Casual Counter Spot and Innovation Lab “Fermenter” Opens July 26th in Former Farm Spirit Space
Aaron Adams’ Latest Plant-Based Venture is Part Lunch Counter and R&D Kitchen with a Side of Proverbial Pot-Stirring
July 11, 2019 – Portland, Ore. – Modernist plant-based restaurant Farm Spirit has spawned a rebellious little brother in Fermenter, a 4-seat casual counter spot opening for lunch Friday, July 26th at Farm Spirit’s former location, 1414 SE Morrison in Portland, Ore. The restaurant initially will be open Wednesday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. with hours to expand in the coming months.
Fermenter is a stand-alone restaurant as well as an innovation lab and prep hub for Farm Spirit restaurant, which moved around the corner to 1403 SE Belmont St. in January. Devoted to all things cultured, brewed, preserved and probiotic, the micro-restaurant will serve an ever-changing plant-based menu sourced from farms and markets within the restaurant’s immediate region. The space will offer a limited menu with two options: “For Here” and “Take Away.”
The “For Here” option consists of a light tasting menu priced around $20 and designed to be a quick lunch at the counter. Plates of fresh fruits, grains, and vegetables will be accented with house-made funkiness like a variety of miso, vinegars, nut-based cheeses, and lacto-ferments. Chef/owner Aaron Adams will be preparing daily creations based on his pantry and whatever is fresh and in season. One day it could be a house-made tempeh glazed in lacto-fermented blueberries, and braised greens with pumpkin seed miso. As the summer temperatures rise, a refreshing Kvass with sprouted grain pasta and smoky tomatoes may appear. A little something sweet rounds out the menu, such as a molasses oatmeal bread with lacto-fermented gooseberries and frozen oat cream.
The “Take Away” menu will offer a daily creation of various grains, legumes, fresh and fermented vegetables, and a choice of spicy, savory, or smoky sauces. A rotating list of house-made kombuchas, kefirs, fermented sodas, and ginger beers will be available to enjoy on-premises or to-go.
With Fermenter, Adams’ ultimate goal is to develop a blueprint for a sustainable micro-restaurant that provides nourishing, inexpensive plant-based meals with as little environmental impact as possible. Still sourcing ingredients from within 105 miles of the restaurant, Fermenter will use refundable-deposit food containers and glass jars, as well as sell stainless steel mugs, and thermoses. On a personal level, Fermenter represents an opportunity for unharnessed culinary and individual expression for Adams. A detailed manifesto spells out his intentions on the website and the front doors of the establishment.
“If you look up ‘ferment’ in the dictionary, you’ll see descriptors like ‘agitate’ and ‘excite,’” says Adams. “This is a place where we can let loose and speak with a different voice from the Farm Spirit experience. The neighborhood needed an interesting, low-cost lunch spot, but that wasn’t enough for me. I always try to squeeze every last bit of value that I can out of our footprint.”
Even the 660-square foot space will be utilized to the fullest extent. When not open to the public, Fermenter will serve as the innovation hub for Farm Spirit and the occasional private dining space Adams is calling “The Kitchen Crush.”
Fermenter is a quick and casual lunch spot in Portland’s Buckman neighborhood, highlighting locally-sourced plant-based cookery from the Cascadia region. Fermenter is located at 1414 SE Morrison in Portland, Ore., and will be open Wednesday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on a walk-in only basis. Fermenter is a gratuity-free restaurant. Visit Fermenter online at www.fermenter.com and on Instagram @fermenterpdx.