a little room to grow

The real reason I went to PDX was a summer office reorganization shopping spree at Ikea.  But it’s not summer yet, you protest.  Aha, but it was summer eight months ago.  I’m a little behind on projects.

I bought shelves not only for my study but to replace the very old pre-Billy Ikea bookshelf — you know, the ones that bow in the middle of the shelves — that was the home of all my cookbooks for probably fifteen years.  As you might imagine, the situation was getting dangerous.

So I’m pleased to report that I finally have room for all my cookbooks, plus a little room to grow.

Speaking of room to grow, consider supporting our local restaurants that strive to buy Willamette Valley and Oregon products in the upcoming weeks, if you’re able to do so.  Times are tough and they really need us to patronize places that spend a little more to keep our farmers and other local food purveyors in business.  Your money will be well spent.

Some places on my perennial recommendation list are:

  • Red Agave (the restaurant and the cantina for late-night hearty snacks and great cocktails, plus the website features the most poetic descriptions of specials I’ve seen);
  • Rabbit Bistro & Bar (fabulous cocktails, too, and unusually creative Friday night specials to be found on their Facebook page); and
  • Belly (new taco nights on Sunday and Monday, about which I’ve blogged, and a seasonally changing menu the rest of the week that features the best of our valley).

Each of these places are experimenting with menus and thinking about future avenues, so head on out and see what they’re all about.

Wanting a burger?  You can do that local, too.  We have great beef here in Oregon.  There were good recommendations from listeners on yesterday’s Food for Thought radio show (on KLCC, our NPR affiliate) (archived show here).  I hung out with Boris and Ryan on the air, talking about hamburgers and fries (oh yeah, and gardens, too), and was surprised by the people who voted for megolithic fast food outlets.  Yuck.  Seriously, don’t give those places your money. Pay a little more, eat a little less.

Or ask for local beef at one of our many meat markets.  I like Benedetti’s Meat Market in Springfield for fresh Oregon beef, and their Saturday BBQ specials are crazy cheap and delicious.

If you’re looking for something completely different, how about A BRAND NEW LEBANESE DELI!?!?!??!  Plaza Latina Market on 7th is finishing the expansion of their food court area, and I saw the menu up when I stopped by last weekend.  They told me that they hope to have the Middle Eastern part of the deli operating next weekend.

One last suggestion: you can taste offerings by all the best restaurants in town at one swoop by attending one of the best annual fundraisers we have in Eugene: Chef’s Night Out at the Hult.  It’s tomorrow night, Tuesday, April 5, at 6:30 p.m.  Tickets, which aren’t cheap at $65 prepay/$75 walk-in, are very much worth it and appreciated as tax deductible contributions to Food For Lane County.  Best of all is that 100% of your donation will go to low-income food security resources in Lane County, as the event is underwritten by several major sponsors.

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