The inevitable happened.
We needed to go.
We've reached the land of "No Service." Please forgive our lack of communication because we are currently "out of range."
Essential items packed for this journey:
books (including but not limited to: The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cookbook Manual, Annie Leibovitz's At Work, and The Favorite Works of Mark Twain)
cooler containing: fresh fruit, avocado, eggs, organic oj, half 'n' half, soy milk, olive oil, kosher salt, and a 1/6 pan containing the [cafe's] last of the pasilla ailoi
sunglasses (and sunscreen)
Canon camera (x2)
Baratza Virtuoso coffee grinder (+ 34oz. French press)
biscuit ingredients (butter, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and buttermilk)
portable music player and headphones
laptop + European guide book + notebook (& pen)
various dvds (including but not limited to: The Big Lebowski, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Alone in the Wilderness, Bill Hicks Live)
be back soon...
Posted by Ali and Evan at 6:23 PM
Professional coffee consultant? Probably not. I've never had much confidence training people how to make beautiful latte art. In the past, this was a job in which I often begged for assistance from Adam McGovern of Coffeehouse Northwest. But I was really stoked when my buddy Chris Forrette sent me this photo which displays a drink he recently made on a friend's home espresso machine. You see, Chris has never been a barista, he's actually a very talented web designer/developer who just so happens to have a deep affinity for quality coffee.
After Chris had expressed some interest in learning how to make latte art, I invited him to join me in the cafe so that we could talk about general technique and ways to approach making a heart design. One rushed hour later, and our "training" was over (given my incessant rambling I think Chris was only able to pour five or six drinks that day). I guess something must have rubbed off, or Chris is simply a natural when it comes to latte art, because the photo which is linked above clearly demonstrates that he understands the fundamental ideas of flow control.
Great work Chris. You've accomplished in hours what takes (took) many of us days and weeks to figure out.
Posted by Ali and Evan at 10:53 AM
Pretty surreal to be sleeping in these days. When I write "sleeping in", I should clarify that this means that I have been waking up later than normal, which to me really does feel like sleeping in, but to many of you out there my 5:30 am or 6:00 am wake up times still might seem a tad early.
Sunday morning's ride/meet up had a much more economical theme as far as time and distance are concerned. Tim made his way up north to visit a couple of our neighborhood spots. My time Sunday morning was limited given that we had planned to take our LRBC staff out to brunch at Tasty n Sons. After a missed connection at the Red E (where I enjoyed a wonderful double shot of Coava's magical Ardi, Ethiopia Sidama), I rode up to Barista (NE Alberta) where I was eventually greeted by a spandex clad Tim, who was in preparation for a more substantial day of riding that would later take him to Sauvie Island and back.
Can't really fathom that I have weeks of this ahead of me. I look forward to visiting different spots, and bringing other friends along with me (ahem, this means you Justin). There are miles and miles of territory to cover, not to mention a wealth of cafes that I was never able to make the time to visit on a regular basis while we were running our own shop. A few highlights to look forward to this summer if you're a coffee junkie like me:
1. Coava Coffee Roasters will be opening their new cafe sometime this week!
2. Courier Coffee Roasters is slated to open sometime mid-late July. Check out their blog for the latest info.
I had hoped to visit to Courier Coffee roastery early this morning, however with all of this new found freedom we got bit by the travel bug and rushed to split town. Can't wait to get out to see Joel and Alex. Despite being our oldest coffee friends and missing being able to drink their coffee on a daily basis, I am also excited to learn the exact routes they utilized to get from the roastery to our shop in North Portland. Also worth mentioning is that fact that our beloved espresso machine has found a temporary home for itself at the roastery while we scout out a permanent residence. Strange how much a person (myself) can miss a machine, but trust me, it's real.
Until next time, stay caffeinated (and jobless) Portland!
Posted by Ali and Evan at 8:34 AM
-an excerpt from "The Frankies Story" section of their website
Portland: meet Frank, and Frank. Welcome them with open arms, because in time they will begin putting a whole lot of love and energy into creating a new eatery in our fair city, and when that happens our bellies will surely be gurgling in amusement and delight.
Last night we attended an event that reminded us how lucky we are to be eating and living in Portland, Oregon. Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo stopped in to promote the recent launch of their new book, The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion and Cooking Manual. The launch party was held at the Stumptown Coffee Roasters on SW 3rd Ave. Attendants received a copy of the new book, as well as an opportunity to sample a few recipes from the Franks' new book, prepared by the lovely folks from Clyde Common and Olympic Provisions.
We were especially excited to attend having just found out about the event the night before. Though we have never had the pleasure of visiting any of their restaurants back east, we've been drooling over their menus for nearly a year (I mean just read this one from Prime Meats...you're freaking kidding me right?). Peering over their work makes me get all Sam Elliot from The Big Lebowski; "I like your style Dude."
From what we've read we all have Duane Sorenson to thank for getting the Franks to consider bringing a bit of their magic out west (for that and so much else, thank you Duane). Haven't heard an official timeline as for when their forthcoming west coast project will break ground, but we're firm believers that good things come to those who wait. We'll wait.
Welcome to Portland Frank and Frank.
Posted by Ali and Evan at 10:30 PM
Posted by Ali and Evan at 8:09 AM
You didn't think we'd leave without saying goodbye did you?
Oh my. I certainly hope that wasn't the impression we left you with, 'cause frankly, that just ain't our style.
Today the movers from Big Al's are coming. In preparation for their arrival, Evan asked Alice, Tomás, and Kyle to finish boxing up the last of the smallwares in the dining room. Once all of the boxes are out, next will be the tables, the bench, our artwork, and the rest of the cooking equipment. Eventually, once Big Al's has moved everything out and down to the storage facility, we will be left with
an empty cafe an awesome stage and dance floor for our going away party. THIS is the event we've been looking forward to. Friday's last service was fun and all, but our Crew is desperate for a party, and for a chance to properly say goodbye to all of you. You know, without all those gooey egg sandwiches in the way. So please join us for:
Tuesday, June 22nd
Memories, Love, and Drinks
featuring music from:
Delroy (Live funk)
The Woolen Men ( PDX Rock'n' roll)
DJ sets by:
The Happy Hour Kids
(N. PDX Collective)
small bites and sips including:
Ham, Tuna, and Roast-Beef Finger Sandwiches
Greek Tempeh-Salad Lettuce Wraps
Homemade Ice Cream
Mom's Slow-Baked Banana Cupcakes
Foxfire Iced Tea
Iced Courier Coffee
Fresh Squeezed Limeade
LRBC will also be selling:
Exclusive LRBC T-Shirts and Zines (hot off the presses)
Posted by Ali and Evan at 8:38 AM
Dear Lincoln and Catlin,
While we had every intention of trying to make it, we spent the majority of our day yesterday cleaning out our business. Piece by piece, thumbtack by thumbtack.
For lack of a better phrase, moving sucks. And in this case, it's an emotional process.
In the morning we got boxes from the newly rented storage facility down the street, canned fig jam, baked off the last few batches of granola, made espresso for friends, and began wading through the rest of the cafe, one room at a time. In the afternoon we removed shelves, emptied refrigerators, poured whiskey, boxed plates, shed tears, and called it a day.
We ate veggie burritos at our favorite local taqueria for dinner and then climbed into bed, too tired to digest the day, and/or consider the one to follow.
As such, we BOTH managed to miss our 10 year high school reunions last night.
Here's hoping for better timing, and sunnier skies in 2020.
Evan '00 and Ali '00
Posted by Ali and Evan at 8:58 AM
We will keep normal business hours, from 8am-2pm. Please come join us for this bittersweet event. It just wouldn't be the same without you.
Posted by Ali and Evan at 10:42 PM
As many of you know, this past Sunday was our last brunch service.
We opened our doors at 9am (ish) to a crowd and line out-the-door that lasted all day.
The kitchen didn't manage to clear their line...not once.
To those of you who waited 45 minutes (or more!) for an egg sandwich: well, I don't know what to say. "Bless your heart," hardly does your actions justice.
Needless to say, this past Sunday's sales broke all previous records. A fact that, as silly as it may seem, made me grin from ear to ear. Specifically because Evan and I had debated whether or not we would ever actually accomplish this feat in the short amount of time we had left at the cafe.
Once the last sandwich was boxed up, and the "CLOSED" sign was flipped on the door, Evan made the executive decision to pour a round of whiskey for our Crew who worked their asses off during this last, and very sentimental, brunch service.
Many thanks to those who were there to witness the mayhem. We wouldn't have wanted it any other way. XO
Posted by Ali and Evan at 4:25 PM
The Road Not Taken
Robert Frost (1874–1963). Mountain Interval. 1920.
|TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,|
|And sorry I could not travel both|
|And be one traveler, long I stood|
|And looked down one as far as I could|
|To where it bent in the undergrowth;||5|
|Then took the other, as just as fair,|
|And having perhaps the better claim,|
|Because it was grassy and wanted wear;|
|Though as for that the passing there|
|Had worn them really about the same,||10|
|And both that morning equally lay|
|In leaves no step had trodden black.|
|Oh, I kept the first for another day!|
|Yet knowing how way leads on to way,|
|I doubted if I should ever come back.||15|
|I shall be telling this with a sigh|
|Somewhere ages and ages hence:|
|Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—|
|I took the one less traveled by,|
|And that has made all the difference.||20|
Posted by Ali and Evan at 9:33 PM
This photo was taken ten years ago, in the kitchen of Evan's parent's house in February, 2000. Evan and I are getting ready to attend Lincoln's winter semi-formal. I believe, ahem, (and am desperately hoping) the theme that year was "Safari."
I'll never forget, that occasion Evan's parent's were (conveniently) out on the town, so the guys got together, ordered out, and later took credit for cooking their dates' dinner. While I have zero recollection of the meal itself, I remember thinking at the time that this gesture, however flawed, was really, very sweet.
Though not yet "technically" a couple at this point-- it would take four more months, a kegger, and a toga party before we felt comfortable enough to utter the words "my boyfriend" and "my girlfriend" to anyone, including ourselves-- one could see, even back then, that Evan and I definitely had a thing going on.
Flash forward and today marks ten years since we "officially" began dating. We're not quite sure how many more times we can celebrate this particular anniversary given that we have now been married for nearly two years, but it is our first ten year milestone of any sort, and we had a damn fine time paying homage to this fact over the past 48 hours.
How do we manage to "keep the flame alive" perse, even after all these years? One of our favorite methods is the "staycation." You're familiar, right? The notion of creating a vacation while at home? Given our crazy work schedules we have often found this form of vacationing not only the most convenient, but a fantastic way to explore and refamiliarize ourselves with this ever-changing city that we love. Hanging out in this town makes for an easy celebration.
Many thanks to the people and places who helped make ours special. Including: Archery Summit, Ashley Forrette Photography, Coffeehouse Northwest, Delicious Donuts, Everett Street Bistro, Forest Park Conservancy, Margulis Jewelers, Metrovino, The Nines, Paley's Place, Spella Caffe, #1 Bento, our awesome staff, and supportive (and ever-indulging) families.
Posted by Ali and Evan at 5:20 PM
What began as a casual fling has, over time, developed into a full blown addiction. My body begins sending my brain warning signs from the moment I wake up in the morning. I come to the realization that I am coffee deficient in a number of ways; forgetting to put baking powder in the French Puff batter, not being able to remember the name of some of our most committed regulars, writing checks and filling in the date as 2009 (or sometimes 2008!). Ultimately, I always give in, and when I do the experience ranges between mood altering, and sometimes life changing.
I'm not exaggerating folks. This stuff is amazing. For all you hard core black coffee drinkers out there who never deviate from "drip" or "french press" or any other standard brewing method, the next time you visit a quality cafe ask for a "double americano" with eight ounces (or less) of water. I have to warn you though, you may never go back.
Posted by Ali and Evan at 9:45 AM
We're beginning to slowly chip away at our future. At least at what we'd like our future to be.
So far it's been coming to us in layers:
like over a root beer float, tucked away in a corner at our favorite pizza joint,
while on the phone with a fellow research junkie, laptops clicking away, ideas loading,
or in the shower, the safest place to dream about subway tile.
The most exciting part of this whole thing is that we're beginning to feel like we're coming out of a fog, and the bigger picture is finally coming into focus.
The answer has been there all along. We just needed to answer Life's all-too-important question: "What do I want?"
Our answer? We want to make a positive, lasting effect on a community.
Stay tuned for the journey.
Posted by Ali and Evan at 8:10 PM
Here are a few of my choice quick-fixes for a bad day:
1. Clean sheets and a freshly made bed
2. Mexican Coke, drawn from the bottle
3. A walk through the woods
4. Receiving pretty packages, containing one-of-a-kind pieces (with many thanks to inspiring friends and crafty talent for making it happen)
5. A chocolate dipped cone
6. Listening to Willie and Stevie on the record player
7. New socks
8. Fresh flowers
9. Reading a gossip magazine, from glossy cover to glossy cover, in the bath
10. Dreaming of sunnier times and places
11. Long distance video chats with the ones I love
12. Hand massages
13. Singing bluegrass and classic country with Evan
14. Grinding beans and making French press coffee at home
If all else fails, try counting to three, with deep breaths in-between.
Posted by Ali and Evan at 10:11 PM
Our neighbor Faith has been known for baking up goodness from the moment we met her. As a former co-worker of Evan's and pastry chef at New Season's Arbor Lodge, we were first introduced to her work with batches of dark chocolate pecan cookies. Later, at dusk, when we would take the dogs for a walk in the neighborhood, I could see Faith in her kitchen, the stand-up KitchenAid mixer ceremoniously back lit behind her, and I'd wonder what culinary magic she was concocting. During the summer it was fresh organic veggies from her yard, and pumpkin cupcakes in the fall.
Flash forward many years later and Faith now has us under her spell with her newly launched line of artisan chocolate bars, Bees & Beans.
Making its debut splash this late spring, Faith's chocolate bars are delicious (and nearly impossible to keep on the shelves). We were first wooed by the beauty and obvious crafts(wo)manship of the bars themselves. Each bar is made by hand, and is budding with the freshest and highest quality of ingredients. Think: artisan 70% dark chocolate, organic berries, and local hazelnuts and honey. Faith's driven commitment to quality extends beyond sourcing ingredients locally and includes her packaging, which is entirely biodegradable, down to the cellophane, label, and adhesive!
Right now there are three flavors of bars available:
Honey caramel, salted hazelnut and honey nougat, hand dipped in dark chocolate with a sprinkling of sea salt
Raspberry caramel, honey nougat with dried blueberries, hand dipped in dark chocolate
Filling of filberts, Milk chocolate, peanut butter, and crispy rice, hand dipped in dark chocolate
We suggest you go out and get you some so you can decide for yourself.
Bees & Beans are available at the following (hip) locations:
Little Red Bike Cafe
Food Front NW
Foster and Dobbs
All three Pastaworks locations
Posted by Ali and Evan at 6:06 PM