Sweet Sixteen

This weekend we were given the opportunity to cater a very special customer's sixteenth birthday party. We were given X amount of dollars to make whatever we want. Here's what the LRBC came up with:Tiered Voodoo Doughnut Birthday Cake
Summer-into-Fall Fruit Salad
Oven Roasted Vegetable Platter
Mac 'n' Cheese
Mini-Meatloaf Sandwiches (with Vegetarian counterparts)
and Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Thank you Lydia for letting us be part of your day. Happy Sweet Sixteen.


The Arsenal

The line has been drawn. Our days are spent in preparation. For the past week we have been in training for what has now been dubbed, The Grand Opening Weekend Celebration and we have been training to meet ALL OF YOU. We have visualized you in our heads. What crazy requests might be thrown our way? Whatever you got, we can handle it. Bring on the half-caf-triple-half soy-half-rice-sugar-free-vanilla Cappuccino-(light on the foam). Will anyone dare confront the triple scoop banana split pictured above (shown here w/ Salted Caramel, Cherry Coconut Stratciatella, and Vanilla Bean w/ Hot Fudge)? We'll admit. This week wasn't easy. We had to dig down deep in order to catch our second wind. But now Saturday is almost here. The time has come. There is no turning back. Our portafilters, egg spatulas and ice cream scoops in hand, we are ready to battle. We know what's coming. We can taste it. Can you?

If the answer is no, then here are a few glimpses into our playbook...

Planned for Saturday:

  • A flurry of Craft Root Beer Floats served in mason jars who's only match could be Nesbit's Orange Cream Soda Floats also served in mason jars
  • We've planned not one but two Blue Plate Specials for the Grand Opening Weekend Celebration featuring the always lovable Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf Sandwich, seasoned-just-right, with Caramelized Onions and Roasted Roma Tomato served on Fleur de Lis Ciabatta. "Excuse me, did you just say a 'bacon-wrapped meatloaf sandwich?" Why yes, yes I did. As well as the always comforting Grilled Cheese N' Tomato Soup, Ooey gooey cheese sandwiched between the White Bread of Your Childhood, served alongside a Creamy Roasted Tomato w/ Pesto Soup.
  • Our freezer shall see an invasion of gallons full of wacky, never before seen ice cream flavors such as: Capn' Crunch, Fig*, Lemon Verbena w/ Marionberry, Maple w/ Bacon, and Salted Caramel. This may cause a stir with the Homemade Peanut-Butter and jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches, a thick layer of Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiched between Mom's Peanut-Butter Cookies and/or the Mini Frozen Courier Coffee Mud Pies.
  • The crew will ALL be representing the LRBC by thus forth rocking illmatic aprons ALL weekend long...Hells yeahs

Okay, peep-show is over. Like I said, this is just a glimpse. You're gonna have to come and get the real deal on Saturday. If you can handle it. We'll see you there. If you don't know by now you better ask somebody!!!


Posting Up

Check out these amazing stamps we got at the post office in St. John's. Super Hero Postage. Oh. Hell. Yes. Yes, yet another impulse buy but what can I say, I'm a sucker for Elektra. Why were we at the post office, you ask? Well, did we happen to mention that it's Little Red Bike's Grand Opening Party this Saturday? Yes, that's right. We did. So Evan and I were at the post office this afternoon buying hundreds of postcard stamps to mail off our announcements of the most funnest, like-coolest-ever, bad-a$$ party of the weekend and you guys should all like, totally come. It's gonna be killer.

Well, for those that missed it, we are teaming up with the bodacious divas over at Trixie's Beauty Bar, whom happen to also be celebrating their one year anniversary (yay!), in order to promote the newly installed Portsmouth and Clarendon Safe Routes to School Program. Safe Routes To School developed a mission to serve a diverse national community of organizations that advocates for and promotes the practice of safe bicycling and walking to and from schools throughout the United States. In honor of both of our milestones we are combining our efforts to make this one kick-a$$ Saturday. When brainstorming we couldn't help but think that a good ole' fashioned ice cream social was just what the doctor ordered. What better to commemorate and support this new program than to whip up some fun and crazy "Back-To-School" inspired flavors such as Maple & Bacon (just like Mom used to make), Capn' Crunch, and Peanut-Butter and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches. We will also be featuring some specialty fruit flavors as well as some dairy-free options for our lactose-fighting warriors. Also keep and eye out for some savory delights to mellow out the sugar rush...

We at the Little Red Bike are planning on keeping regular, albeit somewhat extended business hours for the day, opening our doors at the normal time of 7am and closing them sometime around 5pm. However, here's the catch: The Ice Cream Social will run from 12pm-5pm which means we'll be opening up the "Bike-Thru Window" early and scooping out ice cream as fast as we can. Now here's the important part: During this time (12pm-5pm) we will be donating 15% of our proceeds to the Safe Routes to School Program. Also, the gals from Trixie's will be raffling off some awesome beauty prizes, and you guessed it: all raffle proceeds will benefit the program as well. SAfe Routes will also have a table set up where they'll put on free helmet fittings. So you know what that means, come one, come all, and help us spread the word.


It's in the Blood

During the past few weeks a lot of people have asked me where Ali and I learned to cook. My response has been two fold:
Firstly, while I do love to cook, Ali (as well as Jo, Dekin, and Madeline) has been responsible for the tasty treats that many of you have now enjoyed. I on the other hand, have spent the majority of my on-the-clock time working the front of the house, thus I have usually been the one who has fielded this oft-repeated inquiry. Though I am certain (and we have discussed this) that having Ali's mug work the cash register would no-doubt translate into higher food sales (as well as bigger tips), she is better suited than I to run the kitchen. Therefore, while many have asked where 'we' learned to cook, really 'where did Ali learn to cook?' is a more relevant question.
Which brings us to the answer: Her Momma (Madeline).
Cooking is in Ali's blood, which by rule of biology would state that a good portion of her culinary instinct is attributable to her mother. Without a doubt this is true. Madeline spent much of her childhood cooking for her own father, a time during which she perfected a number of Southern inspired delicacies such as Chicken-Fried Steak, Meatballs, Cream of Corned-Beef and Cabbage Soup, and Biscuits and Gravy (just to name a few). Yes sir Ali's mom can cook, and as they say, the apple does not fall far from the tree. Ali can cook, it's in her blood, and it comes from her roots. Yet another case in point: Ali's Uncle Tim.

To be perfectly honest Uncle Tim is not really Ali's uncle by blood, though he has known Ali's mom since she herself was in college and he himself was attending high-school. After high-school Uncle Tim lived with Ali's family for a few years, and over time became infamous for such activities as Refrigerator Jumping, performing routine organ transplants with toasters, and dying everything green (his favorite color) for St. Patty's Day feasts. Flash forward a few years and Ali's all grown up with her own brand new cafe, and Uncle Tim is now a seasoned Chef, and competing as a regional finalist in the Tillamook Macaroni & Cheese Cook Off.
We escaped from the cafe earlier than usual tonight and ventured over to Noble Rot, where we cheered on Tim as he battled two other competitors for the honor to represent the Pacific Northwest in a national competition to see who can dish out the meanest Mac 'n' Cheese America has to offer. The prize for tonight's winner: $1,000 in cash, 25 lbs. of Tillamook cheese, and $150 gift certificate to Noble Rot. Tonight's competition was between three finalists (one of which was Tim), who had already made it through a recipe based round of competition that saw over 150 entries. The competition was indeed fierce.
Tim's entry: A Tuscan inspired Mac that was highlighted by Artichoke Heart, Red Bell Pepper and Bacon.
Veronica: A Mac that featured Pancetta, as well as seasonal ingredients such as Butternut Squash, and Sage.
Frances (who I suspected was a ringer from the moment I saw her): A very Oregon Mac, featuring coastal ingredients such as Smoked Salmon, Nori, and Dill.
While the competitor's entires were baking in the oven, the viewing public (including myself) was treated to a demonstration and sampling of Noble Rot's now-famous Mac 'n' Cheese, hosted by none other than their head Chef, Gregory Smith. Smith was nice enough to reveal what makes the house's recipe so special: the Bechamel Sauce (in fact, their 'secret' is not really a secret at all, and is actually featured on their website). The demo and tasting were entertaining and necessary. Chef Greg is a natural ham in front of the crowd, and the scents of the competitor's entries baking away nearly sent me on a rampage into the kitchen downstairs (Thanks Noble Rot, and thanks to Chef Greg...you sure can cook up some tasty grub!).
Okay, okay, so I am sure you all are now hungry to find out who the winner was. Was it the bacon that grabbed the attention of the judges? Did seasonal ingredients win over their taste buds? Or was it a healthy dose of the sea which sent their forks diving back in for seconds?
Though Uncle Tim will always be a winner in our eyes, in the end it was Veronica Vichit-Vadakan's 'Autumn Comfort Mac 'n' Cheese' that ran away with the first place prize. My don't it look yummy:
Congratulations to Veronica! You are a true champion. Thanks for making dinner for us tonight. We hope you will do Oregon proud and bring us back the national prize!


We Did It!

We managed to pull off the Creole Sausage Bread Pudding

The Salted Caramel Milkshake

And Sauvie Island Blueberry-Lemon Ice Cream

Not to mention a friend's birthday party (with lit birthday cake), a hot fudge sundae extravaganza, and a bike messenger detail. WHEW!!!!You wore us out, North Portland. And I mean that in every good way possible. Thanks for the fun. We gotta take a break. See you on Tuesday...xoxo


This Post Is Not Yet Rated

It's waiting...it's wet...and it needs to some time to relax and get in the mood. Come the wee early hours of early Sunday morning, things are going to get very...very...hot.

The Green & Green Savory Bread Pudding Saga is back:

Creole Sausage Bread Pudding w/ Sour Cream Crust
One large slice served w/ Organic Fruit, $6.50. Go Ahead. Do something nice for yourself...

If by chance your Saturday night happens to keep you from making it in for breakfast, we may just have the perfect treat for your Sunday afternoon:

Salted Caramel Ice Cream



A lot of people have inquired as to the status of the "bike-thru" window:

What is it?
"Basically its a way for us to stay open while we are trying to close"

I don't own a bike. Is this a problem?
"No, you don't have to ride your bike to use the window" (but we sure wouldn't mind if you do)

What time does the window open?
"The window opens when we close, which is around 2 o'clock. We close the window when we leave, a little before 5pm- later if there's just cause"

What can I get at the window?
"Via the window we serve Courier coffee and espresso and other beverages, homemade ice cream, and grilled cheese sandwiches"

What's the point of the bike thru window? What are you trying to prove?
"To that we say, take a look at these mugs:"

These two came thru the bike-thru this afternoon (for Oreo shakes) and helped start what should be a memorable weekend in the history of the LRBC.

Saturday's muse:
The Man...Grant.
Turn-Ons...Driving jet boats, bbq, crushing grapes between his toes
Special Talents...Timeless one-man performance art pieces such as the infamous, "Attack of the Flashlight"
Influences...Chuck Norris

In celebration of our dear friend's recent return to the Pacific Northwest we decided to make an honorary breakfast sandwich just for him: Introducing this Saturday...The Steak n' Egg Sandwich otherwise known as The Grant-e-o:

Grilled flank steak, fried egg, caramelized onion and swiss cheese on a Fleur de Lis ciabatta.
OR make it a Bacon-Wrapped Fillet Egg Sandwich by adding bacon for a buck. Things may get messy. Take this as your warning...

Oh, and last but not least we're bringing on a lunch special...Egg Salad Moo's Way:

Cruelty Free- Egg Salad (btw ALL of our eggs come from cage-free, hormone & antibiotic free, vegetarian fed chickens) with Bacon, Lettuce & Bleu Cheese on Multi-Grain Bread.

Stop in tomorrow or check back via the blog to see what we got cookin' for Sunday...


Bring on the Gourds

It's starting to feel more and more like fall in Portland, don't you think? The signs are all there. I've noticed a crispness to the air, and I've found myself pulling the collar up around my neck each morning on our way to the cafe as well as each evening on our way home. On the way to the car this morning I noticed a single red leaf amongst a sea of dead grass that could be technically classified as our front lawn. I've been ritualistically downing cups of chai tea at the cafe which means my tastebuds are craving cinnamon, clove, and cardamom, Fall's spice palate. And E, the man who runs at least 10 degrees warmer than those classified as "human beings" mentioned having a fire which must mean something, right? When it's fall in the NW the air smells different. It smells good. It feels good.

I gotta admit, I have a thing for Portland falls. In fact, it's getting pretty serious. But in all honesty, so does Evan. But it's alright, we're honest with each other about it. We talk freely about Fall in front of one another, without reservations. We know honesty is always the best policy-- besides, we're not jealous people. We like to relish in Fall together. I don't know about you guys & gals but Fall for E and I means high school football and soccer games, hoodies worn under jackets with gloves wrapped into balls, stuffed into the pockets. It means back-to-school, hot chocolate and apple cider, winning best dressed at EVERY Halloween party- or at least a nod for trying- and leaf fights, and potlucks, and wood burning fires, and late-night beach trips, and wool socks to match wool hats, and doggie costumes, and Sauvie Island pumpkin pickin', and spaghetti squash dinner parties, and cream of wild mushroom soup, and pear and fig tarts drizzled in honey and topped in crumbled goat cheese, and, and, and green bean casserole, Mom's cream of corned beef and cabbage soup, and walks in forest park, and saying goodbye to the whites and making a committed seasonal switch to red wine, and nesting contently while preparing for winter's hibernation.

I'm a little sad to see summer fade so quickly. But I have to say I'm a little more fit for fall's fashion. I'm always cold so I love nothing more than just layering it all on on. In fact, I bought this season's first wool hat yesterday. I'll admit, it was an impulse buy--I literally left my place in line at the grocery store to go retrieve it promptly after it first caught my eye-- but I HAD to have it. Why? Ohhhhh I don't know...maybe because it is GREEN, it is made out of 100% RECYCLED WOOL, and did I mention the fact that it was HANDCRAFTED in a little town otherwise known as PORTLAND, OREGON (you may have heard of it...) So off the hook and into my basket it went. And I wore it that very evening while E, Jamie and I rode bikes through the neighborhood, and I am being completely 100% honest when I say this; when I put it on my head I felt as though I'd been wearing for thousands of years, perhaps throughout all of my different lifetimes. When guilt is overcome and purchases are able to feel this good I tend not to dig too much into the whys and the hows. But it's a downright awesome and beautiful hat and I plan on debuting this weekend a la cafe.

Aside from diggin' Fall's fashion I'm a sucker for it's flavors and I cannot wait until our kitchen is bubblin' with cauldrons of stews and our oven's full of pies. This coming season you can expect loads of pumkpkin goodness, ooodles of caramel surprises, and more than enough "just like Mom's" savory delights. And just because it's fall doesn't mean the ice cream has to end. Sure, Summer's got fresh berries and peaches but Fall, Fall's got it all: Think Caramel Pear ice cream, Butter Pecan, Sweet Potato-Marshmallow, and Gingersnap...I could keep going. Forget summer, I say, "Bring on the Gourds!"


15 Minutes of Fame

Homemade Ice Cream Flavors for Thursday, September 20th 2007:

-"Andes" Mint

-Raspberry Buttermilk

-Roasted Brown Sugar Banana

-Sweet Cream w/ Oregon Marionberry Swirl

-Chocolate Pudding


We already know some of you out there get paid to do this, but for those who wouldn't mind coming out to show your support, there just might be a Portland Tribune photographer coming to shoot pics of the "bike-thru" window tomorrow (Thursday), sometime after 3:00pm. Bring yourself, your bike, and an appetite for ice cream. We'd love to have as many of you as possible visit in effort to help us bike and lick our way into a local newspaper. And of course you don't need a bike to visit the "bike-thru" window. See all of you Top Models at 3:00pm.


What's for Dinner...


Undoubtedly one of the best perks to working in the industry is that you tend to befriend people who really know how to feed you. Aside from being one of the most positive and kick a$$ people we know, Mike Martinez, owner of the absolutely satisfying Encanto on North Lombard, happened to be not only a vital friend but mentor to us during our Portland Farmers Market days. We thank our lucky stars every night that not only can we call this man (and his family) as well as his crew, friends of ours, but that we have access to this food nightly. Thanks guys and gals, you fuel our fire.

Golden brown fried 'bread pillows.' Served with Honey.

Queso Fundido
Warm Goat Cheese Dip Topped with Pumpkin Seed Pesto.
Served with tortilla chips

Baby Spinach Salad
With Tart Apples, Red-Chile-Cinnamon Pecans, Shaved Manchego and Creamy Sherry Vinaigrette

Pueblo Style Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas
with New Mexico Red and Green Chile Sauce and Topped with Fried Egg

Chile Rellenos with Blackened Tomato Sauce
Poblano Pepper Stuffed with Roasted Corn and Black Bean Succotash. Topped with Crumbled Goat Cheese. Served with Chile Reddened Rice and Salad.

Encanto Restaurant
5225 N Lombard St
Portland, OR 97203
(503) 286-2929


Breaking It Down.

We had a very busy day today. Nurse Lindsey, also known as Little Red Bike "Meet & Greet" Team Leader, was called into work at her other job today (also known as St. Vincent's Hospital"s Critical Care Ward) so we were running one spoke short at the cafe if you know what I mean. However, while we missed our friend, I think the rest of us were able to come together and represent. Tim, (currently known as "In-House Onion Boy"-- Team Leader Status still pending) may have earned a new nickname for himself today based on the way he was slingin' shots left and right with such poise and speed (have you ever seen latte art move so fast?), E was moonwalking his way back and forth between the cash register and the dishwasher (God bless you, you 90 second cycle dishwasher, you're the best cafe purchase to date!) with such grace I pondered the possibility an audition tape to network t.v's "So You think You can Dance", and Mom and I were waltzing with fried-egg sammies (with extra egg) on a homemade biscuits and country gravy dance floor. "Dancing With the Stars" eat your heart out!
Thank you to all who were able to attend this Saturday. I feel as though today was a day I'm likely to remember forever. Here are my snapshots of today's events I have captured in my brain, as well as some I got on camera:

+ Loved, loved, loved, seeing VJ and Joseph ride up on their "bikes" today and how they were the first to sample Mom's biscuits and gravy this morning. Glad you like the coffee, guys, 'cause we think you rock!

+ I still have the image of Lucy, the pug, wrapping herself 'round and 'round the legs of the table, only to spook herself out, causing her to attempt an escape by bolting, only to later realize the scary attacking table is in fact, attached to her, only to then further spook herself again...and again. This resulted in the crashing of an outdoor table, some spilled food, and the loss of one of our plates. I find this image particularly hilarious given that E and I are also the proud parents (that's right I said parents) of a pug and we know all to well this particularly strange and clown-like behavior of this breed. For an example, see image of Zeus (Little Red Bike Ice Cream Taste-Tester Team Leader) below.

Now really, are you going to get mad at this face over a broken plate? No way, Mister.

+ I wanted to call Joel today when I saw Tim hand a woman a latte with a beautiful leaf etched in foam and I saw her grin from ear to ear. The reason why I want to call Joel is because I realized that I need to start working on my coffee training if I'm gonna compete with E and Tim for Top Coffee Bartender Team Leader.

+ I was so pleased to see so many already familiarly friendly returning faces this morning. I have a feeling E and I are going to be making a whole lot of new friends this year, which is a good thing 'cause we were in the market.

+ Really, Truly, Wholeheartedly, From the Depths of My Soul, enjoyed our visit from our new friend Tanya, from the amazingly amazing Orleans Candle Co. (If you know Tanya and Jonathan need I say more? If you don't know the owners of this gem of a shop let me give you some worthy advice: run there as fast as you can because your life is thus far incomplete). Tanya and Jonathan, bless you for coming in to our lives at the most perfect of perfect moments- like today Tanya, when you rescued us from register paper malfunctioning doom. What ever did we do to deserve you? Thank you for the cheer, the hug, and salvation of our sanity.

+ Big high-five to E for helping me churn out the huge ice cream order for the Odyssey Montessori School's Ice Cream Social. Whose flavors include:
Plum-Raspberry Sorbet, Vanilla w/ Oregon Marionberry Swirl, and
Decadent Chocolate

+ I was pretty excited all day long thinking about the making the special for tomorrow. I got so excited that I begged Mom to start cracking eggs (the pudding's cement) first thing this morning while I assembled the pudding's foundation:

I'm looking forward to saying to all of you, "Happy Sunday, Friends. Might your day be improved by a slice of Croissant French Toast Bread Pudding?" (Because I know ultimately that the answer is YES, your day would be improved.) The fact of the matter is, bread puddings were a staple at our booth for the farmers market and I am pleased (although somewhat horrified) that it became known as one of our signature items--how on earth does Green & Green Salad Co. get away with bread puddings as a signature? Interesting what cold, rainy, wet days in Portland will do to people's appetite for salad. So we improvised. Making a comeback this Sunday:
Farmer's Market Approved, Green & Green Salad Co.'s

Croissant French Toast Bread Pudding served with Orange Infused Maple Syrup and Organic Fruit, 6.50. And of course you can add bacon to that. Silly of you to have asked. Oh, and did I mention I finally reconciled the lemonade debacle? Forget pomegranate, that was sooooo last season (or just until I can finally get my hands on some fresh seeds- you listening Trader Joe's?!?!). We're not "fad followers." No, we're switching gears, we're "trend-setters." Yeah, that's right, I'm talking about quench-thirsting, taste-bud delighting: Violet Lemonade with Fresh Oregon Blackberries. Oh hell yes.


My Mom Cooks Up Some Ooohhhh La La

We are preparing for the weekend...Today Mom brought in biscuit samples. Little Red Bike had to do a full "quality-control" test check this afternoon, ensuring the absence of fraudulent biscuits on the specials board for the weekend. It's a tough job, Biscuit Patrol, but what can we say? Somebody's got to do it.

Saturday Special:
Angel Biscuits w/ your choice of Country Sausage Gravy or Rosemary-Sage Veggie Gravy. Served w/ your choice of country or veggie sausage and fruit, $7.95. Add an egg: $1.00 So wrong but oh so right.


Extra! Extra! Read All About It...

Presenting all the Little Red Bike news that fit (or not fit) to Print:

Wow. You guys are amazing. Not only do ya'll seem to like food (more specifically our food- ahem, insert we are most humbled by this occurrence line here)but you seem to like to talk about it. In fact, it appears to us that you're nothing but a bunch of food lovin' gossipers. You see, thanks to you someone told someone who contacted someone else regarding the need for some ice cream, who then called their sister-in-law, who later called us to finally ask: would it be possible to churn up eight gallons of high quality, seasonally inspired, organically focused ice cream for a fundraiser for the Odyssey Montessori School in SW Portland? Oh, and did I mention by Sunday? First of all, bless your dear little hearts, Readers and Little Red Bike Supporters. Thank you for over-indulging us by spreading the word and by making our job so easy. If you keep it up we're going to have to be paying all of you advertising commission.

And second of all, would it be possible for us to churn up eight gallons (the largest batch of Little Red Bike Ice Cream produced to date) for a school ice cream social? Hell f'in yeah it would be possible. Who doesn't love a good ice cream social? Certainly not the Little Red Bike Cafe. We live for ice cream socials which brings me to my second news tidbit, containing the following headline: "Little Red Bike Announces Grand Opening." Yep, that's right. We're finally ready to "officially" open the doors. Which means yes, all of you have been our guinea pigs for test runs leading up to this point. We apologize for any misleading, and please know we do not normally condone animal testing of any sort. We are planning on a September 29th Ice Cream Social (secretly, albeit "technically" known as a "Grand Opening Party.") Aside from a shameless desire to churn up as many wacky, wild and delicious ice cream flavors possible, this party will also benefit an excellent cause. SRTS, otherwise known as Safe Routes To School developed a mission to serve a diverse national community of organizations that advocates for and promotes the practice of safe bicycling and walking to and from schools throughout the United States. When thinking of our grand opening we knew we wanted to create an event that acted as more than just a simple meet and greet. Our desire was to initially hold some sort of fundraiser for one of our local schools but then the SRTS program was brought up to us by our friend, Tracy. You see, Tracy, proprietor of Trixie's Beauty Bar and all around beauty-goddess, kinda, sorta, knows um EVERYBODY and she was the one who informed us that Robert, one of our regulars, is a founder of the SRTS national partnership. Turns out that the brand new Safe Routes program at Portsmouth could use some money to help kids learn bike safety & how to safely walk & bike to school. So we are teaming up with Tracy and the rest of the beauty bar divas to help promote this totally worthy and awesome program. As the date approaches look for more details but know this: we will be churning up some awesome ice cream flavors to provide you with all of the shakes, malts, floats, and sundaes you can dream up, as well as creating some special "back-to-school" inspired ice cream sandwiches for the event. We hope you come and join us Saturday, September 29th and help put the FUN back in fundraising.

In other news, given we are hoping to have a grand opening and create a somewhat professional appearance (hey- I said somewhat) it is probably a good thing that we got our sign installed today. Hooray! Initially we were thinking the red bike on the roof might be enough but we finally gave in and opted to have a sign installed. And look how pretty it is. Now there should be NO excuses about not being able to find us, (are you listening delivery drivers?). So please come down and check it out- feel free to compliment, praise, and congratulate. All forms of kudos are accepted here at Little Red Bike.

Also, let's not forget- let's NOT forget that tomorrow is Dairy Free Friday! Which means we will be churning up one special dairy-free flavor in honor of those lactose resistant folks out there. Tomorrow's special vegan flavor? Coconut Rum-Raisin. Come and get it! And yes, we still do have "regular" (whatever that means) ice cream flavors to serve as well including: Sweet Corn, Malted Milk with Chocolate Malt Balls, Sweet Cream w/ Oregon Marionberry Swirl, and Roasted Brown Sugar Banana.

Last on the news tip is the occurrence of weekend specials. Yes: this is happening. I don't know how but it is. Last weekend we dazzled you with a special fried-egg sammie: Fried-egg w/ gorgonzola, homemade organic pear butter, on Fleur de Lis ciabatta with optional bacon/veggie bacon. This weekend we're taking it to a whole new level. Ya'll are lucky my mom feels like cooking 'cause she's coming in Saturday morning as special guest chef and whipping up two versions of her famous biscuits and gravy. We will be featuring one meat and one veggie option and I dare you to pick a favorite among the two. This lady can coooooook so get ready for a real treat. So plan on breakfast on Saturday if you're the savory type.

Sunday we're switching gears from savory to sweet and asking mom to take a back seat (sorry, Mom) to one of our specialties: bread pudding. For those of you who have followed our booth from the Portland Farmers Market to the Cafe, we are happy to announce we are bringing back the specialty bread puddings with vengeance. Sunday's delight will be....drum roll please...I said, DRUM ROLL PLEASE... Croissant French Toast Bread Pudding with Orange Infused Maple Syrup. For those of you who are unaware of our bread puddings the time is now. Get in the know, what are you waiting for? Oh wait, that's right. You're waiting for Sunday.

This weekend you may also expect some sort of distinct lemonade flavor (I'm kinda leaning towards pomegranate right now but don't be mad if it's something else once you show up) as well as some good ole' fashioned homemade sipping chocolate. That's right, I said sipping chocolate. This ain't no hot chocolate. This is a 4oz. shot of pure cacao love whose motto is, "Sip slowly and savor."

Okay, that's all the news from us, can't wait to hear all about your guy's news, weekend plans, etc. But until then, time for sleepy.

Today's Churnings...

Roasted Brown-Sugar Banana and Sweet Cream w/ Oregon Marionberry Swirl
Come and Get it!

Little Red Bike Cafe
4823 N. Lombard St.
Portland, OR 97203
After-hours "Bike-Thru" Window Hours:


Oliver's Chair

We bought this sweet little chair back in early August. At the time it was difficult for me to picture what it would be like to have actual customers in our cafe, let alone customers who might be able to fit into a chair of this size. "Will we really even need such a chair?", I asked. "We'll at least need it for Oliver eventually," Ali reminded me. I grabbed the chair and put it in our shopping cart.
Today Oliver was born.
Congratulations Erin and Lane, and Happy Birthday to Oliver!


A Deep Breath Followed by a Shout-Out

Whew. Breathe in. Breathe out. Thank goodness for LeAnn. Well, thank goodness for all of you, really. But it was LeAnn who came in to the cafe on our very first day and put her arms around me (post minor anxiety attack/meltdown in kitchen) and said, "Just take a deep breath," and together we inhaled and let it all go. I do believe it was at that moment that I was finally able to slow down, catch my breath, and begin to accept that sometimes you cannot control EVERYTHING and that sometimes, just sometimes you are merely along for the ride. In fact, Bill Hicks, one of the greatest comedians of all time (No, seriously. So much that I'll say it again: One of the greatest comedians Of. All. Time.) once infamously said, "It's all just a ride." Since that moment E and I have "buckled-up", returned our seatbacks and tray tables to their upright and locked positions, and held on for dear life.

And what a ride it's been over the past eleven days since we opened our doors. A fellow blogger posed the following question that I would like to now sit down and address:
"How is it like? How is it to wake up every morning each day knowing you can walk towards the dream that you had the longest time? To unlock the doors and to clean the tabletop, to let the aroma of your wonderful cooking fill the whole cafe, and to see the delight on your customer's face upon being served?"

Well Sofie, first of all, thank you so, so, so, so much for your delightful and thoughtful question and secondly...

At first, waking up is a little tough. E and I will be the first to admit that we are NOT early risers. David warned us about our hours. Opening at 7am can be a tough gig- especially when you have to go to your bakery by 6:15am each morning to get your baked goods. I swear, when the alarm goes off each morning I think there must be something wrong because I still have a hard time figuring out what on earth I set it that early for. There must be some sort of mistake. For goodness sakes, it's still dark outside. Very dark. Like Apocalyptic dark. But then it hits me. You all hit me. My brain begins to fill itself up with tiny snapshots of all of your faces and all of the things I know the day will bring us. Yes, in those wee early hours I can see:

Our "Biking Lot,"

and Our Unspeakably Decadent, Delicious Pastries,

and Our Kick-Ass Bike Thru Customers in Pursuit of Cold Ice Cream on a Hot Day,

and What Must Be The Perfect Turkey Sandwich,
and Our New Friend, Jim, Serenading Us With His Bandolin,
and What Flavors of Ice Cream the Week Will Have In Store (this week: Sweet Corn, Malted Milk, Lemon Verbena w/ Oregon Blackberry Swirl, Mango-Coconut, and Basil)

That's right all of you North Portlanders, you rockin' bicyclists, you devoted customers, you impressive families and new friends, I picture ALL of you at around 5:30am EVERY morning. And you know what happens? My blood literally starts pumping, the excitement builds, and my hands and feet begin to tingle and I Have. To. Get. Out. Of. Bed. Like NOW.

To answer your question, Sofie, we are, in every single little-itty-bitty sense of the word: Living the Dream. How does it feel to, "unlock the doors and to clean the tabletops, to let the aroma of your wonderful cooking fill the whole cafe, and to see the delight on your customer's face upon being served?" Unbelievable. Ridiculous. Terrifying (but in a good way). Extraordinary. Brilliant. Humbling.

We pinch ourselves daily. There have been several times when I have turned to E and blurted out, "can you believe this is happening to us?" Because that is was it often feels like, like this is all happening to us. For example, do you realize there was a little girl in the cafe the other day who came in to have her first hot fudge sundae ever. I mean, like E-V-E-R. First hot fudge sundae. At our place. Now if that isn't just the raddest thing that has ever happened to us I don't know what is. You cannot plan stuff like that. You cannot ask, demand or pray for stuff that cool.

So far we are just trying to enjoy every minute of it and take in whatever we can when we can. I cannot even convey just how much fun this has all been. The fact that I can actually feed people all week long while thinking about more ways to razzle-dazzle them in form of weekend specials (steak 'n' (fried) eggs sandwich w/ caramelized onions, pomegranate lemonade, biscuits and gravy (both a meaty & a veggie version) and croissant bread pudding) AND chit-chat it up with friends and neighbors, bicyclactivists, the cutest babies in town (hands down- no seriously, let's have a contest), super moms and dads, too-cool-for-school-but-going-back-anyways kids, and dogs fit for the dog of year competitions and all the while call myself "employed" is seriously a head-trip. It's definitely something we're still trying to wrap our heads around. To a certain degree I can acknowledge that E and I worked hard for this. Okay, very hard. But now we've let go of the wheel, jumped into the back seat and now you, you are the ones who are making it happen.

Woohoo! Man, how I've always loved a good road-trip.


Sugar High

So now that we have 'officially' opened the doors, and sentenced ourselves to early mornings and long hours making goodies such as fried egg sandwiches with homemade pear-butter and Gorgonzola, machiattos, strawberry-sour cream ice cream, and vanilla malts, one might begin to wonder when and how we will make time to go out and have fun. Well to be quite honest, we haven't yet had much of a problem in the fun department. In all honesty, we have been so jazzed about finally being able to serve our food to real people, that we feel like celebrating all the time.

For example, last night we had the great pleasure to dine out with a couple of our friends, a sort of sampling of some of our favorite North Portland eateries. The night began at Por Que No Taqueria, where we dined upon a fantastic array of foods, including fresh guac and spicy cucumber chips, various tacos (all wonderful), fresh liquados, and margaritas. After our meal we rolled up the street to check out Junior Ambassadors, an orange food cart that was first recommended to us by our good friend David. Curious to check out what other ice cream-heads are up to, we were very sad when we arrived at the cart to discover that we were too late, and it was closed (we'll be sure to come back again soon). Still craving something sweet, we decided to head to nearby Pix Patisserie, an amazing dessert inspired restaurant that is so well thought out, that the wallpaper used in the background on their website matches that which adorns the walls in their restaurant.

At Pix we met Jobie, a very knowledgeable server/chef/foodie who informed us of a brunch thang he has been working on every Sunday, at the Pix outpost located on SE 34th and Division. For me to try to describe his brunch menu would only do injustice to the creativity of thought that he has put into the whole thing, but I will say it sounds fantastic, and anyone looking to try something new and unique should go...now. And please, tell us more about the food, 'cause it could be a little while before we are able to get away from the cafe on a Sunday morning.
At Pix, I was finally able to try a flavor combination that had first been explained to me earlier in the day by our friend Travis. The recipe is simple, and combines three elements I love: coffee, beer, and ice cream. When I saw that Pix advertised a beer float on their menu, I knew I might just be able to sweet talk our server into throwing a couple of shots of espresso into the mix, thus completing the treat that I had been fantasizing about all day long. Of course Jobie was even kind enough to let me sub Hair of the Dog's Adam for the standard Rogue brew they normally pair with their house-made mocha ice cream (I'm picky I know). The end result was out of this world, and many thanks to Jobie for letting me have my way with the beer selection (Adam has many chocolate and coffee-like notes already, and proved to be a great pairing with the espresso and ice cream). The perfect way to end a great night of eating, and an even better night out with some good friends.
So you see, its not all work and no play for us. We still make time for ourselves, especially when good food is involved.