Food Freaks Unite's Blog

It's all about food!

Healthy Smoothies June 5, 2015

smoothies

I’m currently on a green smoothie kick (2 weeks and counting now) and I’m really liking it.  I felt like I needed to up my vegetable and fruit intake and this was the easiest way to do it.  I have one smoothie for breakfast and it keeps me full until lunch time.  It’s very easy to make a healthy smoothie unhealthy and loaded with calories and sugar so I’ve tried to be smart about what I put in each one.  Nothing is wasted and everything can be frozen so if you are thinking of doing this don’t worry about throwing anything away.

My go to green veggie is spinach and my garden is bursting with them right now so my green smoothie base consists of that or a mix of spinach and baby kale leaves.  I will be trying collards and romaine lettuce too.  As far as fruit goes, I put one or two different fruits in each smoothie because the natural sugars in them can easily add up.  The liquid bases I’ve use so far are coconut water and almond milk.  I am really liking the almond milk especially when I add a little almond butter. Yum! Other additions I use is sprirulina/chlorella powder and chia gel.  I don’t use protein powders because I want to keep my smoothies as natural as possible and I’ve stopped eating Greek yogurt so I don’t use any in my smoothies either.

I’m hoping to try other ingredients in my smoothies like oats, coconut oil and silken tofu.  Anyone else on a smoothie kick?

 

Pollo A La Brasa ~ Las Primas March 6, 2014

Pollo a la brasa

Pollo a la brasa

I have tried a few items at Las Primas but this was my first sandwich and fries and boy was it filling and delicious.  This one is called pollo a la brasa ($8.75) which is house marinated, slow roasted chicken, spicy pepper sauce, creamy dressing, lettuce and tomato.  The fries are crispy and ridiculously good when dipped in their homemade sauce which I can’t remember the name of but it’s the only white one in their self-serve sauce section (possibly the creamy pepper sauce).  I take several “to-go” if I can’t eat there.  I’ve also tried the alitas ($5) a house marinated slow roasted chicken wings, drizzled with a creamy pepper sauce which is tasty but greasy, a basket of papas fritas (fries, $5), their empanadas ($3.50 each) and their slow roasted chicken plate ($11).  

Overall very good and the fries and sauce will keep me coming back for more.  Their happy hour looks intriguing but I have not had a chance to try their drinks yet.

Location: 3971 North Williams Ave Portland, Oregon 97227

Website: http://lasprimaskitchen.com/

Las Primas on Urbanspoon

 

Brunch at EastBurn ~ Breakfast Sandwich February 21, 2014

Seriously!!!

Brunch is served on the weekends only (and without the crazy long Portland brunch spot wait times either) and mimosas are only $2 with any meal purchase.  SCORE!

I was pretty hungry so I thought I could actually finish this meal but I ate only half of the sandwich. It’s freaking huge!  It’s filled with smoked bacon, black forest ham, a fried egg, provolone cheese, a potato pancake and tomato aioli in between herb foccacia bread. It is served with my favorite breakfast item: fried potatoes!  The cost is $10 and filled me up until dinner time which consisted of a snack because I wasn’t really hungry.  It’s super filling and has so much going on with each bite that you won’t be disappointed.  You can substitute the meat for a Morning Star patty for $2.  I will definitely order this again!

EastBurn on Urbanspoon

 

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

 

Lobster and Crawfish Benedict ~ EastBurn November 20, 2013

photo (8)

Maine Lobster and Crawfish Benedict

Portland sure loves to eat out for brunch during the weekends and the hour long waits are considered normal at some locations.  I personally don’t like waiting that long so I try and find spots that serve great food without the long lines.  I’m not talking about the basic eggs/bacon/hash browns either which I can get for $2.95 at the dive bar down the street.  I want something a bit different that can’t be replicated at home while I’m half asleep in my pajamas.

Enter EastBurn which serves brunch from 10 am-3 pm on the weekends and the wait was non-existent when I went there. We left after 11 am and there were still so many tables open which is totally unheard of at some other brunch spots.  I will be sitting on one of the hanging basket chairs the next time I go there.  How fun is that?!

My order is always a savory item and if there is eggs benedict on the menu I will order it 95% of the time.  I love trying new versions of it and EastBurn did not disappoint.  I was very satisfied with my order of Maine lobster and crawfish benedict which was served on potato pancakes instead of an English muffin and let me tell you, it was fried to a crispy perfection.  It is served with spinach and a fontina cheese sauce ($12).  I certainly could have loved more lobster but I know I wasn’t going to get a whole lobster tail so I can’t complain too much.  It is a very rich and decadent dish that I would eat again in a heart beat.  I don’t think the toast was necessary and seems out of place with this dish.  The bf ordered the brisket hash ($10) with house-smoked beef brisket, veggies, potatoes and toast.  He managed to eat half of it so the portions are not skimpy at all. He also enjoyed the “build your own bloody mary but if that isn’t your thing,  mimosas are $2 with any breakfast purchase. They also start you off with complimentary mini scones (we got cranberry) which were delicious!

You can also accumulate points with your purchases at EastBurn to use towards rewards so sign up on their website.  I have no idea what the rewards are though because I don’t think I’ve reached the needed points yet but I signed up anyways and received 100 free points.

Website: http://www.theeastburn.com/

 

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

 

Oh My Poulet ~ Cocotte April 26, 2013

Hen. Honey. Dish. Chick. Harlot.

Those are just some of the translations of the word Cocotte. Brilliant right? I took the bf out for dinner there recently to celebrate his birthday and it was a wonderful experience.

Our server came by to take our drink order shortly after being seated in an intimate corner but nothing really stood out for me.  My favorite beverage, vodka, was not listed on any of their signature drinks so I needed some coaxing into trying something else. The server recommended the “Mère” ($9) made with Hendricks Gin, Dubonnet Rouge and Lemon (London Late 19th Century).  He had a nice bearded face that I could trust so my normal vodka drink was swapped out for gin and I actually liked it.

Mere

Mere

The bf ordered the “Biter” ($9) made with Beefeater Gin, Cheartruse Vert, Lemon Juice and Home Made Absinthe Bitters (London Early 20th Century).  That drink was like jet fuel.  Wow! Needless to say he got a buzz from the Biter.

Part of the reason I picked this place was the French inspired menu because the bf has never eaten escargot in his life so I had to change that and we both love foie gras so indulgence had to be repeated when given the opportunity.

I’ve had escargot a couple of times but it was never served like this! Their escargot ($9) was topped on house made brioche and garlic & leek pistou. The color took me by surprise as it is a bright green but it was fresh and very flavorful.

Escargot

Escargot

We also ordered the sonoma county foie gras ($13) which is pan roasted with balsamic, house brioche, berry dressed fennel salad and almond butter.  There were so many flavors and textures going on that every bite was different yet the same, that being delicious.

Foie Gras

Foie Gras

Both our appetizers were fantastic and we still had our main orders to look forward to. The bf ordered the pan-roasted lamb leg ($24) with ragoût of flageolet bean with boudin blanc & foie gras, meyer lemon purée, spring shoots & boquerones .  He polished the entire plate off so that says something right?

Lamb Leg

Lamb Leg

I decided to order the poulet en cocotte ($25) because I had to see what all the fuss was about after reading reviews stating this dish can sell out before the night was over. Their chicken is a half bird preparation of pan roasted breast, confit leg, farro risotto with seasonal produce, chicken demi-glace and a slow poached egg.  This dish is bomb!  The confit melts in your mouth and everything was cooked perfectly. The breast was still moist and we even noticed the pearl onions were still crisp yet cooked throughout.  I even ate the radishes on top and I don’t care for radishes.  Seriously ridiculous delicious.  I couldn’t finish it off so the small portion I had left was boxed up after the server and my bf suggested that I could make breakfast with it the next day.  I wasn’t sure that was possible but I took it anyways because I had to try and eat it the following day.  FYI, I made the best tasting omelet of it for Sunday brunch.

My only regret is not saving enough room for dessert.  Lucky for us that they gave us madeleines to go so you can enjoy it later.  Nice touch Cocotte!

I love this place. It’s cozy and charming with fantastic staff to help you along the way in deciding what to try.  The prices are reasonable for French food (dare I say cheaper than I thought) and the portions were ample.  There is nothing more I hate than to going out to eat, dropping good money yet walking out still hungry.  Trust me, it shouldn’t happen here!

poulet

Poulet en Cocotte

Website: http://cocottepdx.com/

Cocotte on Urbanspoon