You Heard it Here First, Folks:

Little Red Bike Cafe proudly presents:

1st Annual All American Hot Dog Festival
When: Saturday, July 4th
with regular service 8-12, Sabrett Hot Dogs grilled on the sidewalk 12:30-3:30
Come get down with Music, Friends, and Food


What's For Dinner...

Bento (Our Way)
brown rice, chili-spiked steamed spinach, grilled tofu, pineapple, and mushrooms


On the Menu...

Strawberry Pie
made with local berries and love
la mode? You betcha!)


Look How Far We've Come

(the one on the left giving her best "don't bullshit me" stare)

The whole laptop fiasco has forced us to go through old photos to figure out what has and hasn't been lost. Came across this gem two years to the day from when it was taken. Baby, look how far we've come!

In very exciting news, Courier has giveth a new coffee to the LRBC, and it's from Guatemala (among my most favorite regions of origin). Stop by the cafe tomorrow to see what Huehuetenango and Finca Palhu have to offer.



That's pretty much the word I'd use when describing my state of being yesterday.

After sleeping with my precious laptop underneath my bed for the last four nights because of this contest I was returned with a favor: somewhere between 12:30-1:30 yesterday afternoon I received a "Dear John" letter (in the form of a gray screen with a file folder and blinking "?" on it) from my Macbook. Apparently my obsession with getting A Really Goode Job was too much for her. The hours spent blogging, tweeting, editing, previewing, and watching videos was just too much for her. She was tired of being overused and under-appreciated (aren't we all?). She felt the time had come to go our separate ways.

Despite my attempts to woo her back (I even contacted a genius to mediate), I am still being given the silent treatment. And before you even ask, the answer is no: in fact, it's a BIG F A T resounding "NO!," we did not have any of the hard drive backed up.

Other words I might use to describe my day?

What about "crushing?" That pretty much sums up the blow of losing all of our honeymoon photos/future post photos/and silly family moment photos ("Goodbye Camp Sherman and Mexico, goodbye CCR cupping, goodbye nine year anniversary date night! We'll miss you!")

And "devastating." That's how I felt when I first realized that I'd lost the only copy of the food memoir I've been diligently dedicating the past four months to. As I explained to my dear friend Alice between sobs, this is perhaps the most overwhelming thing that can happen to a writer. To have your words ripped away from you is like nothing else and of course the thought of having to sit down again and try to recreate what had already been written seems like an absolute impossibility.

Are any of you familiar with that children's book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? Well yeah, it was kind of like that. There were numerous other ridiculously unsatisfying things that happened both prior to and after the explosive, crashing failure of my hard drive (wasp sting, mud on my new coat, broken cup,etc.) Surely details too insignificant to share or bore you with, but suffice to say that by the time I had returned home from various attempts to console my computer, I was fretfully inconsolable. Yes, Friends, that's exactly the right word for this occasion.

My reaction was to swear off looking or even thinking about another computer, and to go out and buy not one but two bottles of Sonoma county produced zinfandels to do a little wine tasting. How predictable are we during a break-up? My laptop leaves me because I've been consorting with a bunch of winos and I proceed to go right back to the source of the problem. Well, what can I say? If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. When it was all said and done I managed to convince myself that this was all a sign; that it was supposed to happen so that I would be forced to go down to Sonoma and nail this really good(e) interview, and land this really good(e) job so that I could be inspired to sit down and not only rewrite what I had already completed for our book, but be able to add a new chapter, the chapter about my six-month internship as Murphy-Goode's Wine Country Life Correspondent. On top of all of that, I've got a sneaking suspicion that if there ever were a place that existed where I could feel more motivated than ever to recapture my words, Healdsburg, CA would be it.

Come on, Folks: Help a girl out (keeping in mind that you would actually be helping two girls out). Please vote for our video. Have your friends vote for our video. I personally could use your support now more than ever.


Courier Coffee Roasters @ LRBC Today

fun with beer can stoves

Today is Monday, and the Little Red Bike Cafe is closed (as always). However, if you are in need of a coffee fix and have some free time this afternoon, today is your lucky day.

Today, at 2:00pm, we will be hosting the first ever of a new monthly coffee/cupping event with Courier Coffee Roasters (if there is enough interest I'll do this every week people, though I can't vouch for Joel's availability...did I mention CCR"s home deliveries occur every Monday? That takes place before you get out of bed).

Today's event will be pretty informal, or in other words, free. Come. Be ready to relax, listen, and taste some coffee. You might learn something new, and work up a nice buzz in the process.

I'm excited. Hope to see you at the LRBC.


Sneak Preview

Clue: Note from sister regarding E's and my 9 year anniversary date night reads: Happy Anniversary. Hope it is filled with rabbit yumminess and lots of photo booth strips.

Any guesses where we might have gone?

And in response to you, dear sister, yes: it was in fact filled with rabbit yumminess and lots of photo booth strips (please see above).

Full report to follow after a long, hard night's rest.


The Time Has Come...

...to address the elephant in the room.

[image pulled from http://tinyurl.com/adcqtq]

But first, some history:

Approximately two months ago I received and email from my sister informing me about Murphy-Goode's hiring of a Wine Country Lifestyle Correspondent. Who is Murphy-Goode and what is a "Wine Country Lifestyle Correspondent?" Murphy-Goode a family run vineyard in Sonoma County, and their ideal candidate for a Wine Country Lifestyle Correspondent is someone who knows how to navigate Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and other social media in order to tell the world about their wines and about Sonoma County Wine Country.

What does this have to do with us? Well, according to my sister in this email, this job was made for us, and upon learning more about the position, I couldn't agree more. With my food and wine knowledge and her successful media networking track record we knew that together, we could really bring something to the Murphy-Goode table. It's a six month project that would allow us to move to Sonoma and do what we love and do best: eat, drink, blog, learn, laugh and of course here comes the best part: Have the opportunity to share it with all of YOU.

The problem? She lives and works in NYC with her husband, and I obviously live here and work in Portland with mine...oh, and did you read the fine print that mentions we'd both have to leave our jobs and our families for six months? Well, that's just one reason why we thought it would be ideal to tackle the project as sisters.

Growing up we've always remarked on our differences. One's short; the other is tall. One's got Mom's looks (dark hair and brown eyes); and the other has Dad's (lighter skin and blue eyes.) One of us (ahem) tends to be a bit more timid, disorganized, laid-back, and just so happens to be a really good cook. The other is the spark plug, whose brain produces new ideas in rapid fire succession, and who undoubtedly seems to be born to help people connect.

Despite our differences and the obvious distance and time zones separating us, we've remained the closest of friends, always knowing when it's best to keep our big mouth shut, or when to tell the truth, even if it's going to hurt like hell. We cannot help but feel like we are the ones who are supposed to fill this position. Finally our differences and strengths would no longer act as an infringement, but would rather be the perfect compliment of one another. The "yin" and the "yang" finally coming together to make something whole, complete, and most importantly, balanced. Not only that, but after living more than 12 years apart from my best friend, we are more than ready to call the same place "home."

The biggest part of the application is a 60 second video, where you have to tell Murphy-Goode why you're the best candidate for the job. Upon reviewing your application and video, the Murphy-Goode team posts the video on their site, and then opens up the voting to the public. Fans are asked to type in their email address and then to confirm their submission via email response.

Please allow us to explain, the competition for this position is FIERCE. Like beyond Tyra Banks fierce, and more like The New York Times fierce, where the listing for this job was actually posted (oh yeah, and in the La Times, you catchin' our drift?!?) Early this morning our video was finally posted on Murphy-Goode's "A Really Goode Job" website, along the other 400 people who submitted their applications around the same time as us. Other candidates have had their video up for weeks (we were a bit late in the game applying) and are consequently ahead of the pack. The voting process ends in SIX days. Which means we only have six days to catch up with the leaders. Oh, and did we mention our application is #1096?

That's where YOU come in. We need your vote. We need your friends' vote. We need your fans' votes. We need your coworkers' votes. We need the world's vote. Part of this "competition" is showing off your social media networking big guns and this is us, pulling out ours. We need your help to prove to Murphy-Goode that we gots the goods to make this a Partnership Dream Team.

And now for the elephant in the room:

What about the Little Red Bike Cafe?
What about "Evan and Ali" (Those two names that rarely seem to part from one another)?

Well, here's the gist of it:

No, this is not the end of the Little Red Bike Cafe or A&E, just another chapter of the journey. The cafe is at the point right now where most of the work I do personally, revolves around blogging, networking, menu planning, and recipe writing, much of which I already do from home and which can easily be accomplished from a laptop in Sonoma. Besides, this position is temporary, and will only last for six months (I'll be back before you can even ask what new ice cream flavors I'm churning).

In regards to Evan and I, and our personal relationship, as most/all of you know, we are long-distance dating veterans, and after enduring four years in a long distance love web that spanned several states and countries and even crossed trans-Atlantic borders, six months seems like a flash in the pan. Not to mention the fact that we consider an hour's plane ride away (in wine country, no less) and living in the same time zone amenities. Evan's only hesitation in supporting this dream is the impending arrival of our new puppy, LaLa in July. For some time now, we've realized that our working schedules would have to be opposite given the fact that this new puppy will require quite a bit of training and attention during her first few months home. That said, Evan has kindly requested that he keep Zeus here with him, and that I bring "the baby" down to Sonoma with me. Consequently, Tara and I have committed ourselves to creating the first volume of our book, "Potty-Training in Wine Country" (coming soon to a bookstore near you!).

Warning! Cute Puppy Alert!
That's a 5 week old LaLa in my hands, slated to come home in July!

So there it is, Folks. The secret is out and you can finally put an end to any of those rumblings or rumors you may or may not have heard about me leaving Little Red Bike Cafe for a new job. This Really Goode Job is merely a six month internship, and an incredible and genuine "once in a lifetime opportunity" at that, and we would REALLY, REALLY appreciate your support in making this dream come true. Not only that, but the true intention of this position is to get the word out about living the "goode" life, and we would love nothing more than to share our experiences with all of you the best way we know how, the way we've already connected with you: the Internet. Tara and I already have tons of ideas on how we can make the most of this position not only for the people down in Sonoma, but for all of our friends, family, and loved ones back home. Please endorse our goal.

So if you could kindly take a second and vote for our submission we would be forever grateful. (And if on top of that you can send this request out to all of your friends, fans, followers, and family that you'd think you be down to support us, then we'd really owe you one.)

The folks at Murphy-Goode have made the process really easy.

Please watch our Application Video here.

All you need to do to vote is type in your email address and then be sure to CONFIRM your submission once they email you a response. Unfortunately, your email won't count until you confirm the link they send you.

If you're interested in following our journey down this road, or want to learn more about what tricks we have up our sleeve, please check out our new blog: Know Thy Goode Neighbor. And while you're at it, why not cast your vote in the poll we got going on over there which asks: What's your favorite way to learn about wine?

As always: Thank you, thank you, thank you. The power of the web never ceases to amaze me and I know all of you can help us get out there in the World Wide Web and get our voices heard. XO


On the Menu...

Tiger Woods
blueberry-lemonade with earl grey tea and fresh thai basil

Wine Country (not pictured)
thinly sliced prosciutto, brie, gorgonzola, and dijon with basil-green grape relish on ciabatta

Here's what we're planning on doing with these bad boys:
1. Espresso: Ray (aka @elrayray) will be starting Saturday with a batch from the 10th. Espresso remains a 50/50 blend of Sulawesi Toraja and Ethiopia Sidamo lots. Recently Ray has been experimenting with lower extraction temperatures, a feat which has been greatly aided by Joel's ingenious efforts to make the machine even more temperature stable by using Teflon to decrease the surface area inside the Synesso's steam boiler. In our humble opinion(s) the last few weeks of CCR espresso have been the best of this particular espresso blend. In other words? CCR's been working magic (overtime). Way to go, guys!
2. In hopes that the sun will come out Sunday afternoon, Kenya Mchana will be cold-brewed for 12 hours overnight from Saturday to Sunday
3. We have been seriously digging the Brazil Perdizes de Minas Nossa Senhora de Fatima as our featured French Press coffee, served in bottomless cups (in house).

Also on the menu (for Monday?!?) is our forthcoming Coffee Cupping with Courier Coffee Roasters. More on this later. mark your calendars for Monday, 6/15 @ 2:00 PM at Little Red Bike Cafe. You've heard of that place before, right? Need directions? Here you go. We're looking forward to hosting you and CCR is looking forward to satiating you.


LRBC Little Known Fact #9

[Photo taken 9 years ago on 1st road trip (of many) to The Redwoods]

Nine years ago (yesterday) we fell in love. To celebrate this fact we're packing an overnight bag, leaving our computers at home, dropping the dog off at daycare (Thanks, Dad), and disconnecting from the web/world for 24 hours (gasp!) in order to partake in a [not so] Super Secret Celebratory Ceremony (no, we're not getting married again). We can tell you this: we are bringing one piece of equipment with us on this sojourn, our camera, whose card has been emptied and battery charged. We're hoping to gain a new perspective of Portland, the city that has been home to both of us for the better part of our lives. The place where we grew up, met, and fell in love. Public transportation and our two feet will serve as our means of transport as we traverse locales both familiar and new. Thank you to the whole LRBC Crew for holding down the ship while Mom and Dad play. XO

Girls, Girls, Girls

Seriously folks, if you see this guy, give him free coffee.

No, this post has nothing to do with Motley Crue, and everything to do with the fact that planet earth just became a better place to live because people like Matt and Joy are procreating.

Nice work you two. We can't wait to meet her.



French Toast Fit for Bugs [Bunny]

Here's how our "Carrot Cake" Challah French Toast turned out:

“Carrot Cake” Challah French Toast
thick slices of challah dipped in a spiced carrot batter,
served with maple cream-cheese butter, carrot ribbons and toasted walnuts

We had not one or two, but three reliable sources tell us that this was better than the Elvis. What are your thoughts?

*much thanks to the always exceptional Mr. Roth for the captured food porn*



Honey Yogurt Bowl—7.00
Nancy’s Honey Yogurt with house granola, fresh fruit, cinnamon, & honey drizzle

White Bean Soup—7.00
asparagus, carrots, leeks, garlic scapes, with toasted croutons and pecorino

“Carrot Cake” Challah French Toast—9.50
served with maple cream-cheese butter and toasted walnuts

Buttermilk Biscuits and Rosemary Mushroom Gravy—7.00
Half portion…5
Sonny’s Special: full order, side of bacon, and large Orange Juice…13.00

Wild Lox Omelet—11.00
with bacon, red onion, goat cheese, and avocado, topped with crushed hazelnuts and roasted garlic-scape pesto, served on a bed of greens

Oregon Tuna Melt—9.00
wild Oregon albacore tuna, lemon-herb mayo, cheddar, green onions, and farmhouse relish on Italian como bread, served with arugula salad
‘surf ‘n turf’ (add bacon)…1.50

Spring [Fried] Egg Sandwich—9.50
two eggs, Carlton bacon, roasted asparagus and leeks, and lemon herb aioli on ciabatta, served with tossed arugula salad

Grilled Polenta with Gingered Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote—8.00
egg and dairy free, toasted almonds, local rhubarb compote and pure maple syrup

smoked tempeh strips, arugula, tomato, vegan dill aioli, and avocado on toasted ciabatta, served
with arugula salad

Croque Madame—8.50
toasted ham and cheese sandwich with a fried egg and house mornay sauce, served with tossed
arugula salad

Parched? Try our "Tiger Woods," an elixir made from blueberry- basil-lemonade and earl grey tea. Unsatisfied? There are rumblings that Courier's espresso has been spot on lately, and that El RayRay is dosing, tamping, and pulling "like-whoa." Come down and see for yourself.


Cabin Pizza

Whenever we go to the cabin we feel especially inclined to cook every meal at home. Flavors and methods tend to be simple, rustic, and earthy. One such item dished up this past weekend was one of Evan's best pizzas to date:

Egg and Carrot Pizza
with thyme, chiles, goat cheese, roasted carrots, and farm eggs


1st Year: Paper

Traditional first year anniversary gifts are made of paper. No better a reminder of this fact than Portland Bride and Groom's latest issue (which happens to include our wedding in the "Real Weddings" section). We were ecstatic when family members brought in a copy to the cafe this past weekend and were forced to stash it away until the end of the day, when we could really take the time to to sit down and savor the details. Having an opportunity to revisit our day was cathartic and proved important in reconnecting us with the things we love most about each other, this city, and the people who inhabit it.

To be honest I felt gobsmacked (in a bad way) after our wedding. Coupled with a small remodel at the cafe, the timing of the two events overwhelmed, exhausted, and defeated me at times. Having the chance to go back, if only through the glossy pages of a magazine, allowed me to gain a new perspective and appreciation for not only the work that went in to making the event happen, but the reason behind it all, the thing that's always behind everything that pieces my world together: US.

We can hardly believe it's been nearly a year since we exchanged our vows for the second time. Though traditionally nontraditional, Evan and I decided this past weekend that we would like to honor the anniversary gifts traditionally given annually. In a world and a moment so caught up in themselves, we find something reassuring in respecting something old, if you will.

Much thanks to Portland Bride and Groom for allowing us to share our day with your readers and for reminding me what it's really all about.

Much thanks to our vendors/friends that made our day:
[ AniA Collection, Molli Barrs: Soiree, Ben Sherman, Converse, Dan Eckstein Photography, Kymm Ernst, Alice Hacker, Keegan Meegan Press and Bindery, Margulis Jewelers, Katie Merriman: Visual FX Salon, Frank Mondeaux, Our Labor of Love Photography, Paloma’s Nest, Tim Payne, Scott and Sherry Pendarvis, Pete Krebs Trio, Ruby Jewel Treats, Satsuma Press, St. Cupcake, Schwinn, Simpatica Catering, Something Bold, Stolen Sweets, StudioBooth, The Party Place, Twigs & Honey, Two Tarts Bakery, DJ Tyler Tastemaker, West Coast Event]

To our family and friends who attended in show of their support of our union: Word.


Deep Breath In...and Relax

chilled sweet pea soup with minted creme fraiche, served with a buttermilk biscuit
[soup art courtesy of Logan]

Since our post-flood reopening nearly a month a go, life has at many times felt like a complete blur. Over the past few weeks, we have often remarked that certain moments have been reminiscent of the time when we first opened the cafe back in the summer of 2007. A lot of anxiety, new routines to learn, and a whole lotta hours spent hard at work, both inside and outside the cafe. Throughout all of this we have gained two part-time bakers, revised both our weekday and weekend services, set our sights on a forthcoming dinner service, and somehow managed to make a huge stride forward in the never-ending process of organizing our home (the latter feat perhaps the most outstanding accomplishment given the snowball effect that two years of running the cafe has made on our personal live/work space).

I can say however, with the initial shockwave of the flood experience behind us, that I feel we have both become stronger people as a result of the accident. The overwhelming support we received from all of you, as well as our less media-literate friends, helped us keep everything in perspective during the most trying times, and ultimately helped remind us that we do what we do because we love it, and there is nothing else that would please us more than to be able to cook food for our fellow Portland community.

Thank you.

We are as excited as ever about the road that lay ahead. Additionally, it doesn't hurt that Courier Coffee Roasters is currently roasting some out of this world coffees! Take this one for example:

a recent arrival at Courier Coffee Roasters

2009 has thus far proven to be a year of amazing Brazilian coffees for Joel, Matt, and Alex (not to mention fabulous lots from Sulawesi, Bolivia, Honduras, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Sumatra to name a few). Fazenda Nossa Senhora de Fatima produces only 100% organically grown coffee and employs an agricultural engineer to constantly monitor all of their coffee growing operations. That hard work translates into some very consistent coffees that contain strong fruit notes, sweet chocolate flavors, and rich medium body.

ready for their close up

The above photograph shows one of Joel's intial roasts of this particular coffee (Perdizes de Minas). Definitely a light roast, which to me always provides a depth of insight into what a given coffee is all about. This particular roast was tested by yours truly in the Hario Syphon brewer currently on loan from CCR. Just this past Saturday I brewed up 2 gallons of toddy (cold brewed coffee) using 3lbs 6oz of a more recent roast of the same coffee.

In addition to the exciting arrival of the new Courier Coffee Roasters Blog, we have even more good news for all you coffee lovers...

In less than two weeks, we are planning to host what we hope will be the first of many monthly public coffee events featuring Courier Coffee Roasters coffee. Mark your calenders for Monday, June 15 folks (Joel that means you too). There will be more details to follow, but my hope is that by inviting people into the LRBC to taste and learn about Joel's coffee, we can enhance the pleasure of one's persoanl coffee drinking experience. Not to mention that there will be plenty of opportunity to take in the fruit of Joel's labor, as well as gain further insight into various facets of the coffee trade, from origin to delivery (via bicycle of course).

In other news, this past Sunday was Dekin's last cooking shift at the Little Red Bike cafe. It goes without saying that we will all miss his calm under pressure, not to mention his amazing skills which have made us all better cooks. The previous Sunday (originally scheduled to be his final shift) we "retired his apron" during an impromptu celebration that marked an important moment in LRBC history: the first LRBC Hall of Fame Ceremony.

Dekin 5/24; first ever inductee into the LRBC Hall of Fame

But believe me Portland when I say that Dekin's departure from his space behind the hotplates at the cafe is going to translate into a higher quality of life for all of us.

"Why?" you ask.

Well, that is because soon we will all be able to enjoy his cooking not one, not two, but three days a week, at four different locations! Yes friends, meet the magic that is "Lilikoi." Dekin and his wife Veth are hell bent on owning a food cart, and in order to make this dream become a reality they have entered into four different local farmers markets for the 2009 season. Lilikoi (which means passionfruit in Hawaiian), can be found during the summer and fall months at various farmers market locales such as St. Johns, Forest Grove, Interstate, and Lents. Clean out your shopping baskets and head to the market folks, and go hungry for egg rolls, dynamic noodle dishes, delectable donuts, and sesame flour blossom cookies.

We couldn't be happier for Dekin and Veth. As they fight to get their new baby off the ground, we simultaneously labor to resuscitate our toddler whom is poised to enter its terrible twos. All the while we have made great efforts to use our downtime to try to get our home life into some kind of order. In some ways, this task has proven even more difficult than post-flood rebuilding, as the disorganization that we are working to repair has taken months, if not years to manifest.

our mantra during for this kind of work used to be BTO's "Takin' Care of Business", but lately I have been leaning towards "It's Business Time" by Flight of the Conchords

As easy as it is to put off this kind of work, I find that in the end time spent working to clean up the mess always trumps the many months of endless procrastination. With a common goal in mind, Ali and I spent most of our free time during these past few weeks trying not only to get our house back in order, but to once again attain a general feeling that we had some level of control in our life.

It worked.

E's guacamole overboard

By week's end we were even able to have a couple of friends over for chips and dip; as true a sign as any that things are going well. Though the dramatic after-affects of the flood continue to take shape out of the public eye, we move forward feeling good about our place in life. We are as eager as ever to continue our dream of building a restaurant in our beloved hometown of Porland, Oregon.


Ali's pico