Matiz Paella Rice gets Fancy in Bend

by Betsy Power

Last weekend I found myself in Bend, Oregon. Late evening. Suffering a popcorn coma from a movie outing. Attempting to work it off, I was wandering the streets of my unfamiliar surrounding when BAM – a whole window of Matiz rice stopped me in my tracks. Bags of the stuff lined the display shelf, Matiz curtains ran across the full top of the storefront. Was I dreaming?

I had stumbled upon Barrio, a fairly young but already well-loved Bend eatery that specializes in Spanish and Latin American inspired dishes. Tapas and paella are their specialty, and they obviously go through a LOT of our Matiz Paella rice.

I had to find out who was behind this wonderful window of Matiz, so I ignored the recently hung closed sign and wandered in. A few regulars were still at the bar and an adorable young waitress was quick to hunt down chef/owner Steven Draheim to answer my inquiries.

Chef Steven did indeed confirm that Matiz paella rice is their favorite and they go through quite a bit of it. So much so, that he had an abundance of cloth sacks with which to decorate many more display windows if the need should arise. In fact, his daughter, an aspiring designer, had jumped at the opportunity for some free and fabulous materials to get truly creative. A Matiz dress! And in a fashion show nonetheless.

Paris Draheim is a hobby designer and seamstress. Her latest work was the cocktail dress for Barrio in Bend Oregon. Photography by Tambi Lane Photography