Grizzly Tattoo Opening Party Redux

June 13th, 2011

So many good eats at Grizzly Tattoo's opening party!

Wow, what a party! My boyfriend Tyler Adams’ new North Williams Ave. tattoo shop — Grizzly Tattoo — opened with a bang a little over a week ago and a lot of you were there, and then some. Hundreds came out to celebrate and I’ve included a few peeks into the night below. (I only took a few photos at the very beginning because it quickly got too crowded. I also wrote about the party here.) Awesome!

We reached out to neighborhood businesses for food and drink donations and holy bleep they rose to the occasion. (Tyler tattoos a lot of food and drink folks in town.)

On the food and drink donation front we had Yaquina Bay oysters on the half-shell hand delivered by EaT Oyster Bar owners Ethan and Tobias; chicken liver sherry mousse, poached almonds, pickled cuke and more from Tasty n Sons, a keg of lager from Hopworks BikeBar, pulled pork sliders and traditional sliders from Che Cafe food cart, all sorts of sweets from Pix Patisserie and Jaime Henderson, secret loveliness from The Bye & Bye, mini pies from Loly LeBlanc, delicious mustards from Creaux Creole Mustard and the list goes on. Wow.

I also made a few things myself — a gallon of pickled asparagus (from our neighbor’s friend’s farm), a gallon of pickled beets and two tapenades — one with anchovies and one vegan. Oh, and Faulkner Short’s photography will be up in the shop for several weeks so stop by and check it out. There are some really nice photos for sale.

Thank you to everyone who donated! Thank you to everyone who came out for the party! Thank you Portland! Go Grrrrrizzly!

Thank you so much for donating food and drink to Grizzly Tattoo's opening party!

More deliciousness from Grizzly Tattoo's opening party!

A few minutes into the party. Got too crowded to take pics shortly after...

I called dibs on the first tattoo at Grizzly Tattoo so Tyler gave me these feathers. Black and blue. Love it.

Grizzly Tattoo
3949 North Williams Ave.
Portland, Oregon
tyler at grizzly tattoo dot com

Check out Tyler’s tattoos

Grizzly Tattoo Opening Party Friday, June 3rd 7pm-late

May 30th, 2011

My boyfriend Tyler Adams is opening a new Portland tattoo shop — Grizzly Tattoo — on North Williams (next to Hopworks BikeBar in the newly constructed EcoFlats building) and he’s celebrating with an opening party this Friday, June 3rd 7pm till late that you and all your friends and family (and their friends and family…) are invited to! Hope you can come out and help us celebrate with food, drink, music, a photography show by our friend Faulkner Short, musical styling by our friend Rale Sidebottom and a tattoo giveaway.

Hopworks Urban Brewery has been generous enough to donate a keg of their delicious lager for the event, and Tasty n Sons, The Bye & Bye, Pix Patisserie, Che Cafe food cart and Jamie Henderson are being the best neighbors in the world by donating some of their delicious food. So come on out and eat, drink and be hairy with Grizzly!

I’m so happy that Tyler is in the same neighborhood as the lovely folks at Tasty n Sons, Pix Patisserie, Lodekka double decker dress shop (they’re having a party on Saturday, June 4th!), EaT Oyster Bar, Che Cafe food cart and then some.

Here’s to Grrrrrrizzly! Grrrr!

Grizzly Tattoo shaping up. I took this photo last Friday -- a week before the opening party THIS Friday! No sleep till Grizzly!

Mr. Grizzly

Grizzly Tattoo
3949 North Williams Ave.
Portland, Oregon
tyler at grizzly tattoo dot com

Check out Tyler’s tattoos

Grand Opening Revisited

October 25th, 2010

ATTENTION: My boyfriend, Tyler Adams, no longer co-owns Fortune Tattoo. Visit his North Portland shop — Grizzly Tattoo — which opened June, 2011! For more info. visit, 503.265.8146, tyler at grizzly tattoo dot com. Grrrrrrrizzly!

Big night for Fortune Tattoo. So big folks spilled into the space next door...

Last Friday’s Fortune Tattoo grand opening party was awesome — thanks to a lot of you! We knew it would be big but we had no idea how big. Thanks to everyone who came and made it such a special night for shop owners Tyler Adams and Ms. Mikki. And thank you to everyone who donated food, drink, music and elbow grease to get the shop sails up.

I’m posting some photos here — mostly of the food and drink for reasons you all should understand — but if you didn’t make it and want to check out the new shop get in there. Fortune is located between Foti’s Greek Deli and Southeast’s Fire On The Mountain and just a few doors down from EastBurn so if you’re craving any of that stop by Fortune en route. Here are some party pics…

There will be more Fortune parties if you missed this one...

The party spilled into this space nextdoor to Fortune for food, drink and music...

Bluehour's Kenny Giambalvo donated all sorts of fantastic food and stopped by for awhile too.

Thanks Kenny! Amazing...

Toro Bravo's John Gorham also donated a bunch of delicious food...

Got early shots of everything and glad I did because the food was amazing and went fast. Thanks John!

Domaine Serene couldn't have been more generous with their kick ass pinot noir.

And MacTarnahan's rocked with THREE kegs of donated Amber Ale and Hum Bug'r Porter poured by good friends.

Wouldn't have been a Fortune Tattoo party without fortune cookies...

Thank You Portland! Food Lover’s Guide to Portland Book Launch Party

July 2nd, 2010

The dessert table pre-party...

So much has happened since I last posted. I really don’t know where to begin so I think I’ll start with what’s consuming my thoughts just 100 percent today — my book launch party last night for Food Lover’s Guide to Portland at Fortune Tattoo. I know it’s probably dorky to say but last night was one of the best nights of my life. I’m beyond happy that so many friends, fellow food folks and complete strangers came out last night to celebrate. It was magic. Loving life right now.

((ATTENTION: My ex-boyfriend, Tyler Adams, no longer co-owns Fortune Tattoo. Visit his North Portland shop — Grizzly Tattoo — which opened June, 2011.))

I’m overwhelmed by the thought of describing the evening so I’m just going to post a bunch of photos for those of you who were there and those who couldn’t make it. It was a blast and couldn’t have happened without the overly generous food and drink donations as well as awesome help of my friends, boyfriend, Fortune Tattoo and of my publishing house Sasquatch Books. Thank you Portland. I love you more than ever!

And then it was on...

And on...

My friend Rale Sidebottom rocking it in the loft for the party...

They got the Fortune Tattoo sign up just in time!

Tyler eating the Newman's Fish Co. smoked black cod...

The savory side...

Good mugs in food coma.

Before the perfect storm. Cheers to you! Thank you Portland!

Nel Centro: Gaeta Olives, Heirloom Navel Oranges, and Lamb Burger

December 28th, 2009
Juicy and full-flavored heirloom navel oranges at your service

Juicy and full-flavored heirloom navel oranges at your service

In addition to moving on to the final stages of my book (after final edits comes proofing and I really wish that just meant letting some dough rise) I’m working at Hawthorne Books and that means I’m downtown a lot. I love it. I like riding the MAX and bookending my work days with commute reading, I like getting takeout from yummy places, I like walking through the Portland Art Museum courtyard every day, AND I now like food and drinks at Nel Centro after work. Well, I’ve only been once but I’ll be back.

My boyfriend Tyler tattoos Nel Centro chef de cuisine Paul Hyman and so he called and made sure he was working (he was), and let him know we were coming in for a late dinner a couple weeks ago.

We grabbed a tall table at the bar, ordered drinks and then ordered a lamb burger and whatever entree the chef recommended. We said “entree” but Chef Hyman sent out so many dishes we had to move to a four top. It was crazy and it was delicious.

My favorites:

The lamb burger ($12). Must have been about a half pound of moist, well seasoned meat on an aioli slathered housemade brioche bun topped with a whipped blend of housemade ricotta and feta, and a trio of thinly sliced sauteed red peppers. I think I’ve said it all right there. Oh and it came with my favorite type of french fry — fresh cut, super thin, golden and generously salted and peppered with a housemade harissa and ketchup sauce.

Frisee and thinly sliced, poached lamb tongue salad ($13) with sauteeed golden chanterelles topped with a poached egg and dressed with olive oil and salsa verde.

The duck confit ($12) with braised red cabbage and apples.

As we were eating from six — yes six — full plates of food Chef Hyman came out and he and Tyler talked about the next tattoo he wants — an old French charcuterie ad. It’s a great image but I don’t remember too much about it because I was infatuated with the lamb burger, the pork rillettes, the mussels in vermouth, the salt cod croquettes and more.

After dinner he took us on a tour of his kitchen which was immaculate despite being at the tail end of a brisk dinner service. In his walk-in there was house bresaola soaking in brine pre-air-curing, small portions of duck prosciutto hanging and drying in cheesecloth, and all sorts of gorgeous wild mushrooms. He opened a tub of gaeta olives for us to try and they were buttery delicious. And then he gave us two heirloom navel oranges above to take home. What a man.

Nel Centro
1408 SW 6th Ave
Portland, OR
Dinner nightly, lunch Monday-Friday, breakfast Monday-Saturday and brunch Sunday.

Needles and Knives: Portland chefs and tattoos

February 12th, 2009
Most of the group at Acadia

Most of the group at Acadia

John Gorham preparing Sambuca fennel pork sausage at Acadia

John Gorham preparing Sambuca fennel pork sausage at Acadia

At the end of November I covered a tattoo/food event for Portland Monthly that took place by day at Infinity Tattoo and by night at Acadia. During the day eight Portland chefs got food-themed tattoos and by night those chefs, and one bartender, prepared food and drink related to the tattoos.

I interviewed the chefs and tattooists throughout the day. Most interviews were a quick walk around the block from Infinity since the shop was so loud. There were a couple times when I was tempted to snag a chef or two that had strayed to the tavern across the street but I didn’t and just moved on down the list. For the most part I asked everyone the same set of questions.

The resulting Portland Monthly story was all about the visuals — chefs under needle, tattooists and their art, inspired food, celebration — and Chris Ryan’s photos capture all of that. Jessica Helmke took the candids here.

I’m going to give you some more words, some snippets from the interviews not included in the original story. I’d also like to add that it was great working with PM’s Camas Davis on this assignment and I’m very disappointed that she was laid off in late January.

Participating tattooists: Infinity Tattoo’s Alice Kendall, Paul Zenk, Amanda Myers, Tyler Adams, Rich Cuellar; Tigerlily Tattoo’s Matt Reed, Optic Nerve Art’s Tim Jordan, Pussycat Tattoo’s Saad Sweilem.

Participating chefs: Gabriel Rucker Le Pigeon, John Gorham Toro Bravo, Sarah Higgs Acadia, John Eisenhart Pazzo, Karl Zenk Heathman, Adam Higgs Acadia, Tommy Habetz Bunk Sandwiches, Dusty York bartender Bluehour.


Amanda Myers, 43, Infinity Tattoo

When did you start tattooing?

I’ve been tattooing for many years — since 1991. I started at Sea Tramp with Don Deaton.

How many chefs/restaurant workers do you see?

A lot. It’s working class people that we see mostly, those people are interested in tattoos. Not so much lawyers — although we get white collar folks too.

What are some of your favorite foods?

Mushrooms, especially wild ones. Local food, local produce and greens. Food that we grow in our yard.

Alice Kendall, 38, Infinity Tattoo

What’s your favorite tattoo or your first tattoo?

I can’t say I have a favorite because then the people who I don’t mention would feel bad so the first one was in 1989 — a moon, star and cloud from Pinky Yun in San Jose, California.

How often do you tattoo chefs and restaurant workers?

Pretty often. I think it’s mostly because of Paul [Zenk] and all the restaurant people he knows. It’s also that they’re both alternative cultures — cooking seems to be an alternative lifestyle just like tattooing.

Paul Zenk, 37, Infinity Tattoo

Is there anything that still makes you nervous about tattooing people?

I’m always nervous about tattooing.

What’s your favorite tattoo?

The one that Amanda [Myers — Paul’s wife] did in 1985 of Notre Dame de Paris.

What’s your favorite type of food?


Tyler Adams, 34, Infinity Tattoo

Why do you think chefs are so into tattoos in Portland?

Because they’re low-lifes and sailors at heart.

Is there anything still make you nervous about tattooing people?

Portraits. You can mess them up pretty easily — one false move and a tattoo turns from mom into dad.

Rich Cuellar, 42, Infinity Tattoo

When did you start tattooing?

About 5 years ago in 2003/2004. I always wanted to tattoo. I went to school as a graphic designer, quickly got tired of that, quit and started tattooing.

What are some of your favorite foods?

Mexican foods. Tamales. I use my dad’s old recipe from his mom. There’s brown sugar, garlic, pork, and chicken in them. We used to fill them with goat when we were kids in LA but I didn’t really like that as a kid. I thought the goat was too tough and gamey. I really love garlic. I’d eat garlic out of my shoe.

Matt Reed, 38, Tiger Lily Tattoo

Why do you think chefs are so into tattoos in Portland?

It’s a job where you’re not in the public eye and I think chefs tend to be more creative people. I enjoy cooking but I’m not very good at it. I get flustered with the timing of cooking, things getting done at the right time. Dinner is a joke — there has to be a three or four hour window. My wife is a really fast cook though and she makes food better than most restaurants.

What kind of foods do you eat as a family?

When my daughter was three she said, ‘Do you know why I like pigs?’ I asked why and she said, ‘Because they’re pink AND they make pork.’ I’ve been cooking a lot of bacon wrapped scallops lately.

Tim Jordan, 32, Optic Nerve

What’s your favorite tattoo?

The one on my ribs that’s an ode to my dad. There’s a frozen raven in an icicle, with a hockey and broom stick crossed behind it, and snowflakes.

What do you like to eat?

I’m pretty easy to please. I’m a carnisaur — I like eating meat. Whatever as long as it’s got some meat in it.

Saad Sweilem, 34, Pussycat Tattoo

How many tattoos do you have?

For a tattoo artist I’m not that heavily tattooed. I don’t know, probably 10 to 15.

What’s your favorite food?

Garlic. I think it’s because I’m Arabic, my dad’s full Arab. My dad would eat garlic raw growing up, but I like it cooked, a little more mild. My sister makes a really good baba ganouj.


Gabriel Rucker, 27, Le Pigeon,

What’s your favorite tattoo?

My Mother’s Day tattoo that says mom on my ribs. I got it last year on Mother’s Day.

What food do you most like to prepare?

Probably foie gras because it’s so versatile. You can make dessert with it, you can poach things in it…

John Gorham, 36,Toro Bravo,

What do you like to cook at home?

I like to pick a cuisine and cook it. A couple weeks ago I cooked a Tuscan dinner, then a Moroccan dinner. I pick a cuisine I don’t cook at work and just go with it.

What’s your favorite tattoo?

The one that Tyler [Adams] did of the pin-up girl, broken into cuts of meat. Chicken Shit Mills is another favorite. My sous-chef chickened out of getting a tattoo so I got a chicken shitting out his name — “Mills” — on my ass.

Sarah Higgs, 31, Acadia,

What do you like to cook?

I like to cook French style food — sausages, pates, and more complex charcuterie.

What’s the painful tattoo you’ve gotten?

The part of my sleeve near and on my wrist that Paul [Zenk] did of birds and plants.

Tommy Habetz, 36, Bunk Sandwiches,

Where have you worked locally?

Lucere, Genoa, Family Supper, Ripe, Gotham Building Tavern, Meriwether’s, Bunk Sandwiches.

Why do you think so many chefs have tattoos?

Because we’re cool and chicks dig tattoos. [laughter]

John Eisenhart, 38, Pazzo,

When did you start cooking?

When I was 14 I was a dishwasher for two years. Then I just made my way up in that Italian restaurant in Sonoma, California.

What was your first tattoo?

A crown of thorns.

Karl Zenk, 44, the Heathman,

When did you start cooking?


When did you get your first tattoo?

My first real tattoo?

Well, not your first fake tattoo…

I did my first tattoo with a Bic pen and wire when I was 21 but my first real one Amanda [Myers] did in 1986. It’s a Northwest Indian style raven.

Adam Higgs, 33, Acadia,

Where have you worked in Portland?

I was chef at L’Auberge for a year then moved to Acadia. I started working there and then soon after bought the restaurant.

When did you get your first tattoo?

In about five minutes.

Dusty York, 30, former bartender Bluehour,

Where have you worked as a bartender in Portland?

Brasserie Montmarte and Bluehour. It was truly an honor to be the last bartender at Brasserie. We ran out of liquor closing night.

Why do you think so many food and drink professionals have tattoos?

I have no idea but I do know that tattoos confuse people — especially people with preconceived notions about you. I guess one reason why is that restaurant work is so stressful, and maybe doing that day-after-day leads to tattoos. Then you’re putting that same thing into your body. It definitely has a masochistic side.

Alice Kendall tattooing a brook trout on Tommy Habetz

Alice Kendall tattooing a brook trout on Tommy Habetz