Pretzels with a Twist

The Pretzel Wagon opens at LTD's downtown station

“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. On Aug. 18, Lane Transit District finalized an agreement with Evangelista to place Reality Kitchen’s Pinocchio-inspired food cart at the LTD bus station in downtown Eugene. Continue reading 

Glazed & Confused

Fancy doughnuts for fancy people

Illustration by Ben Ricker

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. Continue reading 

Who Makes Your Food?

Eat local, buy local

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. Continue reading 

Blissing Out

Coconut Bliss offers healthy, dairy-free ice cream alternatives

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. Continue reading 

Craft Chocolate

Eat chocolate; be happy

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. Continue reading 

Salsa & Spice

Salsa Garcia will spice things up

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. “I believe that sauce really makes the meal, no matter what kind of food you’re having,” Garcia says. “If you have a good sauce, then your meal is right-on most of the time.” Continue reading