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Playing with Edible Flowers

IMG_6087 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.




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



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!"



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)!

photo (79)



Amy & Kevin's Engagement Shoot

engagementshoot4engagementshoot3engagementshoot5engagementshoot6With 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.



Besaw's Homemade American Cheese

VELVEETA smallIf you're like us, sometimes you crave the processed stuff. We know! It's terrible, especially coming from Besaw's. But admit it, sometimes all you want is that classic, oozy grilled cheese sammich made with Velveeta. Fear not, however, we've come up with a work-around. Now you can make the perfect grilled cheese you crave at home, without the processed cheese food. You'll Need:

1 1/2 lb grated cheddar, divided into 3 equal parts 1 1/2 C almost-boiling water, divided into 3 equal parts 1/2 plus 1 T instant dry milk, divided into 3 equal parts 1/2 envelope unflavored gelatin (about 1 1/2 t) divided into 3 equal parts Note: dividing up the above ingredients makes this recipe easy to make in a blender. You can skip that step if using a Cuisinart and make in one batch.

To Make:

Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap (we used an 8"x4"x2" pan). Add 1/2 C water, 3 T powdered milk and 1/2 t gelatin into blender and blend until gelatin is dissolved. Add 1/2 lb cheddar cheese and blend until smooth. Quickly pour into loaf pan--this stuff sets up fast! Repeat the above two more times, layering mixture into your loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight before unmolding.

Melts fantastically on burgers and makes a great dip!



Besaw's is Built on Game!

photo (68) Like many of us who love to cook, Cheffy has amassed quite a large collection of "favorite" cookbooks. Arguably none is so well-loved as his 1943 edition of Irma Rombauer's Joy of Cooking (we had to get extra-special permission to use it for this post). If the specific edition doesn't ring a bell, you might start by comparing your own copy to the original: there have been many, many changes to Joy over the years. One reason this early version's a go-to in Besaw's kitchen - its fantastic chapter, "America was Built on Game."

In our continued effort to support sustainable farming practices at Besaw's, Cheffy is partnering with our friends at Nicky USA to create some exciting options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Our Elk Burger at dinner has been a fantastic success, and we've been ramping up our repertoire with special menu items featuring duck, goat, buffalo, venison, elk & pheasant.

photo (70)


On April 22nd - 26th from 5-10pm, join us for a tribute to the beloved classic, Joy of Cooking: "America was Built on Game". Cheffy's selected some of his favorite recipes, adding a seasonal Besaw's twist, of course.


Duck Liver Paté, toast points, micro greens Grilled Pheasant, fiddlehead ferns, roasted fingerlings, hollandaise Sweet Potato Pudding, vanilla whipped cream

We'll also feature a fabulous libation paired with each course for $24.

Reservations: | 503.228.2619



Easter Shenanigans With The Besaw's Bunny


IMG_4851After a long and unusually snowy winter, the Besaw's Crew is ready for Spring! Tulips and daffodils abound in the garden, where Cheffy's been starting his spinach and early beets. Speaking of beets, we hear the Besaw's Bunny has been spotted nibbling on dandelions! It's only a couple weeks 'til Easter, after all, and he needs to get his strength up for the hunt!

While we adults enjoy an Easter Bloody Mary and a lovely Easter Brunch on Sunday the 20th, the kiddos have four chances to join the Besaw's Bunny scouring the garden for brightly colored goodies.

The hunt starts at 10am!--bring your own Easter Basket or decorate a bag at our craft table. Plus, it's free! The fun continues on the hour at 11am, Noon and 1pm--sign up at our Garden Gate, just up Savier from the restaurant.

We want to see your Easter Pics! Help us follow the Besaw's Bunny and his Shenanigans on Instagram and Twitter April 19th & 20th with #bunnysighting and #besawsbunny! We'll feature the best ones on our blog!

Happy Easter!





L.O.V.E.: On Two Legs and Four

February has certainly gotten off to a cold and snowy start; good for lovers lookin' to get cozy, though!  Speaking of lovers, this Valentine's Day Besaw's will be serving up some fabulous dishes that will send your heart a'flutter: dungeness crab cannelloni, Tails & Trotters bourbon-glazed pork chops, and of course your romantic evening won't be complete without kumamoto oysters on the half shell with blood orange gastrique.  Not only will you be enjoying a classical candlelit dinner, but you'll be supporting a heartwarming cause as well! For the month of February we will be donating a percentage of our dinner sales to P.A.W. (Portland Animal Welfare), an organization of tireless animal lovers who ensure that pets in poverty-stricken homes can still receive the care they need.  Be it veterinary attention or the right kind of food, P.A.W. understands the importance of a healthy pet staying with a caring family.

If you can't join us for our Valentine's Day Spectacular, keep the rest of February in mind for those furry, four-legged family members in need, and help us support a wonderful group in our neighborhood.  Keep warm, lovers!

February Featured Charity




A Crime Most Foul...!

The night wind whipped icily outside the great hall window as the costumed revelers gathered.  From upstairs came the creeeeaaaak of a loose floorboard, unnoticed by most of the guests.  Suddenly the hall was shrouded in black as a spectacular CRACK split the night-- perhaps it was just thunder?  Alas, no!  For when the lights flickered back to life, a single corpse lay at the eye of the eddying current of veiled partygoers... for there had been... A MURDER AT THE MASQUERADE!!! This past Monday evening, the Besaw's crew descended on our sister restaurant, Wildwood, for a night of intrigue, whodunits and mystery, in conjunction with the fabulous Murder Mystery Company!  Words don't properly some up the event, so we'll let some photographic evidence do the talking:

Oh my!


Mr Peacock


And at the end of the night, it was revealed that the dastardly perpetrator was none other than... wait, but that would be telling, wouldn't it...?


The french maid






Bring On 2014!!

2013 was a banner year for Besaw's, not to mention our Nob Hill neighborhood.  There have been a lot of new developments on this end of NW 23rd, and as we look forward to a new year with some new neighbors, we want to express our gratitude to all the amazing and supportive customers that have kept this old landmark alive and kicking. Thank you to everyone who was  a part of our numerous events last year.  We hosted many "First Annual's," all of which were greeted with wonderful turnouts and rave reviews; looks like they're here to stay! Kicking it off was our First Annual Easter Egg Hunt and the debut of the weekly-sitcom-in-the-wings "Besaw's Bunny" (perhaps lacking a bit of originality in the name department).  The festivities were held in our garden, where neighborhood kids hunted their treasures as said "Bunny" hopped about, providing hints as to where the eggs might be hidden.  Keep your eyes and ears perked up for more information on the Great Easter Egg Hunt of 2014!

The "Besaw's Bunny" with the neighborhood kids

Another garden success this year was our 4th of July BBQ.  Cheffy built a new deck and slate patio alongside our 18 raised beds last summer so as to expand our soon-to-be-frequent garden parties.  Fabuloso Bartendress Beth served up some perfect summer cocktails to cool us all off while we enjoyed the dulcet stylings of jazz guitarist Max McCarger.  There's plenty more cocktail sippin' and garden grubbin' to be had coming up this summer, so be sure to join us!

Fun in the 4th of July sun!

But the biggest daddy of them all was our 110th Anniversary Bash, the "Grand Outdoors Bizarre!", celebrating the colorful 110 years of Besaw's existence... and we went B... I... G...  BIG.  A celebration of the last century, it was a most epic kaleidoscope of carnivals.  Sorry if you missed it; maybe, just maybe, there will be a 111th...?

Just some good 'ol fashioned entertainment at the 110th

As you likely know, Besaw's features a local non-profit every month and donates a percentage of our dinner sales to their cause.  To kick off the new year, we would like to recognize an organization that is focused on helping individuals evolve toward a more stable lifestyle.  Transition Projects serves people's needs as they adjust from homelessness to housing.  Keep them in mind during your "spring cleaning" this year:  they have an ongoing wish list on their website for in-demand items.  Transition can be difficult, but it is effectively accomplished with the support of community.

Have a wonderful 2014; we'll see you soon!




Besaw's Family White Water Adventure from 2013........Remembering the Good Times.

Hey Besaw's friends and fans, we wanted to share one of our adventures from 2013 with you. So it turns out we are absolutely crazy to go whitewater rafting on a rainy day in September but we aren't the only ones. The crew from Broder, another fabulous breakfast spot in Portland was on the river with us that day. Not planned at all but just happened to be there as well, it couldn't have been more perfect.The weather was crazy, the water was fast, and rapids big, but that is just the way we like it. The northwest at it's finest.

We have a great friend that owns Old School PDX, the best party bus in town, and don't you forget it. He is always our chauffeur for such events and takes great care of us. The bus is hooked up with karaoke sponsored by Voicebox, SWEET! We love to sing and when you have a bus like this driving you from place to place, the party never stops. Thank you to all of our patrons for understanding that every once in a while this crew needs some quality family time to simply enjoy each others company and have crazy adventures.

Hope you had some great adventures of your own in 2013 and here's to a new year full of amazing experiences. Enjoy the photos!

Rafting 2013Rafting 2013 2Rafting 2013 4Rafting 2013 10



CHAP: Children's Healing Art Project

'Tis the season for comfort food, finding the perfect gifts for loved ones, spending time with friends and family, and reaching out to those in need of a little holiday cheer. We here at Besaw's do our best to extend a helping hand to local non-profits each month.  For December, we are coming together with a wonderful organization, CHAP, to host a "Crafty Happy Hour" for all ages.

CHAP will have a fun craft area for the little ones to make holiday decorations and gifts, while our fabulous staff will be on hand to take care of parents in need of a little down time. There will be free snacks and a gift-wrapping table with everything you need to wrap up your holiday purchases.  Our bar will be open and serving, to keep the "happy hour" festivities flowing.

Join us on Monday, December 9th from 5-7pm to celebrate CHAP and give yourselves a little time to "wrap and unwind".

Happy Holidays!





Everyone loves music; many of us need it.  Music tells the stories of our lives, brings us joy when we need to smile, gives us the strength to face the day, soothes our pain during rough times.  It warms our hearts to know that, here in our community, there's an organization so passionate about musical creation that they devote their time to the marginalized youth of Portland. We are proud to feature My Voice Music as our featured charity for November.  A percentage of all Besaw's dinner sales this month will go directly to My Voice Music.  We invite you down to dine for a good cause and make a little music of your own! MVM logo







Friends of Family Farmers

logo-1This month, we are happy to feature Friends Of Family Farmers as our charity.  For the entire month of October, we will be donating a percentage of our dinner sales to them. Friends Of Family Farmers is a grassroots organization promoting sensible policies, programs and regulations that protect and expand the ability of Oregon’s family farmers to run a successful land-based enterprise while also providing safe and nutritious food for all. Through education, advocacy and community organizing, FOFF supports socially and environmentally responsible family-scale agriculture and works to shape healthy rural and urban communities.

Come join us for dinner this month and eat some delicious food (sourced from local farms!) while you support the organization that keeps them moving forward.



Halloween Costume Contest! Bring It; You Know WE Will!

Creepy Halloween Costumes

We have always enjoyed playing dress-up, and now we're out to get more of our neighborhood friends involved in our silly staff traditions. So this Halloween, we will be hosting Besaw's First Annual Costume Contest!  If you arrive at Besaw's in costume anytime on Thursday, October 31st, your Water Avenue coffee is on the house.

Also, our spook-tacular staff will be on hand to take photos of your devilish digs and post them to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.  Over the weekend we will tally our followers' "LIKES" on Instagram, and the winner will receive dinner for two at Besaw's!

(If you take your own photos while at Besaw's, be sure to tag @besaws to be entered in the contest.)

Here's your chance to win something for wearing a silly outfit. It's one of the only days a year where anything goes, so have fun with it and we'll see you on Halloween for breakfast, lunch and dinner!



PHAME!!! They're gonna live forever...

PHAME-logo-small As we kick off this new school year we would like to recognize a particularly unique educational program:  PHAME, the Portland area's performing arts organization serving young and older adults with developmental disabilities. They inspire individuals with special needs to lead full, creative lives through arts education and performance, fostering a community that champions opportunities and possibilities for all artists.

For the entire month of September we will be donating a percentage of our dinner sales to help support this program, as well as continuing to bring our neighborhood together to raise awareness of other local non-profits that are uplifting to our community. Join us for dinner Tuesday - Saturday nights between 5pm-10pm!




Besaw's 110th Anniversary Bash 8.24!

Wordpress Logo SM Originally a beer parlor and gambling hall catering to loggers and longshoremen, Besaw's opened its doors in 1903 under owners George Besaw and Medric Liberty with the generous help of Henry Weinhard, one of the best known brewery owners in the nation. An immediate success with locals and tourists alike, Besaw’s was conveniently located en route to the 1905 Lewis & Clark Exposition, a Grand Outdoors Bazaar akin to the Worlds’ Fair.

After prohibition, Besaw’s was granted the first liquor license in the state of Oregon, a fact we proudly boast to this day. Since then there have been many manifestations of Besaw’s, from fry house to diner to brunch sensation, but this summer, we're blowing out NW Savier Street in honor of all of our friends, neighbors, and loyal customers whose patronage has kept Besaw’s a Portland institution for over a century! All proceeds benefit Friendly House, a NW neighborhood charity that creates a thriving community by connecting people of all ages and backgrounds through quality educational, recreational and other life-sustaining services.

black cmyk

We hope you'll invite your family and friends, and join us for a turn-of-the-century Grand Outdoors "Bizarre" filled with oddities, eccentricities, and all the llamas you can kiss. Seriously. Brandish your brawn in honor of our longshoreman forebears with tests of strength! Eat your weight in corn dogs, a marvel of modern invention! Learn to breathe fire... or, for legal purposes, perhaps we'll just let you watch someone else do it! There'll be exhibits, live music, food, magic, mystery, you name it (there may even a be a Prohibition-era "speakeasy" to help quench your thirst)!

Stage lineup, attractions and fun Besaw's history can be found on our "official" 110 website.

Want to VOLUNTEER? Enjoy some great entertainment and Help Besaw's support a great cause! Sign up here.

110th Party

Hope to see you there!