On the Menu...

Champagne and Strawberries Sorbet
Dairy-Free and Lovin' It!

You heard it here first, folks. Available via the "Bike-Thru" tonight from 6pm-9pm.

Keeping My Cool

My new summer cocktail... perhaps...(I really can't be expected to commit this early in the game)

Sapphire, Unsweetened Grapefruit Juice, ICE. Oh, and a few raspberries if it happens to be summer and you have them lying around.

This is what fueled me last night to: eat a dinner consisting of fresh raspberries, strawberries, and a juicy nectarine, walk the dog, take a stroll with my friend, water my other friend's lawn, pick lettuce fresh from said friend's beautiful garden, and make a late night visit to the cafe in order to cold-brew coffee for tomorrow's "Bike-Thru" Service, only to return to the cafe again (even later late-night) to drop of a giant bag of sugar I had forgotten about earlier. Phew! Have I mentioned how happy I am about it being summer? Oh yeah, I guess I did here, here and here. Well, just to reiterate I think it totally rocks.

Ah yes, and before I forget, we are still operating the newly initiated pie and ice cream service (6pm-9pm, Fri.-Sun) via the "Bike-Thru."

Ice Cream flavors we have that you may want to try ala mode:

Brown Sugar

Dulce de Leche

Nectarine-Strawberry-Raspberry Sorbet

Lemon Buttermilk Sherbet


What To Expect...

Here's the good news for me:

Because the cafe has limited services I ___________ (fill the blank...)

I was able to finally wake up and eat a decent breakfast:

Organic Plain Yogurt, Dried Fruit, and Oregon Blackberry Honey

I was able to multi-task wedding and sun bathing priorities:

Yoga Mat: Check! Grapefruit Spritzer: Check! Magazine: Check! Miscellaneous Do-it-Yourself Wedding Project: Check!

and I was able to eat a decent dinner:

My version of "Beef Stroganoff" using spelt noodles, veggie meatballs seared in tamari, organic cottage cheese, organic plain yogurt, red pepper flakes, and Sini Fulvi Genuine Pecorino Romano. Sprinkled with raw broccoli and served warm.

I will finally be able to go to sleep relaxed, well-fed, and care-free (relatively).

Now here's the good news for you:

Even though the cafe has limited services you _____________ (fill in the blank)

This weekend from 8am-12pm you are still able to get:

To Eat:
  • Honeyed Yogurt
  • Assorted Pastries like: French Puffs, Blueberry Muffins, and Dangi Donuts
  • "Special Sandwiches" while they last... Example: Tomorrow's Turkey features: Turkey, Brie, Rosemary Ailoi, Cherry Jam, Dijon, and Arugula
To Drink:
  • French Press Coffee
  • Housemade Mango Ice Tea
  • Cold Brew Coffee
  • Cold Brew Lattes
  • Retro Soda Pop
AND to top things off, beginning tomorrow night you will have access to homemade pie and ice cream Saturday and Sunday evenings via the "Bike-Thru" Window from 6pm-9pm. We pledged and we delivered. On tomorrow night's menu:

Oregon Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
Served Ala Mode with Brown Sugar Ice Cream

Come and Get It.

Consider the cafe's little time out as an opportunity for us both to have our cake--er-- I mean pie and eat it too.


Limited Services

Huh? Limited what?

You read correctly, LRBC is currently operating with limited services. Which means, you won't be able to get any of this:

Courier Coffee Roasters Yemen Mocca Sanani (roasted for espresso)

But you will be able to get as much as you can drink of this:

Brazil Carmo de Minas, Gerias Fazenda Cambara
(French press, available via the bike-thru)

Well I suppose thats not entirely true...I did use the last of our Yemen to make cold brewed coffee, which might outsell hot coffee this coming weekend given that Portland area temperatures are forecast to reach the upper 90's.

Back to the limited services. Yes, its true, the cafe's services are currently limited, due to the fact that we are beginning a small remodel project. Our goal is to make our front of house more comfortable, as well as more efficient. We're not exactly sure how long this is going to take, as it all depends on how quickly the work gets done, which unfortunately is not up to us. During this time our bike-thru will remain open Tues-Fri from 7am-12pm, and Sat and Sun from 8am-12pm, selling French press coffee, cold brewed coffee, organic orange juice, ice tea, and a rotating menu of various edibles. And if all goes according to plan, we hope to begin selling our homemade ice cream alongside homemade pie during the weekend evenings. I'll repeat...


Keep checking the blog as we will do our best to keep you informed as to the progress of our build out, as well as information regarding any additional services we will offer.


What's For Dinner...

What Follows After the Taco Course

This "What's For Dinner" is sort of more like "What's For Dessert." The problem is that for the last few days our "dinners" have been made up of the following: marcona almonds, string cheese, animal crackers, oatmeal raisin cookies, grapefruit juice and jerky.

After what was a very long day we decided to treat ourselves by getting a real meal. We quickly found ourselves rocking early-evening sunglasses and sporting flip-flops and shorts completely comfortably at our new favorite truck in the 'hood La Chiquita. Right then and there everything just sort of clicked. It was warm outside. We were inexplicably serene after what had been a somewhat hellish day. Suddenly I was pondering a new book to read, and the livelihood of homegrown tomato plants and reminiscing over plum and peach pie sealed with almond paste. Something felt different. Ahh, yes. There it is; Summer has arrived. And we had made our way to our "new spot."

We had heard good things from numerous friends about this local taco truck on Interstate and Killingsworth, "behind the 76 station" (particularly regarding their avocado sauce) and we are just now beginning to discover the beauty of this place. Go-There-Now. Well, you can't actually because they close at 6:00pm but it's worth your while to make the trip on the earlier side. And yes, their homemade salsa verde and avocado sauce are completely insane. This evening we gorged ourselves with two tacos and two burritos, and managed to do so before a click of the camera could catch a frame.
So to sum it all up we ate too fast to document dinner but tonight's dessert was well worth a glimpse. That is,

Organic Cottage Cheese, Oregon Strawberries and Oregon Blackberry Honey

Dear Summer,
Thank you for returning. With all of those cloudy days and misty mornings you almost had us all fooled. Why don't you stay awhile this time?
Ali and Evan


Oh Strata Where Art Thou?

Applewood smoked bacon, caramelized onions, red Russian kale courtesy of Dancing Hills Produce, and Gruyere cheese. Completely unspoiled.

Yes, we are still making strata at the cafe. The truth is that we have had no choice but to resort to using the ciabatta usually set aside for strata, simply to keep up with the influx in egg sandwich orders the past couple of weeks.

Please remain calm, and know that we will adjust our daily bread order as soon as possible.


The Aftermath...

Evan waving from our booth this morning at Unthank Park

Now this is how the LRBC does a booth. I laughed when Evan told me how others marveled at his skills of setting up the "easy-up" (the 10x10 tent you see pictured above) by himself. Turns out our days at the Portland Farmers Market were actually just prep for Sunday Parkways. Hopefully this is only the beginning of Sunday Parkways in Portland. It was a great event and we were so pleased to be a part of it. In the end we sold out of all of our ice cream, all of Greg's cinnamon rolls and croissants, and a whole bunch of Morgan's cookies. And for those of you who were sneaky enough to find out about the cafe's "secret" hours today, congratulations. Those who traversed to the cafe even though we told them we were closed, were offered a streamlined "egg sandwich only" menu and French press Courier Coffee. Chris, Dekin, and Julia did a great job keeping y'all fed and caffeinated via the "Bike-thru," and we thank them very, very much for holding the fort down while "Mom and Dad" were away. XO

1st Annual Portland Sunday Parkways

Just a preview of what to expect today...

Portland Sunday Parkways? Count us in! We'll be located in Unthank Park dishing out $1 (that's right, I said $1.) scoops of some of our latest frozen concoctions, slinging fresh mint-lemonade and ice-cold tea.

Today's Line-Up From L to R:
Burnt Orange Blossom Honey
We cooked down orange blossom honey until it's color just began to darken and the honey began to caramelize. We then added our mixture to a vanilla sweet cream base and voile! We had ice cream. Okay, so it was slightly more complicated than that but we've been reaping the rewards ever since. Now it's time to share...

Hood Strawberry-Sour Cream Ice Cream
Sweet from fresh local strawberries, tangy from organic sour cream , and definitively a classic Oregon treat

Salted Caramel with Candied Bacon Bits
We used a combination of sel gris and coarsely ground fleur de sel to salt this newest edition to the LRBC repertoire. Applewood smoked bacon slowly candied in raw sugar was added to the ice cream during the last minutes of churning

We first relied on coconut milk for our base and then added pink grapefruit zest in order to create a delicately refreshing coconut custard. Avocado was added later to enhance the richness and of course add that beautiful green shade. The end result is an ice cream that is satisfyingly unique and creamy and yet totally vegan.

Chocolate Pudding
This ice cream fancies itself as an LRBC staple. There really is nothing quite like it. The pudding descriptor originates from the fact that this ice cream is so rich and thick the only way to describe it is like frozen chocolate pudding. If only it wouldn't met in your lunch box....

Peanut Butter-Banana Sandwich
Peanut-Butter-Banana ice cream swirled with caramelized bananas and bits of buttered toast. No joke here People, you read it right.

Dulce de Leche
If you've never tried this ice cream before or the "milk candy" (quite literally) by itself, this milk caramel ice cream is a good start. In fact, we think it's a sure bet to win you over

Fresh Cherry Sorbet
The taste of a fresh and perfectly ripe cherry captured in a beautifully hued sorbet. And the best part? No pit!!!

Whew! We haven't made this much ice cream since our grand opening so you know this has got to be one special event!!! We're putting the "Thank" back in "Unthank"* this Sunday and we'd love for you to join us. Grab your bike, grab or kids (or both) and come check out this internationally celebrated event. We think it's so cool that the city is helping put this on and we're just happy to be a part (albeit it small) of it. Think about it: No cars! No buses! Just a six mile loop around North Portland's (whoop! whoop!) coolest parks where you can feel free to roam free without the fear of city traffic. Oh yeah, the extra bonus: music, games, food, friends and other goodies await you.

Unthank Park
510 North Shaver
Portland, OR 97217

*Please keep in mind that the park's name comes from Dr. Denorval Unthank, a local civil-rights advocate and a highly respected community member who at one-time was Portland’s only black medical practitioner; and therefore nothing "ungracious" should be deemed about it. I was merely trying to be clever.


For Your Eating Pleasure

Candied Bacon for Salted Caramel Ice Cream

IMPORTANT: The cafe will be closed this coming Sunday, June 22nd so that the LRBC may take part in Portland's first ever Sunday Parkways event. What is Sunday Parkways?

From their website:
"Sunday Parkways comes to Portland on Sunday, June 22, 2008. Six miles of local streets in North Portland will be closed to traffic from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Intersections will be staffed by volunteers allowing residents to get to and from their driveways, but all are encouraged to limit their motor vehicle use during the event. The circular route will give Portlanders a chance to get out and be active right in their own neighborhood. Participants can walk, bike, run, stroll, and roller blade along the route to activities in the parks as well as to nearby shops and businesses in the vicinity."

What the heck do we have to do with this?

In celebration of this amazing event we will be slinging our homemade ice cream and ice cream sandwiches, and passing around fresh squeezed lemonade at Mississippi Neighborhood's Unthank Park (510 North Shaver. Portland, OR 97217) from 8am until 2pm PST. We will be here along with several other local vendors such as Blue Sky Wellness Studio, Northwest Hot Dogs, and Hannah Bea's Poundcake. Come join us for jump roping, pick up kickball and basketball games, The Beaterville Band, and much, much more.

In anticipation of the fun we've been testing out some new ice cream flavors such as...

Salted Caramel with Candied Bacon Bits

Peanut Butter-Banana Sandwich

Burnt Orange Honey Blossom



Will any or all of these flavors make in appearance this Sunday? Well, that just depends on how long they last...
Grapefruit Rind in Coconut Custard
So try to remember, and kindly help us pass the word around that the LRBC (Lombard Street location) will be CLOSED FOR BUSINESS, this Sunday, 6/22/08 (That's the twenty-second of June, 2008) in order to play outside, celebrate bikes, and dish out the goods at our temporary mobile/satellite location in Unthank Park from 8am-2pm. Come visit us as we ring in summertime.


Wedding Vendor #3

(image/design courtesy of and solely belongs to: KeeganMeegan Inc.)

Now that most of the invitations have been sent out and I know I'm unlikely to ruin the surprise impact of our wedding invites, I feel comfortable enough to let you in on our little secret, our secret weapon if you will.

I can't say enough good things about Keegan and Katy, the masterminds behind Portland's own KeeganMegan Press and Bindery. Keegan and Katy do everything from designing and pressing out business cards for super rad people, valentines for lucky strangers, and screen printing for awesome mutual friends, or as they like to put it, "one-of-a-kind collaboration for all occasions." They're certified whiz kids, (okay, so they're not kids but the title does have a nice ring to it) and we feel so fortunate that we convinced them to be crazy enough to take a stab at wedding suites.

We were fortunate enough to meet Keegan through our beloved mutual friend, Alice. Through Keegan we met Katy, the other half of this crafty duo and we were soon head over heels. I think one of the reasons why we fell in love with them so promptly was the recognition of the teamwork and effort they put forth in creating and executing their business. It all felt very familiar if you know what I mean.

Upon first examination, Evan and I were overwhelmingly intimidated by the thought of wedding invitations. NONE of the ones we'd seen out there seemed personal enough to capture who we were nor were they able to reflect the type of event we were hoping to celebrate. The pukey language, the generic card-stock, the too-obvious designs. Blah, blah, and more blah. It was clear that we'd have to forgo the traditional route but we were haunted by the idea of having to design or create something by ourselves. Enter: Keegan. Aha! We also wanted beautiful paper and letterpress really was our favorite method of printing. Enter: Katy. Double aha! Working with them was nothing short of a dream. We'd catch coffee or breakfast and look over ink color, paper feel, and envelopes. We threw out some ideas (i.e. the pug you see pictured) but pretty much left the rest up to them. All we had to do was hand over some pictures of our dog, the farm property where we're to be wed, and our vast photo-strip collection. We honestly weren't sure what to expect given that wedding stuff in general wasn't really their thing but I have to say, Katy and Keegan *really,* *truly* lived up to the hype and delivered the most awesome outcome. We received beautiful, custom designed letterpress invitations, itineraries, maps, rsvps, programs, and envelopes through these lovely saints and the calls/reactions have not stopped coming in. "BEST WEDDING INVITES EVER!" is the most common response. I don't feel weird about telling all of you this because I know that it has nothing to do with us and that all credit should be delivered to the people behind the curtain, KeeganMeegan. So, without further ado, it is my absolute pleasure to reveal to you our wedding suite...
Front of Invitation
Back of Invitation
Itinerary with perforated RSVP Postcard
(That's right, a perforated post card, People. Damn! I said they were good)

Basket Full of soon-to-be-revealed Wedding Programs
(Lovingly adorned with a hand-tied ribbon courtesy of my mama, I love you and thank you)

So a huge shout out, and big ups must positively go out to our beloved friends Keegan and Katy for teaching us that there is a hell of a lot more to paper than just paper. Your artwork and effort created *truly* sentimental memorabilia for E and me and I cannot thank you enough for playing such a big role in making this wedding so special to us. We are beyond pleased with the final result, we feel blessed to call you friends, and we can't wait to get down and shake our booties together at our forthcoming nuptials. XO 4-eva XO


On the Menu...

In celebration of this like totally awesome weather, the LRBC proudly presents...

The Cookout
Fried Egg, White Cheddar, Baked Beans with a BBQ-Beer Sauce, and Fried Onions on Fleur de Lis Ciabatta.
Be A Sinner...
Add Bacon...1
Add Veggie Bacon...1

Yeah, you read it right. And yeah, it's damn tasty.


Another Creation Brought To You By...

Dekin and Veth.

Black Sticky Rice Layered with Coconut Custard and Topped with Fresh Mango.

There have been a few whispers that Dekin and Veth are thinking about starting their own food cart, perhaps even in North Portland (SCORE). What do you think, Portland? Is there enough room in this city for these Laotian delights? I can tell you who would be first in line...


Time Lapse Photography


Local Garlic Spears


Roasted with Olive Oil, Balsamic, and Sea Salt until Crispy


White Bean and Garlic Spear Soup with Fresh Dill


Up Close and Personal

Kenya Gethumbwini Peaberry (May Arrival)

While the continual cloudiness doesn't help to enhance the quality of our photos, I am still excited about the potential of this newest project: a coffee photo journal. Inspired by a snapshot I saw on Sweet Maria's Flickr page, I whipped out the old macro lens and snapped a few pictures of one of Joel's newest coffees. The above coffee is from the Gethumbwini coffee farm, which I believe is located somewhere in the Thika District of south-central Kenya. While this isn't the first Gethumbwini peaberry that CCR has offered, it certainly is one to be remembered, and an exciting intro to the 2008 North African coffee harvest. This coffee is just downright delicious, and it really doesn't seem to matter if it is one day out of roast, or five.
Also, we are still French pressing all of our drip coffee. Perhaps our coffee machine's breakdown really was a blessing in disguise after all. Come on down to the shop, drink a cup, and see for yourself what all this hype is about.


Time to Get With the Program

A sure sign that we need to focus some of our energy on cleaning up outside our house:

"Help me!"

Today we discovered that the area on the side of our house, an area I like to pretend is a makeshift compost pile but is really just a collection of junk that somehow missed the garbage and recycling bins and wound up outside, has become home to a feral cat and her three kittens.

I was in our kitchen and happened to be looking out the window, when I thought was a squirrel caught my attention. Upon second glance I noticed that the squirrel was actually not a squirrel at all, but was in fact an orange baby kitten. Before I had a chance to comprehend what I was looking at two more kittens scuttled into view. I called out to Ali who was in the other room, and we both went outside to investigate. We found three kittens hiding under a large piece of cardboard next to our house. I tried to wrangle them all, only to lose two in the process. We put the kitten I was able to catch in a recycling bin with some beach towels, and continued searching for the others. I found one kitten stuck halfway up the side of my neighbors house, with nowhere left to climb. I peeled it from the side of the house, only to lose hold of it on my way back toward the recycling bin. The third kitten was discovered under a bag of yard debris, after hearing faint meows emanating from the pile of dried grass clippings. Upon placing the kitten in the yard debris bin where its less skittish litter mate patiently waited, kitten number three bolted straight away and disappeared into some tall weeds.

Feeling defeated, and hoping that mama cat would return if we left the scene, Ali and I decided to stick to what we know best, and headed out for dinner at Encanto. Two hours later, feeling delightfully satiated and curious as the the whereabouts of our new feline friends we returned home to an empty recycling bins. Though we were glad to know that our duties as cat wranglers might be over for the evening, we were both concerned about the fates of the kittens. Then, without warning, out from the weeds jumped mama cat. As she leaped over our fence and into the neighbors yard we breathed a collective sigh of relief. It was comforting just to know that she was still out there looking after her young.

If tonight's events proved anything it is that we are not fit to raise kittens. We can barely take care of ourselves. And though unmaintained landscaping surrounding our house IN NO WAY REFLECTS THE CLEANLINESS OF OUR CAFE'S KITCHEN (if only our house was so clean), perhaps it is time we pay a little more attention to getting our home in order. Perhaps we were lucky to only find kittens. If we let a few more months slip by some of you might take up residence out there.


Unpacking Baggage

Santa Barbara, California, 2/03

I am home. I say this with some disbelief both because the wonders of air travel still amaze (tire, annoy, & frustrate) me and because I can't actually believe it's over. I am happy to be home because I missed E very much. More than I thought I would. Actually more than I thought I could. I am still in disbelief that after eight years with this man my stomach can still ache when I away from him with what can only be described as homesickness. You know that feeling? That feeling deep down in your gut? The one that makes you anxious, like you've lost something you can't find, or that you've hurt somebody close to you and you're not sure how to make it right. Well, I experienced that feeling many times over the last five days and it can all be attributed to the fact that I wholeheartedly, from the depths of my soul missed my partner. I was one shoe without the other.
There was a time, years ago that I used to get this feeling a lot. In fact, there was awhile there that Evan and I were plagued by this emotion for the majority of our relationship. Many people do not know this but Evan and I spent four very hard years enduring a long distance relationship. Our map went something like this: Texas--Vermont, Portland--Vermont, Honduras--Portland, Los Angeles--Portland. We used to dream of the day that we actually could say that we had spent more time physically in the same place in a relationship than apart.

I can recall one particular moment when we had to say goodbye to one another in the Boston Airport. We met in Boston during our collegiate "Thanksgiving Break" figuring it was a good meeting place for a person coming in from Texas and a person coming in from Vermont. We spent the four days in pure bliss, ordering Turkey Sandwiches on Thanksgiving from hotel room service, bundling up in layers and taking walks in the neighboring park, going to see movies in the mall and hunting down our favorite drink at the time (Starbuck's Orange Mocha Chip Frappuccinos---HEY, everybody has some skeletons in their closet). For the most part we were a regular couple luxuriating in the ability to do regular couple things. The very fact that we could hold each others' hand was a blessing. But then our four days were up and we had to say goodbye. It was time to return to our respective colleges and wait for the next month and a half to pass until we could see each other again.

I can remember sitting on Evan's lap at the gate. (Yes, this was back in the day when you got to accompany your lover to the gate to say goodbye. When you could hold them and reassure them in a semi-private moment that you will call them as soon as you land. Instead of having to pitifully leave them outside of a security checkpoint, inevitably forcing them to make a long and lonely walk to wait for their boarding time alone, cheeks tear-stained and stomach queasy.)

I was nineteen and he was twenty. He used to wear glasses back then. It is amazing how much it can hurt to be away from your partner. And to have to do so repeatedly was pure torture. I was so emotional I clutched on to his sweater and sobbed. Looking back I'm sure we looked fairly dramatic and perhaps a bit ridiculous. I didn't even blink when I noticed the large pool of snot on collecting in the weaves and divots of the cable-knit he was wearing. He was literally kissing my tears trying to calm me down but I noticed behind his frames that his own eyes were beginning to well. This was a very public display of sadness. We felt very absorbed in a seemingly isolated world. Surely no one could possibly imagine that kind of pain, that kind of desperation we were feeling at that moment.

And then I noticed them. A middle-aged couple sitting near us in the terminal who happened to be facing the same plight. She was as hysterical as I was, clinging to her beloved. Shaking her head, surely assessing the sadness she felt being forced to say goodbye. He was trying to brush the hair out of her face and hold her with confidence. I turned to Evan at the moment and said, "Promise when we are they're age, when we are out of school, and able to be in the same city, and live under the same roof that we won't have to do this anymore." And he promised.

PDX, Now until Forever
That was 7 years ago... and once again I've found my way back to my other half. The pair of shoes have reunited.


Recapping in a NY Minute

Highlights include but are not limited to:

  • The best damn lentil salad I've had in years--scratch that--in my life
At Public, apparently really excited about the salad at that very moment
  • The Eggs Florentine from brunch at Pastis
  • Meeting Matilda, my niece
  • Fantastically timeless design
  • Seeing my name in print

  • Getting to be just one of the girls
Burnt Honey Custard with Chocolate Toffee & Bananas
  • Making it clear once again that girls really do just wanna have fun
Endless gratitude to all who were there to celebrate with me, and to all who made it happen for me. Cheers, I really needed that. XO


The Day the Synesso Saved My Life

"Americano...er, I mean coffee for here"

What does the LRBC do when its coffee brewer breaks at 8:15 am on a Sunday morning?

Make a lot of americanos.

This was the only game plan we had until 'round 10am, when my folks dropped off an electric percolator that was purchased by my grandparents sometime during the 1950's. That's when our new coffee brewer, the AliceHacker1000, kicked into high gear, pumping out freshly brewed French Press coffee 52oz and 34oz at a time. While this new "setup" was far from ideal, it got us through the day. The percolator didn't start an electrical fire, and was able to produce enough hot water to make French press, and Alice maintained a Zen-like calm while working at a feverish pace to keep the cafe's airpots full of coffee.

Thanks to my grandparents for buying that coffee brewer more than a half century ago, thanks to my folks for dropping it off during a time of crisis, and thanks to Alice for once again coming through in the clutch when it was needed most.