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Hands Down The Best Calamari I’ve Ever Eaten ~ Thien Hong April 23, 2012

I can go years with merely eating a vegetarian diet but there are two things that can bring me back to eating seafood.

  1. Sushi. I love love love tuna that melts in your mouth but I’ve eaten the veggie sushi just fine and have been satisfied with it so it’s not quite the influence that the next dish is.
  2. Calamari. My ultimate kryptonite.  Thien Hong’s salt and peppered squid is seriously a form of fried crack.  A perfect amount of batter coats the bite sized pieces which is then mixed with onions and garlic. It stays surprisingly light, crispy and not greasy at all.  It’s pretty amazing stuff and all of my out-of-town friends that have tried it always want to go back when they visit.

The only other dishes I eat there regularly are the green beans (or seasonal asparagus) in black bean or hot garlic sauce, pan-fried noodles and the fried rock fish.

Here are some helpful fyi’s and tips if you’ve never been there.

  • Their parking lot is small so be prepared to walk.  No biggie.
  •  They don’t have the best service but that’s not why you’re there so suck it up.  It’s quick and efficient and when you are hungry that’s all that matters.  You’ll probably get table service when you get your food and when they give you the bill.  Just call them over and they will help you out.
  • If you order calamari to go, your car will smell of it for 2 days
  • The owner is a hoot.  Most people find it hard to understand her but she is funny.  She’ll always try to get you buy more food and drinks and will likely pinch your kids cheeks when she is making her rounds
  • I’ve heard that they will say something to you if you are a cheap or no tipper.  Never happened to me but I always tip there and I’m a regular so I don’t mess around with a good thing.
  • They close the entire restaurant once a year for family vacation.  I forget which month but it’s a sad day when you are craving calamari and you drive up to an empty lot and locked doors.  It’s happened to me more than once and it totally sucks.  I also recently learned the hard way that they were closed for Chinese New Year.  Always be weary if the cars on that block are noticeable absent.

Location: 6749 Northeast Sandy Boulevard  Portland, OR 97213 (503) 281-1247

Price: It keeps going up but everyone will still buy it.  I think it’s around $11 now

Thien Hong on Urbanspoon

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