Saturday, January 07, 2006

Rants and ramblings

Underground Portland
There has been a lot of mention lately of underground restaurants. Unfortunate for me I've never been to one. Sometimes I think my wife and I run one when children and friends of children show up at the house. What's for dinner Dad? Tri tip, grilled vegetables and cheesy polenta. My daughters friend says "all we had at my house was a bowl of cereal". If only I could charge an entrance fee. Most recently I read an article in Jim Dixon's Real Good Food about a couple who started with underground and ended up going mainstream with a restaurant called Family Supper. They have a real cool web site that describes it and gives some sample menus. The basic premise is they serve a set menu, family style at long communal tables. You get to know all the strangers at the table and have closer contact with the chefs. It's a new but old concept. It reminds me of some Basque restaurants I use to go to. The burning question, in my mind, is Portland the new San Francisco? Attracting the young and the restless with bold new entrepreneurial spirit. Maybe so. The fact that rents are cheap and new ideas are welcomed helps support that theory.

Now you're laughing

I was overjoyed when my kids came up with a copy of Jamie's Italy for my birthday. It is not available in the U.S. for some strange reason. They got it on eBay. I think you can get anything on eBay. This book is probably Oliver's best yet. The pictures and graphics are wonderful. A part on greens, simply served, has inspired me recently. There are a number of pictures of recently slaughtered animals which are a bit startling. Oliver thinks that if one chooses to eat meat they should be aware of the process. Ok I'll go along with that.

Food Diary

I know that this time of year everyone is dieting. One the the tools that comes highly recommended is a food diary. I'd be very afraid of one myself. Photographer Peter Menzel and partner Faith D' Aluisio have taken food diary to a new level. They have taken pictures all over the world of families and what they eat. The book is Hungry Planet What the World Eats. Check it out.
Happy New year!!

1 comment:

Mona said...

Happy New Year Greg, sounds like you have a pretty fun household. Funny that's the sort of environment I'll want when I have a house and family. My parents weren't so keen on having friends over all the time, maybe that's why, I'm going to overcompensate for the lack of visitors we had as kids. Either way, my friend who lives in Marin County has this great house, pool, tennis, and when I went to visit her loved how friends were walking in and out all day. We joked and called it Country Club Gottlieb. Sounds like you've got your own country club thing going on:)