Powell’s Books. The Brewery Blocks. Bougie artisan coffee. You know that side of the Pearl District, but did you know the Pearl is also home to a circus education program? Or that it’s a hub for subsidized affordable housing? Or that it used to look like this?
We’ll be bringing you some surprising, delightful, and delicious stories from the Pearl this month, starting today with something you coulda only dreamed about as a kid: a cookie dough cafe.
THE PLACE: The Cookie Dough Cafe is the dream of sisters Julia Clark and Joan Pacetti, who discovered a way to omit the eggs and use a heat-treated flour to create edible cookie dough.
They started off in wholesale selling to fewer than 100 regional grocery stores. But after premiering on ABC’s entrepreneur series “Shark Tank” in 2014, those numbers skyrocketed. Their newfound fame led to a licensing agreement with Oreo, and their dreams of opening a brick-and-mortar “Scoop Shop” became a reality in 2017.
Located on NW 13th between Couch and Davis, the Cookie Dough Cafe also serves “doughwiches” — Tillamook vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two layers of chocolate chip cookie dough — and rotating vegan dough options and dough you can take home to bake.
FUN FACT: Julia and Joan found a wheeled cart on Craigslist that they refurbished into a Cookie Dough Cafe mobile cart, which you can rent for events.
QUOTABLE: “It’s this whimsical moment that automatically brings you back to your childhood where you take that first bite of cookie dough, and it reminds you of your grandma or mom’s homemade cookies,” Julia said. “It can be a really emotional, really great thing.”
CHECK IT OUT: The Cookie Dough Cafe is open every day starting at noon. You can also order from your couch.
WHAT’S NEXT: What questions do you have about the Pearl District and its history, culture, or character? Send us your burning Qs, and we’ll pick three to put up for a vote in our next round of PDXplained.
Alt-right groups like Patriot Prayer and the Proud Boys might not be based in Portland, but they’ve caused plenty of trouble here over the past few years — most notably a bloody brawl outside a downtown bar last October.
A new short documentary from Al Jazeera asks the question: Why here?
As reporter Imaeyen Ibanga explains, Portland’s progressive politics don’t trump Oregon’s dark history as an exclusionary state. That legacy created a “breeding ground” for neo-Nazis and other hate-based groups like the Klu Klux Klan, which had their largest membership per capita here in Oregon in the 1920s.
Jumping back to present day, Ibanga interviews former neo-Nazi recruiter Jason Downard, who says he would frequently troll the Portland waterfront for “young kids, vulnerable kids” who were looking for something to give them a sense of identity and belonging.
Those subtle tactics are a trademark of various extremist groups — there’s typically not a direct invitation to participate in violence. New information from the Anti-Defamation League suggests recruitment efforts are now focused on propaganda that will appeal to “mainstream” conservatives.
In other news…
There’s no crying over spilled milk, but there could be some shouting at Alpenrose Dairy, the iconic 118-year-old Portland dairy that’s in jeopardy due to a family feud among the owners. (Willamette Week)
The Bend Blockbuster is now officially the last Blockbuster store on planet Earth, adding a new dimension to the town’s hops-heavy tourist scene. (OregonLive)
Believe it or not, $2 beers and $3 cocktails still exist in Portland. Eater’s latest happy hour roundup will tell you where to find ’em. (Eater)
⛲ Monday, March 11: Hear local leaders discuss their vision for the future of Portland’s public parks and green spaces (NW | Pearl)
💡 Friday, March 15: Be inspired by change-making researchers, educators, and entrepreneurs at the PSU School of Business’s Elevating Impact Summit (NW | Pearl)
🔮 Monday, March 18: Learn about the Albina Vision, the I-5 expansion project, and what comes next (NW | Pearl)
🤔 Wednesday, March 20: Join Oregon Humanities for a Think & Drink event with award-winning journalist Omar El Akkad (NE | Alberta) 🆕
😆 Laugh at politics with a British satirist (NE | Alberta)
🎨 Visit the Portland Art Museum for free (Downtown)
🎥 Watch international films and shorts – through Mar. 21 (Multiple locations)
💪 Rally for International Women’s Day (Downtown)
✍️ Meet Mo Harkless and get an autograph (Downtown)
🗣️ Read your writing at an open mic (Vancouver)
🙋 Play “The Office” trivia (Hillsboro)
🍺 Taste barleywines at Lucky Lab – through Saturday (NW | Alphabet)
🍷 Or drink actual wines in McMinnville – through Sunday (McMinnville)
🍸 Taste the PNW’s best spirits (SW | Goose Hollow)
🍩 Sample beer, coffee, and doughnuts (NE | Albina)
🎺 Beat the winter blues with a music festival (Milwaukie)
👠 Dress up for PrOMSI After Dark (SE | Central Eastside)
👹 Or be a magical creature for a night (SE | Richmond)
😂 Get a laugh with comedian Ali Wong – through Sunday (Downtown)
🍾 Eat (and drink) brunch for a cause (NE | Albina)
🐶 Help Fido look fresh (SE | Central Eastside)
🍅 Meet local farmers and shop for a CSA (SE | Central Eastside)
✌️ Pose over pints at a yoga + beer event (SE | Reed) 🆕
😭 Let it all out at an Emo music night (Downtown) 🆕
📽️ Watch a special screening of “Hidden Figures” (NE | Hollywood) 🆕
Just about every town has an annual event, but only the very best make the state’s list of official Oregon Heritage Traditions. The Portland Rose Festival. The Klamath Basin Potato Festival. The list has plenty of gems to liven up your summer calendar.
We’ll see you tomorrow. ✌️