I love Fancy Fast Food… except at French prices   Leave a comment

I love these mashups of disgustingly cheap fast food (how can it have gotten so cheap! I don't eat it anymore, but seriously… the prices are insane for a meal at these joints. I'm afraid to know what's really going into their ingredients making up those things) and cooking in order to make a fancy feast that you might see at some of these flash in the pan trendy restaurants.

I confess I've never actually tried to recreate anything (because I still won't eat fast food- well, maybe In and Out Burger if I visit someplace that has it), but I find myself drawn to read his masterpieces whenever I get a Facebook update that he's unleashed a new creation on his blog, Fancy Fast Food. He has some bizarrely good execution skills to go with his culinary imagination, and he seems like he'd be really fun to hang out with. I can't account what the stuff he makes taste like with the fast food, but I would think that if he wasn't using fast food as his staple ingredients he wouldn't be a bad cook. This past year he's finally gotten recognition for his genius, and I'm happy for him and wanted to share. I'm surprised he isn't being sponsored by Cuisinart to advertise the miraculous fancy dish you can make and fake slaving in the kitchen to, all with a food processor. Also, I like his website design skillz and writing style on his two other sites- keep it simple and let the content stand on its own, yay.

Youtube of Fancy Fast Food
Slideshow of what Fancy fast food does…

Last week I wasn't working and intended to visit some of Portland's downtown food carts since I usually can't make it there and back when I work in Beaverton, but UPS' calls to me that I needed to be home to sign for some packages kept me home most of the time. I did go out for a progressive happy hour that included Blue Hour, Oba, and Fenouil.

Of these three, I liked Fenouil the most for the good range of drinks and savory happy hour menu offerings. Blue Hour was a close second- I would have liked to seen more breadth in their cocktail menu though their Autumn drink was both beautiful, tasty, and sophisticated (all their drinks fall into their category)- but not necessarily creative and fun (except for the Autumn drink). This is something which I thought Fenouil did offer. Blue Hour's food wasn't bad, but not as full of flavor and potential as Fenouil. I like the old-fashioned drinks as much as anyone into the cocktail trend now does, but I also like new inventions, and I want to be able to enjoy both nostalgic classics (though we aren't old enough to remember them except for in movies and TV shows) and new takes with those original ingredients plus a twist of something new. Perhaps I just came in on an unlucky night- I think they rotate their cocktail specials just like a seasonal food menu. 

I've walked by Fenouil many times but never gone in because their dinner prices are pretty steep, and yet every time I am walking by I stop to look at the menu. I wish it took on more of the spirit of some neighborhood Parisian brasserie that you could stop into anytime to get hearty good food at decent prices (not cheap and simple like a bistro. but decent moderate prices with a certain level of food above simple but not fancy). Well… because it's French in the Pearl District it's not cheap, For those prices it should be fancy, darn it, it's not a brasserie (well it is because the menu and atmosphere reflects it), but it should be fine French dining if entrees are all close to $30, geez. Ah, at least there's happy hour for me to play out that dream. Fenouil is one I would definitely go back to, and perhaps Blue Hour to end a happy hour tour on a high, sophisticated note.

Yes, that means I was again not too impressed with Oba- ok, I would go again if asked, but I would rather suggest Andina instead by far. There's so many places in the Pearl to choose from, and Oba's entry wasn't quite up to par IMHO. The drink was just so-so and watered down and seemingly generic, the atmosphere was dark and noisy but also in a commercialized way rather then fun or sexy. The happy hour food I would have liked to seen be more tapas-like then a plate of say, a single taco which prompted my fellow happy hour friend to immediately order another. I don't know why none of the pictures I took were on my camera memory card, so no pics to share this time. I saw on Food Carts Portland that Sidecart, one of the carts I was planning to visit last week, has already closed, so I am determined to get out there next week.

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