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Cafe Hibiscus Ends the Drought of Swiss-Hawaiian Restaurants

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You probably won't get lei'd at Cafe Hibiscus, which begins dinner service tonight (6 pm to 9 pm Wednesday-Saturday) just off Alberta in a shiny urban strip mall. But the cafe promises "A Taste of Switzerland Made with Aloha." Fish fondue? Schnitzel with poi? Kalua pork wurst? In fact, the menu shows no signs of island influence—the aloha spirit comes through in the orchid print leiderhosen on the pigtailed waitresses (if only). Hibiscus is the production of Dani Thiel and Jennie Wyss, who grew up on Honolulu with a Swiss chef father. He made and sold a creamy Swiss salad dressing, which Thiel and Wyss now market as Martin's Swiss Dressing at a few dozen local grocery stores. The friends decided to expand their food horizons and have opened the cafe, which features loads of salads tossed with (you guessed it) Martin's, as well as Swiss dishes (that sound a lot like German dishes) such as sauerkraut, potato salad, bratwurst and the fun-to-say weinerli. Fondue Fridays coming soon. But no plans yet to include open-mic yodeling on the Hibiscus calendar—though it would make sense since the ancient art of falsetto vocal vibration was developed in both the Hawaiian Islands and the Alpine mountains. Betcha didn't know that.
· Cafe Hibiscus [Official Site]

4950 NE 14th Ave., Portland, Oregon, 97211

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