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August 22nd, 2001 Caryn B. Brooks | z-Miss Dish
 

Wicked little Town

     
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IMAGE: frank "cheesenub" zurbano
GENTLE READERS,
"And if you've got no other choice you know you can follow my voice through the dark turns and noise of this wicked little town." --Hedwig

Now then, let us commence.

First, three cheers for Salad World (it's party time! it's excellent!) at 837 SW 2nd Ave. At this former home of a bento counter, we now have a huge salad bar crammed with such drool-inducing toppings as sushi, teriyaki chicken and mini-corn. Yes, you read correctly: MINI GODDAMN CORN! You pay by the pound, and if you play your hand correctly, you can sashay out of there with a stomach-soothing lunch for less than $5. Sneeze guards in the house say ho!

Black Bear Bakery, the organic arm of Grand Central Bakery, is going kaput Oct. 1. Miss Dish spoke with GCB owner Ben Davis, who said canceling the line was "a really hard decision, I won't lie about that." The Black Bear project started three years ago, Davis says, as a way for the company to try out new baking techniques without changing the Grand Central staples. The idea was to test the organic market, give the company a new challenge and offer employees some upward mobility. Unfortunately, BB never turned a profit and was draining resources from an otherwise healthy business. "I think this kind of thing could work as a sole proprietorship, with the owner overseeing everything with his sleeves rolled up," says Davis. The decision to snip off that slice of his business came, he says, after "I locked myself in my office for a weekend with a spreadsheet." Some of the BB products, such as the potato loaf, will be carried over in non-organic versions to the Grand Central line. The company will now be producing all its wholesale goods at the Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard location, rather than at three separate sites.

Look for Pastini Pastaria to fill in the spot left vacant by Metronome (1426 NE Broadway) come the end of September. Susie and Craig Bashel, who used to work at Rustica Restaurants Inc., have joined up with another partner to open an Italian-focused restaurant that will offer oodles of noodles at prices that hover around $6.75. According to Susie Bashel, there will be table service, and the dishes will come from their own home recipes. Why Italian? "We know it, and it's timeless," she says. "It's never going to go out of style, and it affords us the opportunity to open an affordable restaurant."

More from Jamie Bell, Miss Dish's woman-in-the-kitchen in N.Y.C. When we last left her, she had met Bobby Flay and was having a ball interning at his restaurant, Bolo. Now she's been offered a job doing pastries at his main restaurant, Mesa Grill; she's buddy-buddy with Mr. Big and tells Miss D. that he's coming to Portland to film an episode of his traveling TV show, Food Nation. The date hasn't been finalized, but Jamie reports that she's been forking over CDs of her favorite Portland bands at his request so he can pick a band to follow him around, as is his signature on the show. Vavoom!

 
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