The Lowdown

A Li’l Besaw’s History Story



Can you believe what a difference 111 years makes? It’s so strange to look back and see our little restaurant with no awning, no trees, no bicycle parking, and no crosswalk!

Here’s a little visual aid to help with the comparison:

Hope to see all of you at our Eleventy-first Anniversary Party in the garden! Details available here.


Eleventy-one Years of Besaw’s!



That’s right, kids! As of this summer, Besaw’s has been open 111 years (or eleventy-one, as they say in Lord of the Rings). On September 13th, we’re celebrating in the garden from 4 – 8pm with live music by Plum Hill and Rogue Bluegrass Band, balloon animals, face painting & Besaw’s signature food & cocktails.

Our generous friends and neighbors at Ataula, Betsy & IyaDragontree Holistic Day Spa & Popina Swimwear have contributed some fabulous prizes to our charity raffle benefitting Potluck in the Park!

Hope you’ll join us!

Cool as a Cucumber – Cucumber Melon Gazpacho


Girl, this heat! Our garden is feeling it, and our cucumbers are going crazy! How’s a lady to cool down before our 5 o’clock G&T? May we introduce Besaw’s Cucumber Melon Gazpacho. Take the most cooling ingredients you can think of: sweet honeydew melon, refreshing cucumber & mint, fresh-squeezed lemon juice & bright greek yogurt, and you’ve got a delightfully chilling soup for a quick (& super easy) lunch or appetizer option.


Makes 3.5 quarts

2 C honeydew melon
3 C cucumber
1 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
1/4 yellow onion
1 C celery
3 mint leaves
1/3 C apple cider vinegar
1/3 C fresh lemon juice
8 C vegetable stock
3 to 4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp white pepper

Peel cucumbers and place in blender with honeydew, garlic, chopped onion, celery, vegetable stock, apple cider vinegar, mint & lemon juice.

Purée all ingredients, garnish with a tablespoon of greek yogurt.

Happy August, Friends!

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Playing with Edible Flowers


We finally gave our pastry chef his own spot in the garden, and it’s already bursting with sweet edible flowers to garnish his fabulous desserts! Do you have any of these beauties in your garden?  Here are a few of our favorites:

1. Snapdragon
2. Dianthus
3. Nasturtium
4. Pansy



Sometimes we make our pastry chef do silly things, like decorate the table with flowers for a photo. Here’s one of our desserts, a lovely Lemon Curd Cheesecake with macerated cherries & fresh strawberries.


Cheffy in the Market



Did you miss Michael at Chef in the Market a couple weeks ago? No sweat, we’ve got his recipe for Pork Tenderloin with Herbed Chèvre & Cherry Rum Glaze right here. Try it at home and let us know what you think!


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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