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August 25, 2016 01:00 AM

If Eugene were Japan, there would be an izakaya on every corner — maybe several. 

Most of them would be street stalls specializing in only one type of food, such as fish soup. Some, like the newly opened Izakaya Oyazi in the space of the former Granary Pizza restaurant, would have a broad menu. 

August 25, 2016 01:00 AM

Food journalists at respected culinary magazines venture that doughnuts are “having a moment” right now. Frenchified boutique pastries made with cage- and hormone-free ingredients at places like Blue Star — first in Portland then L.A. and Tokyo — masquerade as doughnuts and telegraph the coming of a revolution similar to the obnoxious cupcake uprising of yesteryear.

Feeling doughnuts slip away from the ordinary and into the purview of wealthy cosmopolitan foodies irks me because I know they are not meant for the haut monde. Dirt cheap and made from the worst stuff on earth, the glazed annulus fits neatly into my schlubby fist — the powerless fist of a futureless bum. Doughnuts are loser food. Knots of sugar and grease form perfect ballast for the all-night diner set, the “Nighthawks” Edward Hopper painted, folks with no place else to go.

August 25, 2016 01:00 AM

What you know about Middle Eastern food is probably wrong — at least according to Alaa Albaadani. That’s why she started the Mediterranean Network Restaurant, to share the traditional tastes from her home in Yemen, along with other staples from across the region. 

“I love American food, but every restaurant that is not American is Americanized,” Albaadani says. “I go to a Middle Eastern restaurant and it tastes totally different than what I’m used to. I get frustrated because people say, ‘This tastes good,’ and I say: ‘That’s not my food; that’s not the real thing.’” 

August 25, 2016 01:00 AM

Joy Knudtson is a force of nature.

As owner and operator of Brails Restaurant in south Eugene, Sang Joo (aka Joy) Knudtson provides a big measure of the joint’s appeal. On any given morning you can find her zipping around the linoleum floor of this old-fashioned American diner with the antic patterns of a human hurricane — part field marshal, part peppy maestro, all cult of personality. Her demeanor is flashy, welcoming and entertainingly out-loud, like a low-impact carnival barker, and the perpetual activity to which she subjects her environment belies a sly watchfulness that comes from running a busy café for the past 18 years.

August 25, 2016 01:00 AM

“I can ramble,” Jim Evangelista warns me with a twinkle in his eye as we sit down in his bakery off River Road. “And I’ve got lots to talk about.”

Evangelista does have lots to talk about — mostly words of praise for all the people, organizations and institutions that came together to make the nonprofit Eugene bakery Reality Kitchen and its brand-new pretzel food cart a rollicking success.

August 25, 2016 01:00 AM

It’s a familiar story: Pig & Turnip started out as a food stand in Eugene but with a stationary location that wasn’t easily accessible. Owner and chef Natalie Sheild decided it was time for a change. The German-inspired cuisine moved in February to its new location at Springfield’s Sprout! Regional Food Hub.

Sprout! is an incubator program that helps local small businesses grow. Pig & Turnip, along with a handful of other restaurants, is nestled in the Sprout! building. You’ll find it just past the courtyard of A Street and through large, heavy-set doors. As soon as you walk in, a barrage of different aromas fills the air.

June 30, 2016 01:00 AM

One of Eugene’s newest breweries features some familiar faces: Matt Van Wyk and Brian Coombs, formerly of acclaimed local brewery Oakshire. In 2015, Van Wyk and Coombs, along with Coomb’s brother Doug, struck out on their own, launching Alesong Brewing & Blending, a company with a unique emphasis on barrel-aged beer.

June 30, 2016 01:00 AM
#MUTLIPLE#

Brews, news and events from around Eugene, the Willamette Valley and beyond

June 30, 2016 01:00 AM

Brothers Stephen and Dan Hughes want their brewery to honor community members who sacrifice a lot and don’t get much recognition — namely, teachers and medical workers.

“Healthcare workers and teachers are probably two of the most unrecognized professions I can think of,” says Dan Hughes, who opened ColdFire Brewing Company with his brother in January. 

“There are a lot of unsung heroes out there, and we definitely wanted to recognize that those people are an important part of our community,” Stephen Hughes adds.

That’s why teachers and healthcare workers get a discount day each week at ColdFire.

June 30, 2016 01:00 AM

In his office at Oakshire Brewing, Eric Keskeys flips through a weathered paperback revealing hundreds of ancient shapes and patterns. The room is dark, save for the glow from his dual computer screens, where working templates of beer labels have been put on pause. 

He stops on a page to point out some trefoils in what he calls a design bible — the Handbook of Designs and Devices: 1836 Basic Designs and Their Variations, originally printed in 1946.

June 23, 2016 01:00 AM

This summer, Oregon Bach Festival’s theme could have been “Generations.” The fest features a father-and-son team — Jeffrey and Gabriel Kahane; leaders of two generations of historically informed Baroque violin — Monica Huggett and Rachel Podger; old and new music — from Baroque and early Romantic masters to contemporary composers; veteran visitors conductor Anton Armstrong, pianist Robert Levin and organist Paul Jacobs; as well as today’s rising stars — the terrific singer Nicholas Phan and Artistic Director Matthew Halls; and tomorrow’s musical leaders — Youth Choral Academy, Berwick Academy and more.

June 23, 2016 01:00 AM

Ever since his sly 2007 breakthrough — the witty Craigslistlieder — songwriter-guitarist-pianist-composer Gabriel Kahane has rightly resisted the classical label originally affixed because of his music’s relatively sophisticated arrangements and instrumentation and the fact that his dad, Jeffrey (with whom he’ll share the stage at the Oregon Bach Festival), is a renowned classical pianist and conductor.

June 23, 2016 01:00 AM

Mandolinist whiz Chris Thile did not begin his career with an innate love of classical music.

“Until I was 15 or 16, I couldn’t have cared less about classical music,” Thile tells EW. “I grew up playing fiddle tunes where the whole point is getting people’s bodies to move, and I thought classical music was completely divorced from the body.”

June 23, 2016 01:00 AM

What was the last puppet show you saw? An after-school special maybe? Or perhaps a storybook hour staged by librarians with their hands stuck up some glorified socks?

Portland’s Tears of Joy Puppet Theatre wants you to throw out that imagery entirely. 

June 16, 2016 01:00 AM

Buy local: It’s a mantra repeated with such frequency in the bountiful Willamette Valley that it’s almost lost all meaning. Let’s take a step back and look at some numbers. According to the Willamette Farm and Food Coalition, a 2010 analysis estimated that Lane County consumers are spending less than 5 percent of their food money on locally produced food. 

“OK, but locally produced food is hard to find,” you scoff.

Actually, that’s wrong! Lane County has an astonishing variety of locally grown foods — milk, veggies, fruit, herbs — and now that the Lane County Farmers Market is open on Thursdays as well as Tuesdays and Saturdays, locavores have even more opportunities to buy fresh produce. 

June 16, 2016 01:00 AM

local ice cream maker Coconut Bliss has built a nationally recognized brand name without sacrificing its core values of independence and integrity. Coconut Bliss marketing communications manager Elizabeth Reilly says these Eugene-style priorities are partially what make her company so unique. “We are one of the best examples of a family-run company in the region,” Reilly tells EW.

June 16, 2016 01:00 AM

I’m here to report that the Euphoria Chocolate Company in west Eugene bears little resemblance to the delicious Byzantine splendor of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Sadly, no orangey Oompa Loompas mobbed me at the entrance when I visited, and Euphoria proprietor Van Glass is practically the antithesis of that passive-aggressive tyrant Willy Wonka, whose benevolent disregard sent poor Augustus Gloop up the tube.

June 16, 2016 01:00 AM

Since the 1970s, Genesis Organic Juice has prided itself on providing a product that’s local, sustainable and 100-percent organic.

And in that mission, it’s taking on Big Soda.  

“Odwalla is a Coke product. Naked is a Pepsi product,” says Jonah Alves, president of Genesis Juice. “This new one, Suja, is a Coke product, and Evolution is a Starbucks product.” 

June 16, 2016 01:00 AM

In Eugene, we take comfort in having local stores and markets dedicated to wholesome organic food, from The Kiva and Sundance Natural Foods to Market of Choice. But where do they get their ingredients? For herbs, teas and spices, one top supplier is Mountain Rose Herbs.

June 16, 2016 01:00 AM

Traditional capitalism teaches bigger is always better. Not so with Lane County-based Sweet Creek Foods. 

“It isn’t sustainable to grow too large,” Sweet Creek owner and founder Paul Fuller tells EW. “You lose the flavor if you’re trucking everywhere.” 

Located near Elmira, family-owned Sweet Creek Foods works with Eugene-area farms and food producers, co-packing and preserving food for consumers from Bellingham to San Francisco. “We believe in a static growth,” Fuller says. “To go national takes fighting the big boys. We like the idea of being a regional player.” 

June 16, 2016 01:00 AM

Stroll through the Lane County Farmers Market on a Saturday morning and you’re bound to see Patricia Garcia's cheerful face at her colorful salsa stand. That same cheerful face is on all of her products, inviting salsa lovers to give Salsa Garcia a try.

June 16, 2016 01:00 AM

Granola is a health food and a symbol of the natural foods movement, and the word itself is sometimes used as a mildly derogatory epithet to describe a health-obsessed hippie. 

Whit Hemphill and Brad Averill, co-owners of Wildtime Foods, which produces Grizzlies Brand granola, say they embrace granola and all it stands for. 

April 7, 2016 03:00 AM

Born and raised in Eugene, NorthWest Burgers owner and chef Garrett Kirsch says he knows what Eugeneans want: “They want local, house-made products. I wanted to take something as simple as a burger and see how it goes.”

NorthWest Burgers, tucked away in the upstairs of 5th Street Public Market, puts a homemade twist on typically mass-produced “All-American” food. 

April 7, 2016 03:00 AM

Tradewinds Café & Catering Company co-owner Abbie Shadrick is on a mission to provide tasty, nutritious, Middle Eastern-inspired food on what used to be the site of a quiet, empty church at 4th and A Street in downtown Springfield. 

“We’re part of the restaurant incubator program here at Sprout!,” Shadrick says, gesturing around the welcoming space where diners are feasting on Tradewinds’ signature dishes, along with fare from neighboring restaurants, all housed in a cheerful, open dining room with high steel tables and plenty of light.