Sheri Byrd

Bone’s Burger

Bones Burger

photo by sheri byrd

Bone’s BBQ and Burger Bar in Battle Ground Village has become known and loved for speciality meat dishes, from traditional steaks and chops to their chicken Marsala, duck breast and gourmet macaroni and blue cheese.

“We’re honored that guests have thought of us as a special occasion restaurant,” owner Dennis Pavlina said. “We just want to go beyond that, so we’ve added a new bar menu, offering burgers most people can’t get anywhere else.”

The new bar menu features a host of specialty burgers including brisket, bison, elk, pulled pork, ahi tuna and kangaroo.

“The cranberry cream cheese burger has been especially popular,” Pavlina said.

My scrumptious signature Bone’s Burger came with a generous lean ground beef patty, caramelized onions, blue cheese, lettuce, tomato and bacon. The onions were just sweet enough to offset the mouth-watering tang of the blue cheese.

Bone’s fits right into the neighborhood life created by design in Battle Ground Village.

One of the original tenants, Bone’s has been serving clients who walk in from the Village, as well those driving in from around Clark County and Portland, since 2009.

“We just love the community feel of this location,” said Pavlina.

The menu assures diners that ingredients are local whenever possible, and Pavlina says he and the staff gather as many ingredients as they can from the Village’s own Saturday farmer’s market each week. From jalapenos to corn, mixed greens to berries, they try to find a use for whatever the local farmers are selling.

Bone’s BBQ and Burger Bar

1207 S.E. Rasmussen Blvd, Suite 130, Battle Ground

The triple win

Restaurateur and philanthropist raises thousands for charity

Russell Brent

photo by sheri byrd

Russell Brent, owner of Battle Ground’s Mill Creek Pub, declares it is his mission to connect to the community through food made with heart.

“I’m always looking for the triple win alignment: serving guests, making good food, helping local charities,” Brent said. “It runs in my family to connect with my community and help all I can.”

Brent moved to Woodland a year ago, and has been in Clark County for 13 years. One daughter graduated from Union High School and is now at MIT, and a son is still attending Union.

Donation recipients range from veterans’ groups to kids’ services to Meals on Wheels. In 2012, his fundraising events alone generated more than $100,000 to various organizations. In addition to money, this award-winning businessman volunteers on the boards of the Clark County Skills Center, Kids’ Cooking Corner and the Clark County Family YMCA.

In June, diners contributed more than $1,200 to Meals on Wheels in a “change for charity” night, to which Brent himself added another $1,000.

“I toured the Multnomah County Meals on Wheels facility a while ago,” said Brent, “and I was blown away by the quality of both the food and efficiency of their operations. This is often the only meal a housebound person may get in a day, and the only visit they may get in a week. It often means so much more to them than food.”

Brent is a founding board member of the Kids’ Cooking Corner, teaching local kids to cook, and emphasizing gardens with a farm-to-table process.

Events are already in the works well into 2014, including Glamourous Gams, a “skit night” fundraiser for Children’s Center in Vancouver. Brent’s involvement with the Wine and Food Society of Clark County will include scholarships and program development with Washington State University Vancouver’s new Hospitality Business Management program.

This year, Brent’s efforts have been focused on Northwest Battle Buddies, service dogs for veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The cost for experienced Battle Ground dog trainer Shannon Walker to train one dog averages $12,000, and Brent is committed to providing the dogs at no charge.

Past fundraisers from partial proceeds at Mill Creek Pub raised thousands for Battle Buddies, then $10,000, and finally outgrew the resources available at Mill Creek Pub. Brent and his fundraising partners rented the Vancouver Heathman Lodge in February for a four-day event, attended by Until Tuesday author Luis Montalvan and his Battle Buddy, Tuesday. The final donation was close to $20,000.

“People want fun in their fundraisers,” he said. “I like to try to blow Vancouver away with fundraising. I like to keep my calendar booked as far as I can see.”

“I’m always looking for the triple win alignment: serving guests, making good food, helping local charities.”

– Russell Brent
Owner, Mill Creek Pub

Just for today

Eileen Cowan and family

During a particularly cold weather snap in November 2010, Eileen Cowen was moved to action by the plight of the homeless people she could not help but see every day in and around Vancouver. Eileen, her husband Eric, and their three small daughters, live and work near the downtown area, where the number of homeless was growing.

“I knew we couldn’t solve all the problems,” she said, “but I just thought – what can I do to help them today?”

The Blanket Brigade was born.

Eileen and a handful of others posted signs at a few downtown locations asking for clothing and blankets to be dropped off over a period of one month. She made regular pick-up circuits, then delivered the warm winter gear to local shelters, including Share.

“We also just loaded up our van and drove around looking for people living out in the cold,” Eileen remembered. “They were not hard to find, and so appreciative.”

Since then, Eileen and her brigade of helpers, including scouts and schools, have run two drives per winter. The donations have grown each time, reaching 10 van loads. The Blanket Brigade has given more than 150 blankets in the last three years directly into the hands of someone in need at that moment.

Cowen is also a college student, mother of three, environmentalist and the manager of Urban Growers Market in Vancouver’s Uptown Village. Her energy to give seems limitless. But it’s easier when the causes are close to home.

“Any person can be just one sick child away from bankruptcy and homelessness. And so many are veterans,” she added. “That hits home, as my husband and I are both veterans.”