There’s a new food cart in town located on MLK at Sacramento and it sits right next to Billy Ray’s Tavern at 2210 NE MLK.
Julie and Brandon Wilson have opened Thai MLK and the patrons of Billy Ray’s Tavern are, I’m sure, happy to have food that can be purchased at the cart and then consumed at the Tavern.
Julie Wilson moved here from Hawaii after working with her auntie who had a restaurant in Kauai, Hawaii. She learned how to make delicious Thai cuisine. Her sister owns a restaurant in Troutdale, Thai Carnation, so it’s no wonder that Julie would accept the offer to buy the food cart that used to be owned by her sister.
The menu at Thai MLK has a nice variety of appetizers, salads, stir fry, noodles, soups, and curries as well as beverages and desserts. Main dishes range from $9-10 and appetizers are $5-7.
At this point they accept cash but also accept credit cards. Conveniently, there is an ATM at Billy Ray’s Tavern that can be easily accessed during the bar’s business hours.
As a bonus, Thai MLK is giving away free masks so you won’t have to worry if you order your food and then decide to go next door to the tavern.
Soon the Wilsons plan to build a patio next to the food cart to protect customers from the rain which will definitely be appreciated.
Thai MLK is open Tuesday—Saturday from 1—10 pm. Be sure to try this food cart soon and welcome Julie and Brandon to the neighborhood. From personal experience, the food is delicious and I highly recommend the Pad Thai. It is so flavorful and you can increase the spice with the additional chili peppers included on the side.
With the shut down of most businesses we wanted to make sure that Eliot residents knew which businesses are still open for business and specifically take out for meal options, coffee shops to keep you caffeinated and more importantly to show these businesses appreciation for keeping us fed and that we want to keep them viable during these tough times. Below is a list of open businesses which will get updated as needed:
On a clear morning, as the sun traces a path from east to west, the light eventually breaks out over the treetops of the Eliot Neighborhood, slips under the freeway passes and spills sunshine onto North Russell Street. Still a quiet strip that’s surely poised to grow, right now it’s a mix of industrial shops peppered with business storefronts.
It’s during this time of day, at about 7:30 A.M. that you’ll want to make your way over to Bernstein’s Bagels. In the winter of 2018, Bernstein’s grew into the space that was formerly home to Mint, one of Portland’s mainstay cocktail bars. A labor of love and dedication, the renovation at 816 North Russell by owners Noah Bernstein and Peter Hurteau, features plenty of seating room and hand-painted wallpaper by Melanie Nead.
In fact, Nead’s studio that focuses on custom wall treatments and ceramic objects, Lonesome West Studio, sits beside the bagel shop. Her Arts and Crafts Movement inspired designs bring a coziness to the space and certainly do the historic property justice. All things boiled and baked dough, the frieze pays homage to the venerated everything bagel. Concentrate on it closely and the subtle ingredients begin to pop out: sea salt, barley, wheat, and poppies.
Even as they bid farewell to their firstborn, a location in St. Johns, a whole year after moving into the Eliot, Bernstein thrives. They continue to serve up delightfully hearty bagel sandwiches. However, the old adage rings true: the early bird catches the worm. Except, in this case, it’s bagels and they are very popular. They are “hand-rolled, boiled, and made onsite twice daily.” Looking for a classic lox combination? You got it. Schmear not, their spreads change from time-to-time. Flavors you may know—cinnamon raisin, herb, and strawberry—tossed in with wildcards like carrot cake and once upon a time even pizza. The bagel is merely a blank canvas; how you dress it is up to you.
Arrive eagerly and on time—your weekday and weekend windows to visit vary. Hot bagels come out of the oven at 7:30 A.M. Monday through Friday and at 8:30 A.M. on the weekends. Stop in or check out their Instagram (@bernsteinsbagels) for updates on specials.
Brand new to the neighborhood, Memoz Dessert Cafe opened this spring at 3494 N. Williams. Founded by husband and wife team Aaron and Julie Allina, this one-of-a-kind, build-your-own dessert cafe serves up incredible desserts, designed by you and baked in under two minutes, right in front of your eyes.
With an array of menu items from comfort classics like brownies and cookies to the almond tart and seasonal crisp, there’s something for everyone, including gluten-free and vegan options. Memoz offers an endless array of desserts to choose from, you can design your own or choose from a selection of seasonal signature combinations, and select fun toppings like Baked Alaska, caramel, ganache, or a la mode.
Memoz pastry chef Erica Stephensen and her team of dessert guides then bake your creation in under two minutes utilizing the cafe’s cutting edge and lightning-fast ovens for a first of its kind dessert experience.
Family friendly and built as a neighborhood retreat, Memoz offers coffee as well as beer and wine for those old enough to imbibe. For families, board games and a relaxed atmosphere invites you to come and stay awhile. Memoz is open all day, 12 to 9 pm Sunday through Thursday and is open late on Fridays and Saturdays, from 12 to 11 pm.
“This town is about collaboration,” says Thad Fisco, owner of Portland Kettle Works and Portland’s craft beer lab, Labrewatory. In 2015, Labrewatory opened in Lower Albina with Thad purchasing the building at 670 N Russell Street, a few blocks north of Interstate, and it has been the definition of collaboration in every sense of the word. Brewers from around the city come together to create beers which are creative and delicious. For the first couple of years, beer was the headliner at this storage facility turned brewery. That is changing now.
In 2011, Portland Kettle Works designed a new brew system and brewers immediately started placing orders. Craft beer, it turns out, was the one part of the economy that was doing well during the recession. Sales have continued and their brewing systems are now in over 250 breweries worldwide and going strong. Now Portland Kettle Works was off and running and they had a building to house equipment. Thad says that “we decided to open a brewery of our own because we were very active in putting breweries into business but hadn’t started our own yet and so we kind of looked at it as a challenge and a learning experience so we could be more informed about what we were selling to people. What an experience it has been!”
“Now we get to start doing some new things down here!” says Rachel Wilson, owner of Dawn Patrol Coffee and brewery manager. “At the beginning of the year, we added the coffee shop and extended our hours.” Dawn Patrol operates at Labrewatory in the morning hours from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm. Tamale Boy started providing burritos in the morning starting at 8:30 am and beer can be sold any time of day. “We also have different beer and coffee cocktails and growlers to go,”
Rachel adds. Rachel has also taken on distribution selling kegs of Labrewatory’s beer to different restaurants and bars like Loyal Legion. Rachel continues, “We really started focusing on community events. We’re trying to bring in a different crowd of people and having the neighborhood have a place to meet. There are many different events and groups that meet at Labrewatory such as a moms club and the NoPo running club. There is even a $1 neighborhood discount for those customers who live or work in the neighborhood.”
“On Tuesdays, there is a new beer release. At 5:00 people come in and we’ll put a new beer on tap and Nick, our brewer, will take those (who have purchased a tour ticket) around and then they get their t-shirt. And there’s live music between 6 pm and 8 pm,” Rachel explains.
Labrewatory hosted a Smash festival celebrating the 100th brewed beer and tied in a nonprofit to work with, which was Special Olympics. In July they hosted a “Go Fund Me” for a friend of Rachel’s who had a climbing accident. On August 17th, there was an S’mores event, called Mighty Clementine, designed by a customer’s daughter, Clementine, who recently has recovered from an aneurysm. She chose the nonprofit, Randall Children’s Hospital Pediatric Development and Rehabilitation Fund, and also chose the flavors of the s’mores.
In addition, there are the classes that both Labrewatory and Tamale Boy offer. Classes are offered to all of the Portland Kettle Works clients. They get all of Labrewatory’s operating procedures for the front of the house, operating procedures for the brewery and get to see financial analysis. It gives the new brewery owners an idea on how to operate their business.
Jaime Soltero, Jr., owner of Tamale Boy, says, “Our philosophy is to always be training and always be evolving and getting people situated, getting their brains right and their work ethic right and let them go and explore themselves. We work with a couple of organizations that come and prep and train here so that they can get them back into the workforce. We have a person that actually went blind that used to work in the kitchen and we have gotten him back in the kitchen. That helps us also really think about what we’re doing and how we go about things. It’s a humbling experience for sure. That’s just one of the programs. We also support our community with gift certificates, fundraisers, and whatever we can do.”
The collaboration has been good for all three businesses. Thad says, “When Jaime came in with Tamale Boy our beer sales increased 30% when they opened their doors. That’s one thing we teach people. If you don’t have food you’re basically cutting yourself off at the knees. So you have to have some way to serve food and the better the food the better. So it’s been a great partnership.”
Jaime agrees, “It actually it worked out perfectly because at that time I was looking to expand to a commissary kitchen because where I started off at Dekum (first location of Tamale Boy) it was super small and we were already saturated. Summers we were packed to the gills and we needed more space. Thad got wind of me and we got started and it’s the perfect marriage. We don’t have to worry about anything in the dining room.”
“It’s really interesting,” Thad says, “that’s the part of overhead that a restaurant hates, is the dining room, but that’s the part that we want – for people to hang out and drink beer. We tell a lot of clients if you can lease the kitchen out and keep the people in the dining area drinking beer as long as you can…”
“And coffee!” Rachel chimes in. “It IS the perfect marriage!”
Rachel says, “The fun thing is that with this space we can have all these people that want to have an event and Labrewatory can offer the beer, Tamale Boy supplies the food and then there is a different kind of profit without having to rent an event space so more of the proceeds can go to the business holding the event.”
With any business and especially with this unique collaboration there are going to challenges and surprises. Jaime says, “We’re always adjusting we’re learning together. Everybody’s strengths we pull in together and learn from each other.” Thad says, thinking about the challenges, the important thing is, “Keeping Rachel! Plus, without this (Labrewatory) I wouldn’t have been able to grow my business and without Jaime, I wouldn’t have had food to offer. We push the edge to find new revenue streams and are backed by Portland Kettle Works so we can take risk.”
Lastly, Rachel says, “It’s fun!” She is learning about the financial side of a business, managing skills, and is challenged to find new businesses with items that are needing distribution to offer at the taproom, as well as trying to scale cold brew coffee which will be on one of the taps at the brewery.
The classes that are offered by Thad and Jaime help pop-ups which in turn are helping our community become stronger and offer diverse food and beverages to all of the Portland metro. So if you have an inkling to start a brewery or restaurant, check in with this successful team on North Russell. Collaboration is the name of the game and to sum it up, referring to the old television sit-com, Jaime says, “We’re very tight here. We’re very three’s company.”
For more information:
Labrewatory/Dawn Patrol Coffee
670 N Russell St 971-271-8151 http://www.labrewatory.com Hours: Monday –Thursday 7 am—10 pm Friday 7 am—11 pm Saturday 9 am—11 pm Sunday 9 am– 9 pm
668 N Russell St 503-477-6706 http://www.tamaleboy.com Hours Monday –Thursday 11 am—9 pm Friday –Saturday 11 am—10 pm Sunday 11 am– 8 pm
Heart & Bones Kitchen was started on the principal of food transparency and inclusivity. I know, personally, the distress of eating out with dietary requirements. For a lot of us, food has the potential to either harm or heal and often people with restrictive diets and allergies opt to eat at home instead of going out to eat because we’re treated like an inconvenience to our server at best, and at worst our restrictions are not taken seriously. I wanted to create a safe space for people to feel like their needs and concerns are valid, a place that’s already free of most common allergies, where they know exactly what’s in their food and can enjoy a unique flavorful meal without having to worry about getting sick.
I firmly believe that healthy food needs to be more accessible. It shouldn’t be a choice between eating well and paying your bills on time. Heart & Bones specializes in Paleo and Vegan organic, local meals all liberated from dairy, grains, soy, nuts, legumes, refined sugars, and made completely from scratch with love and care.
It’s been an honor of to work with Oasis of Change, the new business on Williams at Tillamook (see the article on page 10), doing pop up breakfasts and farm to table dinners and being able to show others the value and importance of eating whole, nutritious foods. On June 15th Oasis of Change hosted a benefit dinner at their urban farm for Cupcake Girl’s, a nonprofit organization that provides resources for those involved in human trafficking. It’s a perfect example of how food can connect an entire community and the healing power it can have.
Check out Hearts & Bones website for recipes, prepacked products to purchase, events, catering and information on cooking lessons and private chef services.
The sun is shining and I hear the cheerful sound of voices and the percussive chime of tools being used in the garden as I walk up to the 126-year-old Victorian home behind the Billy Webb Elks Lodge just south of Tillamook on Williams. I realize that today is going to be a good day of community building. The peaceful feeling I experience is overwhelming as I enter the house looking for the owners of the new business in our Eliot neighborhood. This space is definitely an oasis in the center of the city and in the middle of our neighborhood. Though it sits on busy North Williams Ave, once inside the house and even on the surrounding lot, you forget that there is a bustling world beyond its borders. As I introduce myself to the business owners, a group of women and children arrive happily chatting amongst themselves. We all exchange introductions and then my tour of the property begins.
Oasis of Change is the dream turned the reality of Dov Judd and Kathryn Cannon. Dov, a certified Play Therapist, had been a pediatric therapy practice owner for 10 years. His wife, Kathryn was working as a peer to peer support specialist. They dreamed of creating a space where the focus could be on health, nutrition, community and giving back to their neighborhood.
Dov and Kathryn both grew up on the east coast but Kathryn had spent some time on the west coast. They needed to find a location with enough water, a space to grow food and people to share their vision of health care of the future. Oregon seemed to be the perfect fit. After spending last summer in Dallas, Oregon learning how to farm organically, they decided to look in Portland for the right location for their venture.
Their real estate agent brought them to 2037 N Williams and Dov couldn’t believe how it perfectly embodied the space he had been imagining. The beautiful Victorian house will offer space for medical practitioners on the top floor with the main floor serving as a welcome area with large rooms for group therapy, classes, and an art gallery. The spacious kitchen will be the perfect place for a food lab and teaching kitchen as well as a pop-up restaurant for chefs to create healthy meals for guests. The basement will have a commercial kitchen specifically for baking. Dov and Kathryn also will be able to offer Farm to Table experience dinners for guests on weekend nights for an extremely reasonable fee. Live music is a frequent occurrence which is, of course, the perfect accompaniment to garden fresh food and delectable locally sourced ingredients. Guests can stroll the garden and grounds taking in the amazing space that Dov and Kathryn are creating.
In the middle of the amazing garden tour, a couple arrives bearing tempeh for Dov and Kathryn to try. I was fortunate enough to be invited to stay for lunch and enjoy the sautéed tempeh which was incredibly delicious. Also in attendance is Modern Cavegirl who has a pop-up restaurant onsite occasionally for Saturday breakfast. Other chefs offer pop up dinners. (See the short article about Hearts & Bones Kitchen on page 8) The amount of networking that Dov and Kathryn have done just since April when they opened the doors to Oasis of Change is impressive!
Oasis of Change will have a membership model where members will have access to classes, the garden, the restaurant, daycare, and be surrounded by a community of people, unlike anything I’ve witnessed in Portland. The fence bordering Williams will be covered with edible plants that anyone walking by can snack on.
Also, onsite there will be practitioners such as medical doctors, nutritionists, and therapists who rent practice space at an hourly rate. The ability to have a workspace without having to commit to an office lease contract allows flexibility for practitioners and less financial stress. As Dov explained, the traditional model of medicine puts up a medical wall between the practitioner and the patient/person. By getting rid of the medical practice model, the practitioner takes ownership/responsibility of their patient and can better serve the person, becoming more connected and understanding them better.
Plus we can look forward to some small retail spaces on the street side of the business and a market to sell farm-fresh produce and other nutritional food products.
The philosophy of Oasis of Change is to offer community supported health care in an environment where the joy of growing food from start to finish helps kids and adults alike appreciate the process and make eating healthy an adventure that will carry over for a lifetime.
This is a work in progress and plans are coming to fruition yet morphing at the same time. Stop by and see for yourself this healthy oasis and maybe it will help you affect the change you see in your own life. It truly is a way to escape the city and commune with nature and some wonderful people.
For more information stop by or visit their website:
Are you looking for places to go or activities to do in and around Portland? Here are a few ideas:
1) MudBone Grown LLC farms, an African-American run farm growing food for the community, is located at 7900 NE 33rd Dr., in Portland. Volunteers of all ages are encouraged to participate. Children, elders, youth, and families can help with planting and general farming for the next upcoming season working with Shantae Johnson and Arthur Shavers – the king and queen of this operation. Contact the Oregon Food Bank email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up. Visit http://www.mudbonegrown.com.
Hey Eliot friends! I’m one of the owners of Breadwinner Cycles and Café on Williams at Page St (one block south of Russell). We have been making custom bicycles for many years, and about a year ago opened a cafe adjacent to our shop. I’m reaching out to just let you all know that we are here. We’re not in the thick of the busy retail part of Williams and we have parking, making it a convenient place to stop, but also easy to miss. Our menu has breakfast and lunch items, coffee and espresso from Water Ave, and beer and wine, all with a view of our little bike “factory.” We’d love to have more neighborhood friends stop by, whether you are into bikes or not, so please think of us next time you are looking for a treat close by. Thanks!
Making your way down Vancouver, you may have seen and wondered about Sloan’s Tavern, the business at the corner of Vancouver and N. Russell that has a semi-truck cab jutting from its side. Curious myself, I wandered into Sloan’s Tavern to get the scoop.
A series of short posts about food carts in and around our amazing neighborhood. Portland is becoming known for its mobile food and we have a number of tasty options!
The scent of roasting meat from BBQ Soul made my mouth water as I approached the cart, and wasted no time in ordering a pulled pork sandwich, selecting the maple-infused BBQ sauce to add to it. I knew the second I sank my teeth into my sandwich that I made the right choice. Lachisa Gill, one of the operators of the family-run business, also speaks particularly highly of the BBQ chicken that the cart prepares. BBQ Soul has only been in this pod for the past three weeks.
A series of short posts about food carts in and around our amazing neighborhood. Portland is becoming known for its mobile food and we have a number of tasty options!
Thai Palace serves delicious, generous portions of classic, MSG-free Thai food. The Massaman curry with chicken is rich and creamy and served beside fluffy jasmine rice. And don’t skip the iced matcha green tea with tapioca bubbles. Perfectly refreshing!
Thirteen years ago, Seth Prickett’s life was changed by a decision participate in a study abroad program while attending Linfield College. He was the fifth-generation to be born and raised in Washington County, and he was eager to go somewhere far away and culturally different. The class offered in Ghana, Africa seemed to fit both of those desires. Ghana was the first sub-Saharan colony to gain its independence in 1957. Ghana hosts a diverse population and is an example of democratic success. Prickett was a political science major and was also active in student government at Linfield. The history course he took that January was “Emergence of Modern Ghana,” and his project looked at the political structure of the country and how it manifested from 1957 to today. What started as just a curiosity about Ghana’s culture and history became a humanitarian and philanthropic venture that has helped to shape the future of Ghanaian children for years to come.
Bridges Café and Catering is a restaurant in which the love of family and friends is palpable, both in the overall environment and in the taste of the food itself. The moment you walk into Bridges, you are enveloped by a sense of warmth and coziness. The café is intimate, and is filled with bright colors that lift the spirits even during the darkest days of winter. Coffee mugs are cheerfully mismatched, tabletops are covered in beautiful mosaics, and the scent of delicious food wafts through the air. After beginning many a weekend morning at Bridges, I sat down with Laura Lane-Ruckman, one of the owners of the restaurant, to learn more about the family-operated business and its connection to Eliot.
Portland’s food scene is bursting at the seams with variety. We are lucky to have a restaurant located just a few blocks north of the Eliot Neighborhood that prioritizes caring for our local community as well as serving up delicious food.