DERBY DAYS: The final events of Portland Meadowsâ horse-racing season are Wednesday, March 14 (with a prime rib buffet!), but local railbirds wonât have to wait long for more ponies. The racetrack is bucking the trend of shuttered grandstands by starting its next season earlyâinstead of waiting for fall, itâll begin racing again Sunday, July 15. This means Portland Meadows is directly challenging Seattleâs Emerald Downs, which usually takes many Meadows horses during the summer circuit. >> In other Kentucky-ish news, Pope House Bourbon Lounge on Northwest Glisan Street is a big March Madness winner: Hours after the NCAA seedings were announced, the sour-mash emporium began inviting Louisville fans over for drinks on Twitter.
THE WORLD IN OUR BACKYARD: Not that Portlandâs music scene needs an ego boost, but this week NPRâs popular World Cafe show sets up camp in Rose City for a series on local bands. Last yearâs featured city was Dublin, Ireland, so weâre thinking the programâs travel itinerary has more to do with the quality of its host cityâs beer than the content of its character. Web promos focused on some usual suspects, such as Blitzen Trapper and the Decemberists.
OPRAH SUNDAE: Portland food has been pushed hard in middle America thanks to the Food Networkâs love of competitive gluttony. Now Oprah is helping push our bacon-centric scene. O, the Oprah Magazine is giving some love to Alberta ice-cream seller Salt & Straw. S&S is returning the favor with a special âOprah Club Sundaeâ based on its Arbequina olive oil ice cream. Order a scoop and S&S will top it with hot fudge, candied bacon from Olympic Provisions and smoked sea salt from the Meadow.
FREE TIX: Among the many Portland outfits hoping to make an impression at SXSW is Tixie, a concert-listing site with a little twist: A chance to win a pair of tickets to shows listed on its site. Itâs got Portland, Austin and some other big music towns covered, with plans to roll out a bunch more by the end of the year.
TEXAS TOASTED: Speaking of SXSW, WW Music Editor Casey Jarman is in Texas this week, eating tacos, drinking Lone Stars and blasting out his eardrums at the greatest of industry clusterfucks, SXSW. While, as of press time, Mr. Jarman still had not crafted any sort of schedule for his week-long sojourn, he promised to post intermittent updates at wweek.com.
GLUTEN LIBRE: In last weekâs Cheap Eats guide, we described the menu at downtown cart El Cubo de Cuba as âtotally gluten-free.â It is, in fact, half gluten-freeâthe half that doesnât come between bread. Apologies to readers who were hoping to find a celiac-friendly Cubano. Youâll have to stick to Cuboâs delicious bento boxes for now.