Alternative Portland Tasty Travels Picks

No matter the topic, everybody's got to put in their two cents, right? Well, Rachael Ray's picks for her Portland edition of Tasty Travels was no exception. Karen Brooks of the Oregonian offered her criticism of Rachael's picks and some gossip.

Brooks reveals that Valentine's, "an underground food-art-music salon," was approached by the show and picked to be featured, but Rachael never came (she had a family emergency). Brooks thinks it was in part because of responses by the owner to the show's questionnaire like this one: "I don't think it's a restaurant. I don't know what the hell it is. But it feels good." Valentine's was charged with making a sandwich and a latte for the show, except they don't have or want an espresso machine.

Valentine's did make the final cut billed in Ray voice-over as a place for lunch and . . . a latte. Yes, right after seeing the restaurant's signature brie and sauteed greens sandwich sizzle in a panini press (rating a "Yum-O!"), the camera magically transitioned to milk steaming in an espresso machine.

"It's surreal," Bokros says of the virtual latte.

After this bit, the article does one of my favorite things: it says how much the show's picks stunk, then praised the picks. She writes that the show was one of the "strangest Portland restaurant piece ever, as mostly second- and third-tier places were hyped as stand-outs." And then says "[t]he list included the excellent Pearl Bakery; the cute, kid-centric Peanut Butter & Ellie's. . . ." They really want to pick on Rachael, but just can't seem to fully commit to picking on their hometown restaurants. You can see this dilemma in action here.

[Photo from ExtraMSG]

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