NW Destination: Vancouver and its Foodie Secrets

Vancouver is the foodie capital of North America, and we’ve got all the secrets written by Michelle Hopkins Compared to most North American cities, Vancouver is relatively young. What it may lack in age, it certainly doesn’t lack in appeal. Mother Nature truly blessed this city of nearly 650,000 residents. Named after Captain George Vancouver, who laid claim in 1792, Vancouver has snow-capped mountains, the ocean, rainforests and beautiful foliage. As one of North America’s most cosmopolitan cities, Lotus Land has an overabundance of things to see, do and enjoy. Vancouver’s historic Granville Island has long been known as a gastronomy destination. This past summer, four of Vancouver’s most celebrated chefs founded Popina Canteen. Housed in brightly colored, repurposed shipping containers, this waterfront, gourmet counter-service eatery features sustainable seafood, salads and more. Besides its bustling food market, Granville Island has also made a name for itself as a hotbed for…

DIY: Tips for Customizing IKEA Cabinets

DIY: Tips for Customizing IKEA Cabinets written by Melissa Dalton Anyone who has ever attempted to remodel a kitchen knows this universal truth: new cabinets add up fast. That’s why the Portland-based Kokeena offers custom cabinet fronts and casework for modular IKEA systems—customers get a tailored look that’s much easier on the budget. Kokeena’s products are made-to-order, manufactured in Oregon, and come in three different finishes, including painted wood, veneered wood or textured laminate. We asked Kokeena CEO Russell Edwards and architect Jeff Stern for tips on making a Kokeena/IKEA pairing work in your home. #1 DON’T ISOLATE THE KITCHEN “Try to make sure that any kitchen you’re planning is really cohesive with your whole house,” Edwards suggested. For instance, choose a Shaker door with an ogee detail for a historic English or Colonial-style home, or opt for a simple slab front in a Mid-century remodel or modern abode. #2…

Trip Planner: An International Feast in SW Portland

International Feast: Finding foodie treasures in the southwest suburbs written by Sheila G. Miller | photography by Carly Diaz In some cities, the word “suburbs” evokes images of Red Lobster, Cracker Barrel and The Olive Garden. Then there are the suburbs of Portland. That’s right—the city known for being so foodie-friendly has plenty of neighbors making names for themselves, as well. You can travel the world in the southwest suburbs of Portland. Hit up Thailand, Korea and El Salvador in Beaverton. Visit Japan, Mexico and Vietnam in Hillsboro. From Aloha to Tigard to Forest Grove, there’s no shortage of delicious international restaurants waiting—so we made a weekend of it. Day 1 BANH MI • GROCERIES • NOODLES I grew up in Beaverton, though it has certainly morphed into a new place in the years since I graduated high school. But one of the best things about this city has stayed…

Po’Shines is Much More Than a Restaurant Venture

Po’Shines is Nourishing the Community’s Soul written by Adam Sawyer | photography by Claire Thorington Pastor E.D. Mondainé grew up on soul food. The St. Louis native can recall a time in his life when every member of the extended family excelled in one particular dish, taking pride in the way it filled bellies as well as hearts. “It was food created from the soul to feed the soul,” Mondainé said. Mondainé would grow into a man who extended the tradition and meaning of soul food into just about every aspect of his life. He also wears many hats. In addition to being a pastor, he’s an activist, author, musician and now president of the Portland NAACP. Long before taking his current position, Mondainé saw a trend and a need in his adopted home of Portland. “There were a number of community members on public assistance,” he said, “just as…

Oregon Tidbits and To-dos for November and December

Here’s a look at our must-have Oregon item and events picks for November & December Envie Throw Cuddle up by the fire in this decorative throw blanket from Seek and Swoon. We love the geometric pattern and chic design from this Portland company, and it comes in many colors and patterns so you can choose the best style for your home. www.seekandswoon.com Stirred Cocktail Set No holiday gathering is complete without a signature cocktail to thrill your guests. This cocktail set from Bull in China PDX will help you do just that. The set is equipped with all the essentials to complete your home bar and make a killer drink, as well as a complementary cocktail recipe. www.bullinchinapdx.com Holidays at the Capitol The 37th Annual Holidays at the Capitol will run from November 27 to December 21, with a detailed performance schedule available online. The building will also be open…

Lisa Congdon is a Master at Creating Colorful Art

Lisa Congdon creates colorful, inclusive art written by Sheila G. Miller Good things come to those who wait. We had to wait until Portland fine artist Lisa Congdon was in her early 30s to even pick up a paintbrush. But today, her work is all over the place. If it’s melancholy you seek, keep moving— Congdon’s colorful work is full of hand-lettered statements like “You be you. I’ll be me” and “Eyes forward. Heart open.” There’s a bit of whimsy, a slightly youthful vibe and a ton of color. Her clients are diverse, from Martha Stewart Living to Harvard University, and her Etsy shop is thriving Congdon, 50, started out painting as a hobby. After working in education for twenty years and as a project manager for a nonprofit, she decided at age 40 to try to be a full-time, working artist. She’d never attended art school and was completely…

Brigham Fish Market is a Hidden Gem

Brigham Fish Market is a tasty pit stop in Cascade Locks written by Kevin Max | photos by Uncage the Soul Productions On the banks of the mighty Columbia River in Cascade Locks is one of this town’s hidden gems. Brigham Fish Market is reason alone to put the brakes on and roll into this small town, especially around lunch. Hard-working sisters Kim Brigham Campbell and Terrie Campbell follow in the footsteps of their forefathers, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, by net fishing from docks and boats. Their daily catch becomes the fresh bounty for those on the other side of the counter at Brigham Fish Market. Though salmon counts are lower this year, the market is always full. Stay for the Columbia River sh and chips, the chowder and smoked Columbia salmon quesadillas, or take to go salmon, clams, oysters or halibut. If you take your…

Bruce’s Candy Kitchen in Cannon Beach

Seaside Sweets in Cannon Beach at Bruce’s Candy Kitchen photography by Ben McBee It’s an age-old Oregon tradition—visit the coast, try the taffy. Bruce’s Candy Kitchen, which has locations in Seaside and Cannon Beach, has been serving up the sweet treat since 1963. From humble beginnings—eight taffy flavors and twelve hand-dipped chocolates—the candy store has expanded to offer hundreds of delicacies. Look for the pink-and-white striped storefront—Bruce’s family is waiting for you. Visitors are always encouraged to stop by and watch the taffy-making process, but Taylor suggests calling ahead to ensure it’s happening. Besides sweets, Bruce’s Candy Kitchen also sells a variety of baking accessories and toys. Learn more about Bruce’s Candy Kitchen.

Mind and Body: Oregon Ballet Theatre’s Xuan Cheng

Oregon Ballet Theatre’s Xuan Cheng keeps raising the bar with hard work and training written by Mackenzie Wilson Since she was a little girl living in China, Xuan Cheng, 33, has been familiar with call times. At 10 years old, she left home to attend the School of Guangzhou Ballet of China, where she and other aspiring ballerinas started their days with a rigorous hour-and-a-half workout at 5:30 a.m. “We were like a little army,” Cheng said. She doesn’t sugar coat the school’s strictness—snacks weren’t allowed and neither were family visits. Cheng’s family lived five-and-a-half hours away by train and she saw them once or twice a year. The only relief from the isolation was a five-minute phone call once a week to loved ones. Now a principal dancer for the Oregon Ballet Theatre, Cheng can appreciate the level of discipline it took to push her and the other students…

A Wine Country Thanksgiving

Gastronomy: A Wine Country Thanksgiving in the Willamette Valley written by Jen Stevenson Eschew the mall madness and super sale insanity of Black Friday in favor of a far more elegant and enjoyable holiday season kickoff—the Willamette Valley’s 36th annual Wine Country Thanksgiving. From Friday, November 23, to Sunday, November 25, more than 150 participating wineries from Appolloni to Antiquum will feature special tastings, festive flights, food pairings, live music, winemaker meet-and-greets, artisan markets and holiday discounts, because nothing fills out a stocking better than a bottle of Dundee Hills pinot noir. With the mad scramble of harvest a near-distant memory, brilliantly hued fall foliage still clinging to the vines, and the worst of winter gales still to come, this is one of the best times of year to visit the valley. Make a weekend of it with a romantic retreat at Newberg’s tony Allison Inn and Spa, or the Atticus…