Wednesday, November 12, 2008
On Tuesday, Nov 11th, class was in session. Tyler (head server), Spence (madman in the kitchen), Dave (bottle shop lead) and I (the short one) headed down 84 towards a distant view of Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams. We were on our way to Hood River to one of our favorite Oregon breweries which captures the scenic drive in its name…Double Mountain. We also were yearning for some tasty pizza.
Matt, the brewer, and his sidekick Charlie, couldn’t have been more hosipitable.
We received a very engaging tour of the brewery and then feasted on pizza. And don’t forget the beer….
Interesting facts about Double Mountain:
- Many of Double Mtn’s ales are made with a Rochefort yeast!
- Most of their equipment came from fellow breweriers (Full Sail and Bridgeport to name a few).
- Matt and Charlie deck out the brewery with a pretty rockin’ breweriana collection.
- They use 90% organic grain. How many breweries go organic and don’t tell anyone?? The beer sells itself, no marketing hype here…
- These guys are genuinly nice people that are obviously passionate about their beer.
If you’re in the mood for a great view - check out an imperial pint at Double Moutain’s Tap Room. Its super cozy and inviting (LOVE the amber lighting..)
Thanks to Charlie, Matt and the staff for such a nice trip!
Look for Double Mountains Fa La La La Winter Seasonal on draft at Saraveza in early December!
Friday, November 7, 2008
Good beer tastes better with good food. That’s a fact.
Finding good beer in a town like Portland aint no thing. But finding someone to make a mean pasty dough and turn humble beer-drinking food into a savory, loving yet economical menu for the food and beer savvy alike is no easy task. My dream with Saraveza was to have good fresh beer coupled with simple fresh beer-drinking food in a comfy setting.
I told my dad last summer that in order to make Saraveza work like I need it to - I need a gift. Well, you’ll find my pretty little package in the kitchen (sans bows and ribbons). His name is Spence Lack. Spence has a love for classic humble foods, like the way a seasoned grandmother cooks. Its Spence’s goal to emulate that grandmotherly love into every plate he makes. Spence cuts to the chase when cooking and believes fine food doesn’t always need fine dining.
Spence comes to Saraveza straight off the farm. After years in the world of fine food, he went to the root of cooking (pun totally intended) and built Meriweather’s farm from the ground up. With his bare hands Spence built the fence, the greenhouses, tilled the soil and turned a five acre vacant lot into a plethora of sprouting edibles that were passed onto then Meriweather Chef/ brother-in-law/cooking partner, Tommy Habetz. (Look for Tommy’s new sandwich shop Bunk Sandwiches coming soon on SE Morrison!!!)
Prior to the farm, Spence’s time in the kitchen spans over a decade and a half working in restaurants. Out of college, he worked in a North Virginian B&B that was run by a horticulturalist. It was there he excitedly witnessed a restaurant that grew, picked, cooked and served seasonal foods. Thus started an intimate relationship with food as well as a passionate career. With many experiences to note, Spence reflects on those that allowed him to depart from fine dining, yet smothered every dish with that grandmotherly love. He reminisces at his time at a teahouse in Boulder, CO where he was able to focus on wholesome world foods as well as his work during the inception of Portland’s Ripe Supper Club, where family dining was king and Naomi (Hebberoy) was really good at pulling from farms.
Spence has also spent time teaching at Caprial and John’s Kitchen here in Portland. There he was able to not only teach but surround himself with chefs that inspired and influenced his current day cooking style. Amelia Hard, Kathy Whims, Pascal Suton, Cory Schriber - to name a few.
With these experiences in his backpocket, a non-stop upbeat personality, a desire to work in a nice root cellar and a love for beer (yes, he IS that guy you recognize from the Green Dragon), Spence is such a gift for Saraveza. My dad and my stomach approve!