Look around you. Feel the calming tropical breeze? Taste the tart zing of the islands? Dig the peanut shell out of the sole of your shoe? If it seems like Hillsdale's favorite son, Salvador Molly's, is doing the diaspora thing big time, you're not imagining it. The quirky Caribbean eatery that opened in 1987 on Southwest Sunset Boulevard is expanding in ways that would make most restaurateurs in this economy drool. Main guy Rick Sadle tells Miss Dish that a new eastside Salvador Molly's is set to open this June in the spot vacated by the defunct island-influenced eatery Sweetwater's Jam House at 33rd Avenue and Southeast Morrison Street. "I've always wanted to be on the east side, too," Sadle says. This hipsters' hub will have a restaurant geared toward them with an updated menu featuring new items such as a Latino fondue and crawfish po'boys, small plates and cheapskate options. Sadle also reports that Salvador Molly's has moved into new catering headquarters at Southeast 23rd Avenue and Belmont Street, which doubles as an event-hosting space that can hold 100 people.
More on Morrison. You've come to love the continent-skipping Americana diner meets Slavic-centric cafe called Mama's Corner Cafe at 519 SE Morrison St. You can still love it, but please note its new name and hours. Mama's daughter Tanya Shavlovsky reports that the eatery is now called the Odyssey Cafe. Also, what was formerly just a lunch and breakfast joint has added dinner and--get this--late-night hours. We're talking 24 hours a day starting at 7 am on Monday through 6 am on Sunday. No-go on the Sunday brunch, as it's the Lord's day. Look for new dinner items such as steak, cabbage rolls and beef stroganoff. Why the Homeric name change? Shavlovsky says it's because her family bought the restaurant 10 years ago with that name and they now want a moniker that reflects who they are. "We came from the Ukraine and we serve the cuisine of different countries we've been through," she says. "The Odyssey is about our travels." Call them at 233-3869.
Don't forget to train for this Monday's Taste of the Nation. More than a hundred restaurants, wineries and microbreweries stock the Portland Center for the Performing Arts to satisfy the glugging- and gobbling-lust within us all, plus all the proceeds go to feed the hungry. So there! (PCPA, 1111 SW Broadway, 248-4910. 5 pm. $63-$88.50.)