The list of ingredients that chefs fold into crepes at Savor Creperie is a bit staggering. On any given visit, you might be tempted to indulge a sweet tooth with a crepe drizzled with creme de coconut and mango lime sauce, or one stuffed with banana, toasted coconut, and Nutella. Then again, the savory-side of the menu has much to recommend it as well, such as crepes with smoked salmon and Boursin, or those rolled up with shredded pork, cabbage slaw, and hoisin.
Of course, no one says you need to compromise, and Savor's chefs have created a number of crepes that combine both sweet and savory ingredients, pairing fresh thyme and aged gouda with juicy pears, and sneaking slices of crisp apple into leek and chicken fennel sausage crepes. Crepe scrambles, meanwhile, sate breakfast cravings any time of day, with a filling of scrambled eggs and a choice of fixings, such as bacon, mushrooms, and brie. And no matter which crepe you choose, the kitchen staff are happy to replace their traditional batter with a gluten-free version to accommodate food allergies or just give the town wheat millers a short break.
If Open Arts Studio’s huge array of classes seems a bit eclectic, it’s partly a reflection of the diverse interests of its founder, John Armstrong. An intent student of visual arts since childhood, he went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in music and a master’s degree in music and classical vocal performance; today, he teaches both drawing and music classes.
Armstrong, his wife Lucy, and their staff of instructors approach learning through three key elements: technique, creativity, and fun. They use this template to cultivate skill within a noncompetitive atmosphere combined with a structured curriculum—for instance, drawing teachers use the open-arts drawing method to help kids break down objects into easily grasped curves, angles, and shapes while encouraging them to develop a unique style of their own. Artwork lines the studio’s halls, and an exhibition with cookies, juice, and coffee punctuates each session with a chance to share students’ work with friends, family, and agents looking for the next big thing in crayon drawing.
B Sharp Coffee House isn't just a grab-and-go coffee shop. Its staff has consciously decided to focus on slower methods of brewing, and guests are encouraged to grab a chair and linger a while as baristas set to work.
To create these cups of coffee, the baristas start with sustainably harvested, locally roasted beans. They then grind the beans to the correct coarseness before putting them in a Chemex or French press or using pour over or vacuum techniques.
But when the staffers encourage guests to spend their days at the cafe, they have to offer more than just coffee. So they also layer together toasted sandwiches smeared with pesto mayo, crisp up flatbread pizzas, and pair fruits and cheeses together on fruit plates. As the day turns to night, they begin pouring glasses of Northwest wines and Belgian ales as live musicians croon classic folk music, blues tunes, and soothing lullabies.
The weather in the Pacific Northwest isn’t always ideal for spending time outside, which is why Java Billiards keeps daytime as well as nighttime hours. More than just a shelter from the elements, though, the all-ages pool hall stands as an emphatic answer to boredom. It invites families to sink shots on five different pool tables and rack up wins during games of checkers and foosball. Making good on the “java” part of its name, the facility’s full espresso counter brews fresh lattes and mochas and serves up smoothies and italian sodas. Perhaps most importantly, Java Billiards maintains a safe environment for all ages by not serving alcohol or advertising itself as a hangout for vampires.
La Bella Bean, a Portland Avenue café that opened in April 2013, welcomes patrons with a convenient drive-thru and a cozy deck with outdoor seating. Baristas brew cappuccinos, mix iced mochas with flavors such as white chocolate lavender, and blend refreshing smoothies. Snacks such as dessert bars and muffins round out the menu.
The well-traveled pastry chef at Royale Cafe & Bakery's daily, scratch-made selection of pastries fits neatly beneath a small glass counter. The presentation, though, incorporates culinary techniques learned from across the globe via seven years of training and travel. The chef rises early each morning to bake everything from savory soufflé to mini chocolate cheesecake tarts and nutella-filled croissants. These treats come alongside homemade soups, hot paninis, and gourmet salads. Baristas also prepare artful espresso drinks to accompany them, such as mochas and lattes topped with foamy images of flowers, leaves, and hot milk in coffee.