I was going to write a post about the coffee that will be served at the cafe this weekend, but then I read this.
So there you have it. As Ray said it, "Thanks for the great coffee guys."
I am currently cold-brewing for the weekend a batch of the new Guatemala Esquipulas de Chiquimula finca las Nubes, roasted early this morning (6:46am).
Posted by Ali and Evan at 10:46 PM
In case you haven't noticed Portland, its hot outside! If you can make time, I recommend heading to the coast to cool off. No need to pack a cooler, the folks at W.O.G have got you covered. Need further convincing? Here's what you're missing:
my afternoon assortment (day 2)
rosemary focaccia loaf
3116 S Hemlock St
Cannon Beach, OR 97110
Posted by Ali and Evan at 9:10 AM
I kind of feel like a teenager on some MTV show, but I want to send a shout out to John Gorham of Toro Bravo for continuing to blow our minds with his amazing food. Actually, this is pretty appropriate given that anytime I am around John I feel like a teenage girl who is seeing the Beatles for the first time (a somewhat dated analogy I know, but those who know me would agree that I'm pretty old fashion).
Toro Bravo, we thank you.
120 NE Russell St # A
Portland, OR 97212-3791
Posted by Ali and Evan at 1:14 PM
You heard it here first folks. This Tuesday and Wednesday, our guest baker is none other than the legend itself, Fluer de Lis Bakery. The very same magicians that masterfully craft the ciabatta which make our sandwiches will be filling our little old pastry case with buttery goodness that is guaranteed to knock your socks off.
-pain au chocolat
-ham and cheese croissants
Stop by the cafe early and taste for yourself. Then be sure to make your way over to the Hollywood neighborhood and visit the bakery. They do so much more than your average bakery. I recommend making a visit around lunchtime in order to try one of their amazing sandwiches and salads.
Fleur de Lis Bakery & Cafe
3930 NE Hancock St
Portland, OR 97212-5320
Posted by Ali and Evan at 12:32 PM
Nancy’s Honey Yogurt with house granola, fresh fruit, cinnamon, & honey drizzle
Chilled Tomato Pepper Soup—6.00
with sour cream and toasted walnuts
Vegan César Salad—7.00
with romaine, roasted red peppers, corn, cumin-miso dressing, and tempeh croutons
Southern Challah French Toast—9.50
with spiced peach compote, Kentucky bourbon butter, and real maple syrup
Buttermilk Biscuits and Rosemary Mushroom Gravy—8.00
Sonny’s Special: full order, side of bacon, and large Orange Juice…13.00
Wild Lox Plate—12.00
with boiled bagel, cream cheese, avocado, red onion, tomato, cucumber, capers, dill and balsamic
add two eggs…2.50
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
Summer [Fried] Egg Sandwich—8.50
one egg, Carlton bacon, feta cheese, strawberry-balsamic black pepper jam, and arugula on ciabatta
House Pimento Grilled Cheese—8.00
with sharp cheddar, jack, onion, and sweet peppers, served with potato chips and dill pickle
smoked tempeh strips, arugula, tomato, vegan dill aioli, and avocado on toasted ciabatta, served
with arugula salad
Posted by Ali and Evan at 6:07 AM
I'm not about to play the old blame game again. Forget the fact that we've only recently felt as though our collective heads were above water. Never mind that our computer has been in repair limbo for weeks, its owners unsure as to whether or not they should attempt a very expensive disc recovery effort, or cast away a year's worth of valid warranty to embark on a less expensive quest for missing data. We say "poo-poo" to the fact the summertime is in full swing here in the Pacific Northwest, each sunny day providing a new opportunity to cast aside one's obligations and engage in illicit "be here now" types of activities. And we wouldn't dare blame any lack of blogging on our dear new addition to the family (see below).
For obvious reasons this story spoke to me. It is a beautiful mantra by which we could all live our lives.
Enjoy every sandwich.
In a nutshell, that's what we've been up to during this most recent hiatus. I remain continually honored to be able to share the details of our "sandwiches" with you.
Posted by Ali and Evan at 8:53 PM
I've never been one "lost for words." Usually when I've been this quiet on the blog it means I'm busying plaguing myself with the guilt associated with writing a blog, and having your readers ask you, "Where have you been?" Lately however, I'm the one who has been asking myself that question. Seriously Ali, where have you been? After two weeks in contemplative silence I think I'm finally ready to answer that question.
You may have heard me speak of my mom. Those of you that frequent the cafe know her as The Strata Queen, the lady responsible for those intricate fruit garnishes on the weekend, that slow-baked banana cake and rosemary-mushroom gravy, and for spoiling your dogs while you wait in line to reach the counter.
Me? I know her as both my right and left hand. No, literally: We have the same hands. A fact I first became aware of when I was a child, clutching her hand as we crossed the street, as a teenager, when I could barely distinguish between the curvature of our knuckles and the lines in our palms, then later in my 20's, when I began developing recognizable signs of early arthritis, and then 16 days ago, as I interlaced my fingers through hers as she lay in a hospital bed, unconscious in McMinnville's Willamette Valley Hospital's ICU.
You see, 16 days ago around dinnertime my mom suffered cardiac arrest. Not once, but twice.
She was in McMinnville, on the clock at her other day job, the job she has dedicated the last 30 years of her life to as the director of a program that inspires and supports at-risk youth. A job that requires her to pack up her Portland life every summer and move down to Linfield College's campus (to eat, sleep, and live in the college dorms) for her Summer Program. When we were younger, my sister and I were allowed to move with her. We would all wave and kiss our Dad, four cats, and one dog goodbye, pile into the car, and head to wine country to live with my mom, 8 college-age counselors, and 60 high school kids. Once we got older and our summer schedules no longer permitted 8 week stays, Mom was forced to make the trek by herself, a task she's been diligently taking on alone for the past 30 years.
Sixteen days ago, when I first received the phone call from my sister who was in NYC at the time, I could tell immediately that something was wrong. Terribly wrong. Despite her attempts to keep her voice steady, there was a shrill uneasiness, and most troubling, a panicked eerie attempt to conceal just how bad things were. All I heard was, "Ali, Mom had a heart attack." I can hardly remember handing the phone over to Evan, who was promptly instructed by my sister to get us the car and on the road to make the hour's drive to the valley's hospital. She told us she would be there as soon as she could get a flight.
At this point neither my sister, Evan or I knew whether my mom was alive or dead. On the car ride to the hospital I couldn't stop thinking about Michael Jackson, who had been reported dead, having suffered from a heart attack just hours prior to my mom dropping on the cafeteria floor in front of dozens of witnesses. I wish to highlight this fact not to be dramatic, but because it is because she was in this very public place that my mom survived. You see, the cafeteria was the one location on campus that had access to a defibrillator, the one applied by a witness on the scene, that shocked my mom's heart, that saved my mom's life. Turns out my mom didn't just have a heart attack. She suffered and survived a cardiac arrest, which we have been told less than 5% actually manage.
I can only speak about this now, or even think about speaking about this now because four days ago we were finally able to take my mom home. After spending 4 nights in McMinnville's ICU, coming in and out of a sedative coma, she was finally stable enough to be transferred by ambulance to Good Samaritan Hospital in NW Portland. After a week of floating between this hospital's ICU and Intermediate Care Unit, she was finally deemed well enough to bring home, to her own house, to her own bed.
Needless to say this event has created quite the ripple effect. My family is currently trying to digest the biggest challenge we have yet to be served in our lives, and our cafe is learning how to cope without its "Mom." It has become abundantly clear that nothing will ever be the same again, a fact we are simultaneously trying to accept and be grateful for.
Posted by Ali and Evan at 8:41 PM
Even in times of doubt, uncertainty, and fear I do know one thing for sure: there is very little a viking helmet can't cure. Happy 4th of July, Everybody. I hope you too, have found your laughter this evening. Thank you to all of you who put the smile across our faces. (Psst...we needed that.)
Posted by Ali and Evan at 11:19 PM
After one night in the ICU, three nights in McMinnville's Comfort Inn & Suites (hospital discount rate available), and another evening spent at my parents-in-law's home, I've never been so grateful to see those beckoning green arches of the St. Johns bridge; my favorite bridge; the bridge Evan proposed on; the bridge that leads us home. Home. Home. I've never been so grateful to be home.
Posted by Ali and Evan at 11:04 PM