Rudy Fernandez (held over by popular demand)
scrambled egg, jamon serrano, shaved manchego, oregano, olive tapenade and roasted red pepper aioli on toasted ciabatta
two fried eggs served on a bed of quinoa salad, “separated” by homemade salsas—one fiery red and the other green. Topped with queso fresco, lime crema and cilantro
turkey, applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, sliced apple, maple honey mustard and roasted garlic aioli on toasted ciabatta Served with dill pickle, and salt & pepper potato chips
Wishing you a happy Halloween from the LRBC.
Posted by Ali and Evan at 6:30 PM
Tara moved to NYC soon after her graduation from Skidmore, a small liberal arts school in Upstate New York. We, her family, were sure she'd get over her big city living dreams within the year and move home. After all, she's a Portland, Orygun Native. What could a big city like that offer a big town girl like her? We expected the phone call any day, the one that would tell us she was finally ready to call it quits and come home. But it never came. It's been six years and she's still there. And we have Dan to blame for this. Well, that's not technically true. Tara loves New York. Her heart beats and her blood flows with the pulse and rhythm of that city. She loves, in no particular order: the hustle and the bustle, brownstone apartments, walks along the Hudson, lobster rolls, gallery after gallery, late nights (so long as she doesn't see the sun come up), hidden gems, music in the park, Diversity (with a capital D) and Culture (with a capital C), endless conversations with fabulous people, event planning, etc. Without a doubt, my sister was thriving in New York. She was just missing that one thing. You know that thing, that thing we all crave from time to time? Yes, that's right, L-O-V-E. My sister was craving love. You see, even with her big fancy job and her teensy fancy brownstone apartment my sister knew something was missing in her life. She wanted to fall in love.
Dear, dear sister. How many times did I try to tell her that she would never find a date when all of her free time was spent with her best friend, Dan. Dan and Tara went to college together and though they ran around in similar circles they were never really friends. That is until they both moved to a ever-bustling city where friends become dear to you like lifelines. Pretty soon these acquaintances spent all their free time together bumming around Central Park, cruising galleries, and eating their way around town. And whenever she would express her desire to meet someone, I told her that it would be impossible so long as Dan was in her life. At one point I even said to her, "You should just date the guy. You're practically there already."
"But it's not like that with Dan," she'd say.
Ha--it never is.
That is until Dan got an amazing opportunity to move to Paris to work with some uber-famous photographers. Knowing that this was his dream in the making Tara supported this journey. How could she not? It combined all of the things the two of them loved: travel, photography, and opportunity. But she was sad. Lord, was she sad to see her friend go. Her "D." And I assure you, Dan was just as sad to say goodbye to his "T." That's when Tara felt what it was like to be lonely; a feeling she's never been fond of and more importantly a feeling she hadn't had since she befriended Dan. It was a sad day when Tara and Dan said their goodbyes. The night before his flight she threw him a huge going away party and waved goodbye.
Then one day my sister told me she thought she might have feelings for Dan. You know, those kind of feelings. I remember I was sitting in my friend's apartment in Los Angeles. She was in New York and Dan was still in Paris. "Duh," was about all I could muster up at the time. (I think "Duh" was pretty much the overwhelming response from everybody once they heard about this friendship that turned romantic.) And so she went. Like a real life Carrie Bradshaw my sister left her home in NYC and flew to Paris to see if what she was feeling was real or just a classic case of homesickness. And the thing she realized while she was there was that it was both; the feeling was definitely real and that Dan was indeed her "home" and he was missing.
I think--hum--I actually know that this fact is my absolute favorite part of their love story. Although the whole world saw it before them it never mattered. It didn't matter until it hit them over the heads like a ton of bricks. Forgive me for saying, but it was in Paris that "T and D" had their Oprah "Aha!" Moment. And their lives-- our lives-- have never been the same since.
Here's a true story-- I never even asked Tara what Dan looked like until she told she was beginning to have feelings for him. I guess in my mind it never mattered until then. But once she admitted this feeling to me-- to herself, I was dying to know. "Well, he actually kind of looks like Evan," was her response. This made me laugh and continues to make me laugh given the fact that when the four of us go out together the assumption is ALWAYS that we are dating brothers rather than vice versa. In fact, when Dan's parents met Evan for the first time they exclaimed, "You look more like our son than our other son!!!" The minute Dan entered our lives like that, like in "my sister's boyfriend" sort of way, everything was different in our family. Our family became complete. Yes, that is a cliche and I'll admit it but it's true. Dan taught my family how to be a family and for that we will be forever grateful. He also supplies us with the best photography advice, the best fashion advice, and is willing to throw-down with the best of us at the dinner table. He also makes a mean tuna casserole, can play Scrabble until he can't see straight (a requirement of anyone dating/married to a Jepson sister), loves to travel, and sees the world with an eye we could all envy. Most importantly, he made my sister believe in Love and that is the best thing he's ever done in his life (in my humble opinion).
So...(whew) you can see why this wedding was such an absolute joy to be a part of. Undoubtedly it was history in the making.
Tara and Dan were married on a wet, blustery day. Funny thing is, the week leading up to and the days following were clear and even warm. We all tried assuring Tara and Dan that this wet weather was nothing but a good omen. The ladies drank champagne, had their make-up and hair did and done, oohed and ahhed over flower arrangements, and debated shoe choice on a friend's roof-top apartment in Hell's Kitchen. The men drank Budweiser and Johnny Walker, ironed their wrinkled shirts, and joked around in the same building, in said friend's little sister's apartment.
Their ceremony was heartfelt, full of tears, and nothing short of perfect. Large cylindrical vases housing pieces of birch and white puffs of hydrangeas flanked the aisle. Bright Eyes' "First Day of My Life" lead us all down to the chuppah. John Lennon's"Oh Yoko" lead us away. Dinner was a four course affair, made complete by mini creme brulees, pot de cremes, and pumpkin pies.
We danced the night away amongst a cityscape whose lights were humbled by brilliant bolts of lightening.
The photobooth provided hours of entertainment for all the guests and in the end I literally found myself having to drag Evan away from it.
Posted by Ali and Evan at 6:57 AM
Predictable for this time of year, I know. But I don't care...I love pumpkin. Seems like I am not the only one. Which is why in addition to recent LRBC specials like Pumpkin French Toast, Pumpkin Ice Cream, and Pumpkin-Peanut Curry Soup, we are baking two loaves of Pumpkin Spice Bread a day, every day.
Partly inspired by the party favors given at my sister-in-law and new brother-in-law's recent wedding, I can't get enough of this simple yet delicious loaf. Logan, Dylan, and myself have been enjoying ours with a little butter on top. You can enjoy yours however you please. FYI, if you come on the early side, it will still be warm, fresh out of the oven.
Posted by Ali and Evan at 3:04 PM
After a less than successful season opener, we could all use some positive Blazer news. Held over by popular demand, The Rudy Fernandez:
The silky smooth Spaniard who had 16 points in his Trailblazer debut was the inspiration for the breakfast sandwich you see pictured above. What is it, you ask? Scrambled egg, oregano, jamon serrano, olive tapenade, roasted red pepper aioli, and shaved manchego cheese. Stop in this week and see for yourself what European ball is all about.
Eating this sandwich will not make you as electrifying as Rudy himself, but we guarantee that it won't put you on the sidelines for 2-4 weeks either (sorry Greg...we still love ya).
Posted by Ali and Evan at 6:28 PM
1. Obscene amounts of organic orange juice
2. Rest, followed by sleep, followed by more rest, followed by a power nap
3. And perhaps my favorite, spicy Thai/ Laotian food
Posted by Ali and Evan at 3:02 PM
After nearly a week spent in NYC, its so nice to be back in P-town. Huge thanks, big ups, and high fives to our ever amazing co-workers, who labored their butts off so that we could be part of an unforgettable family wedding.
Looking forward to the week full of holidays...
Posted by Ali and Evan at 8:26 PM
The first half of our NYC trip has come to an end, and it appears as though cheap, savory, and greasy has been the mantra of our dining experiences thus far. Before we move on to the more refined portion of the tour (thanks to Ali's sister and her soon to be husband), I thought I'd recap just a few of the spots that have filled our bellies:
and a side of fries
No trip to 'the Shack' would be complete without sampling some of their frozen custard. The flavor of the day was pancake (tasted like cake batter with cream cheese frosting). Can you say delicious?
from A Salt & Battery
Posted by Ali and Evan at 12:56 PM
1. For months now we have been serving our challah French toast at the cafe every Sunday. Ironically, though I am infatuated with the bread, I have never been a huge French toast guy. That said, our recipe for this weekend, Pumpkin Challah French Toast, sounds amazingly delicious to me given my dual love for challah bread and anything with pumpkin. Alas, we will still be in NYC and I will have to rely on the word of others in order to find out how insanely delicious the recipe is.
2. I recently received two challah recipes from Ali's sister, and upon our return home I plan to begin experimenting until I can consistently bake a challah recipe worth serving. Don't expect my challah bread to debut at the cafe anytime soon...from what I've read this bread can be a tricky one to master.
3. I'm in New York. The first time I traveled to the city was with my family, when I was 13 years old. Despite the fact that I was sick throughout almost the entire trip, I did get the pleasure of eating perhaps the finest challah I've ever tasted. Only problem is my folks have no idea where said challah was purchased.
I need help! I am in search of the best challah NYC has to offer, and I am willing to travel far and wide in order to find it. So please, if you or anyone you know has a recommendation for a particular bakery where I might be able to sink my teeth into some especially dank challah, please let me know asap.
Posted by Ali and Evan at 2:59 PM
We're doing pretty well thus far on our first day in NYC, and the day ain't over yet. Here is a rundown of all that we have accomplished :
Posted by Ali and Evan at 1:42 PM
Posted by Ali and Evan at 3:12 PM
Isn't it great when you are guaranteed to get a perfect salad? The only two places that fall into this category for us are the salads at Dove Vivi and Toro Bravo. These are two places where we would be willing to skip all of the main course goodies and go only for the greens. No joke. That is a lot said coming from two people who used to be in the salad biz. The thing about these salads are their unique flavor profiles, their inclusion of fresh, local and seasonal ingredients, and the obvious thought and care that goes in to the execution. For example, just take a good hard look at these carrots. These were roasted, bringing out their sweetness and then paired with tangy goat cheese and peppery arugula. Delane's vegetables are always sliced with the utmost precision and thoughtfulness. That kind of love ensures that with every bite you experience the best features of the vegetable. We're simply can't get over her carrots and cucumbers. Can I just say again how much I love eating food in this town? We have Delane and Gavin to thank for providing us sustenance tonight during this all–night-marathon. Thanks, guys. We needed that. XO
Posted by Ali and Evan at 12:13 AM
We dream about fall time in New York. We dream about sleepovers and professional "get-down-on-it" dance parties, fanatical photobooth sessions and emotional outbursts of joy, about sister-girl-time and dude sessions, about meet and greets and cocktail hours, and family. We think a lot about family during this time. We also dream about real antipasti, Florentines at a late morning brunch, espresso at Cafe Grumpy, Pearl lobster rolls, custards in the park, and Indian food. And I mean REAL Indian food.
However, in order for us to have these dreams and eventually act them out, there is an awful lot of planning needed in the meantime. Keep in mind that this will be the first time ever the cafe will be operating when my mother, Evan, and myself are absent. This is both an exhilarating and terrifying thing. There is that deep resonating fear that something will go terribly wrong while we're away. Not to mention that undeniable realization that there are few problems we can fix from all the way across the country. But not if we're prepared. Not if we plan ahead and get everyone on board. It is times like these when we are grateful to have such good people who work at the cafe. If it weren't for them I fear Evan and I would be missing my big sister's wedding. For the past two months we have been planning the schedule for these next six days. You wouldn't believe how much work this actually takes to figure out. Shifts need to be covered (thank you everybody!); emergency and vendor contact lists must be created; weekday and weekend menus have to be created, printed, and shopped for; recipes, par lists, procedures, and standard protocol has to make its way out of our brains and on to physical paper; and at the end of the day there is still laundry and packing that has to be done. Even today, approximately 18 hours before we have to be at the airport, we're still trying to figure out how it's all going to work. But we will figure it out. We have to. So we're holding on to Tara and Dan and to New York and we're NOTGOINGTOLETGO.We recognize this once in a lifetime opportunity and the only way to go from here is full speed ahead.
And even in the wake of all of this craziness Fall keeps marching along, the presence of her golden glory nothing short of breathtaking. Hold on New York. We're coming...we're coming.
Posted by Ali and Evan at 12:17 PM
Our birch trees have been very active over the past four days. You can't even tell I raked. In case you missed it:
Oh well. Why was I trying to fight them anyways? I know all things serve a purpose, including leaves. Just look how beautiful they make our street.
Posted by Ali and Evan at 5:17 PM
And just because it's been awhile, here's some Honeyed Yogurt porn...
Posted by Ali and Evan at 5:15 AM
Last night we saw Jolie Holland at the Doug Fir. There are a few things I like about the Doug Fir, mainly all of the textures found throughout its design. I cannot help but walk through that place and want to touch nearly every surface.
There are many things I like about Jolie Holland. This was our first opportunity to see her in person and I couldn't get over how little she looked on stage-- almost childlike. But the voice that comes from this "smallish" woman, well, there is nothing childlike about it. As playful as she seemed, there is no doubt that Jolie Holland is 100% Woman. And wow, what tales this voice sings. Extremely powerful, soulful serenades is about the best way I can describe it. There is an undeniable knowledge of truth and sincerity and of hurt and desire in that voice and it was a pleasure getting to witness it in person amongst the company of good friends. My short introduction has surely made me itch for another opportunity to see her live and has also reminded me how lucky we are to live in a city that supports and attracts amazing artists who continuously blow my mind by making cool music Happen.
Posted by Ali and Evan at 4:31 PM
Without further adieu, Saturday's Specials Menu:
fried egg, American cheese, Canadian bacon, and maple butter on toasted ciabatta
turkey, applewood smoked bacon, avocado, vine-ripened tomato, lettuce, and black pepper aioi on toasted caibatta. Served with salt & pepper potato chips and dill pickle
Carolina in the Afternoon
Mom’s pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw, homemade BBQ sauce, and pickles. Served with salt & pepper potato chips
Veggie Chili with Whipped Butter and Honeyed Cornbread
Mini Chocolate-Chip Banana Bread Muffins
Homemade Pumpkin Pie
Buttermilk Chocolate Cake
Chocolate-Orange Bread Pudding
Posted by Ali and Evan at 5:30 AM
focaccia with warm Oregon wild mushrooms
balsamic glazed golden beet salad with goat cheese, served over mixed greens
steamed artichokes with lemon-tarragon aioli
cream-braised Brussels sprouts
spinach saute with garlic and raisins
spicy sausage and mashed potato pot pie with roasted onion gravy
roasted tomato and kale served over spaghetti squash with pecorino and toasted walnuts
strawberries with a sour brown sugar dipping sauce
Suffice to say everything was delicious and eaten before photographs could be snapped. Consider this menu a warm up for what's cooking this weekend.
Posted by Ali and Evan at 5:52 PM
Evan arrived at work today to begin our switch-a-roo by passing me the keys to the car.
"No, I think I'll just walk. It's a nice day," I say.
"No, I'd like to walk when I get off. Take the car."
"It's okay, Love. Really, I'll just walk home." I can see it's a relatively nice day out and I'm thinking I'd like to take advantage of it, thank-you-very-much. Despite my instance he is more so.
"Take the car. I mean it," and with that he presses the keys into my palm.
Little did I know that the reason why I am supposed to take the car is waiting for me on the front passenger seat. As I settle in to the driver's seat I am greeted by a lovely bouquet of flowers, an obscene amount of whiskey, and an even more absurd amount of eggnog; my heart and head began to sing, "these are a few of my favorite things..." How well this man knows me!!!
I quickly rush inside the cafe and sweep this man into my arms.
"Have a nice afternoon, Baby." He whispers to the top of my head, seemingly to the hairs on my scalp and finishes this sentence with a kiss. (Yes, my husband still calls me Baby, a habit he formed when he was 18. And yes, I still can't get enough of it, a habit formed by someone who is head over heels in love.)
"I will NOW," is all I can think up to say, because there are other things on my mind. Like how on earth did I get lucky enough to marry this guy? Well, like that and like raking. Yes, raking. We have two extremely large and extremely messy birch trees out front. When we first moved into this house three years ago I loved them. Scratch that-- I idolized them. I have always wanted to live on a tree-lined street and I could not help but feel shamefully pleased that the two largest trees on the block now belonged to us--as if I had any thing at all to do with planting them in the first place. However, it only took about two months before I realized my idolization was really an idealization as I quickly changed my mind about the birch trees outside our home.
First came the aphids. While I say aphid was I really mean is an aphid infestation. The bugs lived in/on/and for the birch trees and at one point it became impossible for us to leave our house without walking through a sea of flying green mass. The inside of our car wasn't even safe. The little Houdinis managed to climb through the air shafts and make nests in our car. It was awful. A day wouldn't go by without a mention from our next-door neighbor about how terrible the bugs were. You see, our problem had become their problem too. Turns out there were no boundaries for these little pests. They didn't discriminate against whose car they inhabited and happily made homes in both of our vehicles. We introduced several ladybugs to our birch trees to help calm the aphid infestation but with little to no resolve. But the aphids were only the beginning of our problem.
Next came the sap, oozing its way down to our car, only to manifest an impenetrable shield of goo on the windshield, and a toxic, paint-peeling pus on top of the car. As the seasons changed my disdain for our precious birch tress grew. Fall brought the leaves, leaves like you've never seen. And then of course there are those lovely dead branches that peel off and cover just about everything down below during the wintertime. At first we were the neighbors who nearly expected congratulatory postcards for the admitted regal presence of our trees. What we became are the people who feel insufferably sorry for the amount of gunk our trees produce and spit out onto seemingly everyone in the neighborhood's lawn. No matter how hard we try to keep up it's never enough. While I really, truly had every intention of dusting off the rake and taking it to the streets yesterday, suffice to say it never happened. This is often the case.
But with this delicate beauty of a gift my husband just bestowed upon me I now have the motivation I need. I return home prepared to finally tackle our birch trees' Fall present, the leaves. But first things first; just as I always do, I head straight to the computer to see what I've missed during the last 6 hours. As soon as my screen-saver kicked off I noticed a note had been left for me on the desktop:
I LOVE YOU.
HAVE A GOOD AFTERNOON.
DON’T SPEND TOO MUCH TIME AT THE COMPUTER.
TAKE A BATH.
MAKE LOVE TO YOUR DOG.
"Don't spend to much time at the computer." Ha! How well his man knows me!!! (This has been made apparent with every breath I pass through my lungs.)
If my husband can spend his morning off writing me love notes on the computer, cleaning the house, and picking out gifts for me, then I can certainly return the favor by spending my afternoon off taking care of business outside.
Okay, Love. You win. Now that the I have emerged as victor during my battle with the birch trees, I will finish this blog post and walk away from the computer, draw a bath, and give our little pup the love he deserves. Now when you get home, your loving wife will be waiting for you, refreshed, relaxed, and ready with an eggnog and whiskey in hand. Thank you for your love, Mr. Dohrmann. You really do know how to make your wife feel like a million, that and a little school girl. Have you ever heard of that song, "Crazy in Love?" Well yeah, it's kind of like that.
*P.S.* This tag-team duo will also be using their whiskey in order to get fired up for this evening's Round Three of the Presidential Debate, just as you should be doing as well. Click here for tonight's schedule. Thankfully, there are only 96 days, 21 hours, and 42 minutes until George W. Bush is no longer our president. We were given the right to vote in this country so NOW is the time to get informed People, and let your voices be heard!
Posted by Ali and Evan at 1:19 PM
Just in case you haven't been able to make it in to try the coffee that tastes like "blueberry coffeecake," there is no time better than the present to indulge. This morning we received a bag that was roasted on Monday, and after sampling my own personal press I can say that this coffee is as tasty as ever, and one that is worth making a special trip to check out for yourself before it fades away to a memory. We should have it on hand through at least Thursday, and I will try my best to nag Joel into giving us more.
Posted by Ali and Evan at 6:59 PM