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September 5th, 2001 Caryn Brooks | Miss Dish
 

Can You Handle It?

     
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YEASTY BOY: Ken Forkish loafing in front of his bakery-in-progress.

GENTLE READERS,
Carbs aren't very popular now, sad to say. While 10 years ago most diet freaks most likely scoffed at the idea that something so, well, biblical as bread could be what's causing the overhang of thy neighbor's belly, these days it seems almost taken for granted. (Full disclosure: In an attempt to prevent her ass from expanding even farther into Washington state, Miss Dish eschews bread/starchy products on most days, but not all days, because that would just be wrong.)

But the anti-carb movement hasn't dashed the hopes of the many talented bakers in this area, including a new one who recently moved into town with grand plans to open a bakery and cafe at Northwest 21st Avenue and Flanders Street. His name is Ken Forkish, and he is very excited about bread.

Miss Dish met him on the corner where his 2,000-square-foot establishment with the decidedly utilitarian name Ken's Artisan Bakery and Cafe is set to rise. He carried with him in plain brown wrapper a loaf of rustic bread, still warm, which he whipped out and stuck his paw into after offering some to Miss Dish. He's one of those guys who fled corporate life to follow his passion. Ken often says things such as "I really love puff-pastry products." And you believe him. He plans to use all organic flour and the uptown coffee with the downtown name of Mr. Espresso. Look for the wafting smell of baking bread to hit Northwest 21st come fall.

While on the topic of wafting baking smells, Amanda Felt, the plucky powerhouse behind the vegan Black Sheep Bakery, is opening a retail outlet/cafe in October. Felt is a master of I-can't-believe-it's-vegan sweets, but she told Miss D. that she's going to offer both vegan and "traditional" yummies. The spot? That skeleton of a building next to the Alberta Street Co-op. Look for outdoor seating and Stumptown coffee. The wholesale business will stay intact. "I'm as giddy as a schoolgirl," the Martha Stewart-obsessed Felt told Miss D.

More from the mighty morphing power range of Northeast Portland. Meat eaters in the area have reason to rejoice: The spot at 3000 NE Killingsworth St. once belonging to Counter Culture has been leased by Karen Harding, owner of the nearly 13-year-old Hawthorne institution Cup and Saucer. Harding told La Dish that she has different plans for the new place, which will be called Dahlia. "I'm excited about doing a more mature thing," she says. Entrees will range around $4 to $10, and Harding hopes to get a full liquor license and create a bar in the back area into which she's expanding. So far, reactions from people in the community have had one theme: "They say they're really glad to have some meat in here," she says. Fear not, veg-heads: Harding plans to have vegan and veggie options aplenty. Look for Dahlia to bloom in October.

 
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