DOWNTOWN: Portland's Iron Bartender, Sean Skvarka has settled back into his old job at Saucebox after a few month stint at the much-heralded, high-flying Departure where he was part of a team who created several new cocktail concoctions for the Jeff Kovel-designed eatery. Although he wouldn’t comment on why he left Departure, Skvarka says it's been a very smooth transition back to his former spot behind the bar at Saucebox where he is working next to bar chef and another winner, top nog maker, bar chef Kyle Billings.
ALOHA: There is a local foodie connection to one of the of the two Portland-based designers who will appear as a contestant on the next season of Project Runway, scheduled to kick off on Lifetime on January, 14. Janeane Marie Ceccanti—who has a website here—is married to Jordon Ceccanti who is part of a family that own and operate a longtime local favorite, Nonna Emilia Ristorante Italiano. According to proprietor Stephen Ceccanti, in 1921 his grandmother (and restaurant namesake) Nonna Emilia left Italy on a steamship to North America and six years later opened one of Portland's first authentic Italian eateries with hubby Ernie Ceccanti. Jordon manages Nonna’s kitchen.
DOWNTOWN: Big Ass Sandwiches, another new food cart (will the trend ever stop?) is scheduled to open today on Southwest Ash Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue. With its opening comes an answer to the age-old question: Do you want fries with that? Much like Pittsburgh, PA.’s Primanti Bros. who also put fries on everything (including salad) and which, prior to opening cart owners Brian and Lisa Woods had never heard of, BAS puts hand-cut taters on EVERYTHING. And that means the namesake Big Ass Sandwich with a choice of roast turkey or beef, ham, fries and piled onto a ciabatta roll. And if that isn’t indulgent enough "The Gutbomb" comes with DOUBLE the meat and cheese. And add béchamel sauce to any Sammie for just a buck more. The only thing the fries don’t seem to come on is the hard-to-find Mexican coke.
NORTH PORTLAND: Saucy’s Rib and Fish, LLC is yet another new food cart located in the slowly expanding Refuel Station North cart pod (see photo above) just a few feet away from Brother Bob’s Roving Bakery. Previously located on Northeast Killingsworth Street at 60th Avenue, eater operatives are licking their lips over Saucy’s price-busting two-buck menu that includes a killer spare rib on a slider-sized roll.