|RIVERS: FREE FLOWING|
Miss D. has seen a lot of restaurant-propaganda paraphernalia for sale at eateries in her day. Oy, the T-shirts, the shot glasses, the fleece pullovers. That's why Stepping Stone Cafe, the cute dinerish breakfast place in Northwest Portland, gets some extra points for creativity. This restaurant known more for eggs 'n' bacon than T&A recently introduced $10 thong underwear to promote its brand. The bright red indelicates are printed with this on the crotch: "You eat here because we let you." Hmmm, brings a whole new meaning to finding a hair in your food.
Many changes are afoot over at Rivers, the restaurant that flanks the Avalon Hotel and Spa. Original owner Bill Hayden unloaded the restaurant last year to Sterling Management Group. This past month it was discharged to the Waterford Hotels and Inns, and the executive chef was cut loose, along with a good chunk of the management team. A former employee complains to Miss Dish that the nasty part of the whole deal is that the former management team is being accused of embezzlement. Pierre Zreik, who was tapped from the ranks to be general manager of the new set-up, says, "I know nothing about it. Rumors, rumors, rumors." Zreik is currently hunting for an executive chef ("Know anyone?" he asked Miss D.) and says no other major changes are planned for Rivers at this point.
Karen Harding's once blossoming restaurant empire seems to be losing petals daily. She got rid of Cafe Lena not too long ago and just dumped the Dahlia on Northeast Killingsworth. Lani Jo Leigh is the proud, new owner of the Dahlia, and she plans to expand the hours and add a Southern touch to the menu (she says she's a mean baker, so look out for her sweet-potato pie and red velvet cake) that plays upon her Oklahoma roots. Leigh and her husband bought the place even though they have no previous restaurant experience because, as Leigh puts it, "It's always been a dream of mine to own a restaurant, and I figured, why not now?" Why not, indeed.