Eem — Smoked Meats and Vacation Drinks

written by Jen Stevenson It’s hard to argue with a restaurant concept that promises “smoked meats and vacation drinks,” and that’s just what you’ll get (with a side of tamarind-spiked Thai BBQ fried rice) at North Portland’s Eem, a boozy, boisterous, funk and fire-kissed collaboration between James Beard Award-nominated restaurateur Earl Ninsom (Langbaan, Hat Yai), Matt’s BBQ pitmaster Matt Vicedomini and acclaimed bartender Eric Nelson (Shipwreck). Start the night with a long look at Nelson’s cocktail list—it’s hard to resist the siren call of the Nocturnal Worker, made with Thai rice liquor, Oaxacan rum, banana, soursop and cardamom, and bearing a provocative “limit two per guest” warning label. Tiki mug in hand, dive into fish sauce-doused fried cauliflower and roasted beets topped with fresh herbs and puffed jasmine rice, followed by the sweet-and-sour fried chicken, soy-honey-glazed baby back ribs and sliced pork steak served with crisp greens and spicy nahm…

Wild and Romantic Outdoor Getaways

Getting outside can be an aphrodisiac— turn up the heat this summer with an outdoor adventure written by Kevin Max We know you like to make travel plans around new and exciting experiences in the outdoors, so we happily brought together some of our top picks for outdoor getaways in every region of Oregon. These range from remote hike-in cabins in Eastern Oregon to hot springs resorts in Central Oregon, a fabulous Mid-century makeover in Southern Oregon, a fire lookout in the Willamette Valley and more. Here is the fruit of this exploration. Eastern Oregon » Halfway In a southwest breach of the Wallowa Whitman National Forest and 10 miles west of the Snake River lies tiny Halfway. It’s the remoteness of Halfway and the cuteness of Pine Valley Lodge that makes this a romantic outdoorsy getaway. The bed & breakfast has twelve rooms with two stand-alone cottages, one that…

Best places for a bountiful brunch

BEST PLACES FOR BOUNTIFUL BRUNCHING HUNNYMILK With both a West Burnside brick and mortar and an eastside weekends-only pop-up, this pretty prix fixe brunch cafe makes it easy to treat mom to something a little unexpected this Mother’s Day. Chef Brandon Weeks’ $23 menus rotate regularly, but the format stays the same—first, choose a drink (obviously the caramel hot chocolate with toasted milk marshmallows), then something from both the sweet and savory sections, perhaps the smoky bacon Dutch baby and key lime curd-filled poppy seed crêpe, or the crispy pork ribs and cheesy garlic grits with a honey butter-dipped fortune cookie waffle. 1981 W BURNSIDE ST. PORTLAND www.hunnymilk.com FOXTAIL BAKESHOP AND KITCHEN Part of Bend’s exciting and ever-evolving Box Factory project near the Old Mill, pastry chef-owner Nickol Hayden-Cady’s comely bakery and cafe promises an artful experience, from the gorgeous wall mural to the dazzling pastry case to the plates…

A timber-frame outdoor pavilion draws a West Linn family outside

written by Melissa Dalton An Outdoor Pavilion, rustic and accommodating When Daniel Harkavy and his wife bought their West Linn house in 2013, its 5-acre plot included woodland, pasture and lovely valley views, but the deck off the back door overlooked a swing set. On warm weather days, you might sit on the deck’s built-in bench while waiting for the barbecue to fire up, but there was little else to beckon anyone outdoors. Yet the prospect of enjoying all that acreage was just what had attracted the family to buy in the first place. “We moved from three-quarters of an acre to 5 acres,” said Harkavy, an executive coach. “I always had a dream of living out on a bit more land and having more to play with.” The classic timber-frame home that came with the land had excellent bones, including vaulted ceilings and exposed beams, but the worn fixtures…

Columbia Farms on Sauvie Island bring the berries to the people

written by Sophia McDonald photography by David L. Reamer Come May, the rows of calf-high plants at Sauvie Island’s Columbia Farms have reached their full size and seem to stretch endlessly toward the horizon. Hidden beneath waterfalls of sawtooth-edged leaves are one of spring’s biggest treats—strawberries, some big, some small, all bright red and promising sublime sweetness. Maybe it’s just that strawberries are the first fruit to come on the market after a long winter full of earthy storage crops and bitter greens. Maybe it’s that unparalleled flavor, coupled with their charming heart shape and striking color. There’s something special about this berry—especially for Oregonians, who live in one of the best berry-growing regions in the world and, as a result, have access to premium fruit during the short growing season. So many people don’t know where their food comes from, and u-pick is a great way to bridge that…

Oregon’s Best Places to Retire

written by Lee Lewis Husk Retiring with visions of sitting on a beach sipping Mai Tais? Well, maybe not in Oregon, where you’re more likely to be pulling on a wetsuit to wade into the surf or rubber boots to walk the dog. Oregon isn’t Florida or Arizona, but it does have considerable appeal to those no longer tethered to a paycheck. Whether you’re a 45-year-old techie escaping Silicon Valley, an urbanite fleeing traffic or a rural boomer seeking great health care facilities, you’ll need a place to retire and call home.  We’ve found six towns that may tickle your retirement dreams. In selecting this list, we considered the availability and cost of housing, weather, proximity to airports, health care, cultural and recreational amenities, and the history and vibe of the place. Brookings Sun Worshippers, Camels & Cacti Not Found Here With 50 inches of rain falling between November and…

Women and Whiskey at Freeland Spirits

Freeland Spirits sets out to do distilling differently written by Sheila Miller Freeland Spirits started with a Texas grandma, a whiskey night and a dream. That dream is now a reality, thanks to the hard work of founder Jill Kuehler, distiller Molly Troupe and farmer Cory Carman, who have combined to create a woman-owned and operated distillery that cheers “equal opportunity drinking.” Kuehler has a nonprofit background focused in food and agriculture. Up until a couple years ago, she was running Zenger Farm in Southeast Portland, a spot that educates thousands of kids each year about how food is grown. But she’d always had a soft spot for spirits, and was interested in their “terroir”—how grain from different places could influence flavor. When she became friends with Cory Carman, one of the sisters who owns Carman Ranch in Eastern Oregon, it all started to click into place. “Anytime she comes…

Best Places for Scrumptious Pizzas

Best Places for Scrumptious Pizzas

written by Jen Stevenson HEY NEIGHBOR A popular newcomer on the Eugene pizza scene, chef-owner Calen Willis’s cute bungalow-bound pizza shop near the university turns out 12-inch, hand-tossed, wood-fired pies ranging from a classic margherita to the pancetta, pepperoni and housemade fennel sausage-topped Carnero. Start with wood-roasted asparagus or a crisp fennel, grapefruit, parsley and pickled onion salad, try something off the craft cocktail list, or take your pint of Oakshire stout outside to the heated and covered outdoor porch. 1621 E 19TH AVE. EUGENE www.facebook.com/heyneighborpizza   MONTESACRO PINSERIA Okay, so Roman-born pinsa isn’t technically pizza, but they’re very close cousins. Made with a blend of rice, soy and wheat flours imported from Rome, this lively Pearl District pinseria’s light, chewy flatbread is layered with everything from broccolini to burrata to bottarga before being blistered to perfection in the oven. Pair the smoked buffalo mozzarella and ’nduja-topped Infernetto with a…

Portland Dining Month – Cider-glazed salmon

Portland Dining Month – Cider-glazed salmon

written by Jen Stevenson THIS YEAR, PORTLAND DINING MONTH celebrates ten tasty years of uniting the city’s best restaurants with intrepid eaters who love a good meal and a deal. From March 1 through 31, diners can devour special $33 three-course menus at more than 100 participating restaurants, from tried-and-true favorites like Aviary and Little Bird Bistro to buzzed-about newbies like Delores and Bullard. Whether your culinary companion’s a staunch meat eater, one of those admirable souls still sticking to their kale-related New Year’s resolutions, or somewhere in between, there’s a menu to match. Pore over the entire list at www.travelportland.com. To sweeten the pot de crème, your prix fixe dining spree comes with a side of philanthropy—for every reservation made through the OpenTable link on Travel Portland’s website, a donation will be made to the Oregon Food Bank.   EN ROUTE When you reach Florence, a lovely little former…