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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1WP

August 14 at 10:24pm ยท Portland, OR ยท

First world problems! Watching Cupcake Wars and am now craving cupcakes. Knowing I don’t have much in my kitchen, I look for a “from scratch” recipe online. Then I realize that I only have 3 cupcake liners and no cupcake tin for baking. Now searching cake in a mug single serve microwave recipes and realize now that I don’t have a microwave. WHAT TO DO

SO, since I desperately need to go grocery shopping the cupcake is gonna be a

CINNAMON BLUEBERRY COCONUT POPPY SEED CUPCAKE …

Pics below of the daunting task:

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All kinds of issues, I’m not even posting the recipe it was so ridiculous!

The original called for the items on the left which I did not have,
on the right is what I used as substitutes!

Vegetable Oil – Olive Oil
Milk – Water
Cocoa – Cinnamon
Extras – Coconut/Poppy Seeds/Blueberries

True life episode of Chopped or something…
I extremely enjoyed the challenge and the finished product
but I would also eat anything if I was hungry enough!

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Miss Delta

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Zach’s pulled pork sandwich ^

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Catfish and collard greens. Might want to specify “fully cooked” when ordering…

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My order: huge jambalaya, sky high cornbread and honey butter *my absolute fave when done right* and you can peek Rene’s crabcakes in the background!

Right up there on the list with Screen Door. I have to say I personally enjoyed my meal here more, the Jambalaya and side of CORNBREAD was perfect!! Great hot sauces to choose from as well. Maybe I’m biased, haha. I might have to go back to Screen Door and try their Jambalaya just to make sure ๐Ÿ˜‰

Miss Delta

3950 N Mississippi Ave
Portland, OR 97227

(503) 287-7629

www.missdeltapdx.net

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Portland Macarons

We’ll start with my favorite places…

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[ Ken’s Artisan Bakery ]

Blood Orange
Lemon
Hazelnut <--- #1, although they are all amazing
Pistacio
Grapefruit
Salted Caramel

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Suuuuuuuuper romantic story about the itty bitty pic above.

Surprise box, full of macarons at work, downtown Portland.

My very first in America actually. So good that I started shoving them in my mouth, crumbs all over my face and a Hansel and Gretel trail where I had been walking by. Mmmmm yum. Snuck away to a busy street. Someone leans in to kiss me (our first) and I frantically shake my head “Noooooooooooo!!” (Only because of the lovely hazelnut macaron still in my mouth).
Yeah. No matter. It was a delicious kiss, but besides that anecdote, Ken’s is by far my top choice for macarons in this city!

[ Pix Patisserie ]

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This place is great and always fulfills our late night macaron cravings! They are open until midnight-1 am and have a slew of other pastries to choose from as well! Pix was voted best macarons in Portland one year, when they had a foie gras flavored one. Disturbing, but just one of many interesting flavors to choose from.

[ Whole Foods Bakery ]

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Double Chocolate — tasted like a piece of fudge and had the same consistency.

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Birthday Cake <--- fave
Pistacio
Strawberry Champagne <---- tied for fave
Raspberry
(PLATE NOT INCLUDED)

I enjoy all of these flavors, even the double chocolate despite it not being quite right in texture. The best way to eat these (besides sharing, of course) is to get a bite of the birthday cake and a bite of the strawberry macaron in one mouthful. STRAWBERRY BIRTHDAY CAKE!!!

[ New Seasons ]

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Pistacio
Lemon
Chocolate
Coffee

These guys aren’t bad! They are a bit on the small side, wimpy macarons that just leave me wanting more. Not the craziest variety to choose from, just basics here that you can’t go wrong with.

[ Jade Bistro ]

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Blueberry
Lavender
Coconut <--- probably the best of the bunch
Pistacio

The colors were so bright and jarring. Fun to pick out in the case, but the flavors matched the vibrancy of the color, except in an artificial way. I think this would fit the palette of many kids rather than anyone desiring a true French pastry; the colors alone screamed fake and made it unappetizing. Plus you can tell from the picture that the macarons are all different sizes, so I don’t think they’ve got the recipe down yet.

[ Fancy That ]

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Pistacio
Chocolate Malt
Carrot Cake
Salted Caramel
Raspberry
Hazelnut

Again, all shapes and sizes of these macarons. Some of the most disappointing I’ve ever tried– If this had been a blind tasting I would have been unable to recognize what flavors I was eating (besides raspberry). The outside was basic for each one, and the filling aka sugared buttered added nothing special to distinguish one from another. The coloring was also pretty misleading. So if you like eating fancy butter… you know where to go!

[ NW Portland Cafe ]

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Gold macaron? Yes please!

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Lemon

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Raspberry… Tasted like a pop tart! Delicious ๐Ÿ™‚
These were more surprise work macarons (I prefer food to flowers anytime), and the description of where they came from was vague. I will forever dream of the pop tart macaron I had that day!

[ Elephants Delicatessen ]

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I only tried one. First and last one. Should’ve known better than to trust a place that would leave their macarons out in the open refrigerator all day. They were too tiny for the price, bland, and also the wrong texture *probably due to the refrigeration* I may need to buy some and let them defrost for a bit before consuming, just to be sure…

There are a few major bakeries known for wonderful macarons that I have not been to yet
but as always, I will add them to my ever-growing food list.

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A Cook’s Tour

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While getting to know my bf he asked what I thought about Anthony Bourdain. I don’t think he was prepared for my rant…

AHHHHHHHHRGH that guy! What don’t I like about him. I want to travel with him. I wish I could go everywhere he goes (minus Ethiopia) and eat what he eats (minus Ethiopia). I like him so much I wanted to see him on his tour a few years ago and throw my homemade spam musubi on stage because I know he loves the fatty meat goods. Alas, it was in the month of July (notoriously hard to get time off at work), back then I lived an hour away from the city and already knew it was going to be too complicated to go.

My bf replied that he too enjoyed watching the vice laden chef and read that he was coming back to Portland in 5 months! He bought a couple tickets the next day, (although completely unbeknownst to me I assumed he had only bought one ticket for himself… Haha.)

[ . . . ]

Fast forward: Well dreams really do come true. The entire room welcomed the celebrity chef with a standing ovation. No, I did not throw anything on stage— maybe next time. It was fun to listen to Tony go off about the industry and hurl his rehearsed insults at a bunch of the food network stars. The most interesting part was the last bit of Q&A where you felt a more genuine sense of the man behind Parts Unknown / No Reservations.

Someone asked where he had eaten in Portland so far and it was as I figured. Probably pretty common with his busy tour schedule, he admitted that he hadn’t even eaten anything that day due to his late flight in and early jiu jitsu work out. Kind of sad except Bourdain had no problem bragging that he has the best job in the world and it happens to be very lucrative. Still you can’t hate the guy for being honest, I look forward to his new season where he visits Cuba again (10 years later) and wonder if he will ever make it to the middle eastern counties few people ever get to see.

Below are some pictures from Grassa, where we ate some fresh pasta right before going to the show.

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Popper

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No better way to eat popcorn than with a pickle or two on the side!

RECIPE

Air pop 1/4 cup white corn kernels
Use a tiny bit of coconut oil or try sesame oil (tastes better)

Sprinkle some:

Garlic salt
Sriracha salt (anything on hand works)
Pepper (black/white/whatever)
Creole seasoning,
and a generous HANDFULL of Brewer’s Yeast flakes!

A simple recipe is just the salt and the Brewer’s Yeast;
I grew up eating it this way (my parents were hippies) and my friends at school would always say
that my popcorn tasted so good! This is the secret!

PS— Hawaiianize it by throwing on some SESAME FURIKAKE and you’ll have a real treat!
PSS— Also pour some mochi crunch in and it will be a legit local delicacy (jk)

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Parts Unknown

Dear Anthony Bourdain,

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I was intensely curious to watch this episode once I found out you were returning to Hawaii, specifically Maui.

I was horrified at your only commercial stop on my island:

Tasty Crust.

If I had been eating while watching I would have spit. Instead I was sitting there with my mouth gaping–
then after the shock wore off, laughing hysterically… Why? It’s in a slightly run down part of town (which I love actually) and happened to be my grandpa’s favorite spot. Chatting with him about where he wanted to eat or where he had gone for the day,

“Tasty Cruss” would come the reply, (in his Japanese broken English accent).

“TAAAAAAAAAASTY CRUST?!?!?,” all of us always exclaimed. Seriously?!

I’ve eaten there a handful of times. I’m not trying to blasphemy a local hangout, it holds great memories.
Do those memories make the noodles special? Not really. I recall them being extra curly, and yes fun to eat as a kid but a well done bowl of ramen? I think not– pretty basic stuff here!

I will be visiting home soon and sure enough am planning a trip back to Tasty Crust–
One, to see if things have changed or improved. Secondly, to remember my grandfather and continue on his
Tasty Cruss pancake eating legacy.

Thank you.

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Viking Soul Food

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Viking Soul Food Cart >> Belmont St

Lingonberry juice… FTW, YUM!

Left>> Sweet Lefse Wrap
Rhubarb preserves, Portland creamy chevre & walnuts

Right>> Savory Lefse Wrap
Norwegian meatballs, goat cheese, gravy, sweet & sour purple cabbage

Both of these were great. The wrap itself was a nice texture, super thin with a nice chewiness to it that actually held up to the fillings— The sweet lefse was soooooo creamy and not super sweet which I enjoyed, but also had some crunch from the walnuts. The meatball wrap had salty and punchy parts with the pickled cabbage in there. I love getting all kinds of textures and flavors in one, so again both of these were really enjoyable! The two of us split these, and ate them back and forth; plate surfing at will. Best of both worlds really (and a bit of Valhalla)!

Closing in the near future but supposedly moving to a brick and mortar location— Yay we finally made it!!
Thanks to my Danish friend for introducing me ๐Ÿ˜‰

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P.R.E.A.M.

I’ve heard Cash Rules Everything Around Me, and even been to C.R.E.A.M. (Cookies Rule Everything Around Me) in SF but I was superrrrrrrrrrrr excited to try the brand new, much anticipated: PIZZA / Rules / Everything / Around / Me!

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Perfect day to sit outside and enjoy the summer ambiance… there was an exciting 10 minutes ogling the feud between Trimet/ angry bus riders, and a taxi sitting on the corner. There was some yelling and threats made– taxi driver doesn’t care. Even our host got pulled into the fray. The bus driver finally decided to use common sense and pass the immovable taxi.

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On first inspection of the menu there were definitely pies that sounded good, but everything had just one aspect to it that I did not care for. It appeared to be rational combinations and then a twist: let’s throw this weird thing in there to be “innovative” and hip Portland. After being walked through our menu by our really awesome host we still needed more time. We were all so hungry, we got the Meatball (Appetizers called Hook on this menu) which had an Amish butter polenta, arrabbiata, fried shallots, and parmesan. It was really scrumptious ๐Ÿ™‚ One meatball for each of us and it was a good thing too, that Rootbeer Flip drink was stiff!

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Ended up trying the KALE pie (Entree AKA Chorus): Lardo, smoked mozzarella, onion, honey, chili ($17). Yes, that’s right HONEY. I’m not normally one to mix savory and super sweet on my dinner plate and this was (in the end) no different.

Woodfired pizza? Great. Flaky crust: awesome. Burnt flaky crust, no thanks!

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This is no photoshop trickery, and no filters have been applied. Presentation is definitely a part of it, black has never been that appetizing to me. I will say that I thought the kale on top was tasty. But when I go out for pizza do I want a salad on the side? Heck no! Do I want it on my pizza dripping with honey? NO–
Will I be back? Honestly, probably not. Service a little slow, prices a bit much for a so-so pizza.

PREAM
2131 SE 11th Ave
Portland, OR 97214

(503) 231-2809

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Mother’s Bistro

53. Mother’s Bistro and Bar

What a morning! There was a 5 am wake up, all to get to a meeting at 6:45…
Typically can’t fall asleep early even if I attempt it and ended up getting only four hours of shut eye!
No big deal– By the time I arrived in Portland the temp was already 70 degrees! The warmer weather made it bearable to be out and about so early! Hooray for summmmmmmmmmmmmer!!
After the meeting I was feeling particularly adventurous and slightly hungry (haha… right) and decided to wander around to “Mother’s” with Alex since it was not even 10 o’clock yet– and we had a few hours to kill! Perfect time to try the breakfast menu I kept hearing about but never seemed to be awake for! We had both been past Mother’s but couldn’t seem to find the corner it was on. Turns out it wasn’t actually a brick building like we “remembered”… OR on a corner. No matter, we made it just in time, although the whole place was jam packed– people lined up, eating inside and out! They mentioned it would be a 10 minute wait, which was just fine! I got to study the lights above me–

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When we were finally seated we had both worked up quite an appetite! One sweet dish and one savory to split; it seemed this would satisfy our cravings– The morning “Mini Bubbles” drinks menu looked pretty spectacular as well: moscato and pomegranate juice, mimosas with strawberries– ahhhhhh. Lovely interior as well! Gold (my fave) frames wall to wall, mirrors reflecting lots of light, and crystal chandeliers were draped in every room! This mom’s bistro is fancy! Not what I expected, better!

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Top picture: The Crunchy French Toast. I have always enjoyed french toast, probably since the amazing mornings my mom would make this for breakfast. One quick look at the menu and my eyes zerooed in on this version, “thick slices of challah (egg) bread dipped in cornflakes and grilled golden brown” To be fair, it wasn’t super crispy or anything, but it was soooooooooooooooooo good.

Bottom picture: Breakfast Nachos. How could one not indulge with a name like that!?
Roasted red potatoes sauteed with bacon, caramelized onions & a touch of cream, topped with
melted cheddar, sour cream, and green onions.
On top of that we added two over easy eggs. I will say it added tremendously to the nachos, no yolk has ever tasted more buttery and smooth. Both of these plates were From the Griddle section on the menu! Go figure.


The delicious aftermath:

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Mother’s Bistro and Bar
212 SW Stark St
Portland, OR 97204

(503) 464-1122
www.mothersbistro.com

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