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February 26th, 2003 Caryn B. Brooks | z-Miss Dish
 

Deep-Fried Twinkies, Census Tracking and Bum Rushes

     
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GENTLE READERS,
It was bound to happen. The deep-fried Twinkie. It's here. England native Christopher Sell reportedly invented the dish last year to sell at his fish-and-chips restaurant in Brooklyn, New York, and he's gotten press galore. In fact, it was in People magazine that Liz Maitral first got her whiff of the grease-bombed Twinkie and decided to bring it on home to Portland at her recently opened Angelwings General Store and Deli at 2809 NE Broadway (493-1393). So how does it work, anyway? "You freeze it, flour it, batter it and fry it," Maitral says. And you also sell it. Since introducing the $1.50 dessert item last week, she reports going through a dozen a day. In case you were wondering, the heat turns the Twinkie innards into molten confection while the outside batter remains crisp. Defib...clear!

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For some time now, Miss Dish has been chatting with Adam Berger and Matt Johnson (the talented co-chefs at Serratto who turned the place from not to hot) about their plans to branch out with their own restaurant. They had the spot picked out (the corner of Northeast 28th Avenue and Glisan Street), the name chosen (Tabla), the concept sketched (upscale-ish Mediterranean), the service approach (what they call "Portland Casual," as opposed to the famous "Portland Formal"), the designer picked (Litmus) and a look pinned down (clean). One thing they didn't have was a loan. After being turned down by one bank, they made a pitch to another. Late last week, after months of prep, they finally got a yes for funding. So what does it take to get backing for one of the most financially challenging businesses during one of this country's most challenging financial times? According to Johnson, landing on Northeast 28th--the latest, greatest restaurant row--has its benefits, which the duo proved with some census facts about DINKs and SINKs* in nearby Laurelhurst. Now that they've got the cash, they'll be going full-throttle with a partnership that's fairly unusual in the too-many-chefs-ruin-the-foie gras philosophy that rules most restaurants. "It's a marriage," Johnson says. "We see each other two times as much as we see our wives."

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Fans of Detour Cafe, at Southeast 30th Avenue and Division Street, will be pleased to note that the eatery has remodeled and expanded--just like Miss Dish's arse. OK, the expansion isn't quite like Miss Dish's bum; it's more about the cafe's hours. Call Detour at 234-7499 to find out more.

*Double income no kids, single income... you get it.

 
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