Archive for the ‘restaurant review’ Tag

Portobello + Beermongers   Leave a comment

An all veggie restaurant! Portobello is a vegan trattoria that offers food from the regions of Italy, Spain, and France. I had seen great reviews on Yelp, but going to a vegan restaurant also made me temper my expectations. Was it only so raved about because of the vegan adjective in front of it?

We had a great time though, and would visit again. The atmosphere was lovely, a combination of laid back and homey with the friendly openness of the servers in their casual dress and wildflowers in vases, yet a bit of fancy to feel like you are indeed dining out and it is going to be a nicer than an everyday meal, thanks to chandeliers and an interesting wall of wood with little artsy details scattered. I found a little owl in a corner particularly endearing.

Drink selection was full of creativity that perked a lot of interest for us. He settled for a mocktail called the "Ginger Rawgers" which was a mix of housemade kambucha called "herbucha" mixed with blueberry, ginger, and lime. We were also tempted by another mocktail called the "Red Scare" of beet, ginger, lemon, apple, and strawberry shrub. In terms of actual cocktails, the same dilemna. I ended up with "Lila's Limeade" with cherry-vanilla bean vodka, lime, and soda. Though I was tempted by the "Harper" with black pepper ginger vodka, strawberry puree, ginger, and prosecco. It was fun to see such a flirty and fun drink menu, they obviously put it together thoughtfully.

We started off with white truffle mushroom pate with accoutrements. This first appetizer didn't impress me- the pate just didn't have the soft almost buttery texture that spread and rich flavor that balanced the perfectly fine other accompaniments of fresh crusty bread and tarty cornichons. Using white truffle and mushroom I really expected more as mushrooms really can be rich. Next time I'll try the beet tartare.

For the first course, a half order of pan crisped polenta topped with a sweet and sour eggplant tomato ragout had a perfectly executed polenta that balanced the crisp exterior and creamy grit interior, and the ragout was very flavorful, a chunky sauce that gave you both the sweet and tart of tomato.

For the mains, the red wine braised seitan short rib with olive oil mashed potatoes, amaranth, lemon and fried garlic (we ordered a half portion) was more of a typical vegan dish (albeit excellent for being vegan) where it was clear that the seitan couldn't compare with real meat. But, the dish itself, if judged on its own and not as a short rib, was flavorful although texturewise all soft. It would have been a nice touch if the fried garlic has been more fried, adding some crispness. Look how meaty the seitan looks appearance wise though I missed the richness and tiny bit of gristle that real short rib would have had. As a vegan dish it was good- but the short rib adjective set the dish up to where it couldn't reach.

The "stravagante pollo falso", with gardein chick'n topped with thinly sliced daiya cheese and field roast mushroom loaf, herbs, and marsala wine jus (also a half portion pictured here!) was really outstanding. This was something that could definitely compete with a real chicken dish, and even trounce many normal implementations.

The "chicken" here, the gardein chick'n topped with the mushroom loaf, was the texture of if you had taken a chicken breast and pounded it to tenderness, and the mushroom loaf gave it a tinge of salty toughness on top almost like a skin. The cheese and the jus gave the whole dish a creamy richness almost like it had been cooked in chicken stock, and the entire dish was juicy. Throw in a starch and veggie onto the dish and you could believe it was up to par with any normal meat entree dish at any other restaurant… and the fact it beats the moistness level of most chicken dishes makes it even better. I wish it had come with olive oil mashed potatoes like the short rib dish or some sort of side to absorb those juices.

 

So my overall impression? Like any restaurant there are some hits and misses- but the misses aren't terrible, just didn't live up to full potential.  Sometimes vegan food can be very dry or limited in taste because they dial back not only the meat but also unhealthy components like fats that make food taste good (heh my opinion anyway), but Portobello doesn't suffer from this at all. It draws from ingredients that already pack a lot of flavor, and they buy it fresh. If you have a veggie or vegan dining companion, they will definitely enjoy this, "a night dining out" with all food done vegan- and the whole menu to choose from instead of just one or two choices and sometimes after verbal negotiation with the waiter/chef.  

If you are looking to replace a restaurant dining experience that offers meat on the menu with an evening at Portobello and do eat meat, go in looking for something that tastes good, but doesn't necessarily need to compare/replace meat. It would be like going to a French-Japanese restaurant and lamenting that the food isn't French enough even though the food is tasty. As a restaurant, Portobello gives you what it advertises- a trattoria experience, simple, casual, but good, but defined on its own terms. The flavors their dishes offers that seem simple are not simple at all because the flavors have been carefully constructed to parallell traditional dishes in a vegan way. Sometimes this makes it better then the traditional dish- and sometimes it just makes it a different kind of dish.

As for dessert? After being torn about the tiramisu, we passed (though we sorta wish we hadn't in retrospect). Beermongers is basically next door, so we stopped there for some interesting beer. Dogfish Head's Theobroma peaked our interest first since no Dogfish beer has been disliked. Theobroma ("food of the gods") is an ale brewed with honey, Aztec cocoa nibs, cocoa powder, ancho chilies and ground annato.  

We also tried two Mikkeller barrel aged Black Hole bottles- both were stouts brewed with coffee, honey, and vanilla. However, one was aged in rum barrels (giving it a smoky flavor), and another bottle had that same beer aged in red wine barrels (giving it more acid background). There are two other versions of this- aged in scotch peat whiskey barrels and aged in bourbon barrels- which unfortunately Beermongers didn't have anymore. Wha
t an awesome series though, and it was very cool to be doing vertical tasting with that same stout backdrop. 

All these beers gave us a little munchie craving, so we got a takeout Arrabiata pizza from Portobello. Beermongers doesn't serve any food, but they allow you to bring any food you want in. The Arrabiata had chile-fennel marinara, hot cherry peppers, "sausage" and daiya cheese. It's a thin crust, and we wish it just had a little more sauce. The sausage is cut into slices and spread, rather then crumbled I would have preferred to to spread that taste out all over and I could get that meaty burst in every bite.

This little corner at SE 12th and Division, with Portobello and Beermongers which both change their menu offerings per what is available and seasonally, certainly has some unusual tastebud offerings if you want to try exploring the definitions of traditional flavor profiles of food and going to whole new places in drink. 

Posted August 29, 2010 by pechluck in Uncategorized

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Deschutes Street Fare 2010   Leave a comment

Deschutes Street Fare was a street festival event that featured sampler size street fare from ten food carts, paired with Deschutes beer tasters, to benefit Morrison Child and Family Services. It's just getting summer-like hot in the past day or so, which meant that when the gates opened at 5pm there was full on sunshine and sweat as everyone seemed to come directly from work. Within a few hours, it started to calm down so everyone was no longer elbow to elbow, and half the street started to get some shade as the sun went on its way down.

Except for the crowd (which was a good thing for Morrison, but meant that when the space got full it was very uncomfortable and they even limited admission for a while because of reaching capacity… not sure how you calculate capacity on a street but I'm sure there must be an algorithm), I have no real complaints. Obviously, they were not sure what the turn-out was going to be, and since they had only set aside the outside block between Deschutes and Armory and no space inside Deschutes itself there wasn't a lot of space to go to. As comparison, the Beer n Burgers Event had also only been a block and that space had been fine (not even included the sidewalk), though they also only had 5 stands, not 10, and no musicians or stages.

I got a sampler pass, which got me in the door and also 7 tokens for $25, allowing me to sample 7 out of the 10 pairings. I carefully tried to plan my calories for the day based on this. When I arrived, the line for prepaid vs at the door was the same, so apparently the only advantage was that online you could pay with a credit card while at the door was cash only, and even those who had already decided what to buy got to enjoy everyone at the door reading through how many carts there were and trying to guesstimate how many tokens to get. I wish there were more reward for those who plan ahead and guarantee a paid sale before the event, but I also had the advantage of already knowing my cart visit order.

First was Slow & Low, for their cantonese pork belly Bahn Mi with housemade kimchi, kimchi mayo, cilantro, iceburg lettuce, and fennel pickle, paired with Cascade Ale. This was very satisfying, though there was a little too much bread competing with that tasty pork belly. Needed less doughy bread, or more belly (fat and all, as I would expect from a traditioanl bahn mi). Cascade went so naturally with this I didn't even think about it.

Next was a stop at Grilled Cheese Grill, which has been on my wishlist for a while, and still is after this tasty example of a jalapeno popper sandwich of roasted jalapeno peppers with colby jack cheese, cream cheese, crumbled corn tortilla chips on grilled sourdough bread. It was matched with a green lakes organic ale to try to cool the spice. Extra love for them because they gave out branded frisbees, which were great for balancing food and drink while standing. I saw that some thought this had too much heat and couldn't finish it, but I had no problems.

Garden State came with their famous meatball parmesan sliders with all natural beef and pork in a big meatball covered with mozzarella and marinara, paired with Mt St Hellens keller beer. It is as seriously filling as it appears. 

Mum's Kitchen offered a South African influenced Indian spicy garlic pork curry with fresh squeezed IPA, a pairing which just didn't work for me.

My palatte was immediately refreshed and cheered by Flavour Spot's sausage&maple dutch taco (waffle sandwich) and their maple pecan version, both paired with maiboc. Extra shoutout for providing their branded wet naps for sticky finger cleanup, so thoughtful.

 

Potato Champion's poutine from Spudnik, paired with alma NWPA, met expectations. Really though, getting the real deal from the cart at SE 12th and Hawthorne after a few drinks where it is more loaded with gravy and chunks of rogue cheese can't compare to a sampler.

The excellent finish was Oregon Ice Works strawberry gelato, which I had with Green Lakes Organic Ale. The strawberry was the best of the three offerings they had, the other three being peach and chocolate black butte porter.

This means I passed on Whiffie's bbq brisket and mozzarella fried pie paired with Hop in the Dark- I was tempted for the beer alone, it being the only dark beer, but I had Whiffie's already at the Bite. For similar reasons of having experienced them before, I passed on Pyro Pizza and their margherita pizza on wheat crust with Twilight ale. I also passed on Ali Baba's gluten free chicken and kabob with gluten free pale ale, though the gluten free pairing was clever.

Asian Food? Go Southeast…   Leave a comment

A few weekends ago, I took my first trip to southeast Portland, home to Wong King's (although I didn't visit there, only passed by and looked/sniffed longingly…). Despite the pretty gates and the Chinese Garden, the Chinatown located downtown is not the location where to find the true Chinese community of Portland. Although immigrants stated here back in history, they have since migrated out to a more affordable location, taking their authentic grocery stores and restaurants along with them.

It was a long ride to the SE Division Max stop via the Green Line from PSU and a walk to 82nd and a unassuming lil strip mall location. As soon as you walk a block or so down though from the Max station, the store signage in multiple languages appear to confirm you are in the right place. This particular evening I headed towards a newly opened restaurant, Quan Linh Asian Bistro, to support a young acquaintance's family restaurant at a set group dinner.

He was a bit too excited about the deep fryer, based on the amount of items cooked in container oil that appeared on the table, but I too remember in my 20s how much fun and delicious anything deep fried is. His menu also boasts a lot of photos to help identify the variety of dishes on the menu. The dishes are the flavors of home cooking, though the home cooking doesn't really offer a lot of veggies in the mix and it's not exactly the home cooking that you would necessarily travel all that far for as it's a particular family's taste…But if you shrug off that you can't expect mom and dad to be fancy here, they do have some tasty specialities in the mix if you can just figure out what dishes they are. The name includes the word bistro and tries to advertise fusion, but it's pretty much a Chinese with some extra Vietnamese or Thai thrown in, partially dialed back from the real deal for the original dish but definitely not Americanized flavor profiles either. The hole in the wall is bare and functional, something you'd expect to see with a "garage door open/close" in southeast Asia, though thankfully much cleaner.

We started with, as we waited for other party members that were more than 30 minutes late (and half of which didn't end up showing up), some fried fish balls that really really need to be served with sriracha.   
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Next to the table was a shrimp papaya salad. The right ingredients were there, and I appreciated the fresh big shrimp, but I would have liked it to go all the way with some dried shrimp or crab bits in the mix for saltiness and more chilis to sucessfully produce the mix of tart (from the lime juice), sweet, spicy, salty and bitter and soft and crunchy. Yeah, I just want a som tum with understandably toned down heat. 

The Fried Vietnamese Spring Rolls were nothing different then any other spring roll anywhere else. More seasoning in the meat could make this decent, as it was executed as expected. Also, they should have been served before the shrimp papaya salad.

The Salt and Pepper frog leg needed more salt and pepper to get past the batter but were cooked fine, just not seasoned enough.

Meanwhile, the Pan Fried fish with Vietnamese Fish Sauce was fried a little too long- it was a good crispy, but also so hard you needed some serious knife cutting to get a piece.

Similarly, a little too long frying these gigantic fried tofu stuffed with pork and lemongrass, though I appreciated the concept but couldn't taste past the too well done ness as these things are sponges for the oil and when left that long, it obfuscates the good intention of the pork and lemongrass.

I appreciated the no holding back on types of seafood in the Thai Seafood Tom Yum Hot Pot, though I think the hot and sour could have been upped in the broth to realy make it good. This was a dish pretty well liked by everyone anyway, so I may be spoiled by my past experience with tom yum- really though, as you can see from the floating offerings of the soup, it was so close to really being good if the broth had stood up to the seafood.

Next, the honey garlic sparerib- like the tom yum, so close if it only hadn't been so hard! Had to really pick this up to gnaw to get the meat off the bone, and the meat on the bone was a bit lean, but the flavors were definitely right. If there had been more meat on each sparerib the honey could have spread out more instead of over-caramelizing as much as it did.

Their shrimp braised in our homemade sauce offered some serious shrimp still in the shell. 

The finish was definetely a high note for me at least, Fried Mantou (Chinese Steam Bun) served with Condensed Milk. You won't find these often, and they are exactly the way they should be, piping hot deep fried dough pillow that are light and crispy to be vehicles for the thick and sweet condensed milk. Definitely authentic, definitely a highlight.

I would call this experience like a adolescent version of Joy Yee's (in Chicago), where Quan is still trying to mature into a pan-asian medley and guilty "Asian quick food" pleasure- nothing fancy, but not Americanized, something you scarf down in its greasy glory like you would a Quarter Pounder with cheese because you want a cheeseburger and you know the actual cheeseburger on the McD menu is too dumbed down but you aren't looking for the $10 cheeseburger either. I certainly hope this place doesn't go the way of Joy Yee's in trying to impossibly offer too many dishes and thus hiding the Quarter Pounders among a bunch of mediocre chicken sandwiches in an attempt to have "menu breadth". But, they do need to figure out what tastes really good and make their menu more manageable to spotlight the treasures that will addict people to craving and coming back, not obscure them.   

Posted July 21, 2010 by pechluck in Uncategorized

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Meals with Visiting Friends   Leave a comment

The past few weeks I've had the good fortune to have been able to enjoy three meals with out of town visitors. One meal, at Horsebrass Pub, was the Plougman's Platter covered in the drinking and eating post, because that particular friend got to enjoy some eating, more drinking, and then intoxicated Fred Meyer shopping, unsafe driving with too much in a car, and carrying a super heavy furniture box up the stairs to the house in the dark. Yay. Thanks Jim!

Fortunately, the other two visitors got a much more normal visit. One was a brunch at Mother's Bistro, where the brunch, as I have always found it, feels trendy and elegant and homey at the same time, thanks to waiting for a table outside (inevitably there is a wait for brunch at popular Mother's- which isn't too big a burden if you are chatting away so that the time flies quickly. Hi Rav!), the sparkly chandeliers reflecting sunshine as you sit on booths that have pillows like you were in a window seat nook, and mugs that remind us to call our mother as we eat food apparently some mothers make. It's not an Asian breakfast so it's nothing my mom will make, and what moms cook with this much butter? The food here is so rich! Must be a southern mama…

My staples here are to get the special smoothie of the day and french press coffee, and then the benedict here which is only available on weekends. This dish is so rich, it would be better halved so two can enjoy their creamy version of Hollandaise sauce, which is the standout of this dish and you hope to smear the sauce and egg yolk from the poached egg onto the just-ok roasted potatoes.

Mother's Bistro Tofu Scramble with onions, peppers, garlic, tomatoes,
spinach, mushrooms & potatoes is a somewhat healthy veg option.

A lunch meeting with another old friend brought me to Mingo West for its convenience to Hillsboro and Beaverton, our work locations. Lunch included pasta that was fresh and risotto that wasn't anything to write about. I thought we had great desserts at least in this otherwise unremarkable to me suburban dining outpost of a supposedly well loved Mingo in Northwest Portland. The chocolate ganache was huge and rich, and the ricotta cake  offered a fresh light take on the usual heavy cheesecake. And, at least we got to enjoy almost al fresco dining- we sat by where they had opened up the doors to look outside at Round Fountain Plaza while staying out of the sun the actual outside diners had to contend with. I'll try to find something more interesting next time Heather.

Who wants to visit next?

Posted July 20, 2010 by pechluck in Uncategorized

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Eatings while drinking…   Leave a comment

I visited Henry's Tavern as I was waiting for First Thursday in the Pearl. The service was friendly and fast even during a very busy happy hour, and they did have a large beer selection, though if you've attended a year's worth of beer festivals and had a monthly visits to Bailey's Taproom for tasting sampler trays, it turns out you have already had a lot of them. Seeing a huge tabloid page of beer listings and being able to say you've had almost everything is… well, quite a realization, and makes you wonder what to call this accomplishment.

For happy hour eats, I sampled the hot spinach parmesan artichoke dip with warm tortilla chips, mac and cheese with cheddar and parmesan, and the signature gorgonzola waffle cut fries. The spinach dip was laughable. Something from Safeway's deli would be better… no kitchen could have possibly made this, they must have reheated it from a jar. The mac and cheese is better at Noodles and Company then here because the creamyness is the texture of nacho sauce. And I mean the kind you pump out as a convenience store- don't try to fool me with that little sprinkling of grated cheese from a bag that there was a lot of real cheese in this. The signature gorgonzola waffle cut fries were well cooked, but incredibly oversalted and the gorgonzola sauce not plentiful enough to counter it. More gorgonzola sauce please.

There are a lot of options in the Pearl district, and the food here clearly didn't measure up with the many other choices for food nearby. The selection of beer might be interesting to a non-Portland-beer scene person, and one thing they do offer is the many large screen TVs. So, for a sports bar, it's a good trendy sports bar that has a lot of beer options. But, also, it's a sports bar. Decide for yourself if this is what you want.

Meanwhile, my eyes widened when I saw the Plougman's Platter at Horse Brass Pub. This old style English pub is large and no longer smoky, and balances its larger size with still feeling like a neighborhood hole in the wall dive somehow. The beer menu here offers a lot of variety. Meanwhile, the English Ploughman's plate is not the size of a mere snack. "Cheese, apple, carrots, pickle and tomato, served with potato chips, bread and butter." says the description innocently. What they don't specify is that the cheeses are 3 hunks not pieces (two of them clearly go into the wedge category), there's like half a dozen pickles, a quarter of a loaf of bread, the equivalent of a bag of potato chips from the vending machine (but fresh!) and two whole apples sliced handily into wedges on a platter. The cheddar was a bit sharp (but it is a classic cheddar), and I really liked the stilton. Seriously, it was very authentic Ploughman's lunch! Great for soaking up the higher alcohol beer (and continued to work even through our next stop at Belmont Station… well we still ended up "drunk shopping" at Fred Meyer. Seriously the Fred Meyer on Hawthorne is awesome, even sober. I digress). Next time, I'll try the fish and chips, because I'd visit Horse Brass and Belmont Station again.

 

Posted July 14, 2010 by pechluck in Uncategorized

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A Visit to the Cart Pod of SE 12th and Hawthorne   Leave a comment

Ever since I moved here and saw Potato Champion, I have wanted to visit the cart pod (a group of carts- this one is also known as Cartopia) in southeast Portland. I affectionately call them the "drunk pod" because they are near several late night establishments, thus their evening-wee morning hours, unlike the morning-lunchtime only and closing before the regular business workday hours that the downtown carts generally keep (which translates to me not being to eat at most of them since I work in Beaverton unless I get a friend to drive or have don't go into the office). This desire to visit the SE 12th and Hawthorne food carts only got greater as I heard legends of Whiffies, and then at the Food Cart Festival heard raves about Pyro Pizza. So, after the North American Organic Brewers Festival, I was only too happy to go along for the ride.

Now, I can only be so greedy. Whiffies that night for their savory selections had a vegan pie and a chicken pot pie, neither which I was interested in (I would try BBQ or any of their pork ones). So one friend got a savory crepe from Perierra Creperie that had a sexy sounding mix of gorgonzola, pear, walnut, and honey I believe- this was ok, very light but it didn't hit the spot for me. Another friend got the White Truffle pizza (dough brushed with white truffle oil topped with romano cheese and a dash of black pepper) while I ordered the Caramelized onion Pizza (with caramelized purple onions with gorgonzola and parmigiano-reggiano cheeses and pistachios) from Pyro Pizza, the latter being the specific pizza topping combo that was so raved about at the food cart festival.

 

Unfortunately, now from the original cart this latter pizza did not deliver, being more onion with some cheese and a few pistachios rather than cheese topped with caramelized onions and sprinkled with pistachios. Besides the proportions of onion to the other two topping ingredients, the important element of caramelized did not happen- the oven at the food cart festival was not what this cart had, and I wonder if the other one burned hotter because of it's larger capacity (it was the size of the wood burning oven that Tastebud always brings to the PSU Saturday Farmer's Market). Or maybe they got too hot in the cart.

Fortunately, the White Truffle pizza did deliver, though I think the winning element was the crunchy romano that crisped up like a frico (aka parmesan crisp). I ended up taking a box home to share with F… which actually only I ate the next day by myself. Heh.

The highlight of this food cart pod visit was from Potato Champion, with a large order of poutine, which means fries topped with gravy and cheese curds, one of the few gifts from Canada. The fries were fresh and crisp, even better then what I had at the Food Cart Festival from Spudnik (their roaming cart; Potato Champion is the original home base cart). They were more generous here with the rich gravy (I went with the meat based one not the veg one although there is one available- but look at how thick that gravy is, well flecked with seasoning), and there were nice sprinklings of squeaky chewy chunks of Rogue curd throughout.

When placing my order, I was tempted to order a cone to try their other sauces, but thankfully I didn't because a large poutine is huge as you can see. But, so delicious and good size for sharing, and a perfect way to soak up alcohol. Want to buy my friendship? Here's one currency to use. And yes, my friendship is for sale… for the price of taking me/bringing me deliciousness like this. If you don't like cheese or fried foods… well, we can't be friends anyway.

Travel food… part 2. Oregon Coast, Austin, DC.   Leave a comment

After our squirrely friend and a tasting at Flying Dutchman winery where we really liked their Wild Blackberry port (this was one of two tasting rooms we visited during the Coast- the other was Nehalem Bay with amazing light mixable wines), we went to our Moolock Shores hotel for our themed rooms to drop off our stuff and try to find dinner. Since the men were in the front, even though I handed a map to the front they somehow missed the "Historic Bayfront" signs along the street and on the map. We ended up at Panache because I had remembered it from a bit of internet browsing the day or so before and I had at least caught some signs mentioning the Nye Beach area. It has a cute interior as it exist inside an old English styled house. The chef started out by sending out pairs of tasters of the roasted tomato seafood soup and the New England clam chowder with bacon. I hadn't had good chowder in a while, so I chose that as my starter (it came served with a Parmesan crisp) before my lamb chops. The salads also each came with a Parmesan split, even the split portion of the Caesar, and the greenery was fresh and crisp. The entree of the risotto and polenta cake dish was really great as a vegetarian dish. The dessert was just as beautifully presented.

  
   

   

 

The next day, we spent it in Newport, with the highlight being the Yaquina Head Lighthouse- we had visited Yaquina Bay earlier, but my reading of the map saw two lighthouses, and the one we had been admiring from our beach motel view was exactly Yaquina Head, not Yaquina Bay, lighthouse. The beach there is all rock, which made it hard to walk but unique from normal beaches that have sand, and there was lots of cool smoothed by the sea driftwood. Whenever the waves would crash, it "played" the rocks as it retreated back which was very peaceful along with the sounds of the winds, surf, and birds. Unfortunately it was pretty windy and chilly the entire time we were at the Coast. Once we walked to the lighthouse, we almost felt like we were watching something you'd see in National Geographic or BBC's Blue Planet with the seabird colony.









After the coast, I was off to Austin, Texas for work. Since it was a touch work week, I didn't get to really research any place good before I arrived. I was lucky enough to try barbecue twice though: once at Uncle Billy's and the other time at Salt Lick. I couldn't decide which bbq meat to try, so I went with the 2 meat special each time. That is very filling by the way as a lunch item.

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I arrived back on Friday to go off to the Umqua Valley Wine Barrel Tour. I'll write a separate post on that. I'll just skip to after the weekend, when I was in the DC-Baltimore area. The highlight meal was at Central, Michael Richard's more casual restaurant since Citronelle was not in my budget. The Faux gras terrine and country pate was my appetizer: the faux gras terrine really does deserve all the praise and hype as it really is amazingly smooth and rich. The country pate wasn't bad, but I'm spoiled by Chop at the Portland Farmer's Market and when I can get it fresh like that, Central can't compare. The lobster burger was ok, certainly not worth the price tag- give me a lobster roll instead please. The fries that accompanied the burger were nothing to write about- even Chicago's Rockit Bar and Grill can do better as they offer wonderfully crisp truffle fries with their lobster burger, and it's tastier as well as cheaper.

 

I'll cover the Umpqua Valley wine trip and the tour I went to next post. Like last time though, I wanted to end on an amusing note… my new over mitt, courtesy of the Saturday Market (which we went to on Sunday)…