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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Biwa

琵琶

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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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 🙂
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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Pizza in Portland

Yeah: Another list.

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1. Apizza Scholls
2. Atlas Pizza
3. Al Forno
4. American Dream Pizza
5. Baby Doll Pizza
6. Bellagio’s Pizza I think…
7. Blackbird Pizza
8. Blind Onion Pizza & Pub
9. California Pizza Kitchen
10. Cibo
11. Dominoes
12. Dove Vivi
13. East Glisan Pizza Lounge
14. Escape from New York
15. Fire and Stone
16. Firehouse Restaurant
17. Flying pie
18. Giant’s NY Pizza
19. Handsome Pizza*
20. Hot Lips
21. Ken’s Artisan Pizza
22. Life of Pi
23. Lonesome’s Pizza
24. Lovely’s Fifty Fifty
25. Nostrana
26. Midwest Pizza Co.
27. Mod Pizza
28. Moon Pizza*
29. Old Town Pizza
30. Opa Pizzaria
31. Oven and Shaker
32. Piazza Italia
33. Pieology
34. Pinky’s
35. Pizza Hut
36. Pizza Maria
37. Pizza Schmizza
38. Pizzeria Otto
39. Pream*
40. Pyro’s Pizza
41. Roman Candle
42. Sizzle Pie
43. Slice Pizzeria
44. Straight From New York
45. Thick (food cart)

*Opening Soon
**Everyone invited to partake in the pizza party
***Accepting applications for workout sponsor
****Pizza is eternal

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Food Carts: SE 28th & Division

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4.2
Garden Monsters
The Colossal Cobb {237 cal (as stated from their menu)}
Romaine & Iceberg Lettuce, Roma Tomatoes, Black Olives, Bleu Cheese Crumbles, Chopped Egg, Garlic Croutons (g)
(Size:Mini Monster)
Carnivore (Roasted Turkey and Smoked Ham {140 cal} w/ Avocado Ranch {179 cal})
$6.50
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Their mission statement was “raising the bar” for salads– Granted I only tried their cobb, but with all the ways this could have gone right… it didn’t even taste as good as the salads I make at home, and paid half the price for. Just saying. There wasn’t much dressing on the salad, which I appreciated but also couldn’t actually taste. Slight issue. A few measley olives and some turkey hiding in there. It was alright. Way overpriced.

Buki
Takoyaki
$7
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Preparation took awhile… at least 15 minutes. I’m not sure why, that seems like quite awhile for the food cart circuit. The takoyaki itself… I think it could have been a lot better. The insides were so creamy and dare I say gushy, yet the tako had a lot of chew to it. Kind of an off texture profile in my opinion. Had these been busted out like real street food they might’ve… just might-have-been worth it.

Tandoor’s Saffron Indian Kitchen
Chicken Tikka Misala
Chicken Saffron Rice
Vegetables in coconut curry
$6

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Very nice service, simple menu, quick to plate, piping hot— Tasty everything. Also came with a few pieces of naan wrapped up on the side, lovely! I was craving Indian food, and this was a great offering at only $6.

The only place out of those three I would go back to…

Tandoor’s Saffron Indian Kitchen!!!!!
Best tasting food, large quantity (good for sharing/plate surfing), fair price and fast service.

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4.6
WENT BACK: Try #2.

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Aybla Grill
Hummus Plate $5
Not enough pita for the price. Homemade hummus, not bad–

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Namu – Korean Hawaiian
Kalua pig, mac salad, and rice. $8
Was neither Korean or Hawaiian. Oddly, a heck of a lot of gravy, and the taste of it was too sweet. Rice a bit overdone… also sitting in a ton of gravy. Yep, I am a rice-nazi, sorry. Quantity to price ratio… I’ll take it. Mac salad, was not super traditional but probably the best tasting thing on the plate.

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Malasadas. Definitely not a typical malasada, only legit in the fact it was a deep fried ball of dough. Cinnamon sugar though… Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. No.

Sooooooooo what would I order again?
Probably none of these, unless I was super desperate: maybe the Kalua pig!

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36. HK Cafe

HK Cafe — 3rd times a charm!
Lunchtime: Asian invasion aka grab a number and wait…
Should’ve worn the face masks, hope not to get SARS.
“Best Dim Sum in Portland”

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The usual suspects.

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Right to left: Pork shumai, Veggie/shrimp shumai, Ha gow (shrimp dim sum), cabbage wrapped dumpling, (“donuts” top left corner)

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Spare ribs and squash. Not the best cut of meat by any means, some extra fatty bits but super savory with its black bean gravy. The squash was extra tasty from sitting in the broth.

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Bao: BBQ pork (char siu). Good fun to eat. I’ll explain– the sweet stickiness on the outside of the bun, grabs onto your lips/fingers. The inside, once you get to it, is a relief of pretty standard BBQ pork mixture. Yum… also able to pick one of these up with chopsticks and take a huge bite that way. Just great textures and the sheen on the tops of the buns was mesmerizing. I’m now disturbed by the way I’m describing food…

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My favorite … the thickkkkkkkkkk rice noodle wrapper on this thing = texturally everything I ever wanted. Inside, some veggies– might’ve been baby bok choy leaves with shrimp. Thick and chewy to bite into, balance of meat to outside proportions. Would get two of these plates next time.

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“Sweet! Egg yolk!” said the cart lady. This passed me by once… but I was not going to leave without giving it a try. I vaguely remember Vien telling me that it was “gooooooooooooood”.

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Dessert: Egg yolk steam bun with sugar crust and butter/yolk innards. Crack! The cart lady had passed once or twice and each time I stared at the sweet egg yolk bun. At first it looked like I had more than enough food (it was just the right amount)… but my curiosity could not let this one go. I spotted cart lady again but she was in the middle of a busy floor making her rounds, so I walked up with my ticket and got them. They had been sitting right above the burner, and the aroma reminded me of walking into Homemaid Bakery, and smelling fresh malasadas. The look reminded me of those breads from a Mexican Paneria with the colored hardened shell of sugar on top– I expected a custard inside, but instead there was liquid gold. Some kind of sweet butter and egg yolk magic filling. OH SO GOOD!

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Seconds? Thirds? So many things left to try! I really enjoyed all of my plates, minus the “donuts” and would order all them again.

Also, the price: all of this food added up to only $22– Not bad at all for the experience, variety, and quality!

OKAY… I JUST CAN’T HELP IT
ONE MORE PICTURE
OF THIS INCREDIBLE THING

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