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Ice cream sandwich purveyor opens fifth shop on Northwest 23rd Avenue; also, Bar Miranda delights at the Portland Food Hall downtown

COURTESY: ALAN WEINER - Elevated ice cream sandwiches are the hit at Ruby Jewel.Ruby Jewel, purveyor of elevated ice cream sandwiches, just opened its fifth location, expanding a local empire that includes scoop shops on North Mississippi Avenue and Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard, at Washington Square and in downtown's West End.

The new space is on Northwest 23rd Avenue near Slabtown, and puts the focus on its next-level ice cream sandwiches, in which ice cream is squished between two slabs of cookie.

Interior touches include a dreamy pink mantelpiece wallpaper that depicts ice cream sandwiches floating through space, and a gleaming test kitchen for a series of planned collaborations. This end of Northwest 23rd Avenue is jumping anew with nearby Life of Pie pizza and the recent opening of a Pine State Biscuits location. A vegetable-driven steak house, G Love, plans to open this summer around the corner on Raleigh Street.

At Ruby Jewel's build-your-own bar, ice cream flavors abound and include two nondairy flavors as well as a gluten-free cookie option.

A group of girls from the neighborhood celebrating a friend's 10th birthday lined up at the ice cream bar recently, seriously studying the effects of mixing and matching ice cream with various cookies.

The story goes that when owner Lisa Herlinger met her girlfriends one summer for a getaway, she fell in love with the place and later named her new business after the magical campsite, a place she still visits.

All of Ruby Jewel's ice cream is handmade in a facility near Portland International Airport, but the new space has a test kitchen for creative tinkering.

Says Herlinger, who lives in North Portland: "We'll have tastings and events and experiment with new flavors." During opening week, Ruby Jewel launched a series of community events, teaming up with Nossa Familia coffee, nearby Chapman School and Friendly House, and Blue Star Donuts.

Such cross-pollination only makes sense in chummy Portland, says marketing director Marc McCullagh. "Ruby Jewel is about local ingredients, collaboration, and community."

COURTESY PHOTO - Tropical drinks are the thing at Bar Miranda.• The Portland Food Hall, 827 S.W. Second Ave., is abuzz during weekday lunch rushes: Vendors Aprisa, the Whole Bowl, Aiko Ramen, and LeChon turn out tasty international grub for downtown workers in a hurry. And for those who survive another busy work day, a tart and crisp Pisco Sour made with South American brandy and foamy egg whites beckons from above.

Cue the Brazilian music and raise a glass to Carmen Miranda during daily happy hours at Bar Miranda, downtown's tropical hideaway tucked inside the Portland Food Hall.

Escape to the delightful bar, where craft cocktails and tropical drinks like the Daiquiri-ish and Caipirinha await visitors. A small framed portrait of the bar's namesake rests on a shelf.

This month, Bar Miranda has joined many other Portland bars and restaurants for Cocktails for a Cause, a fundraiser for Raphael House. Order a Bee's Knees cocktail mixed with New Deal Gin 33 and $1 goes to the charity, which supports victims of domestic violence.

• Commissary Cafe just opened a new location on the ground floor of one of the two Field Office buildings, where techies and train spotters may eventually mingle. The cafe has an Art Deco vibe and sleek ambience and serves brunch weekdays at 11 a.m. Once the weather warms up, the cafe will open up its glass doors to an expansive patio that overlooks Northwest Front Avenue.

A subsidiary of Goldman Sachs recently bought the two Field Office buildings for $118 million. No word yet if any multinational investors have sampled the hash browns at the nearby Dockside Saloon, beloved by regulars and famous for its connection to one of Oregon's most notorious athletes — Tonya Harding.

• Seattle-based Evergreens "lettuce knock your socks off" just opened its first Oregon location in Hillsboro at the Cornell Town Center. Plans call for the salad spot to sprout up in Beaverton at the Cedar Hills Crossing mall. They'll offer salads, wraps and grain bowls that are a bit healthier than your average grab-and-go fast-food fare.


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