Cooking a la home
- Christina Melander
- Portland Tribune - Features
We're called Disgruntled Cooks, and we're disgruntled because we really don't think you should have to pay $18 to $20 for a good meal,' says veteran cook Mike Betteridge.
No, it's not a sequel to the revival of 'Angry Housewives.' Disgruntled Cooks is Betteridge's new prepared-meals business, which, in the space of a year, has moved from a home kitchen to a converted dress shop on Northeast Glisan Street.
A longtime banquet cook at local hotels such as Embassy Suites and the Red Lion, Betteridge capitalized on his post-Sept. 11 layoff last year by acting on a lingering desire: to make 'reasonably priced gourmet meals for the masses.'
He started cooking out of his house last winter. News of his meals traveled to friends and their friends, and pretty soon 'things got really carried away,' Betteridge says.
Fearing a surprise visit from the health department, he started hunting for a commercial location.
To hear Betteridge tell it, his meals are best described as home cooking. Every plate contains a protein, starch, vegetable and sauce ('I love making sauces'), and many of the entrees were just as popular with families 50 years ago as they are today.
When Disgruntled Cooks opens in early December Ñ or sometime thereafter, depending on snags in construction and permits Ñ customers can expect meatloaf, shepherd's pie, rack of lamb, beef fajitas, hazelnut chicken, miso-basted salmon and assorted vegetarian options.
Betteridge plans to keep costs low for his business and for clients by preparing just one meal per night and charging only for the cost of the food plus $3 for preparation. Meals should run around $6 to $8.50; delivery will be available for an extra $5 per household.
Disgruntled Cooks will be located at 8000 N.E. Glisan St.
Turkey talk for foodies
If your tastes tend toward food with a little more flair, your money will be well spent at the new Overton Street Kitchen & Bakery. Fast becoming a foodie haunt, the Wildwood Restaurant offshoot is part country farm stand, part tony food emporium (think Dean & DeLuca). With its fresh, tasteful design, creative seasonal displays and a few seats indoors and out, Overton Street is as inviting as mom's kitchen.
Like Wildwood, Overton emphasizes local and seasonal bounty that runs the gamut from J. Christopher Cristo Misto wine to honey-chili roasted pumpkin seeds. Talented baker Jesse Dodson now puts in his hours at Overton instead of next door but continues to turn out dreamy focaccia and baguette.
Meeting the sustenance needs of picky palates morning, noon and night, Overton offers FontŽ coffee and fig coffeecake, inspired salads and sandwiches and a Wildwood-quality takeout dinner that you can order a la carte.
Oh, and if you can't deal with the stress of stuffing a bird and smashing potatoes, Overton will happily do it for you. Call pronto to order turkey and trimmings of your choice. In Overton Street's able hands, it's likely to be a very memorable meal.
2128 N.W. Overton St., 503-226-1175