Happy Sparrow – Bringing the Kolache to the NW!

June 30th, 2015 by Jon

happysparrow1If there’s anything we love more than delicious food at Portland Pedal Power, it’s delicious unique food that you would struggle to find anywhere else. The kind of food that makes someone do a double take and say “Wow, where did you get THAT?”

That’s why we are very excited to be delivering for Happy Sparrow Café, who specialize in making the Kolache (kuh-lah-chee)!

Now if you’re anything like me, you may have never heard of a kolache. But Happy Sparrow’s creations compete with bagels and donuts as the favorite breakfast meal in Texas. A pastry that competes with donuts? Color me surprised… and more than a little curious.

happysparrow3

So what is a kolache?  According to Mary and Danny Quach, the owners of Happy Sparrow,  it’s a “sweet soft bun filled with yummy fillings, then baked to a beautiful golden delight.” Like many things in life, it’s the insides that count! (But take it from me, the outside is just as tasty!) This special pastry was brought over to the States by Czech immigrants, and once the locals in Texas got a taste, they couldn’t get enough.

Today, Mary and Danny continue the tradition of creating delicious Texas-Style Kolaches like the ones they enjoyed growing up in Houston and Austin. But now, they get to use some of the best local Northwest ingredients resulting in a fresh and delicious treat. You will find Tillamook Cheddar Cheese, Zenner’s sausages, locally crafted fruit preserves, all fitting inside a hand-rolled, lovingly made treat.

On our menu, you will find kolaches for the sweet tooth, savory kolaches for those looking for a hearty breakfast, and even mini kolaches for those just looking for a quick snack before work. No matter how you’re feeling, there’s a kolache to compliment the mood.

So what are you waiting for? Do yourself a favor: try a kolache, and change the way you look at breakfast!

 

 

Water Avenue Coffee – The Unsurpassed Standard of Coffee

June 25th, 2015 by Jon
WAC2

Miguel Menendez, owner of 9 coffee farms in El Salvador

There’s nothing like handcrafted coffee to help you start the day. Portland Pedal Power is proud to deliver for coffee roaster Water Avenue Coffee, a local coffee pioneering the unseen frontier of micro-roasted craft coffee from countries around the world. Check out how Water Avenue Coffee got its start, and how it’s become a Portland Phenomenon. 

Water Avenue Coffee (WAC) was founded in the early days of 2010 with the goal of becoming Portland’s neighborhood coffee roaster and offering the best handcrafted coffees from around the world. They purchased a 1974 Samiac coffee roaster from its Swiss owner and set to work providing Portland with fresh roasted fresh crop coffees.

WAC’s father and son ownership team of Bruce and Matt Milletto have a wealth of experience in the coffee industry. Bruce began his coffee career in the 1980’s by opening his own espresso carts, but quickly moved into education, founding Bellissimo Coffee Infogroup in 1991 and the American Barista and Coffee School in 2004 to help others follow in his footsteps and pursue their dreams of owning their own coffee business. In the ensuing decades he and Bellissimo have published books, DVD’s, and educated thousands of budding entrepreneurs.

With a father recognized as an industry luminary, Matt started his career with a wealth of coffee knowledge already at his disposal. Beginning in Eugene and Corvallis in the early 90’s, Matt started as a barista, café manager, and barista trainer before joining his father at ABCS, and later opening WAC. Together they have assembled a team with further years of experience and passion for coffee to help produce the best coffees. WAC’s goal is to share the best of the world’s coffee crop, working as closely with coffee producers in countries of origin as possible. Through careful roasting and extensive research it is their goal to offer these coffees at their freshest and best, celebrating the seasonality and diversity that is inherent with any agricultural product.

WAC1

Finca Las Delicias in El Salvador

WAC’s menu has something for just about every coffee drinker. It features many seasonal single origin coffees for the more adventurous, changing regularly as coffee producing countries begin exporting their produce. For those looking for a coffee that is consistent month in and month out Water Ave also offers two blends, the El Toro Espresso and No 7 House, designed to appeal to the more traditional coffee drinker.

Education is also key to WAC’s mission. They strive to provide as much information and traceability about their coffees as possible. Their roastery crew posts about new offerings on the company blog full of information, and the friendly staff in their café are always happy to help with brewing tips!

Ready to get some Water Avenue Coffee? Take a look at our menu, where you can order coffees from distant locations and delivered right to your office!

The GenZe – How eBikes should perform

June 23rd, 2015 by Jon

MVA2897You’ve got to love electric bikes. You’re staying away from the use of petroleum, but you’re not killing your legs while you’re going uphill. It’s a nice compromise between getting around on your own power and accepting some assistance when necessary.

But sometimes,that compromise is a bit more apparent when you use an electric bike. Sometimes you have a very limited range.  Other times, it might not give you the power you need when you’re really tackling those hills during your commute. And while the bike runs well while the batteries last, that extra bulk can add a lot of extra weight when you are in need of a recharge. So is there really a happy medium between electric assist and leg power?

There is now. The creative minds over at Mahindra have created the newest revolution in the eBike community, called the GenZe. When the creators first sat down to design this bike, they had one thing in mind: Relentless Practicality. They wanted to create a bike that fit to your needs, not something that you would have to adjust your own riding style to use.

The result was a bike that doesn’t compromise performance just to boast about its electric assist. Instead of a clunky electric motorcycle that happens to have pedals, the GenZe is first and foremost a bicycle. Only better.

ebike2I actually had a chance to ride a GenZe bike during the Eco Lloyd Fair a few months ago, and let me tell you – it was a blast! When I first got on the bike, I was told to take it for a spin around the walkway a bit, just to get a feel for the ride. I did the loop on what felt like a perfectly average bike – It wasn’t incredibly heavy, and it didn’t feel like a chore to get up to speed.

Then I was told to crank up the assist and start pedaling, and all of a sudden, I was moving.

I had control over my speed like any other regular bike, and that electric assist gave me that extra umph that really gets you rolling. While I was moving at a pretty good clip beforehand, I felt like I was flying with the extra power behind me. And best of all? The transition from my legs to the electric assist was so smooth, I could barely tell where the pedaling stopped and the assist began.

I wasn’t riding a clunky electric bike – I was riding a bike that just happened to have electric assist.

Check out GenZe eBike when you’re ready to see what an electric bicycle should really feel like.

So Long, and thanks for the bike legs!

June 19th, 2015 by Jon

11024108_430426627118881_1557199712_nWell folks, this is the end of the road for me. Unfortunately, I must take my leave of Portland Pedal Power as the marketing specialist and move onward in my new profession as a raptor wrangler. As much as I enjoyed this position, Jurassic World has inspired me to pursue my dreams of joining the dinosaurs.

For those who have been reading, Hi Mom and Dad! And if there happen to be others of you out there, well, thanks for checking in from time to time. I hope I’ve kept it interesting enough to draw your attention, link you to some of our partners, and increase the Return on Investment on our website. Oh, and also informed you on the happenings at PPP. ;)

But seriously, folks, one of the most enjoyable things that came with this job was keeping the blog fresh for our readers. I’ve been blogging for PPP for about two years now, which have gone by faster than a bike barreling down Cornell (as one of our founders Ken might know). Every time we published an entry, it was a new chance to learn about something new in the Portland Area – bike trails,  new food carts serving dishes I could barely pronounce, events in the area that would draw hundreds of people, bicycle news that could only happen in Portland… It’s been a blast.

Throughout my time here, I had the opportunity to get to know everyone in the PPP family. Everyone here has been the most warm, welcoming, and impressively bearded cyclists I have had the pleasure of knowing. From action packed days where the entire fleet was on the road, the quiet after the storm that was lunch hour, the strategic and tactical commands of  dispatch crew, to the shop talk of how the fleet of cargo bikes was running… there was always something happening. I never grew tired of the hustle and bustle, and I’ll miss the team.

Especially you, Buddy. Lets meet up for some milk bones sometime.

But most of all, I’m grateful for the opportunity I had to work here. I had a chance to work for a premier bicycle delivery company in the Bicycle Capital of the world! I had a chance to try some of the best food in the city, visit the biggest offices home to the best innovators, and learn the streets of Portland by way of a cargo bike (which includes a LOT more hills than I originally thought.)  How many people have that kind of opportunity?

So thank you Portland! It’s been a pleasure writing about you, and I hope I can continue to learn more and more about this amazing city.

See you on the streets,

jonpicJon Elias
Senior Raptor Wrangler
Former Marketing Specialist at Portland Pedal Power

Let it Roll at Bike MS Willamette Valley 2015: July 31-August 2

June 16th, 2015 by Jon

00-2014 Bike MS_083Portland Pedal Power is proud to be partnered with Bike MS, a great program dedicated to creating a world free of Multiple Sclerosis. It’s a great ride for a great cause, and we’re telling everyone about it. Read on to learn more:

At Bike MS, the ride is just icing on the cake. You’ll also kick back and relax with old friends while you eat mouth-watering BBQ, down ice cold brews, watch a classic movie on our big outdoor screen, and share your adventures from the road.

Our weekend escape in gorgeous Monmouth, Oregon is for every kind of rider. From the “I haven’t been on a bike since uncle Merton repossessed my Schwinn” to “Sure, I can ride 100x faster than the speed of light, can’t you?”

Don’t feel like riding? No problem. You can volunteer, make a donation, or even sponsor the event.

Optimized-03-2014 Bike MS_268And here’s the best part: The dollars you raise for Bike MS fund critical research, programs, and services that help people who live with multiple sclerosis right here in our neighborhood. How sweet is that?

Bike MS is more than an escape–it’s something you believe in.

People who love Portland Pedal Power love Bike MS. You will, too. So registervolunteer or make a donation today.

Bike MS Willamette Valley 2015
Friday, July 31 – Sunday, August 2
Western Oregon University
Monmouth, Oregon

Or contact Amy.Harris@nmss.org or 503.445.8361 for more info.

Celebrate Pride with a Rainbow Mimosa from Remedy!

June 11th, 2015 by Jon

PridePDXPride is here Portland. We at Portland Pedal Power love to take part in the annual Pride Parade. It’s a great chance to show pride in our LGBTQ community and rub elbows with the folks that help to make Portland unique.

This year, one of our favorite places, Remedy Wine Bar, will be opening early to fuel the parade marcher/goers with rainbow colored Mimosas and bagels!!  Remedy is known for its comfortable chairs and cozy living room vibe.

Located in a historical pharmacy that provided the entire western United States with cure-alls and other tinctures, the owners of Remedy wanted to make sure their wine bar would be a much needed “remedy” for all types of occasions and wine drinkers. A place for wine novices who want to know more, wine experts who want something different, and people who just want to enjoy a glass, Remedy is the perfect neighborhood wine bar.

4This year, Remedy is helping everyone celebrate Pride Week by offering mimosas and Bowery Bagels on location between 9AM and 12PM. Along with a delicious bagel and schmear, you will be able to enjoy Remedy’s Rainbow Mimosa, which includes OJ, Grapefruit, Mango, Guava, OJ, Lychee, Peach, Pineapple and Jalapeno. Or, if you’re feeling a little more subdued, enjoy a glass of sparkling wine instead.

So grab your rainbow flag and come down to Remedy during this coming Pride Parade! Great company, Bowery Bagels and Rainbow Mimosas? You can’t help but have a great time.

The Newest Exhibit at the Portland Art Museum: Gods and Heroes

June 4th, 2015 by Jon
Jacques-Louis David, Erasistratus Discovers the Cause of Antiochus' Disease, 1774, Oil on canvas. École des Beaux-Arts, Paris

Jacques-Louis David, Erasistratus Discovers the Cause of Antiochus’ Disease, 1774, Oil on canvas. École des Beaux-Arts, Paris

 

As a child, I remember that going to the museum was an event. On a particularly memorable trip in middle school, my class took a field trip to the Portland Art Museum to look at Native American artwork and artifacts found in the Pacific Northwest. Never have I spent a day in a classroom and learned nearly as much than that day in the museum. There’s just something about seeing the pieces, being up close and personal with these real life artifacts that inspires you, and makes you want to learn more.

That’s one of the reasons Portland Pedal Power is telling everyone about this new exhibit that is coming to the Portland Art Museum, entitled Gods and Heroes. Gods and Heroes will feature artwork exploring the mythos of humanity, from the Epics of Homer to Biblical Texts dating back to Rome.

The Gods and Heroes exhibit will include beautiful masterpieces which have traveled across the ocean from Paris, specifically the École des Beaux-Arts, or the School of Fine Arts for those non-French reader out there. This exhibit will feature nearly 140 painting, sculptures, and even written works that can be dated all the way back to Ancient Rome and Greece.

The most dynamic feature of this exhibit will show just how much the arts have changed throughout history, how anatomy, facial expressions, and perspective played a deeper and deeper role as time rolled by. You will see works that served as models for early students in the arts, such as drawings by Raphael Sanzio da Urbino (or The Raphael, for short) and prints by Albrecht Dürer and Rembrandt van Rijn.

unnamedOf course, you don’t have to be a history buff to appreciate Gods and Heroes, either! The exhibit will examine themes from our own culture,  such as courage, sacrifice, and death. You’ll see  among the featured works examinations of what it is to be a hero, how we face our own mortality. You will see artist renditions of the Gods, seen as all powerful manifestations,  but just as deeply flawed as any human. Despite being centuries old, you will see artwork struggling with many of the same issues – moral, ethical, philosophical – that we struggle with even today.

Ancient History? Of course, but just as relevant today as it was in its inception? Yes.

Interested in checking out these exquisite works of art? Check out the Portland Art Museum’s website to learn more. The Members Preview Day opens on June 12th, and the exhibit opens to the public on the 13th. Be sure to check your schedule and get yourself to PAM!

Escaping the grains with HomeGrown Bakery!

June 4th, 2015 by Jon

slider1Portland Pedal Power loves partnering with businesses that make healthy ingredients their top priority. That’s one of the reasons we love working with HomeGrown Bakery! Take a look at why how HomeGrown Bakery creates healthy treats without sacrificing taste:

HomeGrown Bakery is baking delicious grain free pastries right out of Portland Oregon. We use our own blend of only coconut and almond flour that’s packed with protein. Our ingredients are naturally gluten free, grain free & dairy free. Many other gluten free flour substitutes are nutrition-less and empty.

We use local organic honey and occasionally coconut sugar, instead of refined sugars or agave. We are local in Portland, Oregon and we try and keep our product that way, using ingredients closest to us whenever possible.

Why Shift to a Grain-Free / Paleo Diet?

slider2Eating a grain-free / Paleo diet is the elimination of all grains including wheat, rice, corn, barley, rye and oats from your diet. People with Celiac, wheat allergies or other digestive conditions have difficulty tolerating these grains. Many people find that they need to eliminate all grains from their diet to feel better. People following a paleo diet eat more nutritional foods such as fish, meat, vegetables, fruits, and nuts.

Thousands of people worldwide are experiencing significant relief or improvement from many conditions including: Crohn’s disease, chronic fatigue, epilepsy, Autism, arthritis, ADD, Schizophrenia, auto-immune disorders, Metabolic Syndrome X, insulin resistance and many more illnesses and disorders.

Improvements from above conditions have been noted possible by eliminating grains and sugars from your diet.

Be sure to take a look at our menu and try some of HomeGrown Bakery’s delicious Paleo Pastries:

Paleo Banana Bread - Made from bananas, honey, coconut flour, almond flour, eggs, coconut oil, coconut flakes, baking soda, and salt

Paleo Lemon Pound Cake – Made from almond flour, coconut flour, honey, lemon juice, coconut oil, eggs, lemon zest, baking soda, and salt

Paleo Cacao Bread – Made from almond butter, honey, raw cacao powder, coconut flour, almond flour, eggs, coconut oil, baking soda, and salt

Ready to treat yourself to something healthy AND delicious? Check out our menu!

 

 

Order your Donuts by the End of the Day!

June 3rd, 2015 by Jon

FB_IMG_1432937297803Donut Day is just two days away, and we want to help you celebrate! But to keep up with the amount of donut orders we get, we need you to order your donuts by the end of the day today!

In case you aren’t familiar with the national holiday celebrating these tasty rings of goodness, Donut Day was started by the Salvation Army in 1938, to honor the men and women who served donuts to soldiers during the First World War. In an effort to provide freshly baked goods for servicemen, the Salvation Army opened up huts across France, offering pie, coffee, and most importantly, donuts. Since then, Donut Day is celebrated on the first Friday of June.

Check out some of the best baked goods in town, including:

Delicious Donuts - Delicious Donuts provides many businesses, including Zupan’s & local coffee shops, with their delicious creations. Odds are that you have had one and not even known it. Delicious Donuts has everything, from the Old Fashioned plain donut to the decadent Buttermilk and Cake donuts, to their “Bad Boy” specialties, including Bear Claws, Apple Fritters, and Cinnamon Rolls.

763701_sweet_years_1To help Celebrate Donut Day, Delicious Donuts has a competition for you: Post a picture of your favorite donut, tell us a story of a donut memory you have, or tell us about your favorite donut you’ve had from Delicious Donuts! Be sure to use the hashtag #DeliciousDonuts and tag us (@pdxpedpow)  and you will be entered to win a Giant 6″ donut from Delicious Donuts!

Gluten Free Gem Bakery - Gem specializes in pastries and desserts to take care of the sweet teeth of Portland’s gluten free population.  Many of their items are not just gluten free but dairy free and vegan as well to accommodate some of the most common food allergies. But the best part is, you can enjoy a Gem baked good whether you’re gluten free or not!

Ready to make the most of Donut Day? Be sure to check out our order page by the end of the day to get into the spirit of things!

Enjoy Beer Week with Whole Foods in the Pearl!

June 2nd, 2015 by Jon

BeerWeekBannerIn a city like Portland where craft beer reigns supreme, you have to imagine that dedicating a week to beer would be a pretty serious endeavor. After all, where do you even start planning that kind of week? And where do you go first to celebrate?

Rest easy, Portland. Whole Foods has Beer Week covered! Starting on June 12th and going until the 23rd, Whole Foods is dedicating the week at their Pearl District Location to the craft beers of Portland. This event will directly benefit Harpers Playground, and organization dedicated to building a better playground for kids and adults alike. Whole Foods will be hosting a number of events and invites the city to celebrate its unique blend of local flavors.

Hold up, you might think. There are craft breweries all over the place. Does Whole Foods really have the expertise and knowledge to dedicate a week to Portland Beers? The answer is a resounding Yes.

Kris McDowell of Beer Musings recently had a chance to take a look at the selection at Whole Foods, and was pleasantly surprised by the selection you could find in their Craft Beer refrigerator. In her blog post where she talks with Jason Jaime, the beer specialist at Whole Foods (Talk about a dream job!) Kris found that Whole Foods is “committed to making sure they have a great, current selection of new and seasonal beers.” In a city like Portland, it’s no wonder that would be a full time job. Take a look at Beer Musings from Portland to read more about Kris’ interview with Jason.

Check out a few of the events you will enjoy when you come celebrate with Whole Foods:

PORTLANDBeerWeek_CreativeOverview
Brewery Tour - 
Ever wonder how something as delicious as Craft Beer is created? Whole Foods can show you how! During the tour, you will find out how so much goodness can be created from hops and barley.

Block Party – To really kick things off, Whole Foods will be blocking off a portion of NW Couch for a block party dedicated to Craft Beers! Come try some of the best local flavors, award winning labels, and perhaps a few new releases.

Special Release – To perfectly commemorate the occasion, Whole Foods will be unveiling a special label at the event. Be the first to see the unveiling during Beer Week.

Soiree Party – Enjoy the finer things in life with a Soiree! Whole Foods will have a selection of oysters, cheeses, and the finer things in life including some select craft beers to perfectly accentuate the flavors at this party. Black ties are completely optional.

Come enjoy this fantastic occasion! Our riders are going to be out on the road telling everyone about what you can enjoy during Beer Week. When you see us on the road, flag us down and ask for a schedule of how you can enjoy this coming Beer Week.