An interview with the Chef

JJ Harris, Tim Campen, Jim Kavanaugh, Andrew Gorgol, Matt Burns

JJ Harris, Tim Campen, Jim Kavanaugh, Andrew Gorgol, Matt Burns


Hailing from Pell City Alabama, the venerable seat of Southern Hospitality, chef James J. Harris (JJ) is the heart of Lovejoy’s kitchen. Leading by example, teaching from experience, JJ guides a dedicated crew who share his high standards. As they say in the restaurant business, JJ has the “chops.” He trained with renowned Chef Frank Stitt of Highlands Bar & Grill and Bottega in Birmingham, AL, another farm-to-table food mecca. When he moved to Portland, he forged his way into the kitchens of Simpatica and Café Castagna, then made his real mark as sous chef at Accanto.

Read his interview below to learn more about this amazingly talented fellow:

Q: What are some quirky/little known facts about you?
A: My first word was EAT!

Q: What’s your favorite Lovejoy dish and why should customers try it?
A: The pulled pork with green tomato pickles on brioche. I like the pulled pork because of the components it is made of: Crunchy, tart, pickled local green tomatoes. Tender, slow-smoked pork shoulder. Slightly boozy bourbon bbq sauce. Creamy cole slaw. Perfect on our brioche.

Q: How do you like to spend your free time?
A: With a nice glass of wine in my hand and dinner on the way to the table.

Q: If you could dress any way you want, what would you wear in the kitchen?
A: I don’t intend to disappoint you but I already dress exactly how I want.

Q: What do you love most about your job?
A: the hours, the food, the challenges, the people, its all a very close tie!

Q:Favorite meal in 30 minutes or less… GO!
A: I would get to Pho Hung as quickly as possible and order a number 1.

Q: How does Lovejoy stand apart from other bakery/cafes?
A: We have the best looking chef in town.

Thanks JJ! We love having you at the head of the Lovejoy kitchen!

Le Déjeuner — C’est si Bon!

This summer Chef JJ introduced a fantastic new twist on our standard cafe sandwich fare: the tartine. He brought us not one, but two, light and delicious varieties, both of which are vegetarian (if you eat NW eggs and albacore tuna, that is). Tartines are defined as “A French open-faced sandwich, especially one with a rich or complex spread.Our tartines are no different, served open faced on grilled french baguette, with lush spreads and paired with a textural salad of baby greens and frisee.
eggsalad
The egg salad tartine perfectly balances the rich, creamy egg with crisp celery and refreshing lemon and chives.
Tuna
The tuna tartine features wild caught albacore tuna, smoky and sweet calabrian chilis, salty kalamata olives, bright shaved fennel and lemony caper aioli.

So what are you waiting for? Lunch on the boardwalk awaits your arrival. Bon Appétit!

tartines_both

It’s baaack!

IMG_3319

The masses have spoken. Our original Lovejoy Turkey Sandwich took a very brief departure. We heard the cry and are happy to ensure that you can enjoy our “Thanksgiving between 2 slices” any day of the week. Moist, juicy turkey slices accompany our housemade cranberry chutney, smashed avocado, and thick, meaty planks of bacon. Layered between two rustic slices of Country Bread (shmeared with Mascarpone cheese), Lovejoy’s Turkey Sandwich is back. Enjoy!

News, news, news!

Lovejoy Bakers East is now open! Located a block off SE Division at 2523 SE 9th Avenue, our brand new wholesale facility is now producing Lovejoy signature baked goods for Zupans, Whole Foods and local restaurants. If you’re in the neighborhood, PLEASE STOP BY! We also serve lunch and you can pick up your favorite baguettes, ciabatta or rye fresh from the oven.  Click here for the Lovejoy East menu. And check out the article from our new fans at PDX Eater. Hope to see you soon!

25 Sandwiches at Lovejoy Bakers!

From a PB & J served on the best bread in town, to the Lovejoy Roast Beef (pictured above), it would take you nearly a month to sample each of our sandwiches.  Speaking of the best bread, when is the last time you had a freshly baked Kaiser Roll?  A taut exterior, soft and chewy interior and all those nutty poppy seeds are the perfect package to hold our house-made roast beef.  We season and slow-cook it ourselves, slice it thin and stack it tall – then add melt-in-your mouth caramelized yellow onions and organic sharp white cheddar. A devilish horseradish aioli adds just the right kick to each bite.  Served hot… and with lots of napkins.

The turkey sandwich – voted by our customers as ‘most popular’ – is a glorious combination of salty + sweet, soft + crunchy, light + rich. House-roasted turkey is generously layered on our rustic country bread with perfectly ripe avocado and smokey planks of bacon. A shmear of slightly sweet mascarpone cheese plus another of house-made cranberry chutney act as the icing on the cake, so to speak. If you haven’t had this re-imagined classic yet, you must…  read what a fellow Portlandian writes about it: click here.

Taking a break from bread?  May we suggest the Lovejoy Salad?  Weighing in at over a pound, this bountiful array of meats, cheeses, brine-y olives and soft boiled eggs is a meal and a half.  Organic baby lettuces are gently tossed in our signature tarragon dressing, then topped with tender white meat turkey, dry-cured salami, kalamatas, and an egg cooked so perfectly, you could cry.  What makes this salad extraordinary is the Italian San Daniele prosciutto (cured for 16 – 18 months) and the Bleu d’Auvergne imported from South central France. Truly a feast.

P.S.  Once you’ve had a Lovejoy lunch, you may not need dinner!

resolve to be delighted

Lovejoy Bakers Sandwich

You will be delighted when you taste this fresh, savory AND sweet sandwich. Full of flavor, the Vietnamese Bahn Mi mixes thinly sliced Tri-Tip steak with crisp vegetables (including carrots, cabbages and cilantro). Chopped peanuts are added for extra crunch, and all of this neatly fills a freshly baked ciabatta. A finishing spread of Jalapeño aioli makes these flavors shine.

Waxing poetic on Lovejoy’s Turkey Sandwich


Here’s what a food critic might say:

“The people who make Lovejoy Bakers hum, have hit a high note with their Roast Turkey Sandwich. Paper-thin slices of house-brined bird stack up to a layer of perfectly ripe avocado and a shmear of slightly sweet Mascarpone cheese.  Smoky planks of un-fatty bacon (do they trim these before cooking?) flavor each bite and a lively cranberry chutney covers all, bursting forth with plump berries and citrus zest.  One might forget the bread with so much else going on.  But the humble glory of Lovejoy’s simple Country Bread is a legend in the making.  Crumb, crust and grain… I bought a loaf on my way out, daydreaming of toast for breakfast the next morning.  I give Lovejoy’s Turkey Sandwich an A, withholding the ‘plus’ for a future visit when they prove to me they can create perfection – again.”

Brrr… warm up at Lovejoy Bakers

Stuffy nose or not, we invite you to experience the restorative effects of our housemade chicken and rice soup. Every steaming spoonful delivers shredded chicken and wild rice, and is packed with vitamins and minerals derived from the fresh carrots, celery, parsley, onions and root vegetables that make up our slow-simmered broth.  It’s our prescription for a delicious lunch!

If you’re in the mood for something a little richer, our fire-roasted red pepper and tomato soup should do the trick.  Thick and satisfying, it has a kiss of cream for a silky texture, and is brightly flavored with basil, thyme and chives.  Lovely on its own, you may want to consider pairing it with one of our sandwiches…


… our grilled organic sharp cheddar and fontina on brioche bread, perhaps?  Not exactly like Mom used to make, but a good, hot meal on a cold day.  She would definitely approve.

Make Lovejoy Chili at home (or not :-)

Lovejoy Chili con Carne with Sweet Corn Aji Amarillo

If you haven’t tried this yet, you OWE it to yourself (especially on a rainy day) to enjoy a bowl of Josh’s chili, made exclusively for Lovejoy Bakers.  Getting Josh to part with the recipe was no small feat, but here it is for those who want to make a big batch at home.

Josh’s Chili Con Carne with Sweet Corn Aji Amarillo

For the Chili
1 lb. Painted Hills ground beef
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
I cup yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1 lb. Roma tomatoes, rough chopped with juice
2 cups canned black beans, drained
3 Tbs. garlic, minced
1/2 Tbs. onion powder
1 Tbs. dark chili powder
1 Tbs. ground cumin
salt/pepper, to taste

1.  Heat a large pot on medium high heat with oil.  Brown the ground beef, drain, reserve 1/4 cup of drippings, set beef aside.
2.  Put reserved drippings back into the pot.  Turn heat to high and add peppers, carrots, onion, celery, garlic and jalapeno. Saute until soft and slightly caramelized.
3.  Toss in remaining ingredients and beef.  Cover pot, turn heat to low, and stew for 3 hours. Stir occasionally and adjust salt and pepper to taste.

For the Sweet Corn Aji Amarillo
1/2 cup softened cream cheese
1/2 cup cooked corn
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 Tbs. dried Amarillo Chile Powder (probably available at Whole Foods, New Seasons, etc.)
salt/pepper to taste
1 chopped scallion (for garnish)

1.  Place all ingredients, except for corn and scallions, in Food Processor.  Puree until smooth.
2.  Remove blade and fold in corn.
3.  Add a generous spoonful to chili before serving.  Garnish with chopped scallions.