There are some childhood memories that are nearly universal, but definitely cultural. In many parts of America including the south, family dinners at Grandmother's house is one such childhood memory most of us share.
When I sat down at my seat in the backroom of Old Salt Market on NE 42nd in Portland where chef Maya Lovelace hosts and prepares dinner on Monday and Wednesday evenings in her pop-up joint simply called , it was memories of those family dinners around Grandma's table that came to mind. Pitchers of water and sweet tea on the table with Mason jars in place of water glasses and gingham napkins helped complete the setting.
What pulled it together and made this a night to remember was the amazing menu and grasp of not only southern traditions but ways to bring classic flavors into a modern setting and keep them fresh and exciting in a town full of great restaurants.
We had dinner with Maya on a Wednesday night, where she serves a seven course tour of southern tradition that will make anyone who grew up with southern cooking homesick and anyone who thought everything in the deep south was heavy and fried sit up and take notice. If you get a chance to get tickets to eat dinner at Mae, snatch them up and save room for desert. You can thank me later.