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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Pok Pok

Pok Pok has remained one of the top restaurants in Portland. It's Thai street food and located at 3226 SE Division.

Papaya Pok Pok--$9.50. This was very authentic but also very spicy. It came with a wedge of cabbage--not sure what we were supposed to do with it.

Yam Makheua Yao--$14.50. Eggplant salad with boiled egg, dried shrimp, pork, prawns (more like shrimp), shallot and crispy garlic.

Cha Ca La Vong--$15.50. Catfish marinated with turmeric served on rice vermicelli with peanuts, mint, cilantro mam hem (sauce with fermented fish). This was delicious and very similar to what we had in Hanoi.

I've decided that Portlandians are very adventurous eaters. If they weren't adventurous, there's no way this restaurant would remain at the top of the restaurant scene, even in the Bay Area. It was so good and reminiscent of my time in Thailand & Vietnam.

2017 04 17

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Nong's Khao Man Gai

I had read so much about the Hainan style chicken at Nong's Khao Man Gai.

They have several locations, including food carts. We went to the restaurant located at 609 SE Ankeny.

Order at the counter and they bring the dish out to you. We ordered takeout and it took about 15 minutes to get our order.

There is a Happy Hour from 4-6 pm every day--half portions for $5 with purchase of a drink.

Chicken & Rice Big Size--$14.25. The regular size is $9.25. It comes with soup and an amazing sauce--the sauce is what makes the dish so delicious.

2017 04 17

Monday, July 24, 2017

St. Jack

We wanted oysters and went to St. Jack for Happy Hour after our Midday snack at Olympia.

It's located at 1610 NW 23rd Ave. Happy Hour is Sun-Thurs 4-5 pm.

Chicken Liver Mousse with Dijon, Port Poached Prunes--$6. The mousse was very creamy and full of flavor.

Poutine de Canard--$11. We added Duck Confit for $2 more. I'm not a poutine fan and this didn't sway me. I'm not a fan of gravy over fries. I like my fries crispy.

Miyagi oysters--$1 each. Limit of 2 dozen per table. I liked Jacqueline's better.

2017 04 17

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Olympia Provisions

Continuing with our Happy Hour noshing, we stopped at Olympia Provisions.

They have 2 locations. We went to their Northwest location at 1632 NW Thurman for their Midday Specials--served from 3-5 pm daily.

There's also a store inside the restaurant.

Their salamis are not cheap--$10 for 4.5 oz.

Dark & Stormy--$6. Apple infused rum, ginger beer, lime, rocks. This was very strong.

We ordered 2 Charcuterie Boards--$7 each. This one included Chorizo, Capicola, Salami Capri, homemade pickles, pickled beets and peppers and grainy mustard.

This was the other board and it included Mortadella, Pork Rillette and Saucisson Sec. It also had pickled carrots, cauliflower and radish.

Cheese Board--$$6. It included a blue cheese and a sheep cheese. It also had candied walnuts and a rhubarb compote.

Chicory Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette--$5. The first salad was too salty and the waitress replaced it. The 2nd salad was better--I think they added some honey to the dressing. Unfortunately, she also charged us for the 2nd salad.

2017 04 17

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Cool Moon Ice Cream

We were in the Pearl District and came across Cool Moon Ice Cream.

It's located at 1105 NW Johnson Street.

Artisanal ice cream and sorbet.

If you come during Happy Hour from 4-6 pm daily, you can get a pint to go for $5.

There were 4 of us and we ordered a large with 4 scoops--$6.95. Ginger Cookie, Salted Caramel, Oregon Hazelnut, Cherry Almond. My favorites were the Ginger Cookie & Oregon Hazelnut. 

This was my favorite ice cream although my friends liked What's the Scoop on Williams Street better. I didn't go to What's the Scoop so can't compare.

2017 04 17

Friday, July 21, 2017

International Rose Test Garden

We stopped by the International Rose Test Garden. It was March and there wasn't much in bloom.

The garden is free to visit but you do have to pay for parking.

2017 04 17

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Tasty n Sons

Tasty n Sons was another restaurant just down the street from our VRBO house.

It's located at 3808 N. Williams. They don't take reservations. We arrived at 9 am, when it opened, on a Monday and there was already a short line.

Front area, where you sit if you go for Happy Hour.

Polenta & Sausage Ragu, Mozzarella, Over Easy Egg--$10. The polenta was very creamy and the ragu was tasty but I didn't find much sausage in it.

Shashuka, Baked Eggs, Tomato Stew--$12. We added Merguez Sausage--$2. Unfortunately, we found hair in the dish.

Burmese Red Port Stew, Short Grain Rice, Eggs Two Ways--$14. This was very tasty and I loved how the yolk ran over the dish.

Boudin Blanc Sausage Omelette, Asparagus, Dijon, Truffle Cheese--$11. This didn't have much flavor and was the most disappointing dish that we ordered.

Our waitress gave us a complimentary dessert--Rhubarb and Panna Cotta. This was very creamy and not too tart.

Seated next to us was a couple who were on their way to the airport. They visit Portland often and always stop at Tasty n Sons and order Fried Egg & Cheddar Biscuit. We'll have to try that next.

Tasty n Sons also has a Happy Hour, 2:30-5 pm daily.

2017 04 17

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Salt & Straw

Near Ava Gene's was Salt & Straw, another must-go ice cream parlor.

The line can get very long.

Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbon was very tasty and the Honey Lavender was good but not good enough to get it again.

2017 04 16

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Ava Gene's

We made dinner reservations at Ava Gene's.

It's located at 3377 SE Division St.

Broccoli, Sprouted Barley, Almond, Horseradish--$13. This was delicious. The broccolini was perfectly blanched and there was a nice crunch.

Asparagus, Walnuts, Lemon, Pecorino Romano--$13. This was good but there was a little too much cheese.

"Tuscan Cavalry" (kale), Raw Cavolo Nero, Sarvecchio (Parmesan), Breadcrumbs--$13 for large. I loved this as well. The kale was so tender. 

We were there on Sunday and the special was a Spaccatelli with Sugo--$22. I loved the pasta. They were small rolled cigars and were cooked perfectly al dente. The sumo had pork shank, sausage and tomato.

I loved Ava Gene's much better than Le Pigeon. I'll be back.

2017 04 16

Monday, July 17, 2017

Wine Tasting in Willamette Valley

After filling up our stomach with ramen, we went wine tasting in Willamette Valley.

Cooper Mountain Vineyards is located 20121 SW Leonardo Lane in Beaverton. There are a few patches of vineyards and huge houses beyond the vineyards.

There were 5 wines to taste for $15. They were all good. Their wines are reasonably priced. The Tocai is $22, Chardonnay "Old Vines" is $25 and the Pinots are $25-50.

They even had balsamic vinegar--$40. They were barrel aged for 15 years. This was as good as the balsamic vinegar we had in Modena, Italy for a fraction of the cost.

Our next stop was Eyrie (pronounced "Eye-ree") Vineyards, located at 935 NE 10th Ave. in McMinnville. The tasting room is in the center of town. Tasting fee is $10 (4 wines) or $20 (7 wines). Eyrie introduced Willamette Pinot Noir to the French but I liked Cooper Mountain better.

Our last stop was at Stoller Vineyards, located at 16161 NE McDougall Rd., Dayton. It's a beautiful winery with outdoor seating

and a view of Mt. Hood.

Wine tasting was $15 for 5 wines but the best thing was the Meat & Cheese Board for $25. The spiced filberts were especially delicious. They were coated with honey, cumin, coriander, salt, paprika and pepper. Yummm!

2017 04 16

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Kizuki Ramen

On our way out to Willamette Valley, we stopped at Kizuki Ramen. It's located at 11830 NW Cedar Falls Drive in Beaverton. The sign on the building says Kukai.

It's a modern-looking interior with some Japanese touches.

We always order Karaage when we see it on the menu. It's one of the benchmarks we use to judge a Japanese restaurant. There were 5 pieces for $6.50. It wasn't pretty but it had a nice coating and juicy, tender chicken. I still think Orenchi Ramen in Santa Clara makes it better.

Garlic Tonkotsu Shoyu Ramen--$12.50. You can order it with low sodium. It came with a piece of Chasu, soft-boiled egg, bamboo shoot, bean sprouts and a piece of seaweed. The egg and bamboo shoo were sweet. The noodles were toothy and good but the broth was a little too thick for me. It had nice flavor though.

Woodblock bathroom sign.

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