'Nana's Guilty Pleasures' - food to go, plus a bit of Westmoreland history
"Nana's Guilty Pleasures" is a home-cooking food cart situated in the driveway of her own home 6108 S.E. Milwaukie Avenue – the house her mother brought her up in. It's just to the south of the Iron Horse Restaurant.
Opened recently by Kim Sutter, her take-out kitchen offers breakfast and lunch selections with free coffee, as well as special Holiday treats. Sutter explains, "I want to provide an atmosphere reminiscent of 'grandma's kitchen', where friends and family were welcomed with fresh coffee and classic home-cooked food. I tell people about what I'm baking, because that's what I'm passionate about."
Her new business is open Monday through Friday, 7 am-2 pm, and Saturday from 8 a.m. till 1 p.m. Sutter does all the cooking, which includes a breakfast sandwich with sides, honey-bacon bagels with cream cheese, homemade waffles and French toast, muffins, breads, cinnamon rolls and personal quiches. "These are made from favorite recipes passed down for generations, using classic ingredients that are locally-sourced when possible," she says.
Just a new dining business in Westmoreland? Well yes – but there is a lot of the neighborhood's history wrapped up in it, too, which Sutter is happy to discuss…
Nana's Kitchen is just the latest incarnation of an historic Westmoreland home where, as mentioned earlier, Sutter grew up. Her mother was the well-known naturopathic doctor, Dr. Beth Schmidt, who originally had served as a physical therapist in the U.S. Navy from 1943-45. She bought the home about seventy years ago, raised her family in the back of the house, and ran her business (which she used to advertise monthly in THE BEE in which she gave medical advice) in the front, facing Milwaukie Avenue.
"Dr. Beth", as she was known, graduated from the Western States Chiropractic Institute as one of only four women in her 1945 graduating class. At the time, female doctors were a minority, and Dr. Beth was the first female chiropractor in Westmoreland. She also worked as a chiropractic naturopath, a grapho-analyst, and an adult literary tutor. She learned to communicate by signing, and learned how to translate lessons into Braille. Lewis and Clark College gave her an honorary Master's Degree, and offered her an adjunct professorship there.
Dr. Beth's crowning achievement, according to her daughter, was to help educate a down-on-her-luck deaf and blind woman, Addie Becht, who had showed up in her office for chiropractic help. "She became part of our family; and with Dr. Beth's assistance, Addie was not only rehabilitated, she also became the first deaf and blind woman in the United States to earn two PhD's, one of which was in clinical psychology," recalls Sutter. "My mother accompanied her to all her classes, converted all her lessons into Braille, and also learned all the pertinent information in the courses herself.
"Through the years, my mother taught me much about the neighborhood history. I used to know where certain members of the 'Mob' operated, and where there were red-light houses. I've lived here my whole life, and have always been interested in the local history of Sellwood and Westmoreland, the old Trolley tracks, and other long-forgotten aspects of the neighborhood.
"I'm proud to become a continuing part of the neighborhood history." If you'd like to continue this discussion with her, and enjoy a breakfast or lunch as well, why not stop by "Nana's Guilty Pleasures".