There's panic a-brewing at the Carrousel Restaurant (formerly the Carnival) located at the foot of Oregon Health & Science University. Loyal customers, who have staunchly frequented the over-50-year-old burger joint that serves up Barnum & Bailey flair with its condiments, have called Miss Dish to complain about rumors of the Portland landmark's impending demise. If you ask the restaurant's owner, Hak Chang, what's going on, he sounds distressed. Chang, who took over the restaurant and renamed it the Carrousel in 2000, says Sept. 30 will be the last day of business. Why's the circus leaving town? Chang reports that when he bought the business almost three years ago, the original owner, Ralph Inman, kept the deed to the building and property--and now he's going to sell to OHSU. "Some customers cry!" Chang told Miss Dish.
A call to Inman, who's the son of original owner Geneva Hale Inman Quigley, reveals that it's not a totally done deal. Inman reports that he's in talks with OHSU, who may be interested in the property for its value as a parking lot and gateway to Pill Hill. Inman says the Carrousel's lease is up on Sept. 30 and he had to give Chang notice that after that date he may be dealing with different owners and their desires. "If it falls through, hopefully he'll stay," Inman says of Chang. Chang says he plans to find a spot downtown and move his operation there. Stay tuned.
This just in--Pazzo's executive chef, Nathan Logan, is taking leave of Portland for the altogether more cosmopolitan clime of New York City, where he'll take over the stove of Times Square stalwart Limoncello. Pazzo's kitchen has graduated some great chefs (most notably Bluehour's Kenny Giambalvo), and Logan's three-year reign will be remembered fondly. His sous chefs will cover the kitchen until a new executive chef can be found.
Cafe Casanis, the new restaurant owned by some real Frenchies (including Le Bouchon's Christian Geffrard) and chefed by Bradley Borchardt (formerly of Couvron and Paley's Place), has now officially opened at 1639 NW Glisan St. Cafe Casanis is offering an approach that's risky but interesting--an affordable prix fixe ($15-$25) in the dining room with small plates in the bar. Lunch is à la carte, with sandwiches such as fromage and jambon (ham 'n' cheese to y'all) and pâté; dinner offers such Parisian fare as braised rabbit and steak grilled with marrow butter and red wine. Bon appétit!
A Miss Dish update! Tommy's, which you may recall from a previous Miss D report, was a chili-cheeseburger cart that may have gone a little too Jayson Blair on a concept created by the Original Tommy's in Southern California. Tommy's, after getting lawyer letters from the Original Tommy's in CA, changed its name to Ronnie's. Now the cart is gone from downtown. Miss Dish tipsters report finding the missing cart right by the Union 76 near Hayden Island's Jantzen Beach shopping center, going by the name Salt & Pepper. Seems they've still got the chili cheeseburgers (as well as burritos) if you have a hankering for them.