Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lunch at Ping - annihilated.

My favorite parts: baby octopus skewers, tea-soaked eggs, pork knuckle meat over aromatic rice with a spicy sour dipping sauce, thai stir fried glass noodles (piquant, fishy goodness), and yam yai salad. Texture! Flavor! Color! My mouth is watering just thinking about it...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

How many of you, like me, have had a perfectly delicious looking burger/sandwich/salad placed in front of you in a restaurant, only to discover that the entire dish had been ruined by the presence of a subpar tomato? Those pinkish, mealy, industrial-ag tomatoes should just be left off of the plate, as far as I’m concerned. Anyway, poor tomato quality has been such a consistent theme in food service establishments that the gorgeous red and dark plum colored heirloom tomato slice sitting under my burger last night immediately caught my eye. I think that the Gilt Club might be serving Portland’s best burger.

The details: Painted Hills natural beef. Gruyere. Housemade aioli (on the side!). That tomato. Butter lettuce. Homemade pickle (sweet and spicy, on the side). Cooked with a little char, pink inside, to medium-rare perfection. Served with a huge steak knife. Hand-cut (skinny) fries—no, frites, piled on the side (salted AND peppered). Sesame topped brioche bun from Grand Central Bakery. I needn’t say more.

I used to really love the Slowburger at Slow Bar, which, when glancing back at the menu just now, has basically the same elements (from the same producers), with the addition of a fried onion ring. But that burger at Gilt was perfection, and you don’t have to sit in a dive bar to get it.

[On that last note I will put in a word for the greasy burgers at the equally greasy Twilight Room up on Lombard in North Portland. They serve up one of my favorite combos: bacon, barbeque sauce and onion rings on their Western BBQ Burger - the kind of thing that you can only get in a roughed up tavern, paired either with a cheap draft, or rootbeer. Mmm…]

Friday, September 04, 2009

I got a little taste of what's to come from Olympic Provisions when it opens (hopefully) next month. At a little soiree held in a suite at the ACE Hotel, guests chewed on these little chorizo sausages and sipped cocktails mixed with the aromatic gin and small batch rum of House Spirits. I was totally into the sausage, and probably chopped off one too many from the string that sat in the bowl on the table in the center of the room. (Since these tasty morsels do come on a string like this, the hungry Hawaiian in me immediately wondered if some could be purchased and tied into a lei with which to adorn foodie friends on their birthdays. Gross, or just greasy?)

I got to ask Olympic Provisions' owner Nate Tilden a few questions about the new place, which made me so excited to check it out.

Here's the scoop: A small restaurant housing Oregon's first salumeria (they've had to lobby for the rights to cure meat at the USDA in WA D.C.), industrial part of town, long bar, and only 30 seats, including a chef's table in the back. As the Owner of Clyde Common, the food will no doubt be edgy, meat heavy, and reaking of regional goodness. Inspiration comes from the tapas bars of Spain. I can't wait...