May 19, 2009 Published in the January 2009 issue of Portland Monthly

Perhaps because she is new to the area, Janet Peterson (“Letters,” November 2008) doesn’t realize that not only does Portland Monthly extol the virtues of alternative lifestyles and being green, but so does Portland the city. I wonder if Ms. Peterson should consider living elsewhere in addition to cancelling her subscription?

Happy Valley?

Current regulation does in fact prohibit off-farm sales and severely limits actual sales on the farm (no advertising!) of raw cow milk (“The Good Stuff,” November 2008, by Anna Hirsh), but the author was seeking entirely un-illicit goat milk. Raw goat milk is perfectly (and legally) available. As a raw-milk drinker, it was great to see the article, but I felt the goats got a bad rap.

Market manager, Portland Farmers Market

As a longtime Portland restaurateur, I thank you for the recognition you provide our industry (“Eat Here Now,” by Camas Davis, November 2008). That said, I also feel compelled to share a frustration. It would be nice to see more coverage of restaurants that have passed the test of time. Those of us who balance our passion for great food and service—and for our vendors, community, and the environment—with supporting our employees (via competitive wages, insurance benefits, and retirement plans) are often lumped together with those whose sole desire is to fulfill a dream of owning a restaurant. How many of the media’s “restaurants of the year” are still in business? How many were recognized before being open for even a year? How many restaurants that purported to support local growers and farmers failed to pay them responsibly? A restaurant’s mission is to provide great food and service; it’s a much greater challenge to deliver both while operating with a sense of responsibility to more than our own creative endeavors.

General manager, Southpark Seafood Grill & Wine Bar

issue hit newsstands (“Eat Here Now,” by Camas Davis, November 2008; see list, page 22), food and drink mavens reacted. Here’s a representative sampling from, one of the city’s most popular dining blogs, beginning just after midnight on October 30.

“Camas Davis did an excellent job with this article, and it is perhaps the best top anything list published in Portland in recent years, and a piece of quality food writing. It’s nice to see someone doing something a little out of the box rather than following the herd.” [Morris, 12:43 a.m.]

“What a boring, tepid, and predictable list. Not one true neighborhood joint. Not one true ethnic restaurant. I’m about as yuppie as it gets, but even for me this list seems almost embarrassingly tilted toward destination, big-ticket dining and not at all representative of Portland as a whole.” [MrDonutsu, 11:58 a.m.]

“There should be two lists: top ten best restaurants and top ten local favorites. They are two different philosophies that overlap when a restaurant is at the top of its game.” [LuLu Belle, 2:35 p.m.]

“When I think of Top Ten restaurants, I think of places that serve food I could not replicate at home. Two friends and I ate at Lovely Hula Hands this week—we had the burger, pork chop, and chicken with risotto. All were good, but nothing special, and certainly nothing that I couldn’t have made at home. Compare that with the ribs, corn bisque, and duck at Ten 01, and it’s no contest.” [NYC-PDX, 5:36 p.m.]

“I don’t believe any Top lists that Portland Magazine [sic] prints. The lists always curiously coincide with the same folks who are paying for advertising.” [Jen, 8:32 p.m.]

“Jen, I can understand your inherent distrust, but everything I’ve read from Camas Davis has led me to believe she’s a competent writer who would not be driven to modulate her editorial bent by the folks in the sales department. I would give her—like any writer for a reputable publication that accepts advertising—the journalistic benefit of the doubt.” [polloelastico, 9:09 a.m., October 31]

“Polloelastico, you are correct. As a matter of fact, I sell ads for Portland Monthly. Jen, you could not be further from the truth. As the rep that handles most of the restaurants in town, I can assure you that Camas (and crew) are absolutely not influenced by who is or is not running ads in the magazine. If you look at the November issue, you will find one restaurant that Camas featured that has an ad and nine that have never spent a penny with us. The editorial team compiles their information for months and months before the issue goes to press, whereas an ad can be sold up to the last minute. Please don’t insult us. Our writers work hard, and their picks are their picks.” [Gourmande, 10:28 a.m.]

Read the full article Eat Here Now in our Eat & Drink section.

• Beast
• Carlyle
• Clyde Common
• Pok Pok
• Le Pigeon
• Castagna
• Screen Door
• Toro Bravo
• Paley’s Place

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