Blog

Astoria: Sukiyaki and St. Louis

Paper ephemera—items like restaurant menus, product brochures, and recipe booklets—have been the triggers for much of my research into Oregon’s food history. Matchbooks are pretty small, with little room to suggest a story. I’ve never collected them. Well, until recently. Here’s a story from one little matchbook. Astoria is one of Oregon’s most cosmopolitan small…
Read more

Eat at the Lumbermen’s Cafe

In the roaring 1920s, the city of Bend was a hub of industry, supported by two immense lumber mills, Shevlin-Hixon and Brooks-Scanlon. Loggers and mill workers needed fuel, and Vern Singleton (1886-1932) was one of their suppliers. Shown here is a business card from his day-and-night Lumbermen’s Café in downtown Bend. The note at the…
Read more

An Unanticipated Hiatus

There has been An Hiatus at the Oregon Rediviva blog. It was occasioned by our lengthy search for another residence that would offer greater gardening space for Terry, and that would shake up our daily routine a bit. At first we were looking in the Portland metro area: Milwaukie, Oak Grove, Lents, Oregon City. The…
Read more

The Nomad of Boardman

Or, Exotic Images, Mundane Realities Sometimes we are attracted to the exotic, the different, the colorful. At other times, we seek the familiar and the comfortable. Along the stretch of I-84 between The Dalles and Pendleton lies the small town of Boardman. For many, it is a service stop, a place to get gas, a…
Read more

Mid-Valley Potatoes

With meat-and-potatoes being the default basic American meal, it’s not surprising that potatoes are a major crop across the nation. Maine, Washington, and Idaho are famous for them. Notable production areas in Oregon today are the northeastern and far eastern parts of the state, the Klamath Basin, and the Deschutes country. And while many crops…
Read more

Clams, clams, clams!

Facebook postings flash past one’s eyes. I didn’t catch the references, I didn’t capture the links. But one of them asked the question, Is Pacific Northwest clam chowder always made with thickeners of flour or cornstarch? Is it really supposed to have the consistency of caulking? Some people seem to think that clam chowder is…
Read more

Top of the Cosmo Revisited

  I wrote earlier about the former Cosmopolitan Motor Hotel and its Top of the Cosmo restaurant, located in Portland’s Lloyd Center district. The hotel recently underwent a transformation, from a shabby unit of the Red Lion chain to the hip and happening Hotel Eastlund. Television news on KGW described the Eastlund as a “swanky, new building” but…
Read more

Eating Your Way to San Francisco: 1915

The noted Oregon-born cookbook author and food historian James Beard (1903-1985) penned a very tasty reminiscence of being a teenager eating his way from Portland to San Francisco aboard the dining cars of Southern Pacific Company’s Shasta Limited, and on the luxurious steamships of the Great Northern Pacific Steamship Company. “This train was my idea of true…
Read more

A Century Ago in Warrenton

Warrenton High School, 1965 Having spent many of my so-called formative years in and near the town of Warrenton, Oregon, I’m very interested in bits of history about it. The year 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of my graduation from Warrenton High School, so I have the reunion on my mind. I helped to put…
Read more

Dining a la Oregon

Dining a la Oregon: A Guide to Eating Adventures in Oregon Restaurants, Featuring Famous Recipes for Specialties of the House appears to have been the first compendium of what might be called reviews of Oregon restaurants. It was “compiled” by John A. Armstrong, a “Sunday and feature editor” for the Portland Oregonian newspaper and an honorary member…
Read more