Saturday, February 20, 2010

Beet Greens and Blues

Hey everyone! I'm writing a column for Reed's newspaper, The Quest, about PDX food carts and music, and had a crazy idea that sharing it with you could help me get out of my blogging rut. It usually just takes a couple of posts before I get refreshed and excited about blogging, and it's always hard to be a seasonal food blogger in the winter, but I miss food writing and my parents miss reading it. We're only a month away from the opening of the downtown Portland Farmers' Market, but this city is still full of great food and my kitchen doesn't stop because my typing does. Here goes.

Beet Greens and Blues

Here is where we find ourselves: In this city, in this decade, at this time in our lives, we can, and should, be eating some of the best food in the country. Our local farmers, bakers, butchers, and brewers are pumping out the highest-quality goods with regional flare, and the DIY culture has creative young chefs and cooks from around the world sticking a kitchen on wheels and calling it dinner. Portland’s vibrant food cart scene is, by now, no secret, and I’m sure many of you have your favorite places for burritos and fries. Also, unless you’ve been listening solely to Liberace for the past few decades, you no doubt know that Bridgetown is a breeding ground for hungry, ambitious young musicians. I believe it is no coincidence that where great food is found, great music usually won’t be far behind, so why not combine the two?

Here’s my plan: eat good food and listen to music I like. Each week I’ll stop at a PDX food cart or cheap eatery and size up the joint for under $10—with ratings for taste, quantity, and overall quality—as well as highlight local shows, new releases, or throw together a playlist of classic tunes, with some semblance of connective tissue between the music and food. At times the eats will inspire the music selections, and at others a song or album will send me out searching for a certain taste. Sometimes I’ll eat with local musicians, or find out which local chefs make their own tunes when they aren’t making waffles. Food + Music + Portland = Beet Greens and Blues. Get ready.

Got tips? Send your favorite PDX eats and grooves to, or join me for dinner and a show. It’s a beautiful city out there – go and taste it.

And for starters, here are my favorite food-related tunes to get us going:

“Come On In My Kitchen” by Robert Johnson
“Hot Potatoes” by The Kinks
“I Eat Heavy Metal” by Pete Townshend with John Lee Hooker
“Animal Crackers” by Melanie
“Vegetables” by the Beach Boys
“Tupleo Honey” by Dusty Springfield
“Tuna Fish” by Emiliana Torrini
“Country Pie” by Bob Dylan
“Eggs and Sausage” by Tom Waits

Eat well!


  1. Dying to go go the Polish Food Cart downtown, need to make the trek up from McMinnville.

  2. I love your new quest. Love the new "beet greens and blues" photo of you: right smack into my heart. Can't wait to hear the songs! How do I access the songs...your sister? Best of wishes and good fortune in the new literary and audio new year! Kris