Meriwether’s Restaurant & Skyline Farm is a diamond in the rough, nestled in between the blue-collar industrial district and well-heeled neighborhoods of Northwest Portland. If you happen to be traveling into or out of Portland on Highway 30, you may run into it (still, I’d be impressed if you did, considering it blends into its surroundings nearly as well as the faceless warehouse down the street which serves as the studio for the TV series Grimm). But as is the case with many oddly situated establishments, there is a story behind its setting.
The building that is now Meriwether’s was raised at the entrance of the 1905 World’s Fair, right next to the Lewis and Clark Exposition (hence, the name Meriwether’s). Since its historic erection, the building has worn many faces, from barber shop to French bistro, finally settling into its own as Meriwether’s in 2004.
The building itself may have a longstanding reputation for excellence, attracting unbelievable crowds of customers for a Sunday brunch in January, but Meriwether’s in particular has one selling point up its sleeve that other restaurants don’t: Skyline Farm, an organic farm located 11 miles from Meriwether’s, nestled with equal seclusion into the beautiful hills of Northwest Portland.
Unlike most restaurants, which must buy entirely from local purveyors in order to uphold a farm-to-table philosophy, Meriwether’s can deliver fresh, hand-picked vegetables from its own backyard. And it does, religiously. Produce arrives at the restaurant twice a week, year-round, and a highly qualified and artistically driven staff of chefs and prep cooks transform the freshest vegetables, grains, fruits, herbs, and flowers into unforgettable culinary arrangements. In 2011, the little 5-acre-farm-that-could passed the 15,000-pound mark in mass annual produce served to customers. What began in 2008 as a modest complement to an already-fantastic menu is now the centerpiece of the whole operation.