Pix was opened in January by Cheryl Wakerhauser, a 27-year-old French-studied pastry chef whose mission is to deliver the highest quality desserts. A couple months after moving to Portland, and after quickly being laid off from her job, she decided to start her own place. "I always knew I wanted to start my own enterprise, and there weren't any jobs in town, and nobody was really interested in what I wanted to do because in order to make really good pastries you need ingredients that cost a lot of money, and equipment that costs a lot of money. And I could say, 'these are really good, people will buy them,' but no one really wanted to give me that much freedom. So with this place, things sort of worked out for the best."
The interior of Pix is peppy and pretty, painted yellow and red with wood tables, reminiscent of the casual splendor of Le Happy. Your choices of sculpturesque desserts are on display in a case inside the front door. Or, on Saturday nights, you can come in for a three-course sampling ($14) from the enormous menu.
This Saturday, however, is tailor-made for the curious dessert lover, and especially those who haven't yet been to Pix. In order to let people sample a plethora of their delicacies, Pix is hosting a Dessert Dim Sum ($2-3 per plate). They'll be wheeling around tiny little versions of their many treasures for you to greedily snatch off the cart. Expect mini-Pixies, thin bars made from almond paste, pistachios, and raspberry jam; the decadent Tart Ménage à Trois, a mini pie with buttery crust, orange, chocolate ganache, and topped with a dollop of a perfect créme brulee; or the Opera, an upgrade from Tiramisu with multiple layers of almond cake, chocolate, and coffee buttercream. All items are quite rich, but that's what you were expecting. Cheryl, however, does point out that she designs her desserts to be subtle instead of excessively sweet.
Along with the dim sum, Pix will be serving sample-sized dessert wine (to help overcome the notion that dessert wine is sickeningly sweet and disgusting) and reps will be on hand to give you a taste of the various Belgian beers. Some of Pix's resident beers are served in large bottles that can run up to $12, so it's a good opportunity to find your brand before buying.
But beyond desserts and booze and something fun to do, another reason to patronize Pix is because it's part of the growing trend of businesses started by unemployed people. I mean, what if every unemployed person in Portland got their shit together and started a business based on something they love? Portland would be like a better version of Disneyland.