Happy Pocky Day

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee it’s 11/11 !!

I was a silly silly girl, saw my friends post on Tuesday about this (forgetting she was a day ahead as she is actually living in Japan) and announced Pocky day yesterday. Whoops, it’s happening right now!

We decided to make ramen for lunch so we stopped at a few small Asian markets to pick up some ingredients.
Bf(f) got a Melon Ramune *yum*, I couldn’t help but pick up some pocky as well– matcha green tea flavor.

1. I don’t like tea
2. I forgot that I’ve already tried this one
3. It tastes pretty gross

Overall probably my least favorite Pocky but I gained another box cover for the collection… At least the ramen turned out beautifully 😛 Recently I’ve been researching Japan, watching tons of YouTube videos of vloggers living there, trying crazy snacks and showing their day to day lives over there. I’ve noticed so many radical flavors for everything from peach potato chips to Hawaiian and Pokemon Ramune! No different for pocky, there are some things I am just going to have to be in Japan for. I hear there’s even a Pocky vending machine!! <3_<3

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Apparently Pocky was first sold in 1966! And what a great day indeed.
While I don’t eat these on a regular basis it does hold a lot of nostalgia for me,
growing up my grandparents gave me Japanese snacks all the time (Yan Yan, manju, mochi, Koalas, Sanrio gum). That and I noticed some new flavors while I was in Hawaii that still haven’t made it here in Oregon—
Demitase, adzuki bean… Mmmmmmmm!

Some other flavors I’ve heard of from Japan:

Hokkaido Melon
Cornflakes and Almond
Pineapple
Honey
Coconut Milk
Creme Brulee
Brazilian Pudding
Purple Sweet Potato *Murasaki Imo
Kiwifruit
Mango
Blueberry
Black Sesame
Kinako <------------- need to try!
Pumpkin
Lychee

There’s also a Pocky decorating kit which obviously appeals to the artist kid in me.
Can’t wait to try more once I get abroad 🙂

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Happy ポッキー Day!!!!!

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New Seasons

Every time I head into these places I can’t help but stare (and poke) all the different cheeses I’ve never had the pleasure of trying. (The allergy stops me from going too crazy, awww shucks. #aznmafia) Soft bries, oozing inside their plastic wrap or the variety of spotted molded blue cheese, goats milk with peppers and garlic versions… I digress. There are local delicacies and classics that have yet to be explored. This trip I dove into two more, just by what sounded good because I couldn’t remember exactly what I got last time, except that it had a purplish wine rind. Hey, that rhymed. Hey, that also rhymed. Hey,

Anywho———-

The Players:

~1 Seeded Baguette (or whatever bread you prefer)

~Dalmatia Fig Spread Croatia (about .3 lbs, these are usually sold at local grocers in small glass bottles for a more affordable price)

~Champignon Cambozola [Cheese] Germany

~Rogue Oregonzola [Cheese] Central Point OR

The Oregonzola was described as a mix of Camembert and Gogonzola with a light blue in it. While I appreciate blue cheese, I don’t always want the bite that is associated with the typically crumbly cheese. This, however was perfect. By itself and paired with the fig spread. Absolutely perfect.

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Annnnnd, tis the season. Egg nog and chocolate milk.
Yep, but this is a rich, thick chocolate milk that is truly addicting. Beware! Allergic… and it was worth it!

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Bollywood

Lovely day to have a day off–
80 degrees out but the air feeling so much more fall than ever.
We drove to SE Division to meetup with Dan and Rene, excited to hear stories from Rene about her recent trip to France, Germany, and Iceland!

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We stopped at Bollywood Theater, nice timing as there was NO LINE. Crazy. It was just as well because it took us some time figuring out what to order. This was my third time and I knew you couldn’t go wrong no matter what you get.

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A few plates were brought out, smelling of spices and looking heavenly. The Khati Roll with beef, Kati Roll with paneer cheese, and “Indian” nachos (don’t remember the real name).

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We got to talking. There was mention of some accidental consumption of fermented shark, and video too! Sitting here in Bollywood it was easy to say that I would try it, but being there and smelling those ammonia smells, it’s hard to say if I really would. And with those heebie jeebies more plates were brought out… just when I thought I might be getting “full” MORE PLATES were served up. 🙂

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Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh a bevy of different things to try, plate surf what-have-you. My favorite dish was basically everything. The last and largest plate of chicken and rice had an amazing curry sauce that I couldn’t stop eating. The lamb samosas were a favorite of mine from the second time I went to Bollywood! It was a first having the fried okra and it did not disappoint. There were even some Indian sauces/salsas that enhanced the flavors even more and had a little bit of a heat to it. The chilis on the side were tasty as well (but not hot).

Our last stop was the Flying Cat Cafe across the street to get some caffeine and bask in the glorious sun. I don’t usually indulge but they had a homemade pumpkin spice latte that we got (iced), very delicious which prompted me to buy another iced latte– I need to try chai everywhere I go and this was super creamy and not overly spiced like some boxed chais tend to be.

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Chill day with some of my favorite people.
Can’t wait to do it again!

Bollywood Theater
3010 SE Division Street
Portland OR 97202

(503) 477-6699

http://www.bollywoodtheaterpdx.com/

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Feast

Fun weekend, so much going on in Portland. Feast, Rose City Comic Con, a circus…?, Patti Labelle concert– and more things I’m sure!

I had thought about getting tickets for Feast but a lot of the restaurants I enjoyed were recreating pretty similar dishes to the ones I’ve already tried. Nor did I want top pay $100 to learn how to pour coffee. Maybe next time!

The next part was that my friends were in town for the weekend and it was the first time Portland trip for Sami! A slew of things came to mind as far as what we should do but the first stop (first for me, they had already eaten at Waffle Window the night before and lunched at Mama Mia Trattoria an hour prior, haha) was Blue Star Donuts! There was a little bit of a line, I’m not really sure why. It’s not that hard to grab donuts and put them in boxes, but hey– this is Portland. Any service beats VooDoo but I digress. We each got a donut to share: Chocolate Ganash, Dulce de Leche, and Lemon Poppy Old Fashioned Buttermilk which was a new one for me. All were good, my favorite by far was the Chocolate, I’d had it before but it tasted even better this time! We ate our donuts next door at Lardo where we waited for our Dirty Fries. I always need a salty to balance the sweet! I had to head back to work but we planned to meet for dinner after I was done!

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My bf came to town to meet me so we could head to Khao San. My friends mentioned wanting to try some more Thai (a few bad pad thai experiences in the past), so we figured this place was close enough and has had great food (and drinks) everytime. We asked to be seated in the tuk tuk, …little hut like motorized car indiginous to Thailand. Of course I liked it, (silver metal table reflecting the Christmas string lights on the roof). VERY FESTIVE. Decided to order the Red Light District which I had tried my first time there, some Chicken Curry Puffs appetizer and some Chicken Pings to start! It was only when our drinks arrived that we realized our friends were on the other side of Portland and it would probably be an hour and half before they were even at the restaurant. What to do? Eat and drink everything quickly, we were going to hang out in SE tonight!

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Ended up at Lucky Strike, also been there once (anyone remember when I tried their Chicken Pepper Bath rated 5 bombs on the spice level?!). All we really wanted was potstickers and fried rice, which we got both and a sweet and sour rice noodle dish that was good too. I wasn’t starving but I somehow forgot to take pictures of this.

[Insert epic fried rice pic here]

After that we were feeling pretty good but needed to walk off some of the meal as we still had places to go! Headed to the nearby Portland Cider Company where we got to try a selection of fruity ciders (the only kind I like, I’ll admit). One was labeled Maui (infused with pineapple and coconut) but it wasn’t that noticeable of a flavor. We opted to get a flight of 5 smaller glasses so we could enjoy more different things.

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Time for our second/third/fourth wind! Drove to Hawethorn and 12th to the corner foodcarts to get some crepes! Perfect timing: little movie night happening and they just started playing Predator. Haha. Such a nice night to be outside. However, I was craving something sweet, preferably a crepe with nutella and bananas in it but ended up with that nights special: a savory crepe with soppresata, mozerella, basil and bell peppers.

It was

THE

BEST

CREPE

I’ve ever had.

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And as I kept repeating to anyone that would listen I hope they put that on their menu. It needs to happen. We watched the best bits of Predator leaving my friends to enjoy the rest and decided to head home as we both had an early morning the next day.

Oh it’s not over yet.

[ NEXT DAY ]

Lunch break! We met downtown again so we could head back to Grassa, the day prior there was a long line and we got distracted by a platter of fries in Lardo. We each got a dish, Squid Ink with albacore, there special of the week: ramen, and my biased favorite, Rigatoni (this one with pork belly).

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For the sweet portion of our dessert we went across the street to Ruby Jewel– where I was not planning on partaking due to a dairy allergy that had resurfaced. Nonetheless I have no willpower, or had none when I saw that there was a seasonal flavor– Coconut Creme Pie filled with candied coconut, vanilla wafer, and marshmallow fluff! It was divine and I’m sure any coconut lover would agree. There were also ice cream cookie sandwiches and peanut butter jelly waffle cones ordered– delicious. I might actually be leaning more towards this place than Salt & Straw. *blasphemy* I know. These flavors are legit!

We parted ways, promises of a flight of 17 waffles were to be had that night along with more crepes. I wished them luck on that journey– now it’s back to getting ready for Hawaii aka not eating 5 meals a day!

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LangBaan

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The food was epically good… as is {exponentially} inversely proportional to how my photos turned out.
I figured that I would start by showing some professional photos of the food to give the right impression.

But first… It is important to know how we arrived here.

That afternoon I was lunching with a friend… we had each ordered a pizza and were eating our slices out of the box.
I was hungry enough and figured I had nothing to lose so I’d polish of the entire thing. As I’m licking my fingers clean I notice my cell phone has been lighting up with more and more messages.

“This might be an emergency,” I thought.

[Haha] Quickly scanning the texts I realized that we had gotten some last minute reservations for a pretty desired place: LangBaan, we already had some for a few months later, but this was TONIGHT, and the menu changes every month, so why not?
Oh yes, remember THAT ENTIRE PIZZA I ATE and LangBaan is known for their 12 COURSE MEALS!
Just lovely timing, good thing I am always down to eat and the meal wasn’t to start until 8:30 that night.

The place we arrived at was not labeled LangBaan, but Paddee. We got there a bit early to sample some libations
at the bar while we waited to be shown the secret spot.
Our favorite drink was called the Waterfall—
it reminded me of a sweeter, alcoholic version of the juice from a cucumber kim chee dish my mom makes.
Not too sweet which is just how I like it, a bit of citrus, some tang from the drinking vinegars. Easy to have a few!

8:30 rolled around and a small group of us (a limit of 20 seats) were taken through a hidden grey bookshelf door. A cozy seating area was set up with its own little kitchen where the chef was in plain view.

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These pictures obviously do no justice to the artistry of the meal. As a whole I could not imagine a more cohesive twelve courses. Two and a half hours later we were almost finished. The last bit we ended with was two “desserts”. I’m using quotations because one was a dessert soup (a sweet gingery broth with a little mochi ball in it… a sweet ozoni?) Yes, this is exotic Thai food, not Japanese but I am making connections here. The last plate was some kind of tapioca shooter. Considering this is the portion size for two grown adults I got angry. They were so good, but much like a fading memory– one great bite, hard to savor… what exactly did I eat? I need MORE MORE, as in a whole bowl [of the tapioca stuff]. Time. To take my time and figure out all the layers. It was almost anxiety. I’ve joked before about storming kitchens to get exactly what I’m looking for, but in this case I could see straight into where these miniatures had been made and they were already cleaning up. After this month the dish would cease to exist anywhere. Beautiful concept. Expensive to devour. A romantic and exciting place for two with adventurous palates. Left wanting more. Left wondering about next month!

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48. Teote

Teote

Sunday.
Beautiful day to check a thing or two off of my list.

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Thanks to my Venezuelan friend Daniella who was adamant that I try some of the cuisine from her homeland–
I’ve been twice and have not been disappointed! The drinks above: Palomas, lovely to drink on a balmy summer day when you want something light and fresh.
The bowls were full of shredded marinated meat, cheesy, and decently spicy. The polenta cakes were fun to eat with as well.

Teote Areperia
1615 SE 12th Ave
Portland, OR 97214

(971) 888-5281

www.teotepdx.com

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My Strange Addiction

I welcome you to take a look into my spice cupboard and see the array.
There is a separate area for liquid hot sauces, do not worry!
I’ve got that covered too…

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The most lethal weapon in the arsenal, the ground habanero powder as is suspect by the hand written name.

Thanks mom!

Do not overdo it, a good dash of this will ensure a tummy ache for even the most seasoned chili eaters. I consume food like a goat and yet this stuff has me being “careful”. I still challenge anyone to eat something hotter than I and enjoy it more— Bring it on!

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Biwa

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Biwa– a japanese lute, apparently the instrument of choice for the goddess of music.

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One of the most memorable places I have eaten *twice now* —
The food experience: unlikely menu items, unusual pairings, stunning presentations…
Just a surprise and delight for all the senses each time I go.
Also a surprise for the nearby diner whom I knocked water all over.

That is besides the point.

If daring, and craving adventure try ordering the chef’s special— three different offerings on a plate.
Examples of our otsumami include: Eggplant and pulled pork. Jello jelly fish. Candied salmon. Collard greens and pork. These change monthly I believe so there is always something new to expect.

Have also tried Biwa’s tuna musubis. Korroke. Karaage. All delicious.

Although I’ve never really had enough room for dessert, I do know they serve a Chocolate Pudding!

Biwa Izakaya
215 SE 9th Ave
Portland, OR 97214

(503) 239-8830

www.biwarestaurant.com

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