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Foodies Favorite Finds: Rick Holguin of Raven & Rose

Monday, March 23, 2015

 

Gramma's

Gramma's Corner in Milwaukie. Photo: Google Maps

Portland and the surrounding region is a food lover's paradise. But with so many different places to choose to eat, drink and be merry at, some of the coolest places don't get the spotlight they deserve. GoLocalPDX has asked local food luminaries to share their favorite off-the-beaten-track dining hot spots. First up: Chef Rick Holguin of Raven & Rose

Born in Salem, Oregon, Chef Rick Holguin of Raven & Rose grew up in Aumsville, “where there aren’t stop lights or grocery stores,” says the chef. Rick grew up with his grandmother — a second-generation French lady who was as equally obsessed with cassoulet and rhubarb soup as she was with dogs. Rick and his three siblings shared their grandma’s tiny house with 120 dogs. In the backyard chickens and ducks would graze around and eventually end up in the family pot. Rick quickly became enamored with butchering. Today, his favorite activity behind the kitchen counter at Raven & Rose is when he breaks apart the half-pig monthly delivery and turns the pig’s head into mouth-watering head cheese, bath chaps, crispy scratching, trotters and pig ears.

Following his childhood dream of getting into culinary school and becoming a great chef, Rick got his first job as a fry cook at a Chinese restaurant. The family's tight finances didn't allow for Rick to achieve his desire to enroll in culinary school. More determined than defeated, he looked for a different route to learn about fine cooking and found it among the dusty books of Salem’s public library where he spent long afternoons, tucked away from the daily routine. There, the sixteen-year-old filled his head with French techniques and recipes that he was eager to test and master. Rick moved to Hawaii in 2005 where he spent six years working with different chefs, including Mavro on Oahu and Ben Takahashi. As Portland began making a name for itself in the culinary world, Rick decided to wrap up his Hawaii experience to explore the City of Roses. In Portland, Rick worked at Bluehour, Dig a Pony — as the head chef— Clyde Commons and Woodsman Tavern before joining Raven & Rose on Valentine's Day in 2014. 

Rick’s favorite spot is a dive-y, yet homey spot located in Milwaukie called Gramma’s Corner Restaurant.

“My favorite seat is right in front of the electric fire place” Rick says about Gramma's.  “It’s décor looks as if they robbed an antique store.” Located right next to Rick’s neighborhood, he swings by the joint at least two to three times a week for breakfast. With the usual order of corned beef and hash, sunny side eggs, sides of gravy and toast, all washed down with a refreshing cup of Maxwell House coffee, Rick recommends Grandma’s Corner as the perfect hangover spot.

Gramma's Corner Restaurant, 10880 SE McLoughlin Blvd., Milwaukie, 503-654-7110.

 

Related Slideshow: 25 Reasons Why Portland is the Best

Portlanders love their city for many reasons, but there are some things that make the city famous around the country. Check out 25 reasons Portland is best city in the country.

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Coffee

Portlanders love their coffee, and with some of the best coffee shops and roasters in the country setting up shop here, it’s easy to see why.  

The city has great local coffee roasters, like Stumptown's Duane Sorenson, who know how to make the perfect blend of Northwest flavor. 

Whether you’re drinking a hazelnut soy latte or cup of a strong dark roast, one of Portland’s many cozy coffee shops or huts is the place to enjoy it. 

Photo credit: iStock

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Beer

Breweries are abundant in Portland, more than any other city on the earthNicknamed “Beervana,” Portland is the place to sample delicious state brews. 

Great beer festivals, events, and tasting opportunities keep beer connoisseurs happy all year long.  

Photo Credit: Joel Olives via Compfight cc

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Wine

Portland is surrounded Oregon’s rich wine country, famous for its Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris varieties.

The wine tourism industry has been growing in Oregon, and a boosting the economy. 

Most of the state’s wineries and tasting rooms are close by in the Yamhill Valley, where visitors can enjoy scenic views and award winning wines.The city is also known for it's wine bars and tasting rooms. 

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Food

With fantastic local beer and wine flowing, it’s no surprise culinary artistry is thriving in Portland. Talented chefs and easy access to local and fresh ingredients supply help Portland’s food culture thrive.

The city has numerous restaurants with menus and dishes people can’t get enough of.  And have you seen Gregory Gourdet and Doug Adams on top Chef: Boston? They’re killing it!

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Books & Authors

Powell’s Books, established in Portland in 1971, is the largest independently owned new and used bookstore in the world.  The city is full of bookstores of all types and sizes, however. 

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Public Transit

Portland’s public transit system has been called one of the top five in the country.

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Nerds

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Dark Horse Comics is also located here, and many “live action role-playing” opportunities exist as well. 

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Running

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The city hosts many races every year, such as the Portland Marathon, Race for the Roses or the Shamrock Run

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Startups

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A sense of community and commitment to local businesses also helps entrepreneurs succeed in Portland. 

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Tax-free shopping

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In Portland, there are many places to take advantage of it, from large shopping centers, to hole-in-the-wall boutiques, to the famous Saturday Market. 

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Doughnuts

Portland is home to the world famous Voodoo Doughnuts. Its funky theme fits Portland. Doughnuts with bacon, frosting, cereal, cookies, drizzles—what’s not to love.

Yet there are many delicious doughnuts shops all over Portland to satisfy anyone's sweet tooth. 

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Beaches

The Oregon Coast is breathtaking, with its rocky cliffs and vast beeches.

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And nearby Astoria is as about as hip as you can get now.

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Food carts

Food carts are famous in Portland, offering delicious, ethnic, and creative food for people on the go. 

Portland has over 600 carts in city limits. They are usually grouped in “pods,” making it easy to compare and sample the variety. 

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Beards

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Timbers

The Portland Timbers, a professional soccer club, draw huge crowds and support from the city. The team won their MLS western conference last year and great things are expected for their future.

Being a part of the Timber Army, the legendary crowd cheering section, is coveted by any fan and has a waitlist in the thousands. 

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Alternative Eats

Vegan. Gluten Free. Organic. GMO free. Food allergies.

No matter your eating preferences, Portland’s eateries have you covered.  The city has a wide selection of alterative options for food that is gaining recognition through the U.S.  

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Design

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Forest Park

Just west of Downtown Portland stretches Forest Park, the nation’s largest urban park. It’s 5,000 plus acres offer all types of outdoor activities.

It’s a great way to enjoy and appreciate the trees and nature Oregon is so well known for. 

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Bikes

If looking for a bike friendly city, look no further than bike capital Portland.

Whether communing to work or just enjoying one of the cities great bike paths, Portland is the place with the city infrastructure and bike shops to keep you peddling. 

The city hosts many bike race events, such as the World Naked Bike Ride through downtown. 

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Portlandia

The award winning TV show staring Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen showed America what Portlanders have known for years about life here. The comical sketches portray the quirkiness and loveableness of hipster Portland.

Although it may be slightly exaggerated, the show put life in Portland on the map. 

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Rain

Portland get’s more than its fair share of rain, but Portlanders embrace it. They don’t let a little rain get in the way of a good time, and know how to make the most of it.

Plus it keeps Portland green and beautiful, so who can argue with that?   

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Athletic Shoes

With as much as Portlanders are out and about, they make sure their feet have the best athletic shoes. 

Both Nike headquarters and Adidas North America headquarters are located in Portland, employing or shoeing a good amount of the population. 

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Outdoors

Portland is surrounded by attractions for outdoor adventures, including hiking, rock climbing, skiing, and wind surfing. 

The city is close to many spectacular formations, like the Columbia River Gorge, Smith Rock near Bend, and Mt. Hood, a popular winter destination for snow sports. 

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Art

Portland art culture is vibrant and wide spread. The Pearl District is the hub, but the Alberta Arts District is also bursting with galleries, cafes, and art studios.

Most art is free to view to the public, and the monthly gallery walk always draw huge crowds.

The Portland Art Museum is one of the largest and oldest in the Northwest, and draws thousands every year. 

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Music

The Portland music scene brings people from all over the state. Music festivals like Music Fest NW or the Waterfront Blues Festival, and a busy live concert line up, means there is always someplace to go enjoy music. 

Portland was also the starting place for many band leaders, like Sleater-KinneyThe Decemberists and Pink Martini, just to name a few. 

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