JunJun Jollibee Dinner

In the past month or so, a new pop up called JunJun run by Chef Jun Robles (JunJun is Filipino for Junior) has been holding events in Portland working with the website Feastly. Feastly has launched in multiple cities, including Portland, and allows chefs to connect to venues and to connect to people who are looking to attend an informal food event – be it a supper club in a home or a pop up event in a restaurant. It is a lot easier then following multiple pop ups on social media or on mailing lists – and browsing Feastly Portland is how I discovered the JunJun Jollibee Dinner being held at Cooper’s Hall last week on April 17.
JunJun Jollibee Dinner held at Cooper's Hall JunJun Jollibee Dinner held at Cooper's Hall

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Pinxtos at Urdaneta PDX

Recently, I visited Urdaneta, located on NE Alberta, for the first time. It has been on my list for a while from when Chef and Owner Javier Canteras with Ryan Spragg was running the Basque Supper Club as a pop up (and which he plans to still do) and then won funding from Restaurant Startup to open Urdaneta. It’s always hard to balance my wishlist with the reality of a reasonable amount of dining out and when some restaurants are literally on the opposite side of town from me (I live in SW Portland). Finally though I made it – and then all I could think about is why did I wait so long and when could I come again? What really stood out was having such unique and strong flavors, so small bites go a long way.

Sherry cocktails at Urdaneta

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Kachka Maslenitsa Brunch

Kachka celebrated Maslenitsa with a one time brunch a few months ago on Feb. 26th, 2017. Maslenitsa is a Russian folk holiday that marks the end of winter. During Maslenitsa, or “Butter Week,” large, round blini made with butter (similar to pancakes) are eaten to symbolize the round, golden sun that arrives with spring. So Kachka’s Maslenitsa special brunch was focused on blini, served with a bounty of traditional sweet and savory accompaniments. The $45 per person for the Kachka Maslenitsa Brunch included coffee, tea and a “vitamin shot” as well with proceeds going towards for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Oregon.

I’m a huge fan of Kachka – it’s always among the top restaurants I recommend to visitors here and whenever they have a special event I am among the first there (see last year during the Horseradish Vodka bottle launch and the ensuing Bloody Mary Crawl). Throw in it being for a good cause and I was among the first to buy tickets. It’s finally starting to feel like spring now that we are getting more sun breaks between the rain (and hail… :O ), and that reminded me that I need to share these photos on my blog for posterity (they were already on my Instagram @pechluck, where you can get a faster scoop if you follow me there). But Instagram posts aren’t easily searchable and I want this to be, so here’s a look at the sweet and savory accompaniments that I got to enjoy.

Guests were welcomed to the Kachka brunch celebrating Maslenitsa with a vitamin shot called Triple Sunrise with horseradish vodka, apple juice, beet juice, and celery bitters, and then given a crudite plate with dill butter

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Amazing Crackers + A Modern Way To Cook Cookbook Review

Today, I’m going to give you my thoughts as part of A Modern Way To Cook cookbook review, as well as share my favorite recipe I’ve made from the book so far, simple but super tasty Amazing Crackers. I’ve been cooking from Anna Jones’ a Modern Way To Cook for a while because it has so many recipes. The cover promises 150+ recipes which I think underestimates all the idea potential here. Several recipes list variations to substitute a certain seasonal ingredient for another, such as switching out tomatoes with beets. And there are definitely lots of flavor combinations to make tasty dishes.
Anna Jones cookbook A Modern Way to Cook Amazing Crackers recipe by Anna Jones for her cookbook A Modern Way to Cook recipe by Anna Jones for her cookbook A Modern Way to Cook

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Wares at the Zipper – Brunch Specials

Did you know Mother’s Day, Easter, and the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season are the busiest brunch days of the year? With Easter this weekend I thought I’d highlight an under the radar brunch option that requires no reservations or waiting in long lines – so its already a winner even when its a regular brunch and not just high brunch time. And with, that, let me highly recommend brunch at Wares at the Zipper.

That’s right Smallwares is back! After shuttering and causing much sadness, Smallwares was able to emerge as a smaller microrestaurant concept now called Wares. They’ve brought back many favorites, from the signature bright red shelves to loved dishes from their regular menu and their brunch menu. Here’s a look at Wares, and I have been especially going for their Brunch Specials. No line to get seated or to order – Just go up and order, get a number for your food order, and go find a seat yourself among many open tables (so far it’s been indoors but soon it’ll be al fresco brunch at their outdoor patio!) and wait for yummies!

Entrance to Wares at the Zipper Menu board and more description of items on paper menus at Wares at the Zipper

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