Our local fishwrap, The Oregonian, every year puts out their local restaurant guide. This year's issue came out this morning, and the local foodie scene will be buzzing. This years winner is Chef Andy Ricker's Thai food shack/restaurant Pok Pok..or Whisky Soda Lounge depending on your preference. Both names get you some of the best Thai-style street food on the west coast. Very deserved, and if you like explosive flavors, this is the place. Although I do have to say we were there last week when they rolled out their new menu, and it was slightly flat. Hopefully a one night aberration.
Best ironic moment from the Oregonian Diner guide: Gabriel Rucker, indie chef of the moment whose restaurant Le Pigeon is one of my personal favorite spots to get my grub on and my pick for Best of the Year, and who has never met a stick of butter or piece of offal he didn't want throw on a plate, was named by the paper Rising Star of the Year 2007. Very flattering I'm sure, but his picture on the cover of the new Food and Wine Magazine has gotta carry a little more juice and I'm guessing will be the one in the frame on the wall.
More Food and Wine Mag: Ex-local wunderkind chef/train wreck Michael Hebberoy, who drove Gotham Tavern/Ripe/Clarklewis and his marriage off a cliff before high tailing it to Seattle has an article about the the indie restaurant/food scene in Seattle in the new F&W issue. Local PDX chefs (along with any number of winemakers) like Greg Higgins of Higgins, Scott Dolich of Park Kitchen, and Kevin Gibson of Castagna, who could cook MH 's ass under the prep table any time, must have loved his parting crackback on his Portland experience: "What I loved about Portland was the unabashed amateurism. The farmers were learning how to farm, the winemakers learning how to ferment, the cooks learning how to cook (many chefs even lying about their pedigrees and staying up late to work on their supposed three-star skills)." This from a guy who left a trail of lawsuits blowing in the wind as he drove out of town after his own restaurants imploded. Hey, no sense looking in the mirror, right M?
*thanks to Portland Food and Drink for the heads up on the Hebberoy story