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Monday, July 27, 2009

Food News

Posted by Patrick Alan Coleman on Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 12:06 PM

There’s been a passel of food news this last month, I’m recapping it here if you’ve missed it elsewhere:

Pitxi in Portland

One of the best meals I’ve had in recent memory was at Pitxi (pee-chee) in Sandy, Oregon. The quirky little European eatery has become a favorite place for those in the know, but has suffered due to its location. Today the owners announced that they would soon be relocating the restaurant to Portland.

This is incredibly exciting news. I have every expectation that Pitxi will become a much-loved dining destination for Portland foodinistas. I anxiously look forward to their arrival in town.

They will be serving their last tasting menu in Sandy this Friday, July 31st. If you want to be able to say, “I knew them when…” you should head out and try it [38786 Pioneer Blvd].

Pitxi's Tasting Menu and More News After the Jump

Here's the Menu

Tomato soup
Vegetable cake
Stuffed pepper
Sea bass with green peppercorns
Tuna and basil
Partridge and olive oil
Rabbit with peaches
Cucumber sorbet
Drunken cakes
Toasted egg yolk

Branch Open

A whiskey bar has taken over the space previously occupied by Alberta Street Oyster bar and Grill. Branch [2926 NE Alberta Street] has an eye for creative whiskey cocktails as well as pairings and straight shots. The menu looks interesting and affordable.

Mississippi Cart Pod

Look for a new cluster of carts at the corner of Mississippi and Skidmore streets in the near future. The Mississippi Marketplace will have space for up to ten food carts, curated by developer Roger Goldingay, as well as booth space for crafters, artisans, farms or what-have-you.

Competition for those ten spaces should be fierce as the Portland food cart zeitgeist continues to gain moment. Is it possible that the bubble will burst? I’m not sure. In this economy, carts seem like a lifesaver, offering cheap food in large portions. Not to mention that carts can be a bit more nimble and nichey. I mean, who would have thought the Whiffies Fried Pie cart would become a favorite?

I’m looking forward to finding out what Goldingay chooses. Hopefully he’ll go with some creative cart options.

Speaking of Carts

For this week’s Mercury food section, I covered some carts that are filling in unused spaces on Alberta street. Unfortunately, it was necessary for me to cut one of the better food carts from the article.

Heritage Street Foods (located between Northeast 14th and 15th) is run by David Cutler and offers a from-scratch menu that changes regularly. On my visit, Cutler was preparing a tagliatelle pasta with Bolognese. The pasta dish changes daily, but I was pleased to have hit Heritage Street Foods on this particular day. The tagliatelle was delightful, and I was happy to see Cutler emerge during the preparation and snip fresh herbs from a small garden growing in coffee cans in front of his blue cart.

Along with pasta, Cutler offers fresh, homemade sausage, a daily sandwich selection, and homemade ice cream. It’s definitely worth a stop. He’s open for lunch 10:30 am to 1:30 pm, daily, but you can soon expect late night hours from 11 pm to 2 am. Why not stop by during last Thursday this week?

Roux Closed

North Portland cajun joint Roux closed earlier this month, but chef Dwayne Beliakoff will be refocusing efforts on his new café Violetta, located in the new park being constructed downtown behind the Fox Tower. Both Violetta and the new park, Director Park, are slated to open in late September.

Olympic Provisions this Fall

We hit the internets last April with news that Nate Tilden would be opening a USDA certified charcuterie retail operation and wine bar in SE Portland. This month Tilden announced that the new space, called Olympic Provisions, would be opening up in inner Southeast Portland this fall with cured delights made by Elias Cairo, currently working as executive chef at Castagna.

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