Eat and Drink Guide Fall 2016

Eat & Drink Fall 2016

Your Guide to Local Eating and Drinking

NE 42nd Is Portland’s New Restaurant Row

The Cully Street Is a Dizzying Blend of Pizza, Southern, Bars, Sammies, and More

Crafty Wine Deals for All Hours

No Corkage Fee? No Markup? No Problem!

An Oregon Vacation Paradise, Reborn

The Suttle Lodge and Boathouse Is a Place to Build Memories

Eating—Now with Beer!

A Mini Tour of Local Brewpub Pairings

Food and Ink

Cooks Tell the Stories Behind Their Tattoos

Find Your Country Western Bar Bliss

From Waylon to Dierks to Dolly, We’ve Got a Saloon for Ya

Eat Here Now!

The Mercury’s Favorite New Places to Grab a Bite

Fall Arts 2016

Fall Arts & Culture Guide

It’s Peak Art Season in Portland. Here’s Your Game Plan.

Food and Ink

Cooks Tell the Stories Behind Their Tattoos

PICA Puts Down Roots

At This Year’s Time-Based Art Festival, the Stakes Are Higher

August Wilson, Guns, and Fractured Fairy Tales

Here Are the Mercury’s Fall Theater Picks!

Martha Grover’s Messy Lives

The End of My Career Author Is the Voice of Portland Right Now

Big Big Wednesday Is “A Beautiful Object”

The Local Literary Journal Looks to the Future

Wordstock’s Challenge: Too Many Readers

2,500 People Were Expected at Last Year’s Festival. 8,500 Showed Up. Here’s How the Organizers Plan to Meet the Demand This Time Around.

Your Guide to the Symphonic Season

There’s a Lot More Than Pokémon in the Oregon Symphony’s 2016/17 Concerts

ALTHOUGH INK isn’t required to work in a restaurant, tattoos are a display of dedication and grit, both of which are necessary to survive a commercial kitchen.

The kitchen has long been a stage of bravado: the fire-and-knives boys’ club, where one’s swagger is measured by the length of his cleaver. And while the ladies are certainly starting to reach the top of the longtime hyper-macho culture and change it from within, they’re just as apt to display ink as a visible emblem of their brass.

Of course, not all chefs go for the butterfly-on-the-ankle of kitchen tattoos (the chef’s knife). Nor do many opt for chef Andy Ricker’s elaborate tribute to Thai cooking: a vibrant botanical gauntlet of rice, durian, tamarind, chiles, shallots; the herbs cilantro, culantro, and green onion; plus a mortar and pestle with the Thai characters that spell “Pok Pok.” Most tattoos are somewhere in between, and hold personal meaning to the ones wearing them.

Levi Greenacres of Skeleton Key Tattoo on SE Hawthorne says he inks lots of people in the restaurant industry (full disclosure: he’s my artist as well). He says most line cooks he’s tattooed get some version of that aforementioned knife popularized by Anthony Bourdain, or some other kitchen implement. (If they get a work-related piece at all—many don’t.)

Greenacres himself wears three food-related tattoos: Andy Warhol’s banana and a cluster of three cherries in his armpits, and an immaculate corndog Madonna in a “corndog-shaped void” on the back of his leg. The corndog is one of particular significance to him: “When I first came to Seattle I had a bag of clothes, 20 dollars, a six-pack of cream soda, and a box of corn dogs.”

I asked Greenacres what’s the coolest food tattoo he’s ever done (a tie between an artichoke and the beet from Jitterbug Perfume), and then I asked a few other restaurant folks in Portland about their own gastronomic ink.

Here are their stories.

Anh Luu

Tattoo: Bowl of pho on hip/thigh

When I was a little girl, my family and I would go on our weekly Sunday outing of Asian market and getting pho at our favorite spot, Pho Hoa, in New Orleans. I believe it’s still open now. My mom would only make pho for special occasions because it’s an all-day affair. The bowl of pho tattoo reminds me of my roots and who I am and why I love to cook. I’m currently planning on getting another food tattoo next year: a half sleeve on my right arm of a crawfish boil laying on a Portland newspaper.

Pablo Portilla
Mi Mero Mole

Tattoo: Cuban coffee pot on forearm

Growing up Cuban, it is tradition that once you are off breastmilk your parents start putting coffee in with your milk in your bottle. So every morning since I was a baby I remember that smell and taste [of] coffee. This one on my arm is the coffee pot that my grandmother gave me and it’s around 30 years old. I took it in with me when they did that tattoo to have it replicated on my arm.

Dinae Horne

Tattoo: Stand mixer paddle attachment (she, her sous chef, and chef de cuisine got matching tattoos)

We wanted to get kitchen tattoos and had the kind of constant low-level conversation/argument that you might have in a kitchen over what they should be for several months. We didn’t want knives or spoons. We liked how it looked like a shield or a crest. I didn’t realize that so many people wouldn’t recognize what it actually is.

Dave Tran
Måurice, Pizza Jerk, and Fenrir

Tattoo: Coffee plant and espresso gear with quote

One is ‘Suspicimus Artis’ which is ‘respect the craft’ in Latin. It’s sandwiched between two espresso tamps. The second is a botanical (illustration) of Coffea arabica, specifically, typica—one of the first varietals to be cultivated in Africa. Every single career move/connection I had made up to that point in my life had been through coffee, [from] the people I’ve met and learned from, to where I am now in Portland. Cutting my teeth and carving out a name in coffee taught me a lot about service and workflow that now bleeds into everything I do as a young professional. Without starting in coffee, I wouldn’t be where I am now. So I never want to forget my roots.