Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Bare light bulbs come to St. Johns

LeGong Gelato in St. Johns
It's exciting when new businesses and neighbors pop up in your neighborhood. I'd seen two new shops opening in the past week or so, so tonight AdRi and I ventured out and thought we'd experience them. The good news first.

Bare light bulbs have come to St. Johns. The cool factor of bare bulbs illuminating a space really does say we've arrived, doesn't it? I may sound sarcastic, and maybe I am being, but Legong Gelato in downtown St. Johns is a very cool little place run by a very sweet owner, Jeffrey. Sandwiched between a coffee shop and the St. Johns Theater, it's perfectly situated in the heart of St. Johns and offers Staccato Gelato (I had the honey lavender: highly recommend it) along with what looked like promising cold pressed coffee with cardamom and ginger (note to self: go back and try that this weekend). Table tops were made by Jeffrey and are super shiny shellaced and varnished cores of wood, there's art on the walls, and the handpainted sandwich board sign outside is probably my favorite in the neighborhood. Jeffrey lives just down the street: I love that local folks are opening local places. It's a great place and I hope they do well. Oh, and they're open until 10pm. Awesome.

And then there's Leisure Public House, opened further down N. Lombard but still in St. Johns. Oh how I've had high hopes for this place. With a bocce court and ping pong table in the back and a lovely patio, seating outside was a little weird, so we wandered back inside and sat for a long time until someone noticed us. Alas, the owner seems more interested in giving shout outs to his friends when they come to visit than potential new friends, and my glass of wine served in a shot glass sized glass could have been refilled. Food is a let down, with panini style sandwiches being the mainstay. I don't know about you but panini is no friend to the inside of my mouth: ouch. So we had our drinks and had hoped to stay for dinner, but with no attention really being payed to us and not an appetizing menu, we opted to leave. Bummer.

We'll definitely revisit Legong Gelato, but the real question is, when is this place going to open? So exciting to see new places opening up in North Portland.

P.S. Just when you think things can't get any better in North Portland, the gay paper moves in too. Congratulations to Just Out and their move this week to NoPo!


Rozanne said...

Staccato is the best gelato in town (I think), so it's great that that's the gelato they're choosing to serve at Legong. As you probably know, Staccato tries to source as many of its ingredients locally as possible.

Anyway, Legong looks like a cool and delicious place and it's in your neighborhood. Can never have too many places like that!

Ali & Evan said...

AHHH, we thought we were going to be the first to bring bare light bulbs t o NoPo. Oh well. Well, don't mark your calendar just yet but if all goes according to plan, it looks as though we could be opening our doors are early as one week from today (Thursday, August 30th). We'll make sure to let you know the full details via our blog.
P.S. Menu TBA soon via blog as well!

Tricia said...

Cold pressed coffee??? otherwise known as Toddy???
I've been drinking it every morning for a couple of years now- less acid. It's a beautiful thing.
I blend it with ice cream milk, ice, and chocolate. All thanks to my friends and neighbors who own a local coffee shop and gave me their recipe.

gen1pic said...

Hmmm... you seem to be giving the most excellent St. Johns Sentinel a run for their money in the get-the-news-out-fast department. I must drop by here more often if I intend to get a clue. Great stuff!

Mark H said...

I agree with gen1pic! I'm learning more from Lelo's writing than any news media. And I WAS sorry to hear Leisure acting like a cheap joint and offering nothing! THEY are an exception with all the good happening around us there. Gelato! I had NO idea and can't wait to head down there. THANKS for making me hungry.

chris said...

Hey y'all,

I got great service at Leisure, and the paninis were really good. Don't even get me started on the 'Total Domination' IPA they had on tap.... mmmm. Maybe you hit them on a bad night?

LeLo in NoPo said...

Hey Chris;
Thanks for commenting and welcome! I'm glad you had a good experience, and yes, it's quite possible I hit them on a bad night. My visit was pretty early on after they first opened, so hopefully they've got it down a bit better. Unfortunately I'm just not the biggest fan of paninis, but I know now that if I've got a craving for one, there's a place close by I can go to get one. I'll try them again after some time has gone by.

Anonymous said...

hello lelo.
leisure is me and partners new fav spot. they have great owners, salads, apps... and soups! tomato with grilled cheese! come on know you love it!

it's a great place to meet your neighbors...and chat...AND they have trivia night on tuesday night. . . maybe tomorrow lelo? hummmm? 7.30pm.

the gazelle said...

So - I am totally stalking all your NoPo posts (I live in St. John's) and was so sad that you didn't like Leisure - although that was almost 3 years ago, so I hope you've been back. The service is not always the most amazing, but their food is pretty good, and it's a nice chill atmosphere. Also, it's 3 blocks from my house, so I'm totally biased! :)