Jump to content


Photo

ACME


  • Please log in to reply
32 replies to this topic

#1 foodjunkie

foodjunkie
  • Members
  • 340 posts
  • Location:Vancouver, WA
  • Interests:Dining, food safaris, hiking, fishing, bird hunting, gardening, sustainable agriculture, wild mushrooms, wine, single malt, cigars

Posted 10 May 2006 - 07:50 AM

Stopped by ACME last night and picked up some food to go. I haven't had time to seriously coagulate my thoughts yet, but here are some random musings on my experience.

Don't ask the staff anything specific about the food (i.e.,- What kind of wood are they using to smoke with? What kind of beans are served with the beans and greens?). They don't know much. Maybe it won't matter much in the long run though. Most of the folks there seemed more into the hipness of the restaurant than the origins of their meal.

The patio is great, at least for this part of the year when we can actually enjoy eating outside. One of the best things about the patio is that you escape the volume of the music which is similar to that of Saucebox.

The interior of the restaurant is dominated by the bar and a stage, leading one to believe that pseudo-club with good food is the theme here. Also strangely reminiscent of Saucebox...but with far less indoor seating.

The menu is nice. Plenty of charred animal flesh and a large lists of side. Pig (pulled pork, ribs, braised belly), lamb (ribs), buffalo (ribs), cow (brisket), chicken (1/2 or whole), "drunken" beans, greens & white beans, corn bread, cole slaw, sweet potatoes, fries...maybe I was just not paying close enough attention, but I don't remember any sausage.

I took the food to go, so obviously the quality was different than what you could expect while eating in. We ordered a 1/2 rack of pork ribs (on the overly thin/lean side for my liking, but flavorful & tender and I liked the rub they used), braised pork belly (very nice...I really wish I would have had thisfresh & piping hot, but it was still very good). For sides we had the greens and beans (a nice combination and had a bit of a smokey bite), the cornbread was unpleasantly coarse & dry, the sweet potatoes were wonderful (creamy, not too sweet, very fresh), and finally we had the slaw (green & purple cabbage, light dressing, very mild, but refreshing and clean tasting). They served sauces on the side, which I always appreciate, and they were subtle yet flavorful. The one they gave us for the pork ribs could have been a bit more aggressive/piquant, IMO. Tasted a bit too much of stewed tomatoes for me.

I'd go back again....especially to sit outside with a group of friends on a nice day. If you're expecting down-home, Texas, Tennessee, or any other southern-style BBQ, don't bother with ACME. If you're interested in Nouveau BBQ, then this might be your kind of place. The Pacific NW, with it's amazing variety and high quality/availability of livestock & produce, large supply of interesting woods to smoke with, and amazing culinary talent is certainly deserving of a style of BBQ that we can call our own. I have high hopes that ACME might very well help lead the way.
“A complete lack of caution is perhaps one of the true signs of a real gourmet: he has no need for it, being filled as he is with a God-given and intelligently self-cultivated sense of gastronomical freedom.”

M.F.K. Fisher

#2 Angelhair

Angelhair
  • Moderator
  • 7,658 posts
  • Location:downtown
  • Interests:film, cooking, literature

Posted 10 May 2006 - 07:57 AM

I hope they did a remodel. I think the place is a dump. And it reeked last time I was in there.

The porch sounds nice though. What were the prices like?

#3 MaBell

MaBell
  • Members
  • 1,089 posts
  • Location:SE Portland

Posted 10 May 2006 - 09:05 AM

There is an odor that comes out of the Acme kitchen that really turns me off. Similar to the odor coming out of the Shanghai Tunnel's kitchen, but heavier on the vomit/less on the sewage than Shanghai. The Shanghai is burdened with the bad planning of having the bathrooms directly above the kitchen.
Homer: Are you saying you're never going to eat any animal again? What about bacon?
Lisa: No.
Homer: Ham?
Lisa: No.
Homer: Pork chops?
Lisa: Dad, those all come from the same animal.
Homer: Heh heh heh. Ooh, yeah, right, Lisa. A wonderful, magical animal.

#4 thakrza

thakrza
  • Members
  • 702 posts

Posted 10 May 2006 - 10:02 AM

The patio there is fantastic--one of the best in town. Glad to hear it is trying new things with that huge of a space.

#5 ExtraMSG

ExtraMSG
  • Admin
  • 18,340 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Felony Flats
  • Interests:Me like food.

Posted 10 May 2006 - 10:45 AM

Where is this?

I don't care what KIND of BBQ it is, as long as it is good. I'm indifferent if we get more places that don't have a clue how good BBQ can be.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#6 thakrza

thakrza
  • Members
  • 702 posts

Posted 10 May 2006 - 10:51 AM

1305 SE 8th

And get your hipwear on, Nick.

#7 foodjunkie

foodjunkie
  • Members
  • 340 posts
  • Location:Vancouver, WA
  • Interests:Dining, food safaris, hiking, fishing, bird hunting, gardening, sustainable agriculture, wild mushrooms, wine, single malt, cigars

Posted 10 May 2006 - 11:28 AM

Yeah...it's definitely a bit of a hipster crowd there...but that falls right in with the Saucebox references I made earlier. I expected nothing less after reading the article in the paper and neither should anyone else. The prices weren't too terrible, but expect to pay a bit more than you would at other BBQ joints. They are, however, sourcing their meat from high quality, local producers and I'm willing to shell out a few buck more to support that sort of thing. I wouldn't call the place a "dump", but it's devoid of any actual decor or artwork. I didn't notice any bad odors when I was there, but perhaps it was because the doors leading to the patio were wide open? Or maybe they just had a plumbing problem the night you were there? It happens.

FWIW, I was also told that they do a fair amount of their smoking using hickory for most of their meats and they use apple for some of their house-cured meats.
“A complete lack of caution is perhaps one of the true signs of a real gourmet: he has no need for it, being filled as he is with a God-given and intelligently self-cultivated sense of gastronomical freedom.”

M.F.K. Fisher

#8 ExtraMSG

ExtraMSG
  • Admin
  • 18,340 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Felony Flats
  • Interests:Me like food.

Posted 10 May 2006 - 11:47 AM

FJ, can you describe the BBQ a little. Beyond them using good quality meats, how well was it smoked. Could you taste the smoke? Was it tender without having a braised texture. ie, being TOO soft and falling apart. Did it have a bark? Was there any off taste from smoking without the vents open? Was it adequately fatty and if so was the fat melted or near melting? (One of my biggest complaints is with places like Russell St that insist on doing leanish meats. Lean meats should be medium rare.)

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#9 Jill-O

Jill-O
  • Moderator
  • 7,144 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Eastside, on the cusp between N and S

Posted 10 May 2006 - 12:12 PM

Walked by yesterday afternoon and my impression from the outside was more "Doug Fir" than "saucebox" actually.
Never give up! Never surrender!

#10 thakrza

thakrza
  • Members
  • 702 posts

Posted 10 May 2006 - 12:13 PM

Low rent Doug Fir, at that. More like Binks for a slightly hipper crowd.

God is PDX getting ridiculous or what?

#11 Jill-O

Jill-O
  • Moderator
  • 7,144 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Eastside, on the cusp between N and S

Posted 10 May 2006 - 12:37 PM

I find that it's easy to avoid the hipster crowd, actually.

Then again, I don't go out drinking all hours of the night anymore...I guess that has a lot to do with it...

sigh
Never give up! Never surrender!

#12 thakrza

thakrza
  • Members
  • 702 posts

Posted 10 May 2006 - 12:39 PM

They are easy to avoid but talking about them isn't (obviously!)

#13 MaBell

MaBell
  • Members
  • 1,089 posts
  • Location:SE Portland

Posted 10 May 2006 - 12:42 PM

I didn't notice any bad odors when I was there, but perhaps it was because the doors leading to the patio were wide open? Or maybe they just had a plumbing problem the night you were there? It happens.


I've been there quite a few times and the odor's been there every time. The last time I was there was probably in March so maybe they've done something about it since then. I do like the patio space.

The press release I saw makes it seem like they're doing a "re-opening" of sorts.
Homer: Are you saying you're never going to eat any animal again? What about bacon?
Lisa: No.
Homer: Ham?
Lisa: No.
Homer: Pork chops?
Lisa: Dad, those all come from the same animal.
Homer: Heh heh heh. Ooh, yeah, right, Lisa. A wonderful, magical animal.

#14 foodjunkie

foodjunkie
  • Members
  • 340 posts
  • Location:Vancouver, WA
  • Interests:Dining, food safaris, hiking, fishing, bird hunting, gardening, sustainable agriculture, wild mushrooms, wine, single malt, cigars

Posted 10 May 2006 - 01:10 PM

FJ, can you describe the BBQ a little. Beyond them using good quality meats, how well was it smoked. Could you taste the smoke? Was it tender without having a braised texture. ie, being TOO soft and falling apart. Did it have a bark? Was there any off taste from smoking without the vents open? Was it adequately fatty and if so was the fat melted or near melting? (One of my biggest complaints is with places like Russell St that insist on doing leanish meats. Lean meats should be medium rare.)


What I had was light on the smoke. As I mentioned earlier, the pork ribs were a bit lean & thin...they were done well (tender) and had very nice flavor, but the overall meaty/fattiness of the ribs was just not to my preference. That being said, if I were eating at Acme and wanted pork ribs, I wouldn't hesitate to order them again. The Braised Pork Belly was...well, braised. But even it had a nice composition and wasn't a falling apart mess. The ribs had some bark and the belly a nice, light char around the edges. No off taste, unless you don't care for their rub, which was applied heavily and could be a off taste for some folks.

Never been to the Doug Fir, but the only reason I keep mentioning Saucebox is the John Beeaker connection...I was just being a smart ass...
“A complete lack of caution is perhaps one of the true signs of a real gourmet: he has no need for it, being filled as he is with a God-given and intelligently self-cultivated sense of gastronomical freedom.”

M.F.K. Fisher

#15 Markovitch

Markovitch

    chinese w-rapper.

  • Members
  • 925 posts
  • Location:Shanghai. Really.

Posted 17 May 2006 - 09:52 AM

checked it out twice in the past days, report is up on the blizzogg

#16 BiscuitQueen

BiscuitQueen
  • Members
  • 23 posts

Posted 20 May 2006 - 04:43 PM

I live near Acme and go there often. They have the best french fries in Portland, hands down.

For me it's more about Acme having a nice patio, good food, and it being in the neighborhood than it being hip. If I did not live in the neighborhood, I am not sure I would frequent this place.

A friend of a friend of a friend works there, and I heard that they figured out they were a more of summer destination this winter when business died down, so they started devising the plans for the changes we're seeing now as a result. I don't have any insight into what they plan to do next, though.


Notes on the completed changes:

The inside went non-smoking about a month ago. Smoking is still allowed on the patio. Like most of their customers, I smoke when I drink, so this means they will not be getting my business this winter at all when it is cold and wet outisde. So much for the plan to increase winter business...unless this is meant to be a summer only rule. Who knows?

The food is good, but I am upset that the prices went up. I felt the prices represented the value before, but now I am not so sure. It's more of a bar, than a restaurant, and their prices are starting to straddle that fence.

The new pulled pork sandwich is good.

I am the furthest thing from a vegan you will ever meet, but I love their vegan chili.


P.S. I have never noticed a smell from the kitchen. But from day one, it has smelled like there is a slight natural gas leak in the women's restroom.

#17 LadyConcierge

LadyConcierge

    Food is good

  • Members
  • 1,534 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:McMinnville

Posted 20 May 2006 - 09:52 PM

I go to ACME only for Independent Tuesdays, when local short filmmakers show their latest according to the theme of the month. I agree about the fries: crunchy outside, hot inside, and perfectly salted. They also feature a cupcake of the day.

I heard it was still smoking after 10pm. Anyone know?

#18 ExtraMSG

ExtraMSG
  • Admin
  • 18,340 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Felony Flats
  • Interests:Me like food.

Posted 21 May 2006 - 12:01 AM

Welcome to the site, LadyConcierge.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#19 stu

stu
  • Members
  • 165 posts

Posted 21 May 2006 - 07:44 AM

this was the press release:

ACME FOOD AND DRINK OPENS WITH NEW TWIST ON REGIONAL PACIFIC NORTHWEST BARBECUE COOKING ON PORTLAND’S EASTSIDE
Chef Jon Beeaker’s menu highlights house-made spice rub, pickles and sauces, local and sustainable house-smoked meat and seafood

Portland, Oregon (May 4, 2006) — ACME Food & Drink, a collaboration between friends and culinary traditions, will open Friday, May 5, 2006 serving dinner Tuesday-Saturday 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. The new twist – Pacific Northwest Barbecue — combines a passion for local, sustainable ingredients with the “backyard barbecue” theme of relaxing with family and friends. And all this with the combined energy and experience of owners and partners Kevin Dorney, Marcus Ginther and Jon Beeaker. Their hospitality backgrounds have included operating the Moon and the Sixpence, and the Detour Café, as well as experience in the kitchen at some of Portland’s notable culinary destinations such as Pazzo, Bluehour, Saucebox and fivespice.

“The Eastside is a magnet for creative individuals,” said partner Marcus Ginther. “We are passionate about artistic talent in the kitchen. ACME combines this love for quality food and creative expression.”

BARBECUE – NORTHWEST STYLE:
Executive chef Jon Beeaker has traveled throughout Oregon to meet the farmers and ranchers he highlights on his menu – from Stangels American Bison to Strawberry Mountain natural beef. “Cooking from the source is important to me,” says Beeaker. “I take pride in making my own spice rub, smoking my meat, and even making my own pickles and sauces.” Beeaker’s menu draws from a wide range of culinary traditions with the spicy bite of SE Asian flavors like jalapeno-ginger dipping sauce to the down-home Southern comfort of corn fritters, black-eyed peas and beef brisket. Creative expression is evident in Beeaker’s house-made spice rub infused with cumin, smoked Spanish and Hungarian paprika and spiked with Stumptown coffee and sides as diverse as kimchee, mac n’ cheese, and drunken pinto beans.
Starters include:
Grilled Quail rubbed with cilantro-black pepper and served with sweet chile jam
Wild Boar ribs served with ACME chile-lime dipping sauce
Burgers and Sandwiches include:
Buffalo Burger with smoked gouda, barbecue sauce and topped with onion rings
Corned beef reuben with emmantaler cheese on rye
ACME’s house-smoked specialties include:
Pulled Pork platter
St. Louis Cut BBQ Pork Ribs
Sliced Beef Brisket
Other ACME specials include:
Spiced Lamb ribs with Tamarind chutney
Braised Pork Belly with Carolina barbecue sauce and whipped sweet potatoes
Braised Buffalo ribs with roasted tomatillo-chipotle sauce.
Sweet finishes include:
ACME cupcakes
Bread Pudding with warm bourbon butter sauce
Chocolate custard

AT THE ACME BAR – LOCAL LAGERS TO CHAMPAGNE COCKTAILS
Bar manager and partner Marcus Ginther infused ACME’s new cocktail list with some flavor combinations he learned in the kitchen at The Detour Café, the SE restaurant he owned and operated. “A great cocktail has to be balanced, much like a great dish,” said Ginther. Some of his unique Martinis include the Fountain of Youth made with house-infused orange-ginger Tequila, orange and ginger beer and the Clover Martini with Absolut vanilla and honey. Some ACME Cocktails feature El Presidente with Sauza, Goslings, triple sec, citrus and passionfruit and the Dark & Stormy with Goslings, ginger beer and 151.

An extensive beer list includes Beers on Tap — with everything from Pilsner to Porter and Stout — and Beers in the Bottle featuring Belgian Ales and Lagers from around the globe, including Italy’s Peroni, New Zealand’s Steinlager and local favorites Anchor Steam, Budweiser and Session. And of course, Champagne Cocktails complement food from the grill and ACME offers the Earl Grey Fizz with Brut, Portland 88, Earl Grey Tea and sugar and the Guillotine with Brut, pear cordial and cassis. And wines are available by the glass ($4-$8) and bottle ($13.50-$32).

EASTSIDE HANGOUT:
Once a coffee shop and truck stop in the 1970s, ACME has evolved into a full-scale restaurant and bar with a recent remodel expanding dining options in the main dining room and outside on the patio. Dark wood-paneling and industrial strength gray flooring joins red leather booths and bar stool seating for a cool and casual ambience.

ACME PARTNERS:
With a long history of restaurant and bar experience, partners Kevin Dorney, Marcus Ginther and Jon Beeaker are well suited for their expanded roles as co-owners of ACME Food & Drink. “We all want to offer our friends and family a place to hang out with quality food and drink,” said Dorney, also the owner of Moon and Sixpence. “ACME is our dream!”

ABOUT ACME FOOD & DRINK:
ACME is located at 1305 SE 8th Avenue, Portland, Oregon and is open for dinner and late-night entertainment Tuesday to Thursday 4 p.m. to midnight (dinner served until 10 p.m.) and Friday and Saturday 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. (dinner served until 10:00 p.m.). An after-hour entertainment schedule includes dance parties with local DJ’s and Indie bands, as well as IT: Independent Tuesday Handmade Film and Video night. For more information call 503-230-9020.

#20 chefken

chefken
  • Members
  • 32 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 21 May 2006 - 02:57 PM

But can they cook? :)
signature