justin's fine bartenders will be more than will be happy to order you up a cab.

Owner Justing Akins (left) talks shop with Wayne, one of Vintage's highly skilled mixologist.

Justin making a Corpse Reviver; Brandy, Fernet Branca, Mente Branca, and Sparked Lemon Zest.

A Corpse Reviver sits atop the handcrafted bar salvaged from an old Hop Barn.

Wayne mixes up some traditional Absinthe cocktails at Vintage Lounge.

Wayne burns some sugar cubes into his Absinthe cocktails.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Willamette Week cover, Rosie Sizer

A few weeks ago Willamette Week ran this cover featuring a portrait I did of Portland Chief of Police Rosie Sizer. While praised by the local mainstream media and locals alike, Sizer recently found herself in hot water after an incident where one of her officers, Chris Humpherys, shot a 12-year-old girl who was resisting arrest, with a beanbag gun. Sizer publicly backed City Commissioner Dan Saltzman's decision to strip Humphreys of his badge pending an investigation. The 1000 members of Portland's police force held a secret ballot to determine whether or not officers had confidence in Saltzman and Sizer. Sizer was only the second chief in 28 years to face such a vote. The day the results were due to be released Saltzman back down, reinstating officer Humpherys to a desk job. The full article can be read here.

The photo of Sizer was taken over a year ago just outside City Council chambers in Portland's City Hall.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Happy Sparrow cafe

Happy Sparrow is a super cute Belmont Street cafe owned by super cute couple Danny and Mary Quach, who are in their shop every morning before even the sparrows are awake, baking up hot pockets of goodness for Southeast Portland's morning people. What are they up to in those pre-dawn hours you ask. Kolaches. A Czech pastry of sweet yeasty dough filled with wonderfully fresh local ingredients, sweet and savory, and baked up puffy and warm. Fresh berry, jelly, and even Nutella filled Kolaches are a favorite with the early crowd, who also come in for a tall mug of Mount Hood Roasters coffee. And for the lunch bunch there's Puled Pork, Sausage and Tillamook Cheese, and even Salmon and Cream Cheese. Pair one of those with a local berry smoothie and you can't go wrong. My visit was around Thanksgiving and I was fortunate enough to sample a special Kolache filled with Turkey, Cranberry Sauce, and Housemade Stuffing. Bring home a sack full of these next year and it's guaranteed no fighting over the dark meat at the kids table.

Owner Danny Quach chats it up with some locals in for a Kolache lunch.

Owner Mary Quach (left), busy serving hot Lattes and Kolaches during the lunch rush.

The Thanksgiving Kolache.

Sausage and Tillamook Cheddar Kolaches with a Local Berry Smoothie.

Photo assistant and food model Katie Ryan chomping into some sausage and cheese Kolaches.