Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Bread Reading/The Bakery Show

When I saw the announcement, I knew we'd be going--The Bakery Show: a poetry reading at a bakery. Fleur de Lis Bakery, Judith Arcana pointed out, is the obvious place to hold such a reading--it was originally, after all, the Hollywood branch of the Multnomah Library.

It was a fun, slightly chaotic evening. It was the first time that the bakery served dinner. Tables were being set up while we sat--outdoor chairs put into duty aside makeshift tables. The audience was made up of neighborhood people--all ages were represented. People were there on dates, with their grandchildren or children, a nice group. A hastily scrawled announcement went on the door soon after we came in: 'Tonight's Performance Sold Out'.

Also for the first time, there was table service. Slightly inexperienced but friendly and aware, the waiters scooted around all the tables. Our waiter brought me my cake. She set it down, looked from it to me, and then started to take it back. "This isn't what you ordered". It was, however, the cake I'd decided I wished I'd ordered--so all was fine.

My favorite moment came in the middle of a found poem--mainly things about how you should and should not eat. (I'm paraphrasing this line)--How many meals should you eat daily?
Without missing a beat, a small child in the audience yelled back: Twelve!

Unfortunately, there was no program, and I took no notes. I can tell you there was another found poem, this one about foods to try at a Chinese Restaurant (Shredded Vegetarian was maybe the most tempting). A Gish Jen essay about learning to eat in the US with a Chinese father. A voluptuous poem about bread, with saxophone accompaniment (the poem, not the bread). And Judith Arcana read her poem about Fleur de Lis--with the pastries cooling on shelves where once there had been books. Not the worst trade-off.

Fleur de Lis is a nice neighborhood bakery--I'd like one like it in mine. They make nice yeast dough cinnamon rolls (instead of the now more normal croissant dough type), and delicious little fruit crostatas. Rumor has it they make a mean doughnut on the weekend. And, if you're really lucky, you'll stumble in on a clam chowder day--a nice brothy type, not thick and starchy.

Fleur De Lis Bakery and Cafe
3930 NE Hancock St
Portland, OR 97212
(503) 459-4887‎

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