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 Name: Gutenberg

 Location: Somewhere near the Golden Gate Bridge.

 Occupation: BRPR (Bunrab public relations.)

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September 21-30, 2011


go to next week's blogs



Friday, September 30, 2011

The bourbon-based "Decatur" ($12.00):

... with cynar, sherry, chatreuse and bitters was a pleasing potent potion while the rye related "Shift Drink" ($9.00) was a ginger and fernet fortified quitin' time tonic.

A retro 'rangement of smoked trout with potatoes, celery and p.b.r. braised pork belly ($13.00):

... was okay, but the elements of this almost spreadable tucker tower didn't culminate in a combination that was our thing.

The fontina burger ($14.00):

... was cooked to our specified medium rare but the bun got juice-logged and the Russiany dressing was too liberal for our liking.

Perhaps we misordered, but our chow came across as meh-trovino.


1139 NW 11th Ave.
Portland, OR






Thursday, September 29, 2011

Little Bird is Le Pigeon's nest of kin.

I roosted at the bar where I almond-dined on trout ($17.00):

... with a nutty nudge of toasted almond slivers in a haricot hammock. Moist, pink fish flesh folded around paper thin slices of lemon in this pink planking-posed portion washed down with a white Burgundy.

I requested a financier ($8.00):

... without studying the dessert menu and thought the quenelle of mascarpone was ice cream until the masca-rade was ended by a taste to dispel this fromage mirage. Blackberries added tart fruity bursts to this warm, gold, disc-sert.

My next visit to this avian guard eatery will include one of their famed burgers unless I am distracted by their other boosted bistro bites.

Little Bird Bistro
219 SW 6th Ave.
Portland, OR



Mark your Calendar

Patricia Curtan will be signing her new book, Menus for Chez Panisse at Omnivore Books this Saturday. You may have seen Patricia's beautiful linoleum block prints and you may have tasted her cooking when she worked in the kitchen of Chez Panisse (she's seriously Renaissancey.)

This book is a must for food fanatics.

Pat Curtain Menus for Chez Panisse book signing
Saturday, October 1
3-4 p.m.
Omnivore Books
3885a Cesar Chavez St.
San Francisco, CA





Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Apizza Scholls consistently has a queue for their charred chompables.

We went with a half and half for which customers pay the doughier denomination of the two participating pie-mutations. The bacon bianca ($23.00) and the apizza amore ($25.00) melded into a single circle of swine-sation ($25.00).

Mozzarella, pecorino and grana padano were striped with strips of belly but our fave was the tangy tomato sauced semi circle of pork shouldered, basil and cheese.

Our thin crusted blistery beauty capped off an antipasti plate ($13.00):

... with warm up wares including salumi, peppers and olives.

Scholls makes a fine flatbread with a crispy, chewy crust:

The pies might sound pricey, but they are big, sharable servings that are nicely made (check out the singed flip side.)

Apizza Scholls

4741 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Portland, OR




Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I grabbed lunch at the Garden State food cart:

... where chickpea fries ($3.00):

... were garbed in herbs to produce zo-vation worthy, deep-fried, chick sticks. These pulse points were crisp-crusted with fluffy, falafelly bean bellies that I pea-led through in no time.

An arancine ($1.00):

... was a golden golf ball of mozzarella-middled risotto:

... lined with chopped squash. This garden variety version of faux fried fruit was good, but those chick twigs were too hard of an act to follow.

Garbanzos rolled in again in a chickpea sandwich ($7.00):

A fried bean cake, squash, carroty slaw, aioli and lettuce were shoehorned into a ciabatta to produce a fine folder of vegetable variance.

This silver sandwich sedan is a carbo loading zone of bean-evolent booty (as long as you order the chickpea fries.)

Garden State

Mississippi & Skidmore
Portland, OR






Monday, September 26, 2011

Our costumes were not consistent with the dining room apparel at Castagna. Although this is a fine dining restaurant, it was the rare customer that was tied or jacketed.

Canada has discount pharmaceuticals, Thailand has cheap cosmetic surgery and Portland has inexpensive eats - the tasting menu ran $95 plus $55 for wine pairings.

Buttermilk puffs with herb powder and trout roe:

... were a light and tangy amuse that hinted at the complex creations to come.

Black sesame butter coated frozen discs:

... of sesame crackers with a dab of rosehip puree. These lozenges brought to mind pb&js in outer space.

Wheat and rye crackers were spread with a bit of chicken liver mousse and rolled in poppy seeds:

... in an offal seedy starter sewn up with sips of Prossecco.

Potato chips:

... in a dip of potato puree were salinified sheets of shattering spud starch. These transparencies were developed with chives and creme fraiche.

Pork jowls:

... were cured, smoked and brushed with molasses to create crisp strips that dissolved porkily on the palate. These jaw droppers were wedged into charcoal to show off their sheer swiney seduction.

Pickles were poised with frozen nasturtium nubs and foliage:

... with a squirt of aquavit gel and glugs of 2010 Arregi Getariako Txakolina.

Shitake ice isn't a new Smirnoff drink, it was sheets of shroom sleet creating an under glass effect to ribeye carpaccio with tomatoes, mustard seeds and herbs:

This purslane plumed 'paccio paired pleasingly with 2010 Chateau Virgile, Costieres de Nimes.

Smoked cheese enveloped a duck egg yolk:

... delivered with salivatious letters of garlic and herbs. Tomato tea was an embryonic tonic taken with Teutonic Riesling.

A plug of smoked bone marrow offered support to a dried, cooked and raw bouquet of vegetables:

Garlic puree bolstered roots and shoots with a 2008 Domaines Schlumberger Pinot Blanc.

Snapping twigs of potato skins with pine, chanterelles created a nourishing nest for a smoked quail egg:

... which went down the hatch with a 2009 Vessigaud Macon-Fuissé.

Hot rye bread was formed into muffin mounds:

... and served with house churned butter topped with brown butter solids:

... (we resisted eating the rock platform) and a smoked lardo infiltrated with herbs, hazelnuts and sunflower seeds.

Reduced milk with thyme and hay spilled from a hollowed squash next to a stump of hen roulade:

... tootsie rolled in its skin. A 2010 Domaine Cheysson Chiroubles chugged cheerily with this fine fowl.

The aged beef wasn't our thing:

Although nicely sous vided and seared, the meat offered more resistance than flavor and the vinegar on the cipollini dominated the dish. Hops offered herbaceous help and sugared onion loops adorned a cheese ball planet that didn't pull us into the orbit of this dish served with a 1999 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco.

A phenomenal lemon pulp sherbet:

... blew us away with a light as air, candy floss texture to this delicate dessert. The server explained that they "suck out the atmosphere" before freezing this citrus sensation served with a wild flower meringue with a boutonniere of borage.

Freeze dried blueberries, fresh huckleberries and walnut nougatine with a fig "milk":

... was gilded with 2008 Andrew Rich Gewurztraminer.

Tarragon touched off a vanilla ice cream with malt, ground cherries and a branch of almond cookie:

... with a hive of 2006 Royal Tokaji Aszu.

Espressi and hazelnut pralines rolled in chocolate:

... filled us to capacity after this impressive parade of plates. We were struck by the emphasis on textures and the pristine produce that permeated every cool composition.

Castagna also has a neighboring café that we plan on checking out (if we can resist returning directly to this restaurant for more of their 'triguing tucker.

Castagna Restaurant
1752 SE Hawthrone Blvd.
Portland, OR





Sunday, September 25, 2011

Brown butter ice cream at Alder Pastry & Dessert:

... topped both of our selections of double scoopage ($3.75 each):

We burned though this churned churnage to expose luscious chocolate and banana chip (respectively). All of these lactose lumps were rich with wonderful, vibrant flavors to remove any disappointment over the sold out kougin amans.

Alder Pastry & Dessert

2448 E. Burnside
Portland, OR





Saturday, September 24, 2011

Nature may abhor a vacuum, but the staff at Barista is drawn to this suction solution at their bean brew bodega grounded in premium perky potions.

We got their French Press Ritual Roasters Las Manos which was a fine fruity formulation that we enjoyed with a blackberry scone ($3.00) and a zucchini carrot muffin ($2.75):

These good gobs of bready baking from Nuvrei Pastries were a breakfasty backboard to this caffeinated cups.

The discussions run geeky at this shop for well rendered espressions of extractions.

We will definitely double back for more from this brew crew.


539 NW 13th Ave.
Portland, OR





Friday, September 23, 2011

Bridgeport Brewing Company is one of the several suds stations in Portland.

I got a sampler of their effervescent efforts:

... and tapped my way through a slate of eight from a yuzu and lemongrass ale (that wasn't my thing) to the pale ale and IPA. After taking a lap of these liquids, I found the Kingpin double red ale to be the one that appealed to me with a malted rye resonance.

I buffered the brew with cornmeal crusted oysters ($10.50):

... sandwiched with tartar sauce, tomato, lettuce and pickles in a fries fringed lunched that was good pub grub.

Sitting on the patio with cold beer and a seafood sandwich was a fine way to cool off on a summery fall afternoon.

Bridgeport Brewing Company
1313 NW Marshall St.
Portland, OR




Thursday, September 22, 2011

I ran into a pal on my way to Clyde Common.

She instructed me to be sure to try one of their fine cocktails - advice I followed with a Bourbon Renewal ($8.00):

... with Makers Mark, lemon, cassis and bitters. This cooling pucker of whiskied whistle wetter paved my palate for a guacamolied bun filled with fried oysters ($9.00):

These golden nuggets of creamy-centered shuckees had crisp crusts cushioned with a carroty slaw laced with buttermilk dressing. Fries added crunch and saline support to the gastropod goods.

Figs took the place of apples in a tarte tatin ($8.00):

... which was a flip-worthy disc gilded with caramel with a cloud of creme chantilly drizzled with balsamic.

The friendly staff kept the communal tables and bar hopping at this top tavern. I'll definitely return to check out their evening options.

Clyde Common
1014 SW Stark St.
Porltand, OR




Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I huffed and puffed over to the Three Pigs Deli where I wolfed down a porchetta sandwich ($8.00):

A swirled slice of succulent swine was rolled with roasted garlic and showered with a chiffonade of basil. The brioche borders got crisped in a panini pen to heat up this pig perked with sweet apple relish to create a balanced bundle.

This nine week old business is housed in a brick building (I guess straw and wood would be ill advised building materials given the name.)

They are currently cash only and don't have a beverage selection, but you can pick up a drink at the shop next door and bring it with you if you want something other than water.

In the future, the porkprietor plans on selling tickets during the week for prix fixe, sit down chow on the weekends. I'll definitely blow over again for some more of this chinny chow.

Three Pigs Deli
10 NW 16th Ave.
Portland, OR









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