Thursday, May 7, 2009

Bouquet of Hope: Saturday, May 9th

Recently we received a heads up about an event coming up this Saturday where you can spend some quality time with Mom while simultaneously helping out a good cause. Here's the press release with all the details:

Bouquet of Hope Benefit Comes Into Full Bloom May 9th

The Bouquet of Hope benefit for the Rose Haven Women’s Center is blooming with opportunities to celebrate women on Mother’s Day Weekend. In addition to performances by Internationally-acclaimed violinist Aaron Meyer and the exceptional School of Oregon Ballet Theater, the May 9th event will also
feature the dazzling talents of Portland’s finest floral designers in the Fête De La Fleur Competition.

Decadent centerpieces from Swanky Tables, Anna Mara, Quince Flowers and Starflower will fill the room with visual delights and simultaneously compete for the Fête De La Fleur crown. Guests will have the chance to vote on their favorite arrangement to determine the winner. Some pieces will be up for bid in the Red Rose Silent Auction, which will feature items donated by local businesses in support of Rose Haven.

Rose Haven is a beacon of hope for women and children in Portland who have experienced the trauma of abuse or homelessness. They serve over 100 women and children every week, and offer a large spectrum of aid, including on-site medical treatment, domestic violence and chemical dependence assistance and legal counseling through partnership with local community agencies and universities. Rose Haven opened in 1998 after women in the Old Town community in Portland were surveyed regarding their outstanding needs.

The resounding consensus was that Portland lacked a save haven for women in abusive or severely impoverished life situations. The need for a safe and healing environment motivated the Good Sheperd Sisters to open the center. 11 years later, Rose Haven provides unparalleled and exceedingly relevant services to the women of Portland.

We invite you to join us at this unique event and pay tribute to the mothers of Portland and the women of Rose Haven. Bouquet of Hope offers an ideal Mother-Daughter or Mother-Son date, where the celebration of Motherhood is perfectly paired with charitable giving. Tickets are $65 each or $600 for a table of ten. Bouquet of Hope will be held Saturday, May 9th at LUXE Autohaus at NE 17th & Glisan. Festivities begin at 5:00pm with the Red Rose Silent Auction, followed by an organic seated dinner catered by Artemis Catering, performances by the School of Oregon Ballet Theater and violinist Aaron Meyer, and capped off by the crowning of the Fête De La Fleur winner. Register online at or call 503.226.2377 for more information.

Penny-Wise in PDX:Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happy Hour

By Brooke Preston

With the Oregon unemployment rate rising over 12 percent, it's not exactly high time for extravagant meals out on the town. But in a town as tasty as Portland, it would be a crime to miss out on all the fun just because Uncle Sam cut our allowance.

Luckily, the Pacific Northwest, and particularly Portland, offers a diverse and delectable collection of happy hours. The saving grace of the young, broke and fabulous, happy hours allow us all to indulge our champagne taste on a PBR budget.

50 Plates (333 NW 13th Ave, is no exception. It should come as no surprise that the powers that be at this Pearl District favorite decided to re-vamp the laid-back sophistication of its newest happy hour menu—which debuted last week—by tripling its number of dishes, featuring local ingredients, seasonal treats and even an array of wallet-friendly cocktails.

All-American diners and picnics meet casual elegance at 50 Plates, producing thoughtful, flavorful dishes that reflect our nation's surprisingly substantive and unique culinary traditions. Take for instance the Castroville Artichoke Rolls, an appetizing tribute to the California veggie that marries an artichoke and garlic filling with a bit of goat cheese, crisp fried in rice oil with a summery avocado ranch dip made fresh in-house.

For 9.50, the "Happy Hour Meal" provides a (semi) grown-up version of the childhood classic, featuring chicken nuggets with their choice of house sauces, a cocktail, a cookie and what the menu refers to as "a crappy toy."

Short ribs, Kobe beef sammies, fried green tomato sliders called "The Lousy Hunter" and a long list of filling goodies provide sustenance. A full page of $5 classic cocktails put the happy in happy hour. An additional new collection of mixed drinks and floats usher in spring with color and bright flavors, including a new concoction (yet to be named—put on those thinking caps!) featuring Jim Beam (an American staple that fits the restaurant's theme perfectly), blueberry puree and Navan, a vanilla cognac which serves as a surprisingly apt liaison between such otherwise incongruent flavors. Those with a sweet tooth should instead stick to the grapefruit and vodka fronted 50 Plates punch, or a refreshing float with Kahlua, espresso and homemade (!!!) chocolate ice cream.

50 Plates offers happy hour from 3-6 daily (but is closed on Sundays) as well as 9pm-close Monday-Thursday, and 10pm-close Fridays and Saturdays. Note: The late night happy hours are not posted yet on their website, but staff members confirmed they have commenced! You can view menus, location and the stories behind many of the dishes at

Check back here for more tips on how to experience Portland on the cheap!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Jax Gear Up for Playoffs

By Jeremy Lloyd

Sadly, the playoffs ended for the Trail Blazers last night with a disappointing loss to the Houston Rockets. But for another Portland sports team, the postseason is just getting started. Tonight at 7:30pm at the Rose Garden, the LumberJax will host the San Jose Stealth in the first round of the National Lacrosse League playoffs.

If you haven't yet experienced professional indoor lacrosse, it combines the brutal hits and ferocity of a hockey game with the up-and-down and fast-moving excitement of a basketball game. And with tickets starting at just $10, the price is right.

A LumberJax game is a lot of fun, from the vicious hits on the field to the upbeat atmosphere in the arena, and, of course, the ultra-hot Jax dancers. I'll see you there. Until then, here's a quickie game preview from Jax Media Relations Manager and all around good guy Steven Masters:

The Jax (9-7) finished second in the West after winning three of their final four games. Portland relied heavily on a balanced scoring attack and a physical defense all season.

The team was 5-1 this season when seven or more players scored goals. Portland also saw four different players score 50+ points, which was a franchise best. The team even dished out a franchise-high 280 assists.

Forward Ryan Powell (18 goals, 44 assists) led the team with 62 points. His assist total was a career-high and epitomized the unselfish nature on the offensive end that Head Coach/General Manager Derek Keenan has preached since training camp in November.

On the defensive end, goalie Matt Disher set the tone early on. The cagey veteran finished with 502 saves and only allowed 10.80 goals-per-game. In fact, Disher was at his best when facing a deluge of shots. Portland went 7-2 in games that Disher faced 45 shots on goal or more.

San Jose (7-9) is no stranger to this Portland squad. This will be the fourth time the two rivals have met this season. The Jax won two of the three matchups and split the season series in Portland. Overall, Portland leads the series history, 8-5.

Like Portland, San Jose had a very historic season. The Stealth becamethe fifth team in National Lacrosse League history to outscore their opponents, yet finish with a losing record.

This will be the second consecutive year that the two clubs have met in the postseason. Last year in the West Division Semifinals, Portland traveled to San Jose and dropped a then franchise-high 18 goals on the
Stealth in an 18-16 win.

Portland’s goal early in the season was to first earn a playoff berth, then clinch a home playoff game. The Jax have done both. Now, the focus shifts to advancing to the West Division Championship.