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ExtraMSG

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    Portland, OR

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  1. My wife is the most beautiful woman in the world. That's what I say if people ask. She never looks fat in her jeans. But I'm not judging her for Next Top Model. There's an izakaya here in Portland where the food really exceeds the bar. In fact, the food exceeds most of the Japanese food in town. The owner has gotten cranky on occasion that her place has been listed in cheap eats guides (despite the food being very reasonably priced) and even in top restaurant guides. The reason, she insists, is because it's a bar. It has a bar atmosphere. It's small, a little divey, no kids are allowed,
  2. I reguarly eat Valrhona's Chuao from 2003 -- over 6 years old -- and because it was properly stored it's still quite nice flavor-wise and texture-wise, without bloom. I picked up the CIA's Chocolates and Confections yesterday and I'm loving all the basic and more advanced information there. I like that they have a "troubleshooting" section where problems are listed with possible causes/solutions. I think most of the CIA books are only decent, but this one seems especially good and I haven't seen a confections book so systematic. I'm sure it's familiar territory for those of you who are exper
  3. btw, Langer's sells by the pound via phone or fax, but it's more expensive than Katz's at $20/lb vs $13/lb. However, they do sell their fabulous corn rye as well at $4.75/loaf. http://www.langersdeli.com/togo/index.html
  4. Empire National is still going strong. We purchase and sell their fabulous salami. Here is their correct web address: http://www.empirenational.info/
  5. Thanks. I think I read somewhere about someone using a heating pad to keep the bowl warm. I think my wife has one and I'll have to break it out. Comparing them to some quality professional chocolates by Theo and John DePaula today, I think I was being a little hard on them. I think I just expected them to be shinier like molded chocolates if they were truly done right. But I think that's just an unrealistic expectation.
  6. Okay, so reading through this thread, I have some inclinations, but just want to feel better about my inclinations. I am a total novice at tempering chocolate. I'm using the seed method, using a very dark chocolate (over 80%). I assumed I would have a higher working temperature, but I'm not sure. In dipping the ganaches, I started at about 92 degrees. I assumed with such a dark chocolate that the working temp would be higher. Obviously I need to get a feel for what "in temper" looks like. I'm using a pyrex bowl over a light simmer to melt the chocolate, getting it above 115 then taking
  7. Don't take this too harshly, but you need a new source. Delta and Clays are just okay at best. I've never been to Le Bouchon, but just based on the type of menu, I wouldn't recommend it to a visitor. Lauro is decent, but not among the best restaurants and not a destination. Sungari is really only worth going to if you're really desiring Chinese and you want a wine list.
  8. I think some of the disappointing places like Ten 01 and Rocket seem to be getting their acts together. I've just had lunch at Ten 01 since the change, but it was excellent. And the pastries (done by an eGulleter) were very good. Ate at Rocket tonight and had a good meal with only a few relatively minor problems. But some of the dishes were both interesting and very tasty. And the room is fantastic. Clyde Common is my current fav. I'm so happy that I'll be working right next door soon. Toro Bravo is great and has some of the best service in town, yet I've never been able to spend more tha
  9. I don't really drink, so I can't give you direct advice. However, my drinking friends over at PortlandFood.org usually say that Andina, Saucebox, and Clyde Common have more interesting cocktail lists and make them well. I know Park Kitchen did a cocktail pairing dinner.
  10. You know how many items on a Taco Bell menu are under 99 cents? And they have a fancy POS system. Don't be worried about that hard-working family in el coche de cucharachas. Worry about the 17 year old popping a zit and fondling the lettuce at your local fast food sludge pit while the manager smokes weed in the backroom. btw, NOLA loves Mexicans, really they do.... http://portlandfood.org/index.php?showtopic=4954
  11. btw, in Eugene area try Aiyara Thai Cuisine. It's an easy exit off the interstate at Gateway and is over in a little strip center near the road sort of in front of Target. Best Thai I've had in Eugene. If they have the noodle curries, get those.
  12. It might help to start with my tipsheet: http://www.extramsg.com/uploaded_misc/portland_tipsheet.html It's a bit out of date, but I'll be updating it before you come out probably. It'd be useful to print out and just keep in your pocket -- at least the top part. Some places that I have enjoyed and might be up your alley: Carlyle, Olea, 23 Hoyt, Alberta Street Oyster Bar, Giorgio's, Andina.
  13. Skip Burgerville. It's a waste of a meal unless you just want a snack or to taste something and stop eating. Both of Balomi's suggestions are very good. I'd especially suggest Banh Cuon Tan Dinh which has a lot of really well-prepared interesting Vietnamese dishes. Ask for the bo la lot, which is on the catering menu and almost always available. The banh khot is another of my favorites. Also, any of their wrap dishes with the grilled pork. Another great spot is Bun Bo Hue on 82nd. It's smaller and has a more limited menu -- a bit divey -- but its food can be terrific. There's also th
  14. Hopefully not PF Chang's, so I'll assume it was Sungari. Glad you got to the Portland Farmers Market, even if still early (and rainy) in the season.
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