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Tasty n Alder - 580 SW 12th Avenue


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#1 Jill-O

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 01:39 PM

Some news from Portland Monthly here:  http://www.portlandm...er-january-2013

 

Most notably:  Opening date: brunch, January 30; dinner, February 13. And...

 

Bombshell alert! Morgan Brownlow is in the house: Few chefs have generated as much talk, hope, confusion, and admiration. The gifted chef helped vault Portland on the food map 10 years ago at the Ripe Supper Club and Clarklewis. He trained with San Francisco salami god Paul Bertolli and makes pasta that could humiliate a grandmother. But he’s also erratic. A few years ago, he opened a Northeast Portland breakfast spot, drawing wows and a cult following overnight. Then, poof, he was gone.

 

If Tasty ropes him down, it could be major. He’ll be manning the stoves, grills, and pasta pots at night while collaborating on ideas with Gorham and chef Kyle Prewitt. For several months, Brownlow has quietly been working with Gorham on Tasty’s and Toro’s impressive new charcuterie and salami expansion.

 

I love Morgan's food - he is one talented chef. I am very much looking forward to this collaboration. Go Morgan!


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#2 ExtraMSG

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 02:48 PM

I hear the train a comin'
It's rollin' 'round the bend,
And I ain't seen the sunshine,
Since, I don't know when


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

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#3 jennifer

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:10 PM

Very excited about this and am also rooting for Morgan.  Love his food and loved his pork creations at T&T.



#4 Angelhair

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:43 AM

New dates: February 6 (brunch), February 20 (for dinner)



#5 Perkeo

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 07:10 PM

Can`t say as I remember Morgan Brownlow`s breakfast place (where Spint`s is now) as drawing wows and having a cult following...I remember it being considered a shitshow pretty much? They were gone FAST

#6 jennifer

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:52 PM

Give him a chance. I've had his food and everything I've had was damn good.  He also created all the T&T sausage blends, rillettes, pates and other porky products which were awesome.  The blends have suffered some since he's not there anymore and I rarely buy them anymore. Despite whatever opinions people had about the T&T fallout/mess and how he did or didn't handle things, he's very talented in the kitchen and we should give this thing a chance before flaming it on the interwebs.  



#7 Flynn

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 10:28 AM

My opinion: Morgan's cooking during the golden era of clarklewis was some of the best food to be had in this city's history. Maybe not so profitable, but it hit some amazing high notes.



#8 ExtraMSG

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 11:49 AM

I think we could agree based on the evidence that:

1) He is a good cook
2) He is a difficult cook
3) He is at best the 3rd banana in this operation

It seems that his abilities at #1 will be limited at best since he probably doesn't have that much influence on the end product due to #3. It sounds like he's more line cook than chef in the operation. Perhaps I'm wrong. Either way, I imagine he could use the dough. He's been working with them for a while and I'm sure they're aware of his reputation as #2. Perhaps he's less difficult when he's not in charge or thinks he's in charge. Perhaps he gets along really well with the Tasty crew and Gorham. Perhaps a year from now he'll burn out and go down in a blaze of inglory. Dunno. But given #3, I suspect Tasty will be good with or without him.
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 & Kenny & Zuke's

#9 Perkeo

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 03:26 PM

I haven`t flamed any of his future efforts, i was pointing out that the talk about his breakfast place in the article at the top was perhaps a mis-statement. A new Tasty franchise with someone in charge as qualified as he is sounds like a good fit....

#10 JandJ

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 08:02 AM

My opinion: Morgan's cooking during the golden era of clarklewis was some of the best food to be had in this city's history. Maybe not so profitable, but it hit some amazing high notes.

Yeah, and some amazing low notes at cl as well, if I recall right.  There was some brilliant food there, yet some things that simply fell flat (many of them meat based).  I'm not a huge Karen Brooks fan, but I believe it was her review brought to question his ability to properly cook meat.  I'd have to say that was spot on from our couple of visits there after it first opened.  Now a lot of time has passed since then and ExtraMSG's comments are pretty fair.  He's in a different role and has a few more years behind him.  The proof will be in the finished product and how well he can work with the rest of what looks like an excellent team.  Wish them all the best.



#11 Trish

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:50 AM

They're having an opening party on Saturday the 26th, open to the public, should be fun to check out some of the newer menu items.  They typically have several items from the menu when then do this.



#12 jennifer

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 01:35 PM

Went for brunch this morning.  Got there I think right after the first wave.  Waited about 15 min for a table, and there was a huge pile of people behind us.  This was at 10:15am or so.  But by 11:30am, there were tables open and no wait.  They said the next wave would come at lunch.  

 

Food was awesome, nothing we ordered that we wouldn't eagerly order again.  And as usual, we (way) over ordered and my bring-along-vacuum of a partner Hoovered the table with no problem.  He took the kid swimming afterwards to work off the 5,000 calories or so I'm sure he consumed.

 

Steak & Eggs, with cornmeal pancake & jalapeno butter.  It's the jalapeno butter that really makes the dish.  And I kept saying, "What's the little green flecks on here, what is this stuff?"  It was freakishly good and I didn't know what it was until I grabbed a copy of the menu afterwards.  Perfectly cooked seared RARE skirt steak (thank you Tasty!), a sort-of-sweet cornmeal cake, and so on.  Just great.

 

steak.jpg

 

 

Bim Bop Bacon & Eggs. These are the flavors we try to concoct at home, never successfully.  All these bibimbop bowls in Beaverton can kiss my ass.  THIS is awesome.  Super crusty rice around the hot stone bowl, great kimchi, pork, I don't know wtf else was in it, but definitely order it.  

bibimbop.jpg

 

 

Cheese Board, known on the menu as "Steve's Cheese", right above the line that says "Josh's Meat."  To which my bring-along-vacuum says, "I don't know who Josh is, and I certainly don't want his meat."  So here's Steve's Cheese instead.  I don't remember the cheeses on here.  Sorry.  I can tell you it's goat, cow and something else.  Candied walnuts, but nicely done, not too sweet, and currants plumped up with something sweet and tasty and slightly fermented.  Nice nibbles for sure.

cheese.jpg

 

We also got the radicchio salad.  A bit different than at Tasty & Sons.  This has bacon lardons, manchego and six-minute eggs.  

 

The kid got a half order of French Toast and a potato doughnut.  French toast was great as always.  

 

Total was $55 including a Cock & Bull ginger ale, a Limonata and bottomless coffee.

 

Crappy cell phone menu pics:

 

menu1.jpg

 

menu2a.jpg

 

menu3.jpg

 

menu4.jpg

 

Check out that Pork Schnitzel dish with a mug of hofbräu hefeweizen.  That's gonna be good.  I saw a pic on twitter the other day of the grilled romaine, that looked awesome too.  

 

I think I read somewhere that they open on 2/5.  So I suspect that after that date, it'll be impossible to get in.  The gal up front told me they're doing brunch now until 2:30. Dinner service will start up in March (I think?) and then they'll have the same schedule as the other Tasty, with a smaller menu in between brunch & dinner.  

 

One side note about bringing kiddos:  They're kid friendly, for sure. However, the bar-half of the restaurant is 21 and over at all times.  So while many groups could hang out on that side and wait for tables, we couldn't.  We had to camp by the front door or outside.  It wasn't a big deal, but just something to think about when heading out the door.  If it was slammed and our wait was an hour, the Alder location would be more difficult than the Williams location because the Williams location has Ristretto roasters and the toy store just a few storefronts away.  Both are fun distractions for kids vs camping out at Tasty's door waiting for a table.

 

The bar area reminds me a lot of the Laurelhurst Market setup, with seats at the bar, a small walkway behind the seats, and a standing area with a nice shelf/ledge to set drinks on and hang out while you wait for a table.


 



#13 Neven

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:37 PM

I had lunch at Tasty n Alder on their first "official" soft-opening date. (They'll "hard-open" on March 3rd). Spoiler: the place is great and everything was extremely tasty.

 

I tried the steak and eggs, with a delicious cornmeal pancake and very scalliony, tender-yet-charred meat. The Korean chicken bowl was a sticky, sweet, spicy mess that's a steal at $10. Pork schnitzel was perfectly breaded and cooked, served with impossibly tender and flavorful cabbage. A "cowboy breakfast" of steak, beans, and tortillas was better than expected. The glazed yams tasted like BBQ, and better than most BBQ in town.

 

Everything came out promptly and with zero screw-ups with a party of eight. Impressive for the first day of a soft opening. The only thing that'll likely keep me from dining here twice a week is the line that'll surely form at the door around noon every day.



#14 ExtraMSG

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:02 PM

Really good interview by mczlaw with Chef Brownlow in Willamette Week.  Very blunt questions and equally blunt answers.  I've been on the receiving end of Brownlow's temper, but I still hope he turns things around.

 

http://www.wweek.com...knives_out.html

 

 

You’re 41 years old. How have you changed as a result of the experiences you’ve described?

I’m very non-materialistic now. As far as possessions, I have my clothes, my knives and my snowboard. That’s about it. I feel like, with everything I’ve gone through, it’s made me humble. I was riding quite a high with Clarklewis, with the press nationally and all, and certainly it caught up to me. The fame totally went to my head and fed my chef’s ego. I feel like if I was a little more toned down and focusing on the business instead of the fame, things would have turned out differently. Now, that feeling of being high and mighty, better than everybody—the Michael and Naomi way—that’s disappeared. I have my skills as a chef, but that only takes you so far. From all my past work, I have zero savings. When Clarklewis failed, I lost $150,000 worth of equity.


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 & Kenny & Zuke's

#15 Jill-O

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:29 PM

Great piece. Zusman did a wonderful job, and Morgan deserves an honest interview like this. I wish Morgan all the luck and look forward to eating his food again. He's a talented chef, and though it's been a bit of rough road for him, the maturity and self-knowledge he has gained along the way will serve him well.


Never give up! Never surrender!

#16 Quo Vadis

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 02:51 PM

The structure of the Gorham places seems like a perfect environment to make your comeback just focusing on being a great cook.
 


Methinks I am like a man, who having struck on many shoals, and having narrowly escap'd shipwreck in passing a small frith, has yet the temerity to put out to sea in the same leaky weather-beaten vessel, and even carries his ambition so far as to think of compassing the globe under these disadvantageous circumstances-Hume

#17 mczlaw

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 04:01 PM

Thx Nick and Jill for the compliments.  I also am indebted to Morgan Brownlow for agreeing to talk for the record and to John Gorham for OK'ing it when either of them easily could have said no. I was very clear I wanted honest answers to hard questions. Thx also to Martin Cizmar, my WW editor for running pretty much the whole transcript I turned in--at twice the length we had agreed on :thumbsup:

 

There was, of course, a lot more material that had to be edited for space...I had no idea Brownlow was also a well-regarded painter and had been on the short end of an abusive relationship, but you can't include everything...Mostly, I'm pleased to see him get back in the game that he clearly loves.  We should all be so passionate about something.

 

Looking forward to trying this restaurant.  Hell, I hope I can get in. I suspect it will be quite popular.

 

--mcz



#18 ExtraMSG

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 04:28 PM

Well, if it's transcribed already, you're welcome to post anything that didn't make the cut at WW here.  If it's not transcribed, I bet we could find someone to do so.


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 & Kenny & Zuke's

#19 Jill-O

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 04:55 PM

Morgan out at T&A:  http://www.oregonliv...at_tasty_n.html

 

 

Renee Gorham, Gorham's wife, called the departure a "mutual decision."

 

 

#headdesk


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#20 ExtraMSG

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 05:41 PM

Someone inside must have really wanted to pass this along. Heard it yesterday and I know some other pubs passed on publicizing it. Glad to hear he's able to continue his charcuterie/butchery work, which seems to have worked for them.

btw, I tried to stop by for a late lunch while I was out doing VD shopping. I think they're open for dinner this week, but they don't currently serve between lunch and dinner. They said they'll have a happy hour at some point between services. Ate a seasonal Patric chocolate bar for lunch instead, so not the worst tradeoff.
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 & Kenny & Zuke's