Category Archives: Food

Food. Things one eats.

Seafood Sundays at Teutonic Wines

Teutonic Wines has been hosting Seafood Sunday – a different seafood, a different seafood dish every sunday through this summer.  A great way to get people like us to drop in!  We don’t usually take food photos, but we’ll make an exception this time around.  Seafood Sunday continues through the end of September.

Joyce demonstrates the BBQ combo

BBQ!

Here’s Joyce showing off the Ahi tuna

tuna!

Here’s Steve with the crab mac ‘n’ cheese

crab mac 'n' cheese!

Yes, we are lunching at a picnic table in the bed of a pickup truck with our feet cooling in a kiddie pool!

pickup

…and if it’s not Seafood Sunday, you can still order a frito pie!

frito pie

Oysters and Saké One

Hey kids! Join the club, you know you want to! Joyce joined the club at Saké One and as a result we were there today and this happened:

oysters

Take a look at the menu.  “Stinging Nettle Oil” – ok, who the heck thinks up these things?  Truth or Bullshit?  Our server told us this story: “They make it themselves.  You have to be really careful as the stems are poisonous.”  This much I know is true – that oyster was the best of the six very fine oysters.

Here’s Joyce making the face of sadness:

Hats off to Saké One for a stunning lineup of shellfish!  We enjoyed the saké as well.  My personal fav:  http://sakeone.com/g-sake  Has a particular taste and mouthfeel, honestly demands more study on my part.

Brunch at Beast

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Beast.  It’s a place to eat in Portland, OR.  Three seconds on them intarwubs you’ve heard so much about will tell you more than I could possibly share.  We just did their brunch.  Anything good you’ve read about them, seems likely to be true.

Steve

I am now spoiled.  Breakfast will never be the same again.  Yeah, their brunch will hit the spot.

chow

No, we won’t torment you with too much food p0rn.  Just imagine what you had for breakfast today, only it was basically perfect, and you didn’t have to do any of the work.  And yes, apparently we are they only people in Portland over the age of 30 who were able to afford to eat breakfast here.

There are words on this menu I hadn’t seen before in the wild.

Basically, the place is pretty much perfect.  If I could improve on two things that would be:

  1. Portland Loud Restaurant Syndrome.  I don’t spend enough time dining out in other cities to know if this disease has spread beyond our fine city, but why can’t we carry on conversation without having to lean in close to hear what each other is saying?
  2. This might be splitting the hairs too fine, but the perfect brunch is not just about great company and delicious food, but also a luxurious experience, which includes a luxurious use of time.  Don’t get me wrong – the team there did a lovely job and I’m looking forward to a future visit.  It’s hard to find something for them to improve on, but my request would be to work on the perception of the luxurious use of time.  There’s a bit of a feeling of being on a schedule.  The music and noise is a touch frantic… perhaps?

Verboort Sausage Dinner

Hey kids, most probably you missed the Verboort Sausage Dinner, which explains why you have a deep-seated feeling of sadness.

http://www.verboort.org/dinner

The Verboort Sausage Dinner is one of those events that really keeps America great – ok, well fed at the very least. They’ve been doing this now they say for 80+ years. They put on a great down-home party with something for everyone from the craft fair through the “beer garden”.

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verboort - 7

The People’s Pig

pork

pork

The People’s Pig – hey, maybe you’ve read the reviews:

http://www.oregonlive.com/dining/index.ssf/2015/01/smoking_at_the_peoples_pig_por.html
http://pdx.eater.com/2014/8/8/6173241/the-peoples-pig-goes-brick-and-mortar-in-north-portland-and-its-open
http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/24/1511929/restaurant/Downtown/The-Peoples-Pig-Portland

If you know the Wine Bastards, you know we like smoked meats. What made this place especially intriguing is that I lived around the corner from the Tropicana BBQ for years in the 90’s and never went in. In fact, never noticed it. I arrived in Portland in November 1993 and lived in the Lower Elliot area until about 2000 when the landlady decided she wanted her house back and we had to move.

Let me tell you what, gentrification has changed the place. You know how that story goes – good / bad. Saves some wonderful old buildings, loses long established local businesses, chases out people who can’t afford the new rents. Let’s just say it out loud – this was an area for working class black people and maybe not so much anymore. The poor people get screwed, and I was part of that by being in the second wave of gentrification by renting from the first wave of (dare I say White?) people buying and fixing up the neighborhood that’s lead it to being what it is today.

Irony: bet I can’t afford to live there today either. Those were the days before Toro Bravo. We had the Queen of Sheba and the Hostess Bakery Outlet, but not many other reasons to visit the neighborhood.

Ok, back to the Pig.

Two thumbs up for this place. Food: awesome. Smokey pork, generous tasty sides. Joyce had a cocktail with a giant cube of smoked ice. For more in-depth descriptions of the eats, see the reviews above.

This place is the anti-TGI Friday’s. The building really is a time machine. We’ve got plenty of places in Portland where an old building is stripped to the studs and rebuilt to look old. This place is the real deal. This is what North Portland was like until fairly recently. Big congrats to Cliff for what he’s done. The next step is to pass along the stories of the people who’ve passed in and out of that door before they’re forgotten.

– Steve

Windy Ridge Saloon

The town of Goldendale Washington is very quiet on Labor Day weekend, apparently everyone leaves except for a couple of tourists like us.  Not far at all from the Columbia Gorge and a fine place to stay.

Had a fabulous burger at the Windy Ridge Saloon.

Also, if you’re in the area definitely make time to visit the Goldendale Observatory.  Fabulous experience!  Great views of the moon and our friendly local planets.  Super fun, friendly and knowledgeable staff.

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Goldendale Observatory

White Fungus Bird’s Nest Drink and Men’s Pocky

White Fungus Bird's Nest Drink now in cans!
White Fungus Bird's Nest Drink
Men's Pocky
Men's Pocky

I love Asian grocery stores, because I like unusual food.  So I couldn’t resist the Wonderfarm brand White Fungus Bird’s Nest drink.  The can claims the ingredients are: water, sugar, white fungus and bird’s nest.  It’s a clear liquid with chunks of white stuff floating in it.  Oddly enough, it tastes like a liquid twinkie.  The Wonderfarm web site claims this stuff is a “health supplement”.  Nothing like a whole lotta sugar to turbo-up your health performance.  Frankly, this stuff is kinda boring.  Other than looking a little weird, it doesn’t bring anything to the game.

But then there’s Pocky.  I happen to love Pocky.  I could not turn down the chance to try some “Men’s Pocky”.  At last!  Pocky – for him! Ok, it’s dark chocolate Pocky, and of course, it’s delicious.  WTF it has to do with Testosterone-Americans, I can’t say.  Perhaps if you eat enough of it you become a sumo wrestler.  Not a bad idea, really.

Chocolate + Bacon = Love

Chocolate + Bacon = Love
Chocolate + Bacon = Love

Oh my this is good stuff.  The sweet taste of milk chocolate with a smooth lingering flavor of quality smokey / salty bacon.  This is the kind of chocolate where a small bite satisfies, and you’ll keep coming back for those bites.  You’ll be thinking to yourself, “Self, have I done enough good in the world to deserve another bite?” The answer is likely to be “yes!” but in order to taste something this good it feels like it needs to be a trade of some kind.

I found this at our local QFC, but you can have it shipped to your door if you’d prefer: http://www.vosgeschocolate.com/category/bacon_and_chocolate

On the Cutting Edge of Chorizo Research

Today's Chorizos
Today's Chorizos

Chorizo is a hard meat to find in the USA.

Well, to be more specific, finding a North American Chorizo that can stand up to Spanish-made Chorizo in a fight…  That’s what I’m looking for.  When you sit yrselfs down to snack on a bit of chorizo when you’re just off the plane in Barajas it’s a full-body experience.  The magic of Pork and Paprika relaxes your body and you think, “mmm yeah, that’s the stuff.”

Here in the Pacific Northwest sometimes one can find chorizo from Idaho that claims to be made in the Basque style.  There’s also Mexican style chorizo to be found, but I feel Mexican chorizo is distant enough from the olde world that it deserves to be considered on it’s own merits.  What I want is a snacking chorizo. The importance of snacking in one’s life cannot be underestimated.  The act of snacking should refresh both the mind and spirit.  Give one the strength to carry on, a boost to your heels, a smile to your lips.  An appropriate snack should also contribute to your good health, not just cover you in neon-colored artificial cheez debris and GMO Korn(tm) chunklets.

Spanish snacking technology is far beyond anything we’ve developed here.  The Spanish really know how to snack.  They also have the best pork products I’ve had the good fortune to enjoy.  I don’t know if it’s the pork, the paprika or just the processing they do differently, but I haven’t found a new world chorizo that’s got the same zing.  That won’t stop me from trying to find one, however.

Finding any kind of chorizo is a challenge in Portland.  Yesterday I was at Zupan’s and brought home two packages of Venetian brand Chorizo “Spanish Style Sausage” from Hamilton, Ontario and one actual Spanish Chorizo from Palacios Alimentación S.A. (http://www.palacios.es/).  Here’s the good news – the Venetian brand is pretty good!  It compares well with the Palacios.  The sad news is it looks like even though the two Venetian chorizos were packaged differently, to my tongue they are the same product.

So there’s hope for North America!  Keep an eye out for Venetian brand, and snacking students, your homework is to keep tasting.  Lunch is out there – now go find it!