10.11.2007

Peek-A-Boo

A friend recently reminded me that not all of our readers live in Portland, Oregon. Or the United States for that matter. I think what he was getting at is that not everyone has the luxury of being able to ride their bike a few blocks down to the cafe for breakfast. Even more so, I think the point is that many of you have been waiting for your opportunity to actually SEE the cafe. Unleash yet another Homer Simpson "D'oh!" moment.
Without further adieu, Little Red Bike Cafe, at last...
Ahh...the dining room. It looks so peaceful and serene here. Fortunately, the people who dine in it seem like a pretty peaceful bunch so very few elbows are thrown in here despite it's cozy quarters.
Tim and Lindsey are responsible for these beauties. They like to pick fruit and make jam. We like to eat jam. We told them to sell jam at our cafe. Spiced Plum, Apricot, Golden Raspberry, Spiced Pear Butter, Veteran Peach...The rest is history.
The "Locker Room." The locker room is basically the passageway from the dining room to the bathroom. Inside this passageway we have a community board filled with event notices, business cards for photographers, sculptors, tile installers and reiki therapists; two white IKEA high-chairs (slightly cooler than your average high-chair but only slightly); a Polaroid mural of cafe Movers and Shakers; a framed sketch of a vintage red cruiser bike; a sad excuse for an indoor palm (some things were just meant to be grown outside..oh yeah--like plants...) and this locker, where we like to keep our coats, our helmets, and our ever-growing collection of aprons. Honestly the stencil on the locker is what makes this room for me. Specifically because it's rad and because we got it for free. Free things are always rad but rad free things are even better. The fact that I was always packin' red spray paint and had the authority to go nuts for the first two weeks of opening was an added bonus. We received this stencil of our logo courtesy of Atlas Stamps, the talented, smart people who also designed our logo stamp. Thanks, guys! Our locker and outdoor tables wouldn't be the same without you. This bag represents a part of who we are because every time Joel bikes our coffee to us he sits up at the counter, brings a pile of brown bags, and hand-draws his labels on every single one. He draws compassionately, seemingly lost in the process. He never looks up. He barely stops to eat. Joel once told me he's not even sure how to draw his logo unless he's using a brown paper surface. The process is so ingrained in his brain. I find his attention to detail heart-moving. Literally. My heart weeps for his poor what-must-be-nearly-arthritic hand. In the past we've mentioned to Joel the possibility of having a logo stamp made for him, to help aid the process. He merely smiles and shrugs. But he does so because that's how much love goes in to what he does. From the picking of green beans, to the roasting, to the delivery. When somebody buys Joel's coffee at our cafe, these are the bags we use. Think about that next time you stop in for your next 1/2 lbs. of espresso.Ha! Ha! Ha! This picture amuses me because this is what the kitchen looks like only first thing in the morning and last thing at night. What can I say? We try our best during the day.
I first fell in love with the sandwich prep station when I was merely an 18 year old girl working the Pizzicato salad line up on the Sylvan Hill. I found the compartmentalizing so rewarding, so easy, so efficient. I loved the notion of each thing having its rightful place, and being able to maintain that order all the while being refrigerated. Simply amazing. Never in my wildest could I imagine that one day I'd have one all to myself. Needless to say, I am in love. We hung that shelf above with the help of Evan's sister, Jamie the night before we opened. We have her to thank for a functioning kitchen. The red broom was a recent purchase, a replacement for the first one we bought that would rapidly disintegrate during use, making a "clean sweep" of the cafe not only impossible but somewhat of a sketch comedy routine. We like the more durable plastic bristles on this new one, not to mention its obvious radiant color.
This is our Saint, Maximon. Known as San Simon to the Catholics, we were first introduced to this ancient deity when we were in the religious town of Santiago de Atitlan in Guatemala. We keep him above the baked goods, offer him shots of rum and make sure he's the first to sample the newest incoming espresso (for example please see his left arm and in-between his feet). Yeah, I'd say we're a pretty spiritual bunch at the cafe. E and I have been known to light our fair share of sage upon of exit of the cafe and lit candles in the kitchen are proving to be a must during the work week.
Welcome to the Ice Cream Station. At times (say around 7am-3pm) this area is also known as the Panini Station (ahhh, always multi-tasking, we are.) When this picture was snapped I believe we were in the process of making Organic Whipped Cream and Berries Ice Cream. I also love the fact that the Nancy's yogurt container made it into this shot. We have hundreds of these lying around the cafe filled with various cafe components. At any given time you may find bacon fat, tuna and tempeh salad, sliced raw yellow onion and/or ice cream batter inside one of these things. Yeah, that's right. Nancy's, the official Tupperware of the LRBC. By the way, this afternoon we made use of the Ice Cream Station by churning up some fresh homemade Cinnamon Roll Ice Cream made with real Fleur de Lis Cinnamon Rolls. And before I forget, tomorrow is Dairy-Free Friday so I'm whipping up an Almond Chocolate Ice Cream that won't soon be forgotten. (P.S. Start your diet after the weekend because I have a feeling these two flavors won't last long.)

So that about sums it up. I hope you enjoyed the view. It's certainly a work in progress but we just try to take it one day at a time. Until next time...

Oh wait! I forgot to tell you, we made vegan mac today.Aaaaannnnnndddd...I should mention that a vegan Southwest Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup is on the menu for tomorrow. Sigh. I Love Fall.

3 comments:

georgethinker28 said...

"At last" is right! I've always tried to imagine but this blows my visions away. The dining area looks comfortable and your kitchen colors look trippy. In a word: perfect. Thanks for the inside look, guys.

picturelady said...

I love your blog, came upon it while checking out portland for a possible move. thanks for the look inside.

Ali & Evan said...

georgethinker28,
Glad to see you're still with us. Yes, we like to think our kitchen colors inspire. You're very, very welcome for the "inside look"

picturelady,
Portland is quite simply...AMAZING. I'm sure everyone has already told you that. We are so happy you found us and we would be delighted to see you in person once the move occurs :) Thanks for reading/writing!