The Lowdown

Beth’s Watermelon Sangria

Watermelon Sangria Dive

If you’re like us, you probably love love love sangria. It’s so pretty and summery–not to mention a great way to use up all that super-ripe fruit from the farmer’s market binge last weekend. Plus, it disguises a cheap bottle of wine!

Beth’s Watermelon Sangria uses a few key upscale ingredients to make this version extra fancy & popping with summer color. Makes about 16 servings, perfect for that impromptu weekend BBQ.

You’ll Need:
12 C cubed watermelon, divided
1 750 mL bottle dry white wine
1 C vodka
1/2 C Benedictine
1 medium lime, quartered
1 orange, cut into wedges
1 C fresh berries–optional–we like blackberries, because the season collides nicely with our local watermelon.

Place 8 cups of watermelon cubes in a blender & blend on high until smooth. Strain juice through cheesecloth or a mesh strainer into a large pitcher. Pour the wine, vodka & Benedictine into the pitcher. If you think it needs more sweetness, you can add about half a cup of simple syrup to the mix as well. Stir to combine. Mix the remaining 3 cups of watermelon cubes, the lime quarters, orange & berries into the sangria. Chill for 4 hours before serving.

Beth likes to garnish it with some watermelon balls and a bright sprig of mint.


Watermelon Sangria 2

Growing Gardens


If you love Besaw’s as we do, you know we’re super passionate about knowing the folks who grow our food & growing our own whenever possible. We’re lucky to have a garden spot of our own, where we grow several kinds of kale, sugar snap peas, summer squash, zucchini & lots of little tomatoes. It’s not only about sustaining our food supply. Our garden is the prettiest part of the block, gardening is a great stress-reliever, and food grown at home (or at Besaw’s!) is healthful–and tastes better–than what the average person can get at the store.

Our featured charity this month, Growing Gardens, has a mission close to our hearts: helping people grow their own food in Portland, Oregon by building organic Home Gardens in urban backyards and schools. Their Youth Grow school garden clubs create future veggie eaters and cultivators. Their Learn & Grow classes cover cooking, preserving & more.

Check out their video on “Digging at the Root of Hunger.”

Join us for dinner throughout the month of July & we’ll donate a percentage of proceeds to Growing Gardens!

Besaw’s 4th of July BBQ!

A quick update in case you missed it. Thanks to everyone who came out to help Besaw’s celebrate the 4th of July!

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What are y’all planning for the July 4th holiday? It’s on a Friday this year, so there’s no excuse not to fire up that grill–or at least eat the bounty from someone else’s, right?

In case you’re taking on the grilling at home, here’s a fun collaboration between Cheffy and our GM, Matt (also a fabulous cook in his own right):

Cheffy’s BBQ Sauce
Makes enough to marinade about 3 racks of ribs, with enough left over to slather on when they’re done.

You’ll Need:
1 quart apple cider vinegar
1/4 C black peppercorns
1 T whole cloves
1/4 C coriander
1/4 C mustard seeds
1 T garlic, chopped
1 C white wine or beer
3 quarts tomato purée
1 T fresh parsley, chopped
2 T Worcestershire
1 1/2 C molasses
1/4 C brown sugar

Bring apple cider vinegar, peppercorns, cloves, coriander & mustard seed to a boil. Strain & reserve liquid. Simmer liquid & balance of ingredients on low heat for 2-3 hours, until desired thickness is reached. You can use this tangy sauce to marinade any meat over night, and as a sauce to finish!

Matt’s BBQ Baked Beans

1 Lb White beans, soaked for 24 hrs.

After soaking, salt the beans & boil–covering with fresh water by two inches–for approximately 1-1/2 hours.

3 slices bacon, diced and cooked ’til brown
1/2 cup diced onion, sautéed with bacon
1 clove minced garlic, sauéeed with bacon

Cook all above until bacon browns, strain (save bacon grease!) & add to beans.

8oz. Cider Vinegar
1 T Black Peppercorns
1tsp. Whole Cloves
1 T whole coriander
1 T Whole Mustard

Bring all above to a boil, then strain & add to below with beans:

1 T chopped garlic
4 oz. White wine
16 oz. Tomato Purée
1/2 oz. Chopped Fresh Parsley
.5 oz Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 cup Molasses
2 oz. Brown Sugar

Bring above to a boil, then add everything together with reserved bacon grease.

Bake all the above at 350 degrees for approximately one hour, stirring regularly until bubbly.

Don’t have 24 hours to prep? Don’t want to cook at home? That’s where Besaw’s comes in: Our second annual 4th of July BBQ in the garden is happening from 4-7pm, allowing plenty of time to get down to the fireworks at the waterfront. Cheffy’s serving up a menu of BBQ classics, along with every fabulous summertime side you can imagine. Send us an email: and we’ll make you a reservation! Whether you choose a picnic blanket in the grass, or a table in the garden, this promises to be the easiest 4th of July BBQ you’ve ever attended.


One entrée, choice of two sides & dessert:

Laney Family Farms Ground Beef Cheeseburger
Two All-Beef Hot Dogs
Two Veggie Kebabs

Elk Cheeseburger
Baby Back Ribs
Grilled Wild Salmon

Lemon Pound Cake & Fresh Watermelon

Corn on the Cobb
Potato Salad
Simple Green Salad
House Veggie Chips
Fresh Seasonal Fruit
BBQ Baked Beans

 Happy Independence Day, Everyone!


The Big Pork Project Part II


Hey look, everybody! It’s our first attempt at making a gif!–feel free to send snarky suggestions–or helpful hints–to

Point is, we’re on to Part II of The Big Pork Project: #MakinBacon.  Remember that infographic from a couple weeks ago? (See The Big Pork Project: Part I) Elk Burger black

In this post, we’ll be discussing steps 3 & 4, or How to Make Your Own House Bacon (yields about 15 slices). Ours is a little sweeter than your average salt lick, so it cures a little longer than some recipes you might have seen.

You’ll need:
1 pork belly
2 quarts brown sugar
1 quart kosher salt
3 T onion powder
3 T garlic powder
3 T fresh chopped rosemary

Mix brown sugar, salt, onion & garlic powder and rosemary in a large bowl; make sure there are no lumps! Pour half the mixture into a deep pan, place pork belly on top & cover with the rest. Pack the mix down, cover with plastic & leave to cure in the fridge for 3 days (see our gif above). At Besaw’s–since we use it right away–Cheffy slices off the bacon to order, roasting it for about 10 minutes at 350˚F. Want it crispy? Give it a minute or two longer. Since it’s nitrite/nitrate free, your house bacon will last about 5 days in the fridge. Perfect project to start on Wednesday night for a Sunday brunch with the fam!

house bacon

How’s Cheffy’s Garden Growing?

It’s time for a garden update! Check out how things are growing in the Besaw’s Garden, just half a block up from the restaurant on Savier!







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The Big Pork Project Part I

Elk Burger black

This is a multi-part post–don’t get dissuaded by the infographic above. We’re starting at the end, 5-7, and working our way back through what we’re calling The Big Pork Project.

It ends with our Oregon Elk Burger, so that’s where we shall start.

Why Your Elk Burger Probably Sucks, or How to Get Game

It’s Father’s Day this Sunday, but in case you need another excuse…

You may have attempted a buffalo burger or an elk burger in the past; sometimes we get swayed by specials at the Co-op, sometimes we buy impulsively with our health in mind. At least, I do that. But then we get our healthy “exotic” meat home and… what gives? This is the driest, toughest burger ever!

Here’s the secret: elk & buffalo are better for us because they’re grass-fed, and much, much leaner than typical beef. So what to do? How does Cheffy make Besaw’s Oregon Elk Burger so juicy? It’s simple, really. You have to add the fat back in. 

Next time you’re trimming a pork loin, save the fat cap in the freezer. If you don’t have a grinder, cut the fat into tiny pieces with a sharp knife. It helps if the fat is well-chilled so it’s easier to cut. For 1 lb of ground elk, we add 4 oz ground (or finely chopped) pork fat. A typical ratio is about 80/20 (80% meat, 20% fat). To the mix we add a pinch of salt & pepper, 2 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp onion powder.

Form elk & pork fat into patties & grill! Note: game meat is super red, so your mid-rare burger may look rarer than you’re used to. Don’t worry! That’s just its natural color.

For your reference:
5. Fat cap trimmed from center-cut pork loin
6. Ground elk meat
7. Ground elk with pork fat added – notice the lighter color!

Did you miss our post about Homemade American Cheese? Goes great on those burgers. Trust us.

Happy Father’s Day!

Love, Besaw’s


Veggie Grillin’

Veggie Grilling

Skewers are quintessentially BBQ. They scream summer. I mean, what better way to show off the bounty of the garden than with a rainbow of veggie colors (on a stick, no less)! Cheffy likes to marinate his vegetables first, which adds flavor and has the benefit of keeping things from sticking to the grill. We love some grilled citrus in the mix, too–it adds brightness & sweetness to the stuff next to it!

You’ll Need:
1 large bell pepper
1 red onion
1 zucchini
1 yellow summer squash
lime, lemon or orange wedges
a few bay leaves

For the Marinade:
1 C apple cider vinegar
2 C olive oil (or a blend; whatever you have on hand will likely work)
2 T parsley, finely chopped
2 T rosemary, finely chopped (save the sticks to use for skewers!)
2 T thyme, finely chopped
1 T minced garlic

Chop your veggies into skewer-sized pieces – you’ll want them roughly the same size so they cook evenly. Cut your citrus into wedges. Throw everything into a bowl, toss with marinade, cover & let sit for about 2 hours.

Thread veggies and citrus onto a rosemary stalk (it imparts great flavor!) and throw in a bay leaf for each skewer. Cook the skewers on the cooler part of your grill–around the edges or the top shelf if your grill is fancy–turning a few times, 15-20 minutes.

This is #WhatWeMeanWhen we say, “Taste the Rainbow!”

Oregon Active is our Featured Charity in June!

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Kevin Pannell Summits Saddle Mtn.
Double Amputee, Iraq Veteran

As the weather in Portland gets warmer, we’re scheming and plotting all the ways we can get outside this summer. With that in the back of everybody’s mind, we’d love to introduce our charity for the month of June: Oregon Active–dedicated to providing Adventure Therapy for  people in our community with disabilities and other life challenging conditions. 

At Oregon Active we provide and facilitate Adventure Therapy (AT) Programs.  These programs inspire through positive emotion, challenges, community support and a connection with the natural world that refreshes the human spirit. We discover our abilities, values, passions, and responsibilities in situations that offer adventure and the unexpected. Our AT Programs undertake tasks that require perseverance, imagination, commitment and above all fun and excitement.  We are motivated by creating learning situations that provide something important to think about as individuals and as part of a greater community. 
​We inspire through positive emotion, challenges, community support and a connection with the natural world that refreshes the human spirit.

Throughout June, a percentage of dinner sales goes straight to OA, promoting programs and adventures like the Aspen X-Games for Inspiring Athletes. Help us make dreams come true–we’ll see you in June for supper! 


The New.Breakfast.Burger


breakfast burger for IG

Who says the burger is just for afternoon grilling? We love it piled high with breakfast-time goodies like shaved ham & Tillamook white cheddar, a luxurious duck egg–sunny-side up–and fried shoestring potatoes . Our version goes lighter this summer with some pickled red onions, butter lettuce for crunch (and no bun)!

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Amy & Kevin’s Engagement Shoot

engagementshoot5engagementshoot6With an almost 111 year history, Besaw’s has been privy to some pretty amazing life events. We can’t help it, we’re lucky! Check out our friends Amy & Kevin’s sweet engagement shoot, and their story (as told by Kevin):

The first time we went to Besaw’s- I remember it like it was yesterday. On September 23, 2011 Amy and I went on our first date, dinner at Le Pigeon, a live comedy show and drinks at slow bar. My life changed that night because I fell deeply in love, we were so enamored with each other. We talked late into the night, and when we woke the next morning we didn’t want the date to stop, so Amy said “we should try breakfast at this spot by my house”, and that spot was Besaw’s. We sat at the bar at the far end. We loved everything about it,

I had the farmers scramble and a screwdriver and Amy had the avocado omelet- her favorite and usual to this day. 
We did the shoot there because we not only go to Besaw’s regularly, we went on Sept 23 2012 ( our one year anniversary) and when I proposed marriage I asked her first thing in the morning on Sept 23 2013 (our two year anniversary) so we could get up and go celebrate the engagement at Besaw’s. Also Amy plans to incorporate Besaw’s into the pre wedding activities. So all in all, we love Besaw’s because it always brings us back to that first really long date when we both fell helplessly in love, and we cherish all the time we spend there. 

A HUGE Besaw’s family congratulations to this beautiful couple!
Photos by Jennifer Alyse Weddings.