NoPo food lovers just got hit right where it hurts: right in the stomach.
I just got off the phone with Michael Martinez, the really cool owner/chef of one of Oregon's only New Mexican cuisine outlets, Encanto, on North Lombard. He told me tonight, Saturday, Nov. 29, will be the last night for his restaurant. "I think we were a little bit ahead of the curve as far the neighborhood goes," said Martinez. "And the economy sure hasn't helped us either." Martinez, who used to run an incredible kitchen out of the rock club, Satyricon, says he has sold the business to someone named Don Morris who, from what I understand, will reopen the restaurant as Cafe Cubano as soon as Monday. When I asked Martinez what he plans to do next, he says he's going back to college to finish up his teaching degree and "hopes to never be stuck inside a restaurant kitchen ever again."
Photo from Portland Mercury.
Last Updated (Tuesday, 15 September 2009 11:29)
TUCK LUCK: What is it with Thai restaurants? They multiply quicker than bunnies. Nowhere is the Thai eatery explosion more prevalent right now than in North Portland. Taking over the dining room that once was Sal’s Italian Kitchen at the corner of Greeley and Killingsworth is the aptly named Tsunami. Also riding the crest of the new Thai wave is Tuk Tuk Thai. I've just heard word the Northeast Fremont favorite is opening a new location in the space that was once a coffee shop called Trippin’ Billies. Sources say that it might be awhile before Tuk Tuk swings open its doors at the corner of Lombard and Emerald due to the fact that space is getting a huge makeover. Just as long as they have salad rolls stuffed with shrimp I don’t really care how long it takes. Now if we can get U-licious Smokehouse and Grill to open (it looks like they have stopped building and there hasn’t been any activity in it for weeks) and someone to do something about the space that once housed Big Daddy’s BBQ we might have a real, live restaurant scene in our neck of the woods. If you want to see what this neighborhood used to look like, make sure to catch the upcoming Wendy and Lucy. Starring actress Michelle Williams (and scheduled to open early next year) it’s a sad love letter to this part of the city and includes various views of the Walgreen’s parking lot at the corner of Peninsular and Lombard.
I’M READY FOR MY CLOSE-UP: I had to get “camera-ready” at around 7 am this morning so I could make an appearance on The CW’s Outlook Portland with Rick Emerson. I’ve been on the show before, but that was at least two hosts ago when Nick Fish grilled me on all sorts of pressing matters. Today, it was all about my past, my future and lots of Prop 8 stuff, which is the anti-gay marriage amendment that just passed in California. Since no one dared come on the show and talk about their non-support of gay marriage, Rick-o had me talking to Socko, the hand puppet. Let’s just say it was helluva a lot easier to talk to a hand puppet than it has been in the past talking to those who oppose full equality for glbt folks. The show also includes a frank discussion about actor James Franco who’s movie, Milk, directed by Portland's own Gus Van Sant opens today. We also chatted about loads of other stuff (including my favorite Madonna song).
Outlook Portland airs early on Sunday mornings, but I am not sure of the exact date mine will actually show up. I will make sure to let you know as soon as I do.
Speaking of Madonna, if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to see Emerson put on his own eyeliner, well, today is your lucky day (yeah, it seemed a little bit gay to me, too).
Later that morning, my partner Juan and I taped a video segment for County Commish Jeff Cogen’s “holiday card.” It’s amazing to think to that it was just a few short months ago that Juan and I got domestically partnered at the County Courthouse. And we are still trying to get married.
Now I must get ready to go on K-BOO’s Out Loud show and talk about what I am thankful for (I go one about 6 pm). It might be hard to believe, but I’m pretty grateful guy (who knew?). Below is a picture of Juan, Travis Huntington (who's directing the video for Jeff and used to be Charles Lewis's campaign manager) and his assistant Savannah, who had a fierce looking leopard painted across her fingernails. Yowza. It was a good day.
City Commish Dan Saltzman in a gay bar. Yeah, prescription it was that kind of weekend.
I’LL TAKE A PENTHOUSE VIEW: Friday night found my partner Juan and I traipsing through SOWA. That’s South of Waterfront for those who don’t know. The event was an after work “party” in the 30th floor Penthouse of the John Ross Building. It was supposed to be just a small gathering of friends. And, help well, diagnosis let’s just say whoever threw this swell-to-do soiree has A LOT of friends. Nearly 300 people consumed over 150 bottles of wine all the while taking in the 360-degree view of our fair city. While few ventured out on to the blustery deck that wrap around the entire building a few brave souls did make the trip, and thankfully not a one of them fell off the building.
JUST OUT FOR FUN: Just Out Publisher Marty Davis really out did herself at the big Boxxes/Brig blowout for her publication’s much-deserved 25th Anniversary. Not only did she attract every gay boy (including Oregon Ballet Theatre’s Christopher Stowell, Poison “looking fierce” Waters, author Marc Acito, porn king Pat Lanagan, chefs Randal St. Clair and Christopher Israel) and gay girls galore (former Cascade Aids Project director Jean Ann Van Krevelen [who chatted up the new director Michael Kaplan], Q Center’s Kendall Clawson and Basic Rights Oregon Jeana Frazzini) she also managed to get her fair share of politicos to join the jam-packed crowd. There’s nothing like watching Lisa Naito wait in line at the bar for a drink with Judy Shiprack at the same time our Mayor-elect Sam Adams gets groped (well, more like man-handled) by every gorgeous guy—gay or straight—in the room. It was also nice to see Saltzman work the room (he stayed much longer than I thought he would) alongside Mayor Tom Potter and the queen of the night Darcelle XV. Marty was pretty much the queen of that night, too.
OTHER WEEKEND HIGHLIGHTS: Hanging out in KATU’s green room with former Portland Trailblazer, and very big guy, Jerome Kersey at a Friday morning taping of AMNorthwest. Kersey and I both taped segments for this Thursday’s Turkey Day broadcast that will air on Channel 2. For his segment Kersey talked about his dear, much-missed friend and fellow Blazer, the late, great Kevin Duckworth. The photo below is Kersey with AMNW co-host Helen Raptis.
And I did a little cooking segment where I made “Bossman’s Brownies” from the files of Bossman Steve Denari’s mom’s recipe box. Trouble is, I’ve never made brownies. Well, you’ll see if you watch the show…
On Friday I also had a chance to hangout with the director of Film Geek, James Westby, who will premiere his next movie, The Auteur, on December 5 at Cinema 21 (Click here for details). Westby’s film has been a big hit at festivals across the nation, but this will be its first week-long run. The Auteur—which is about the world’s greatest living porn director—is incredible, outrageous and extremely sweet. Think of it as a Woody Allen feature, only with more graphic sex than the
Woodman might be comfortable with. Right now, Westby is getting ready to work on a few new projects that not only sound cool, but just might change the way we watch movies. Hopefully, he will let me talk about them in the near future.
Ciao for now,
Last Updated (Tuesday, 15 September 2009 12:32)
Sunday night Dwayne Beliakoff, the owner of Roux and this city's finest "Northwest/Creole" eatery, confirmed with me that "yes, it looks like Roux is moving downtown."
Be still my beating (and hungry) heart. Does that mean that my favorite Sunday morning NoPo brunch hangout is leaving the 'hood?
Well, yes and no, according to Beliakoff who is currently on a much needed vacation and gobbling up all that's good and southern in New Orleans.
The plan he says is—that is, if everything goes according to schedule—to open a brand new Roux sometime in the fall of 2009. And what a Roux it will be. Taking over the entire first floor of a breathtaking beautiful building located at the foot of the Steel Bridge at 321 NW Glisan Street, it will be a major tenant in what was being called East of Pearl but recently went through a name change and is now called the Soho 321 Building.
Beliakoff says to look for more private dining (fall wedding, anyone?) as well as plenty of their always amazing Creole dishes including their crave-worthy crawfish pie.
My mouth is watering already.
As for what is in store for Roux's original location, Beliakoff isn't quite ready to talk about that, but said he plans to continue to operate a dining establishment out of it, with the hopes to relaunch that space sometime in mid-summer. That will come on the heels of a late spring opening of Viola, the much anticpated "snack shack" that is rising out of the southwest corner of the Simon and Helen Director Park in downtown Portland.
Economy be damned, 2009 looks to be a big year for Beliakoff and his crew at Roux.
Last Updated (Tuesday, 15 September 2009 10:55)
Have you missed me?
Well, before you get too excited, let's just say I am going to give this blog a try.
I have NO idea how it will all work out.
So...heavy sigh...on with the show.
Today's gossip comes the world of Twilight and also from a rock god on the verge of his twilight years.
First up. Twilight. The movie. Not the book. Did anyone see the most UNCOMFORTABLE interview ever of Twilight's Bella and Edward, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson on this morning's Today Show. Not only did the stars mumble their answers back to Meredith Viera, but looked like they were about to be set on fire, or at least break into tears, when they found out they were being pulled outside so there fans could ask them some questions.
Speaking of tears, I've heard from a reliable source that owners of a certain local space that plays a pivotal role in the film have yet to pay back brides who placed refundable deposits to have their weddings at this "magical" spot. No word on when they might get their money back.
Up in Seattle, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen rocked out (okay, he played guitar) with Robbie Robertson last night at Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum's second annual Founder's Gala. Allen wasn't supposed to show up to the Seattle soiree, but at the last minute made an appearance onstage with Robertson, a longtime friend.
that's it for now guys...talk to you later. Play best gun games site.
Last Updated (Sunday, 06 November 2016 05:39)