Welcome to The Grass-fed Gazette : December 2013

RichardWelcome to the first edition of the Grass-fed Gazette, a new, occasional e-newsletter from me and the crew at Dick’s Kitchen, specifically aimed at developing closer ties and communication for committed customers of our restaurants, aka “Dick’s Diehards”.

As most of you know, my interest in the evolutionary nutrition paradigm began with a concern about the role of diet and inflammation in health issues seriously impacting my life. It has since expanded broadly to include many facets of this new view of nutrition, including such things as gluten-free and grain-free diets, the use of fermented foods and probiotics, the inclusion of healthy fats in our diets, avoiding sugar and other processed ingredients, and so on.

So one of the purposes of this newsletter will be to share with you some of my latest reading, conversations with healers and health practitioners, and attendance at conferences discussing some of the most forward thinking nutritional approaches. Hopefully there will be a forum to have you ask questions and/or share ideas that have worked for you, since it has been especially gratifying hearing from some of you about your health improvements as a result of changing food habits and, of course, eating at Dick’s Kitchen.

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Customer Success Story

Healthy-HeartMeet Jim Hare: A Dick’s Diehard Who Kicked Unhealthy Habits to the Curb

Diagnosed with a double whammy of heart disease and diabetes, Jim Hare’s lifestyle changes gave him a healthier — and happier — outlook on life.

As a carpenter, Jim Hare uses his hands for every task. One day, he sliced his finger open and ended up in the emergency room. The ER doctor ran a few tests, and Jim discovered that 85% of his arteries were blocked, that he would need surgery and that he was diabetic.

After Jim’s heart surgery, improving his lifestyle was a matter of life and death. He consulted with his doctors and landed on the “Paleo Diet.” Also known as the caveman diet, it mimics the diet of the Stone Age hunter-gatherer. The Paleo Diet consists of fish, grass-fed meats, eggs, vegetables, fruits, fungi, roots and nuts and excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, potatoes, refined salt, refined sugar and processed oils. “It really works,” he says. “It’s easy, and you see the payoff right away.”

Before long, Jim felt the benefits of his new lifestyle. He had more energy, slept better and let go of stress. Just two years after his open heart surgery, he was able to completely go off the insulin that treated his diabetes! “Going paleo has become an integral part of my vitality,” he says. “It lets me live my life to the fullest.”

We at Dick’s Kitchen met Jim because he loves our restaurant. He loves our 100% grass-fed beef and is grateful we support it because it’s the only kind of beef he should be eating. He eats with us around three times a week because he finds food that tastes great and supports his new diet. He always tries the weekly Guest Burger, and his favorite is venison and water buffalo. He usually orders the housemade kimchee, and he can’t resist the yam “not-fries.” “I like Dick’s Kitchen because it feeds the soul,” he says. “It has heart.”

We’d like to thank Jim for being such a Dick’s Diehard and sharing his inspiring story with others.

Jim, the next time you come in, the yam not-fries are on us!

Our Food

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Dick’s Kitchen offers a radical approach to the hamburger, America’s favorite and most celebrated food. We proudly serve 100% humanely raised, Food- Alliance-Certified, lean, grass-fed beef that’s lip-smackingly better than any other. Grass-fed beef is lower in calories, saturated fat and cholesterol and contains more omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed beef. It’s also high in health-enhancing fats and rich in antioxidants.

While many establishments claim to serve grass-fed beef, their beef is usually grain finished. Not ours! With the substantial nutritional and environmental benefits 100% grass-fed beef provides, you should demand nothing less!

Our beef comes from Oregon’s very own Carman Ranch. As fourth-generation ranchers raising and teaching the fifth generation, Carman Ranch is committed to preserving the natural environment and providing healthy and delicious grass-fed beef. Vigorous grasslands enhance biodiversity, provide wildlife habitat, prevent soil erosion and groundwater contamination and protect the soil from drought. Their pasture-based production system promotes and preserves open space and native species, ensuring a beautiful, vibrant landscape for their animals and their community.

If you‘d like to purchase this delicious, high-quality beef for yourself, sign up for Carman Ranch’s “Cow Share” buying program. If you’d like smaller quantities, you can sign up for their new “Buying Club”. And, if you’d like to see the animals and learn more about the place where their ranch family lives and raises your food, you have an open invitation to visit Carman Ranch. Just make sure to email Cory before you make plans at [email protected]

Help Dick’s Kitchen Fight Hunger in Oregon

fehWe are proud to be matching the first $500 raised for Farmers Ending Hunger for this year’s Willamette Week Give Guide. We are also providing another incentive to donate to this great organization: *Donate $50 between Wednesday, December 11-Wednesday December 18th and we will send you a gift certificate for “Buy one entrée and get your second entrée free!” This is a great way to satisfy your hunger with a friend and battle Oregon hunger at the same time. Donate through the Willamette Week Give Guide Here and if it’s $50 or more we will mail you your Dick’s Kitchen gift certificate!

Farmers Ending Hunger, an 8-year old Oregon non-profit was created to bring nutritious food to those who need it most. Funds raised will be used to harvest, process, store and distribute fresh food donated by dozens of family farms from the Columbia River Basin to the Willamette Valley and Southern Oregon. Once it is processed and packaged into food products like frozen and canned vegetables, ground beef and pancake mix, the food is delivered to Oregon Food Bank’s regional network for distribution in their food relief boxes, along with fresh fruit and vegetables like pears, cherries, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and winter squash.

“Oregon is one of the most productive growing regions in the country and also one of the hungriest,” said Farmers Ending Hunger Executive Director, John Burt. “In an average month, 85,400 children in Oregon eat meals from emergency food boxes. We were inspired to find another use for Oregon’s plentiful agricultural resources by asking farmers to provide fresh, nutritious food to those who need it the most.”

Adopt-an-Acre Campaign Seeks Donors

For a $500 contribution, families, institutions or individuals can “adopt” two acres or enough peas, corn or green beans to feed 33 families of four the recommended daily allowance of vegetables for one month. One half acre, a $100 contribution, provides 10 families of four with the recommended daily allowance of vegetables for one month. Or adopt a row for a $25 donation and give six families of four the recommended daily allowance of whole grains for one month. Individuals who adopt an acre can visit Farmers Ending Hunger to view an interactive map of the partner farms, read farmer profiles and learn which ingredients each local farmer is donating, from potatoes and pears to wheat, beans and cattle.

“It doesn’t take much time or effort to maintain an extra acre of corn or green beans that will be donated at the end of the season,” said Molly Pearmine McCargar, owner of Pearmine Farms in Gervais, OR. “It’s only appropriate that farmers should be helping to feed people who can’t feed themselves.”

Donate through the Willamette Week Give Guide Here and if it’s $50 or more we will mail you your Dick’s Kitchen gift certificate!

Follow Farmers Ending Hunger on Facebook!

Inside Dick’s Kitchen Northwest

DK NW Interior

And now, a look inside the Northwest outpost of paleo-friendly diner Dick’s Kitchen, which takes over the former Lucy’s Table space on NW 21st. And though the spot boasts the same menu as its SE Belmont outpost (grass-fed beef burgers, heritage meat sausages, and rotating set of “specialty” burgers like elk and buffalo), the new location sees the addition of a full bar, with a lengthy cocktail menu (each named for a different Richard/Dick, obvs), four beers on tap, and two wine options. According to Franz Spielvogel, a partner in owner Richard Satnick’s Laughing Planet empire, the diner also goes high tech, using a complete iPad system in the place of a traditional POS. Future plans include turning the back patio into an outdoor seating area — once the weather deems it appropriate.

Dick’s Kitchen swings its doors open [Saturday, Nov 12th], with hours moving forward scheduled from 11am to 10pm daily.

Source URL: http://pdx.eater.com/archives/2011/11/11/inside-dicks-kitchen-northwest-opening-saturday.php#eater-inside-dicks-kitchen-2

iloveburgers.tumblr review

In full disclosure, we were invited and treated to try out DK’s burgers, sides and drinks. This is a first for us and we’re very excited and honored for the recognition of our long years of dining, delighting and drinking our way through Portland’s finest (and not so) burger offerings.

Going in we agreed that treat or no treat, we would give DK’s an honest review. Here goes:

Nestled into a diner sized spot in the heart of SE Belmont, the restaurants space is split into 2 sides, one side has a NYC deli/diner feel, while the other has a cozy booths and tables feel. DKs is definitely a casual joint, a place to meet after the game and have a few beers or bring the whole family.

This is a true burger joint, kind of. Dick’s Kitchen is all about burgers, but healthy burgers. We, know, we too, were skeptical. But really, these guys have pulled it off. Between us we sampled the classic burger, the lamb burger special and the buffalo bob burger. Our burgers were served on house made, dairy-free, potato buns, that were the right size, not too big or too small. Burgers come with the basic fixins of lettuce, tomato, red onion and special sauce.

The burgers came with pickles and coleslaw, which was fine, but a little unnecessary. We ordered the “not-fries”, air baked potatoes served with house made ketchup and our choice of additional dipping sauce. We chose Wasabi Aioli, which was so very tasty, as were the fries. We’re pretty serious about our fries, and while we like them firm and crispy, these did not disappoint. We definitely did not feel like we were compromising taste for healthy with these fries. Not sure if they’re crave worthy like the Bima fries of days gone by, but the wasabi aioli, definitely crave worthy.

In addition to our burger, coleslaw and our “not-fries” we had some sides, all of which are vegan and some salads, standouts of which were the Mixed Greens Salad and the Dinosaur Kale Chop.

Their drink menu is great too. They have the requisite micro beer and local wine choices, but a killer cocktail menu to boot! Loved the jalepeño spiced margarita! They even have spiked milk shakes that we’ll have to try next time.

At DKs there is no lack of items to choose from, whether it’s dipping sauces, sides, beverages or types of burgers. They even have a gluten free bun and salmon, turkey and even BBQ tempeh burger options. When it comes to burgers, we don’t really think of eating healthy, It’s an extravagance that we indulge in once a month or so. DK’s really pulls off the healthy burger joint and does it well!

You can have your burger and eat it too!

Source URL: http://iloveburgers.tumblr.com/post/3895396538/dicks-kitchen

Willamette Week review

Last month, in honor of WW’s Restaurant Guide 2010, we held a contest asking readers to tell us the best thing you’ve ever eaten in this city(in 200 words or less).

Well we’ve got a winner, Caitlyn Monaghan, who made our mouths water with her food porn-y love letter to the pimiento cheese “Elvis” burger at new, sustainable minded American diner Dick’s Kitchen (3312 SE Belmont St., 235-0146). She just received a gift certificate to WW’s 2010 Restaurant of the Year Tasty n Sons for her admission of food love. Congrats Caitlyn!

Here’s her winning entry:

Dick’s Kitchen (DK’s) pimiento cheese “Elvis” burger, medium rare.

Vegans, look away.

This thing drips butter, gently melted pimiento cheese, and hot, rich burger juice down your elbow when you pick it up. Lick it. Take the first bite, feel the airy bun, toasted lightly on the insides, moistened by the butter and juice; it sticks to your lips. Feel the tenderness of that grass fed, Oregon beef under your teeth. The pimiento cheese will be making its appearance about now—some tang, some creaminess—proving texture can be just as important as flavor; its velvety, vaguely sweet smoothness helps the salty, earthy beef flavor along. A sliver of raw onion provides a crisp crunch on the far side of that first mouthful, freshness just noticeable enough to enhance the savory burger. House-made pickles adorn the plate as well, best as a vinegary in-between-bites foil to all that meaty lavishness. Gilding the lily: chipotle aioli on the side, spicy and sweet, lightly rosy and flecked with bits of pepper.

Source URL: http://blogs.wweek.com/news/2010/11/15/the-best-thing-youve-ever-eaten-in-pdx-contest-winner-chosen/
Enjoy, and eat a salad tomorrow.
Photo of Dick’s Kitchen Elvis burger courtesy of Nick Zukin’s portlandfood.org.

Portland Mercury Review

PORTLAND IS A CITY of special-needs eaters. We love to talk about our esoteric dietary requirements, whether it’s gluten-free cupcakes, soy curls vs. seitan, or how bacon is so last year (“I’m a vegetarian, but I eat truffle-fed lamb when I’m menstruating”). Planning a dinner party for such culinary special snowflakes is a logistical juggling act involving research, dedication, and frantic 11th-hour Googling for gluten-free enchilada recipes—and finding a restaurant that can comfortably accommodate a variety of diets is nearly as bad.

Newish SE Belmont eatery Dick’s Kitchen stakes claim to the intersection of several subsets of Portland eaters: vegans, vegetarians, and label-conscious carnivores who are willing to pay a bit more for quality meat. Describing itself as “Portland’s first ‘Stone Age diner,’” Dick’s provides a diner-style interpretation of Michael Pollan’s edict “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” The menu emphasizes the foods “our ancestors evolved to eat,” which translates to a focus on lean protein and vegetable dishes. (And milkshakes!) The menu provides a bibliography-style list of “food sources,” as well as an actual bibliography of suggested reading.

For all that, Dick’s propaganda emphasizes their veggie friendliness, but their vegetarian entrées are uninspiring. A tempeh Reuben is a solid but not outstanding entrant in a city crowded with better vegetarian sandwiches; slathered with dressing and cheese (Daiya vegan cheese is available for an upcharge), it’s filling but hardly qualifies as healthy. A vegan Caesar salad, meanwhile, is healthy but hardly qualifies as filling. Other vegetarian options (portobello and tempeh burgers, grilled cheese, a few vegan sausage/hot dog offerings) are unimaginative variations on the “fake protein in a sandwich” formula—it would be great to see a few more innovative non bun-based veggie entrées. To Dick’s credit, all of their side dishes are vegan, including collards, kimchee, sweet potato mash, and baked beans; but any halfway-committed vegan chef—or remotely competent omnivore—could easily replicate these dishes at home. (I’ve added their dish of sautéed cabbage and kale with vermouth and dill to my at-home repertoire—it’s quite good, and exactly as easy to make as it sounds.)

Meat is the way to go, here—a slider-sized turkey burger was flavorful and surprisingly filling, while their burger (offered in a range of preparations) is lean enough to avoid gut-bomb territory. The salmon sandwich was perfectly cooked, flaky and tender—try it with the anchovy-and-parsley persillade, one of a handful of condiments made in house. The condiments add an endearing homespun touch, though the portions are too small—we weren’t expecting a soup tureen full of the excellent house ketchup, maybe just enough to last through an entire order of “not-fries,” Dick’s low-fat alternative to french fries. (The baked fry-shaped potatoes are a passable substitute for the real deal, if on the dry side.)

Though Dick’s vegetarian offerings aren’t as appealing as their meat dishes, it’s nonetheless refreshing to find a restaurant that can accommodate a decent cross-section of Portland’s finicky eaters. It’s impressive, too, the level of care Dick’s takes in sourcing their ingredients and offering healthy options whenever possible. Even the alcoholics should be content—try the house margarita. You won’t even notice it’s made with agave instead of sugar.

Source URL: http://www.portlandmercury.com/portland/caveman-cuisine/Content?oid=3081415

Portland Monthly Mag Review

PLASTERED WITH PORTRAITS of Richard Nixon, Richard Burton, Dick Van Dyke, and other noteworthy namesakes, the new Dick’s Kitchen—owned by New York native and Yankees fan Richard Satnick, founder of the Laughing Planet empire—sends Portlanders back in time while pushing a decidedly modern, local, and healthy ethos. The menu focuses on classic diner fare like burgers, sausages, and sandwiches, but with a twist: beef is local and grass-fed; buns, ketchup, mustard, and special sauces are made in-house; fries are not deep-fried but thinly coated in tapioca flour and olive oil and “air-baked” in the oven; sugar and salt are used sparingly; and vegan options abound.

Chef John Huyck (star of Portland’s long-gone Casa U-Betcha) is busy honing his execution—the “not-fries,” for instance, may leave some diners nonplussed—but the French Onion “Zizou” Burger already makes Dick’s worth a visit. The Zizou finds its inspiration in French soccer star (and national hero) Zinedine Zidane’s infamous headbutt in the 2006 World Cup final: first, thinly sliced onions are “smashed” into a five-ounce, lightly seasoned patty from Carman Ranch in Oregon’s Wallowa Valley. A quick sear in a super-hot cast-iron skillet seals in a wealth of flavors and juices while simultaneously caramelizing the onions. Topped with swiss cheese, served on a sturdy, perfectly sized vegan potato bun, and dressed with lettuce, tomato, onions, house-made pickles, and a piquant sauce, this creation is an eye-opening update of an age-old staple. And if it’s any indication of how Satnick plans to overthrow what he calls the “military-industrial food system,” count us in.

Published: October 2010

Source URL: URL: http://www.portlandmonthlymag.com/eat-and-drink/articles/zizou-burger-1010/

Oregon Live Review

There’s a good chance you haven’t heard of Dick’s Kitchen on Belmont yet, but that’s probably only because they’re cautiously debuting their distinctive, local burgers and sides with a quiet “soft opening.” Soft opening or not, the quality food at Dick’s is already hitting home runs with many southeast Portland residents. In fact, it seems that this diner, serving as much buffalo as it does tempeh, already has regulars frequenting the “not-fries,” milkshakes, and various burgers. When I tried Dick’s on a Monday night, one woman sat with her family near the window and said to the waitress, “I’m not gonna do my usual tonight, but file it away for next time.” At the table next to us, another woman asked the waitress, “You get to eat here every night, so why can’t we?”

This burger joint that first opened its doors late last month is just the kind of place that would have regulars ordering too much greasy food for their own good. At Dick’s, however, the food isn’t greasy and eating it is definitely good for you.

As vegetarians, my dining companion and I each indulged in the vegan BBQ tempeh “burger” ($6.75), complete with housemade pickles and pickled onions, fresh red tomatoes and lots of finger-lickin’ sauce. The double-stacked marinated and grilled organic patties that come from Eugene’s own Surata Soyfoods were happily running over with chunks of beans, grains and sweet/peppery BBQ sauce.

Instead of the coleslaw that comes with each burger (which I have sampled, and — as someone who detests the dish – found surprisingly fresh and non-mayo-y), we tried the air baked fingerling potato “not-fries” and sweet potato “not-fries” ($2.50 and $3 to add to a burger, respectively), along with housemade tomato chutney and chipotle aioli. Dick’s take on the traditional French fry is certainly something to be applauded — both regular and sweet potatoes alike look (and taste) good when they’re not bogged down by fry grease. The insides were satisfyingly fluffy, even if the outsides were a little too well done.

Besides tempeh, Dick’s serves grass-fed beef in all of its more traditional burgers, which boast toppings like pimento cheese, uncured bacon, and persillade ($7.00 to $8.75). The well-lit, open kitchen also delivers impressive-looking four-ounce turkey, salmon and buffalo patties. For those who don’t prefer burgers, there are Italian sausages (both genuine meat and vegan alike), a grilled chicken breast sandwich, salads (like the intriguing dinosaur kale chop), and the next menu item on my list to try — the highly-recommended tempeh Reuben.

Dick’s Kitchen’s big grand opening is happening Friday, August 27, when they’ll be serving specially priced sliders, local microbrews and wine.

Source URL: URL: http://www.oregonlive.com/food-dont-lie/index.ssf/2010/08/dicks_kitchen_belmonts.html