Foodies Favorite Finds: Alex Yoder of Olympia Provisions Southeast and Northwest
Monday, June 01, 2015
Born in Northeast Portland to a family of cooks, he grew up in the kitchen and learned the intrinsic value of preparing fresh and locally-sourced cuisine long before it was fashionable. While attending Southern Oregon University in Ashland as a sociology major, Yoder worked at venerable Chateaulin restaurant and discovered that his true calling was behind the stove rather than behind a desk.
Returning to Portland after college, Yoder procured a job at Castagna restaurant and worked his way up from line cook to Café Castagna sous chef under then-executive chef Kevin Gibson. At Castagna, he also met and worked with his future collaborators, Nate Tilden and Elias Cairo. Moving on to Clyde Common, Yoder again diligently worked his way from line cook to sous chef, before taking the helm at Olympia Provisions Southeast as Executive Chef in 2010, and of Northwest in 2015. Yoder enjoys spending his free time running and reading cookbooks, and he counts octopus, sardines, and oxtail as some of his favorite foods.
We wanted to know a little more about Chef Yoder. So of course, we asked him where his favorite spot to eat at is.
"My favorite little known restaurant in Portland is Pho Corner, located on a triangular block on the south side of NE Sandy at 61st. Despite the name, I don’t order Pho there. I get the dish that is pictured on the front of the menu. Here is what this food item is like: It’s a bowl of room temperature vermicelli noodles with a bunch of fresh tasting stuff: cilantro, scallion, thinly sliced lettuce, lightly pickled carrots. It’s outstanding. But that is not the half of it. On top, there is pork, sliced thinly, skewered, and grilled. There is also shrimp, treated similarly. I kind of don’t want to tell you that this thing also has toasted ground peanuts and a whole spring roll in it. It does. But the best part? The part that does not allow me to order any other item on the menu? On the side they serve a 3 oz cup of the best tasting fish sauce that I ever encountered. Do they make this stuff? Do they import it? I never ask, I just pour the whole thing over the top. Doctor it up further with some house made hot sauces and you're pretty happy."
Olympic Provisions Northwest Restaurant, 1632 NW Thurman St. (503) 894-8136. M - F 11am - 10pm, Saturday 10am - 10pm, and Sunday 10am - 9pm.
Olympic Provisions Southeast, 107 SE Washington St, 9503) 954 - 3663. M - F 11am - 10pm, Saturday 10am - 10pm, and Sunday 10am - 9pm.
Related Slideshow: Where to Dine Out in Portland’s 10 Hottest Restaurant Neighborhoods
Find the Best ranked Portland neighborhoods according to number of restaurants per capita. The top restaurant neighborhoods included the Lloyd district, Old Town, The Pearl and more - all of which have an abundance of hip, tasty places to dine. Here are GoLocalPDX's picks for where to dine out in Portland's 10 hottest restaurant neighborhoods.
Number of restaurants per 10,000 residents in Downtown: 227.3
Departure Restaurant and Lounge featuring head chef Gregory Gourdet, not only provides guests with one of the best views in Portland, but also serves up-scale asian-fusion cuisine.
525 SW Morrison Street.
Photo via departureportland.com
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