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November 17th, 2004 Kelly Clarke, Jim Dixon | Bite Club
 

You Said A MOUTHFUL

     
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Scholls Public House
IMAGE: TOM OLIVER
Bite Club joins forces with local olive-oil czar Jim Dixon to bring all you tired holiday turkeys a prix fixe menu of greasy gossip, hot dinner events and, gulp, tasty TV guaranteed to chase away winter doldrums faster than a herbal dose of Oprah-approved Airborne.

Urbanites, rejoice! Scholls Public House pizza-guru Brian Spangler has tired of the wilds of Hillsboro--taking pot shots at black bears and drawing well water--and will soon move his perfect pies to a Portland ZIP code. The baker has shuttered his Olive Mountain Baking Co. operation and in mid-December will take over a small Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard dining room, where he hopes to start making his own mozzarella fresh daily to complement that filthy-good crust. The biggest change? The baker admits he's set on becoming "a pizza nazi" by ditching Scholls' build-your-own pizza in favor of showcasing plainer pies. "People come in and take our Margherita pizza and add pineapple and pepperoni. Oh God," he explains. "We should be judged on our basic pie: cheese, sauce, and olive oil." The new venture, which opens early next January, is tentatively named Apizza Scholls--a play on the rural piehole that started it all.

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Last Tuesday, chef Anthony Bourdain served up a bellyful of snickers with his ballsy, biting tirades on Charlie Trotter's sexless cuisine and Mario "Dr. Evil" Batali at his Heathman Hotel chat/dinner. But Bite Club's favorite dish of the evening didn't come from the lanky star-chef. It came from one of our dining companions, who let it slip that ripe has snatched up Lauren Glazer, the marketing whiz behind the Carlton Winemakers Studio's Soup Night, to manage chef Tommy Habetz's Gotham Bldg. Tavern. Hiring Glazer is a clever move. The charming former New Yorker was the "chief hospitalitarian" for New York chef Danny Meyer's Union Square empire before she moved to Portland last year. Her generous, high-class server style should spare the gastropub the kind of painful tableside growing pains that afflicted clarklewis. "I think ripe is ready to take its hospitality to the next level. Portland deserves it," Glazer told Bite Club last week. "The time is really ripe for it...pardon the pun."

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And now Bite Club passes the mic to food correspondent Jim Dixon: "Would you be willing to give up coffee, Parmigiano-Reggiano or lemons for the cause of sustainable cuisine?" That's the question a hand-picked cadre of right-thinking eaters gathered around the table to discuss earlier this month, mouths watering over a meal whipped up by Noble Rot's Leather Storrs to argue about the future of food. Cameras were rolling, so you can watch the food fight this weekend when The Head Table airs on local Fox affiliate KPTV-12. Deborah Kane, former director of the Food Alliance, invited food luminaries such as Nell Newman (Paul's daughter, responsible for Newman's Own Organics) and Stumptown Coffee's Duane Sorenson to break bread and opine at will. The Head Table premieres at 7 pm Saturday, Nov. 20, and repeats at 11:30 pm Sunday, Nov. 21. You don't even need cable to watch.

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We're not making this up: Bite Club's favorite I-5 adventure, Wildlife Safari, is offering "Feast with the Beasts," a Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings for animal lovin' revelers. That's right, stop jostling for elbow-space at the table with Aunt Jan and cousin Matt and share your drumstick with the cheetah cubs, Tibetan yak, and wildebeest at the Northwest's only drive-through wild-animal park. Hell, they've got to have better table manners than your in-laws.


Grab an original Spangler slice at Scholls Public House, 24485 SW Scholls Ferry Road, Hillsboro, 628-1904.

"Feast with the Beasts" Thanks-giving at Wildlife Safari's White Rhino Restaurant, 1790 Safari Road, Winston, (541) 697-6761. 11 am-3:30 pm reservations. $11.95 adults, $6.95 kids.

The Head Table airs on KPTV Fox 12 at 7 pm Saturday and 11:30 pm Sunday, Nov. 20-21.

 
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