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Pip’s Original ~ Mini Doughnuts And Chai Lattes December 5, 2013

Mmmmm doughnuts!

Mmmmm doughnuts!

Thank you to my coworker Nick for introducing me to Pip’s Original!  Fresh warm doughnuts smothered in raw honey and sea salt definitely hit the spot during an unwelcome cold and rainy summer day.  Our original plan was to take the doughnuts to a nearby park and work on our itinerary to Banff and Jasper National Park while sipping mimosas (yeah that’s right!) but we ended up sitting at Pip’s with a couple cups of delicious Chai lattes (we ordered the Ginger Rogers which has Thai chili but it’s very mild so don’t be afraid to try it). It wasn’t super busy the day we went due to the rain so we took up  the biggest table by the window and stayed there for well over an hour. The doughnuts were so good warm which is such a nice and rare treat without needing to go to a county fair to get them that fresh.  They are also dirt cheap and I love that you can buy them in incremental amounts or buy them by the dozen for $5.

They also have cinnamon and sugar ones and another drizzled in nutella (yum!) but so far the raw honey and sea salt is tops for me.   If you “like” their page on Facebook, you can find out about their ridiculous deals such as buy a chai latte and get a dozen free doughnut days (usually on a Friday).

Address:  4759 NE Fremont St, Portland, OR 97213

Price: We paid under $5 for the doughnuts and each of the lattes.
Pip's Original on Urbanspoon

 

Say Cheese!! Herb’s Mac and Cheese Food Cart November 20, 2013

Portland is a food cart mecca of sorts and I know I won’t be able to eat at each and every one but I can’t believe I haven’t been to Herb’s Mac and Cheese until now.   I normally don’t drive through this area so I only noticed it by taking a different route home trying to avoid traffic unsuccessfully.  This is when I noticed out of the corner of my eye a sandwich board on the street that mentioned mac and cheese over here.   I quickly glanced over and saw a small collection of carts nestled in an empty space off SE Division St and 32nd Ave (Aka D-Street Noshery).  I’m a mac and cheese fiend if I allow myself to be and  I don’t mean the bright orange stuff that comes out of a box or the ones that are microwaved to disgusting perfection.  It is the homemade variety that I can eat uncontrollable amounts of if left alone with a fork and no witnesses.   I wasn’t able to try it right at that moment but I made a mental note to go there one day soon and I had a good feeling that I wasn’t going to regret it. 

Well that day finally came and it seemed odd that I was craving it on a 90 degree day but there I was standing in front of the shiny stainless steel cart  all sweaty trying to figure out what to order.  I was already starving at this point and the simple rules they posted on how to place an order failed to register with me.  I could only decide an whether or not I wanted a regular or double container (the first step).  The following add ons were too many for my brain to figure out on an empty grumbling stomach so I just asked for a plain jane one.   If your brain is in working order, the next step is the addition of meats (bacon, chicken or pepperoni)  followed by the third step of adding veggies  (garlic, spinach, jalapenos,broccoli and diced or sundried tomatoes).  Finally, the fourth step is any addition of other cheeses  (crumbled blue, crumbled feta, pepper jack, parmasean, cheddar and asiago) which will complete the ordering process.  I personally like it plain or with breadcrumbs on top but the other stuff isn’t appealing to me unless it’s cheese.  Call me old school when it comes to my mac and cheese because I don’t think I need all the frills.  To me it just isn’t the same. 

Herb’s version uses penne pasta (perhaps a touch overcooked the day I went) but the cheese is the ultimate test of goodness and it’s there that they don’t dissappoint.  It is creamy and cheesy done right. Their secret sauce recipe is a bechamel based one that coats the pasta like a glove.  I’m not sure if the hunger caused me to lick the lid clean of all the cheese or if the cheese made me lick the lid clean.  Either way, I displayed no table manners and since I was in the confines of my office I didn’t really care.  My stomach was full and the only thing I regret is not ordering the double so I could eat more later.  Perhaps that was a good thing.  By the way, the double is literally double in size so a really great deal for a couple dollars more. 

Location: 3221 SE Division St.  Closed Mondays.  Open Tues, Wed, Thurs and Sun 12pm-9pm.  Fri and Sat 12pm-10pm.

Contact: www.herbsmacandcheese.com  503-928-7559

Cost: $5 (small) $7 (large) add ons start at .50 cents and go up to $2 for meats for a large size order.

 

Food Pic Friday ~ Winner Winner Chicken Dinner November 8, 2013

Food pic Friday: Random photos of food or drinks I make or put together at home because for some reason I can’t eat out all the time

photo (7)

 

I love crispy chicken skin and I’ve been known to make my own sauces, dry rubs and breadcrumb mixtures for it but I took the easy way out and used Progresso Italian breadcrumbs for this dinner.  No egg mixture needed, just moistened with water and coated skin side down for 20 min at 375 degrees then I flipped it over for another 20-25 minutes.

Potatoes were pan fried with onions, diced sweet peppers and seasoned with salt and pepper,  then tossed with fresh rosemary, spicy oregano and fresh garlic for the last few minutes.  Zucchini was tossed in olive oil and fresh basil then salted with Murray river finishing salt at the end.

 

The Scotch Egg ~ Happy Hour At The Thirty Lion October 26, 2013

Who thinks these crazy things up?

Who thinks these crazy things up?

Oh the Scotch egg.  It’s a hard-boiled egg that’s been wrapped in pork sausage, then breaded and deep-fried.  No one should really eat it right?  It’s curiously delicious.  I wasn’t sure after my first bite but I kept going in for more and within a few minutes, I ended up eating my portion of it.  For $3.95 how could you not try it out?

Pros:

  • Happy hour is 3 pm-7 pm (M-F).  I love happy hours that go past 6 pm!
  • Happy hour food is $3.95 to $5.95
  • Pints/well drinks $3.50-4.00
  • I don’t know if I ever needed to eat the Scotch egg (pictured above) but I’m glad I tried something new in food adventure land.

Cons:

  • It’s located downtown and I hate paying for and looking for parking.  They also have a location in Tigard which is completely out of my way but I’m sure parking is better there.
  • Food is meh but it does the job.  We tried the beer fondue and pretzel, caesar salad and calamari.
  • Plenty of seating!

Website: http://www.thirstylionpub.com/

Location: 71 SW 2nd Avenue Portland, OR 97204

 

Cuban Happy Hour ~ Pambiche September 8, 2013

Pambiche makes one of my favorite chicken dishes (pollo criollo) and the best version of tres leches cake in Portland (in my humble opinion).  I was very excited to try the happy hour here and was not disappointed by the food or drinks.  We ate so much and ordered too much that we couldn’t even think about dessert. Please note: We did not nor could not finish all the food in the photo below.

pambiche1

Pros:

  • Happy hour starts at 2 pm! and runs until 6 pm (M-F) then 10 pm to midnight (Fri and Sat night)
  • Great food and beverage choices.  The flavors are incredible and so much better than pub food and in most cases, cheaper too!
  • Our bill was about $25 per person which included 3 drinks each plus all the food above (we ordered 2 more items after that photo was taken so there was actually more food!).

Our sampling:

  1. We ordered 3 empanadas because apparently we ordered with our eyes and not our stomachs.  We picked a couple of potato and cheese (papa con queso) as well as a spinach and 3 cheese (espinaca con queso) and all were  flaky and delicious ~$3 each
  2. Cod fish and potato croquetas (bacaloa con papa) ~ $4 plate (4 pieces).
  3. Yuca Frita ~ yuca fries $3.50 
  4. Moros & Cristianos – black bean and rice – $2
  5. Pollo Frito ~ Chicken marinated in creole seasoning then deep-fried -$3.50
  6. Masitas – Adobo seasoned pork that is deep-fried – $5 (one of my favorite items).

Cons:

  • Parking is limited so be prepared to walk (this can be a problem for lazy people).
  • Most of the dining space is outdoors (this can be a positive in the warmer months but they have heaters when it gets chilly).
  • No vodka?  Rum is the spirit of choice but I’m glad I tried something new! I drank a few of the “las tunas teas” ($5) made with their own house made tropical tea which is shaken with raw honey and rum.  I absolutely love this drink and can’t wait to drink it again!

pambiche2

Website: www. pambiche.com

 

Why Do People Wait An Hour For Ice Cream At Salt & Straw???? July 7, 2013

Filed under: Cheap Eats!,Dessert,Eat Anytime,Food,My Favs — Food Freaks Unite @ 4:20 pm
Sea salt ice cream with caramel ribbons

Sea salt ice cream with caramel ribbons

Salt and Straw is a farm to cone ice cream shop that makes everything in small batches using local, organic and sustainable ingredients. So Portland right?

I remember when they first opened their NE Alberta shop and there was maybe a couple people in front of me but now that would be a small miracle. Their flavors are unique and can change with the season (honey balsamic strawberry with cracked black pepper, Meyer lemon and basil, smoked Hefeweizen or how about pear and blue cheese?). It doesn’t matter if it’s raining and cold outside or whether it’s sunny and worthy of ice cream weather because the line will be there waiting for you. Just accept it. I honestly have no patience for their queues but recently braved it because friends from out of town were curious and wanted a treat after dinner. The line was about the same before we left for dinner as when we got back from it and it wrapped around the corner and down the block. We started lining up sometime after 10pm and got in the store at 11pm. No we didn’t order yet. The line continued just like the rides at Disneyland when you think you’ve made it to the front until you see even more people snaked around the perimeter of the store. You can skip this whole process if you buy your favorite flavors by the pint or want to order something wacky like an espresso at an ice cream shop. And I’ll probably do this next time I get a hankering for their ice cream.

I will say that once you get real close to ordering, they do something that actually makes this line go faster than it normally would.  A staff member starts asking people what they would like to sample and I was a pig and got 3 samples: Arbequina olive oil (meh), cinnamon snickerdoodle (very good), honey balsamic strawberry with pepper (very good).  But I ended up getting a one scoop/half and half (their scoops are HUGE) and their one scoop is really 2 scoops anywhere else.  My flavors were almond brittle with salted ganache (excellent) and sea salt ice cream with caramel ribbon (bomb).  Next time I will just get the latter which was worth the hour wait if you have nothing else to do but seriously ain’t nobody got time for that!

My friends and I all ended up with a headache the next day.  Ahhh the sugar high.

Queue inside

Queue inside

Website: http://saltandstraw.com/

 

Pork Carnitas Quesadilla ~ Que Sabrosa June 20, 2013

carnitas

I’ve been going to this food cart for a few years now and not only do I love their food but they are super nice as well. It’s located on the corner of Fremont and Vancouver in North Portland with limited parking.  The prices are great and so far I’ve tried their empanadas, tacos, taquitos, quesadillas, breakfast and chips and tomatillo salsa.  I was a non-meat eater when I first started going there and I liked their vegetarian options. If you see something that isn’t vegetarian then just ask them and they can probably put something meatless together for you even if it’s not on their menu. They granted my fried food request for cheese taquitos even though their menu only had meat options. I’ve asked other carts to do the same and they declined even though they weren’t busy and had no customers to serve. Que Sabrosa has never done this and would also suggest other vegetarian options for me (because I tend to get stuck on eating the same thing over and over again).

My food choices opened up when I re-introduced pork and chicken back into my life. I wasn’t sure where to start but I narrowed it down to a quesadilla so I could eat it relatively mess free. That last part didn’t work out so well in this instance but it’s so worth it so just have enough napkins around. I asked one of the staff about the pork choices (carnitas vs pastor). I had no idea what the difference was but I remember her saying one was fried on the grill and that cemented my decision to pick the carnitas. This dish is so good that I ordered it again the next day for lunch and I try to go there as often as I can when I do treat myself out to lunch. I’ve since ordered this dish at a few other places and neither was as flavorful or generous with the meat as Que Sabrosa was.  The juices from the meat and melted cheese just make a mess out of eating this but it’s nothing the right amount of napkins can’t handle.

Call your order ahead of time if you are in a rush at 503-288-5157.  The parking can be an issue during lunch hour or sunny days but that’s never been a biggie for me.  They take debit too ($5 minimum) which is always a big thing for me because I rarely have cash anymore.

Address:  Corner of  N. Fremont and Vancouver (across from the future New Seasons by Emanuel Hospital)

Quesa Brosa on Urbanspoon