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Everything posted by trillium

  1. Heathman Hotel does the best classic cocktails in the city (they tasted my Pegu before serving it, which is a plus in my book since it can be tricky). Their happy hour has great deals on food and runs all day on Thursday. Grilled lamb's tongue, crab cakes, fried oysters, crab topped deviled eggs, bistro burger, cheese and charcuterie plates, etc. The drinks are spendy (for Portland) and the bar is filled with bidness types talking about what rubes Portlanders are, but you can easily tune them out. The food gets served in the lounge too, where there is some "jazz" band playing on Thurs. Avoid Mint if you like classic cocktails. Pok Pok is worth the bus trip unless you're Thai and a cook, or been to Thailand and can cook it yourself. I think one of the fun things about Portland are all the food trucks. If you're feeling adventurous, check some out, maybe the Eastern Euro ones at 10th and Alder. I'm never sure what "ethnic" means (food made by not-white people? or just not American). I adore my local taco truck, especially since he feeds us stuff not on the grease board menu, but I don't know how the taco trucks are downtown, I suspect they're not as good as the ones found out of the center, where they feed gringos and latinos in about equal measure, so you can get some good food.
  2. I get super annoyed at those trollish posts about what Chinese people eat, allegedly or no, and it drives me crazy when fringe rights activists go after a group of people that get them more attention then going after the slaughterhouses that supply 99% of what most people eat, whether it's Asians who want a freshly killed chicken or people with a taste for fattened fowl liver. However, no one can claim a cultural or racial imperative that precludes them from any responsibility about where their food comes from and how it got to their dinner plate. As happy eaters and lovers of food, we owe it to ourselves to protect our food sources and manage them and the environment they need to thrive. I know it can be a little sad now, but it could get a lot sadder later. I don't think a discussion about the impact of what we're eating is out of place in a food forum. regards, trillium
  3. Isn't nu lan more what gets called the "outer flank" by old fashioned east coast butchers, and not actually brisket? I see it in the butcher case at my local asian grocery, but it's not a cut I ever see at an occidental grocery here on the west coast. On beef vs. pork in ma po, I have some Sichuan colleagues who say it was originally made with beef. I tend to take what they say with a grain of salt, since none of them actually are cooks (just eaters) but since Ms. Dunlop seems to back up this assertion, I believed them on this one. Anyway, it's a delicious dish in all its permutations. We're making it tonight, and the S'porean in the house has voted for the Cantonese version he grew up eating. We're making it with ground pork! regards, trillium
  4. I think beef is more trad in Sichuan, but when it spread, it went porcine. Some of the Cantonese versions (with hum choy, peas, thickened sauce instead of red oil, etc) barely resemble the original, but I love them all (um, except the Japanese version I had, because it was too sweet for me). Great thread, just found it after being away and it made me sooo hungry. regards, trillium
  5. Yes, that's true, the fried chicken is unbelievable, you'll have to check it out and see if it's ok with your mouth, some of it had chillies as part of the marinade. The grilled and deep fried fish is another good option, that came with the chilli relishes on the side. The deep fried pork belly that you can buy as a snack with sticky rice is probably not that spicy either. Many of the snacky things tend to have chillies or a spicy relish served on the side, so you can avoid it if you need to. (But I feel sad that you have to!). Oh, and what we call kueh and what Thais call khanom aren't spicy either, they're steamed rice flour snacks flavored in various ways, mostly all sweet. If you're up for an adventurous breakfast, have one at the tea stands that set up early on the sidewalks, just make sure you specify that you want your soft boiled eggs separate from the tea. If you're there early enough there will perhaps be khanom, bao, or Chinese crullers to eat with your tea and eggs. Oh, and figure out how to order real coffee instead of nescafe if you're a coffee drinker. I recommend the Thai Food book published by Lonely Planet. Great eating advice. regards, trillium
  6. The least hot food I had in Thailand was at ethnic Chinese places. We went to a pretty classic Cantonese seafood restaurant in Songkla and a dim sum breakfast spot in NST that were not spicey at all. Things like rice porriage, kway teow and lad nah dishes where you add the chilles yourself should also be manageable (these are usually from stands, not from restaurants). You're not going to get the best eating experience but you won't go completely hungry either. regards, trillium
  7. I'm not Austin, but you're right, those pea eggplants should be added earlier so they can soften and thicken the curry. Dejah, some curries can be plenty thin, but if you prefer yours thick, besides adding less liquid you can cook down the fatty part of the coconut milk until the oil separates and then fry your paste in it. This will give you a thicker and more creamy texture. I always add any sugar close to the end, because I tend to prefer very little. A nice trick is to melt the palm sugar into a syrup with a little water. This makes adding it and mixing it in easier. regards, trillium
  8. In the fancy area, I like clarklewis and Wildwood best out of the ones that are mentioned here. I wouldn't recommend Jake's Crawfish, just because it can be so boring and sometimes even bad. If you want seafood, I'd just order it at one of the "nice" restaurants listed. I love Higgin's bar, because of the perfectly stored flemish ales they have on tap, and while I had a clam dish that blew my mind this summer, I tend to stick to the safety of the pastrami sandwich or the charcuterie plate when I'm eating there because other things can be disappointing and pricey. Some of the nicest classic cocktails are being served at the Heathman Hotel bar right now, if you're into that sort of thing. They're nothing that is going to surpass Audrey's place in NYC, however. The Pix on the northside has a better selection of booze, while the one on Division is cozier and a little more funky. Check out one. If you're into chocolate, go to Sahagun (which has been mentioned in the NYT a time or two, for what it's worth) and have a hot chocolate. Half and Half is nice for a cup of coffee and a slice of pie, Valentine's is nice for cool sandwiches, coffee and some attitude. Sadly, I can't think of a single local brewery that has good food as well, which is strange. We ran into the same problem when my German uncle-in-law (heh) was in town. The New Old Lompoc Hedge House location has $2 pints on Tuesdays. Good beer, crap food. Rogue is worth a looksee for their beer, and lotsa people love Bridgeport. I like their IPA and not much else, and haven't been to the front of the brewery since they had their swank make-over. I pretty much hate McMinneman's beer and food, but if you must, go to a cool location like the Kennedy School. Fire on the Mountain has the best wings ever (really), great local beers on tap, and is a nice mellow place to hang out. We have nothing close to what I just ate at Watershed in Atlanta, but if you're into fried chicken and want it old school PacNW, check out Reel-em-Inn (a bar) on Division for fried chicken and jojos cooked to order and cheap or nice (local) beer. Try to get to a Stumptown to see what all the fuss is about, and then go to Ristretto Roasters too. Ken's Artisan Bakery for some great bread and the best ham and cheese croissant ever, plus tasty sandwiches (soups are hit or miss). enjoy your visit, trillium
  9. There's an easy way to settle this argument... anybody got an HPLC handy? regards, trillium
  10. The best thing to do, if you can't find a HUGE head, is to use a whole fish. You're not going to be able to find a red snapper head big enough in the US, they've become so overfished that if you care about this sort of thing you probably shouldn't buy a whole one either. But a big halibut head would work great. regards, trillium
  11. When you're in Portland, I'm getting very fond of the taco truck at SE 32nd and Powell, Taqueria Torres de Morelo. It doesn't hurt that it's within walking distance from our house, or that both Torres (son and father) tell us when they have something special that doesn't get posted on the board (bbqed lamb, algondigas, etc). But I think the carnitas frescas, cicharon, busche, lengua and pollo tacos and sopes are really good. Not so fond of the al pastor since they started using canned pineapple, and the asada is too dry for me. The salsas all kick butt, but we feel lucky when he makes the special grandma style one with cacahuates and deep fried chillies. regards, trillium
  12. I'd vote for eating at the bar at Olea. I have friends who did, and enjoyed it. regards, trillium
  13. If it was me, out of your list, I'd go to clarklewis, where you can get tasting menus that between the two of you will cover a large portion of what Morgan will be offering, and Olea. They're both pricey (for Portland) but fun. I think some of the other more formal places on your list are a little stuffy, and while the food is good, I'd go more for something offering a different experience then what I could get closer to home. I'm not sure that Noble Rot is worth seeking out if you're not going to be drinking wine. The food there has been fine when I've gone but it isn't a place I'd go out of my way to eat at if I was visiting another city. Park Kitchen has been hit or miss for me, when it's good, it's very good, and when it's bad, it's horrid. I'd go for lunch or a nibble and a drink, but not commit myself to a whole dinner. Have a good time, and come back and tell us where you ate! regards, trillium
  14. I've stuck a few prunings in the ground and have starts if anyone is interested. regards, trillium
  15. For the salad of peppers, capers and tomatoes, are the peppers grilled first, or just raw? That sounds really good right now, because peppers and tomatoes are in season (but not porcini or peas). thanks, trillium
  16. fortedei, what do you use nepitella for? Given the Calabrian side of my family, I use dried origano all the time, but the nepitella is new to me. Now I'm kicking myself for throwing out the trimmings with the blossoms when I could have dried them! regards, trillium
  17. So my roman mint has given me a much bigger harvest then my roman artichokes. I'm wondering what are other suggested pairings are out there for nepitella? Tripe? Any tripe recipes? thanks, trillium
  18. SE Asians have made Hainanese chicken rice their own (I think in Thai it is called chicken-fat rice) and I'd be very curious to see what someone who is actually from Hainan thinks. I have a funny feeling that they don't use pandan, anise and cinnamon, but I could be wrong! I've never seen turmeric leaves in the US, just SE Asia, so I'd be surprised if you can get them, but who knows? Maybe Canada is different. If you can't find turmeric root fresh, you can buy it frozen from Thailand. A lot of times I like the frozen galangal and turmeric from Thailand better then the fresh stuff grown in Hawaii. Candlenuts look kind of like macadamia nuts (but can never be used raw) and we usually find them in odd places in our grocery stores. regards, trillium
  19. I'm glad the freezing tip reached you in time, it's a great way to store those precious things. These days I'm more cavalier because I'm growing kaffir lime trees and have all the fresh leaves I could want (and limes too oh boy, oh boy). Here are the perilla links I was referring to in case you want to make some banchan/preserved type stuff with them: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...=0entry401052 http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...0entry1031884 Belecan takes a little getting used to, the first time the partner broke that out in the kitchen I found it repulsive. Now my stomach growls when I smell it toasting. Just call me Pavlov's spouse. Nonya curry is the curry standard at our house, and we even have a special Nonya blended curry powder stash from Singapore. We also keep the rempah portioned out in the freezer, and ours includes candlenuts and we use fresh tumeric root. For pandan, the easiest way to enjoy its fragrance might be just the rice portion of Hainanese chicken rice. I found an old meandering post of mine on rec.food.cooking with a recipe buried in there if you're interested. regards, trillium
  20. I'm late to the thread, but curry and lime leaves work better in the freezer if you spread them out on a sheet of aluminium and then roll it up. That way you unroll just the amount you need and the rest are not exposed to air and don't get freezer burn. For shiso, there have been great threads about doing Korean banchan with them, which works well to preserve the leaves, but it sounds like you have it under control. regards, trillium
  21. It's Apna Bazaar Apna Bazaar Inc 1815 NW 169th Pl # 6000 Beaverton, OR 97006 (503) 533-0424 It's in an industrial complex area and looks nothing like a grocery store from the outside. Be bold and fearless in your search and you'll find it. regards, trillium
  22. Rona, Elizabeth isn't going to be making any chocolates in August but I'll talk to her about getting you something that will last in my fridge. She doesn't have a booth at the farmer's market any more, but she does have a lovely little shop open five days a week. LOW BBQ as run by Rodney and Kyle doesn't exist anymore. Ken, of Ken's Place on Hawthorne bought the name and equipment and does BBQ on Monday nights at his restaurant. But I'll bet I can get your hands on some Rodney cooked 'que. I'll take it to PM. At the market I like the sweets from Blue Gardenia (like the ho ho cake) and the bread and chocolate croissants from Ken's Artisan. I also like to get a brioche bun from Ken's and have it stuffed with gelati from Staccato for a hot weather Sicilian-inspired breakfast. The parnter isn't a sweets person and usually opts for Hot Lips pizza for breakfast. We both find Carlo's sausages kind of bland and dry. YMMV. Maybe we eat too many Otto's sausages. The lamb sticks from Sudan Farms are another tasty and portable nibble. I also like buying smoked salmon from the Native vendors. The best berries are from Ayer's Creek Farm, but they don't sell at that market, just the Hillsdale one. I honestly don't know how the berries are going to survive this heat wave, most plants used to this climate can't grow at this temp., they just shut down. Hopefully there will be blackberries for you to snack on, I think peaches might be nearing an end, they came early this year, but that means figs might be in season when you get here. regards, trillium
  23. Carlyle is another restaurant that garners good reviews, although I haven't been there. One of the bartenders that works there is a great mixologist and I've been meaning to check it out for lunch when it wouldn't be so spendy. Ken's Artisan Pizza is now open, and if the pizze are anything like the bread... And yes, Nick's Coney Island is still in operation, as of last weekend anyway. Boy does that stretch need some better food options! If another pseudo Thai vegetarian place opens.... I'm on the bar at the Hotel Delux, planning on checking it out later in the week. I loved the Mallory Hotel, and the bar especially. regards, trillium
  24. I have one cat that goes crazy for the crusts from Ken's country blonde! Just crazy. Bummer about the chocolates. I'm guessing you mean the Portland Farmer's Market (which happens on Saturday and is mainly food), or do you really mean the Portland Saturday Market (which happens on Sat and Sunday and is arts and crafts)? regards, trillium
  25. I haven't eaten there, since I do so much Italian cooking at home, but I have eaten at Justa Pasta, which is very good, and they have a good rep with other people I know who love food. You might check if they cater. Don't worry, we'll go to Sunday brunch with you! regards, trillium
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