Every time a long-standing
tenant of the Pike Place Market shuts down, Market lovers worry: Will what takes its place dilute the historic flavor of the place, push it farther toward touristic irrelevance to the city? That worry was strong when Molbaks Seattle Garden Center closed in the pink-painted heart-of-the-Market building it shared with Sur la Table. But with any luck, the new tenant of the 3,000-square-foot space will be an even greater
asset to the Market. Beechers Handmade Cheese is the brainchild of venture capitalist and lifelong cheese maven Kurt Dammeier, and its got a little of all the things that make a vibrant Market entity. Passersby will be able to look in and watch cheese being made, sit down in the cafe for coffee and a (cheese) sandwich, and shop for cheese to take home from a selection
of the best products from the Northwest, northern
California, and even Colorado.
We dont know about you, but weve never thought of pears as being a glamorous comestibleor as a subject fit for postgraduate study either. But a visit to the Web site of the Pear Bureau Northwest almost has us convinced otherwise. The site is crawling with fascinating pear facts, mouthwatering recipes, and some irresistible special offers: irresistible at least to the coupon clipper in all of us. With a little cash and a
supermarket receipt, you can score goodies like a
plastic pear carrier (you know how banged up they can get in a lunch bag), a nifty gadget (also plastic) that cores and slices a pear in one smooth move, and, best of all, a pear-shaped cardboard Pear Cheese Wine
Selector that allows one to dial up a variety and see what it chimes with, according to the supersensitive palate of Portland food sensation Caprial Pence. Red Bartletts, for example, are groovy with Brie or Stilton, she says, while sipping your vintage Chianti or tawny port, while the supersweet Forelle variety should be served with a Riesling and a hunk of Port-Salut or Maytag blue. Go explore your own inner pear at www.usapears.com.
Funnier, sharper, and oh so blessedly shorter than the interminable Matrix trilogy, The Meatrix is the three-minute animated tale of a little pig named Leo who takes the red pill offered by a mysterious black-coated steer named Moopheus . . . but you have to watch it yourself. Contrived by Free Range Graphics and hosted by the family-farming advocacy group GRACE, you can find it at www.themeatrix.com. Who says vegetarians and animal-rights advocates have no sense of humor?
Its Marcos . . . hideaway! O-l顼/P>
Iberophiles still lamenting the closure of Fernandos Hideaway will be pleased that Marco Casas Beaux, whose Buenos Aires Grill is still sizzling at Second Avenue and Stewart Street, has taken over the cavernous space at Sixth Avenue and Vine Street, hired Valladolid-born caterer Clara Guttierez to run the kitchen, and reopened as Madrid 522. A tiny (10-table) dining room will serve traditional Spanish cuisine, while a large bar area will concentrate on tapas. The big back room will be reserved for special events, music, and dance. Rumor has it that the lively tango scene currently enlivening Mr. Luckys every Tuesday will be the first tenant of the space.
Food and/or beverage news? E-mail Hot Dish at firstname.lastname@example.org.