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May 1-10, 2012


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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Domestic cheese was the theme of our dairy dispatch from the Cheese Store of Beverly HIlls.

Chevre from Cypress Grove was a soft goaty puck of spreadability while the hard "beehive blend" was a coffee-rubbed hive of lavender and lactose.

Green and black peppercorned "Marco Polo" was greedily ground down to nothing as we demolished this punchy Cheddar chunk from Beechers.

This cheesy subscription is a grate gift.

The Cheese Store of Beverly HIlls




Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Salt & Straw cone-spired to open an additional Portland outlet which has the same flavors at the mothership, but more baked goods and seating.

We filled our house made waffle cones ($1.00 extra):

... with the common de-nom-inator of chocolate with gooey chocolate brownie but topped them with banana with spicy monkey caramel & walnut and chocolate and almond brittle with salted ganache. All of these were fine flavors (but we find that the stunt flavors like beef marrow or blue cheese tend not to be our thing.)

We were glad to see that S&S is churning out new goods at this latest haystack of homey helpings.

Salt & Straw
838 NW 23rd Ave.
Portland, OR




Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Baker & Spice was out of pie during our visit, but they did have some other tempting tucker to distract us from our disappointment.

Sugar shone on the surface of an oat scone ($2.50):

... filled with nuts and dried cranberries. This tender wedge of tang and crunch demonstrated the deft dough demeanor of this dispensary.

The savory gallette ($4.75):

... had shatteringly flaky fringes of puff pastry perimetering caramelized onions in a cheesy checker of springiness.

We will definitely detour back to this baketeria for the promise of pie.

Baker & Spice

6330 SW Capitol Hwy
Portland, OR




Monday, May 7, 2012

Boxer Sushi is the latest food forum from the Yakuza and Little Big Burger crowd (which we use as our Portland answer to In N Out) so we wanted to see what to make of their maki.

Japanese knives were wielded by non-Japanese gents who made up miso soup ($3.00 each):

... with wakame and tofu skins that had a slightly sweet flavor.

Hamachi sashimi ($15.00):

... was fine fin but we were surprised that our a la carte bowls of rice ($3.00 each) weren't hot, but seasoned and cooled sushi rice.

Albacore, sake ($4.00, $5.00):

... and hotate ($5.00):

... were good washed down with a big can of cold Asahi ($5.00).

The uni:

... was cut with a spoon (rather than individually lifted with chopsticks) creating pre-punctured rows of roe which isn't our preferred portioning.

A "violet roll" ($15.00):

... was topped with fried shallots and salmon and filled with dungeness crab, avocado and asparagus.

The friendly staff is still getting their situation sorted, but we had a pleasant time at this boxer arena.

Boxer Sushi
1524 SE 20th Ave.
Portland, OR




Sunday, May 6, 2012

Bourbon and rum collided with crushed ice in a "Shipwreck" ($9.00) which was embittered with Angostura and perked with mint while the "La Yapa" ($9.00):

... had a little something extra to this bourbon and Velvet Falernum concoction in the form of Fernet, I only wish they didn't go with dimpled ice cubes on this one, but it was still yapa-tizing as we checked out the menu at the newly opened Ox Restaurant.

Cauliflower soup:

... flourished in an amuse that heralded the flavorful flesh to follow.

Crisp sweetbreads glanded on thin sheets of beef tongue ($11.00):

... where a hit of horseradish heated this spectacular Oreg-gan-meat arrangement while the tripe with octopus ($10.00):

... was an eight-fisted eat with tomato and mint aioli mingling with pencils of asparagus in a write-teous octo-gastero pod portion. We sopped every bit of sauce with stubs of Grand Central bread:

2009 Love & Squalor Pinot Noir lifted the lusciousness of a foie gras and spring onion accented tumble of hedgehog and oyster mushrooms ($12.00):

... which molded our mouths with fungusy flourish.

The halibut ($20.00):

... was a hunk of heavenly, pristine product fired with finesse to moist-middled magnificence while the short ribs ($19.00):

... were flavorful flaps of bone-centered beef cheered on with chimichurri.

We loved the chow at this divine bovine business:

... where we plan double back to plow through more of their menu soon.

Ox Restaurant

2225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Portland, OR




Saturday, May 5, 2012

We moseyed into the newly opened downtown Morso:

... for a couple of breakfast sandwiches ($4.00 each). They were out of the biscuits that normally bookend their bacon, egg and avocado so we went with one of their flaky croissants to cradle an egg that was harder than we prefer, but the sandwich was still good:

Focaccia foldered slices of ham and potato frittata with sun dried tomato which we detected as dominant detail of this morning munch.

They make all of their own breads at this friendly forum for sandwichy sustenance but our go-to egg and bread bundle remains at Lovejoy Bakery.

25 NW 11th Ave.
Portland, OR




Friday, May 4, 2012

Departure Lounge is in a hotel rather than a transportation hub, but this food facility located in the Nines Hotel has an heir of airline to their food.

The friendly bartender said he didn't have a drink menu but that he could make us anything we wanted. Sadly, our Sazerac ($13.00) suffered from an absinth-ce of the green goddess and the Vieux Carre ($11.00):

... was a square peg, but they get points for trying in this mostly martini, margarita and wine crowd.

The chicken wings ($9.00):

... were moist stumps with crispy crusts and a sweet glaze while chestnut filled shrimp dumplings ($10.00):

... were glutenous golf balls that played on par.

A tenderloin maki ($12.00):

... was meh while crispy squid ($16.00):

... had pineapple to dole in a little sweetness to this calamari creation.

Futuristic decor dominated this potion portal extending to the loo:

While we may not arrive at Departure again, we took flight with our curiosity sated.

Departure Lounge

Nines Hotel
525 SW Morrison St.
Portland, OR




Thursday, May 3, 2012

We picked up a couple Ruby Jewel ice cream sandwiches ($3.75 each):

... that were cookie crusted cushions of churnage. The salted caramel version:

... was bookended by chocolate biscuits in a swell salined circle.

Chocolate chippers:

... contained a vanilla bean belly in a chompable, chilly lactose lozenge.

Both of these jewel cases were nifty nuggets. We will have to check out more of their ready made morsels when we can't get to their mother ship.

Ruby Jewel

Portland, OR




Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Castagna is Portland's answer to fine dining. Sure, they don't disperse cups with handles in the 4 o'clock position or show gender bias during plate placement (as they do with bill placement), but the casual staff is friendly as they serve up some of the area's finest chow.

We went with the 10 course tasting menu and wine pairings ($95 each for the menu, $55 each for the wines).

"Snacks" start off with green almond husks:

... masquerading as olives. We were nutty about these brined rinds that were a swell seasonal seedsation.

Buttermilk puffs filled with an herb emulsion and grapefruit pearls:

... melted in our mouths as this lactic lozenge dissolved into a citrus-spiked, grassy groove.

Beef chicharrones:

... were dusted with vinegar powder with a flourish of rosemary to these light, crunchy, tangy, divine bovine chips.

Frozen discs of hazelnut granola:

... buttered up our bouches as they melted in our mouths with a crunchy conclusion.

Transparent potato chips:

... came with an BBQ aioli to dip these brittle panes of glassy starch sheets.

Compressed apple:

... wound around yogurt in crisp, light, fresh, gogurt tubes washed down with Prosecco.

Tender pine needles sewed together bay shrimp, green almonds, lime ice with little blue borage flowers:

... with a swirl of greenery served with a 2010 Ciu Ciu Offida.

Poached crab:

... sat on a custard spiked with soy in this crab-crusted, Asian-influenced dish further influenced by a 2010 Lucien Albrecht Pinot Blanc.

We spread hot rye rolls with butter topped with browned butter solids and their lovely lardo.

Frozen buttermilk and asparagus:

... were engulfed with a foamed asparagus soup with herbed croutons with waves of 2010 Marotti-Campi Verdicchio.

Beef tongue:

... was cured like pastrami in a bitable bit orchestrated with seared fiddlehead ferns and pickled mustard seeds served with a saliney 2010 Clotilde Davenne Sauvignon.

Rock fish with garlic granules, New Zealand spinach and clam jus:

... rocked with a 2010 Pablo Padin Albarino.

Creme fraiche encased chicken:

... with intensely flavored duck chips had an onion and kelp pour to this pea shoots and Meyer lemon-emulsioned fabulous fowl fixin. The first new world wine of the meal appeared - a 2009 J Christopher Pinot Noir which we had enjoyed during a visit to their Café.

Blue cheese and rare ribeye:

... with roasted beets, chive bud and onions was a more flavorful than tender tuft of protein with a 2005 Terra d'Arcoiris Rosso Tuscano.

Frozen juniper meringue and toasted marshmallow accented a tangy Meyer lemon curd:

... in the first of our three desserts.

Dried cream and frozen buttermilk shards:

... had a tangled tuille topper on a tangy goat milk and caramel ice cream served with an Andrew Rich 2008 Gewurtztraminer ice wine.

We prodded our pucks of chocolate with praline ice cream:

... with dried coffee and cream powder with date sugar fruitifying this rich ration served with a 1997 Kopke tawny port.

Mignardises of grapefruit pate de fruits:

... and hazelnut pralines wrapped up another notable meal at this swell 'stablishment.

Chef Justin Woodward is producing some of the most exciting cuisine in Portland.

Castagna Restaurant

1752 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Portland, OR




Tuesday, May 1, 2012

We bellied up to the bar at the Saint Pizza Lounge:

... where a Manhattan and an Old Fashioned ($7.00 each):

... were solid sips bolstered by booze from not so distant distillers in the Portland area:

We dug into a "For the House" pizza ($25.00 plus $2.00 to add on anchovies):

... which was a fine frisbee of sausage, onion and arugula with a tangy tomato sauce made special with the addition of anchovies. Although not a wood-fired Neopolitan, this was good grub in a friendly bar with swell drinks.

The bar had lots of free seats for a prime time of service at this neighborhoody pizza point.

Saint Pizza Lounge
3813 SE Gladstone St.
Portland, OR









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