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All Hail The Nutella BeaverTail August 8, 2012

The beavertail is the Canadian equivalent to the American elephant ear but way better.  Don’t get me wrong, fried dough in any form is usually good no matter how you make it but this particular kind of deep-fried deliciousness is off the charts yummy.  It’s crispy on the outside yet soft and chewy on the inside and thick enough to handle whatever you throw on it.  The dough is stretched into a resemblance of a beavertail (hence the name) then fried up perfectly until it’s ready to be topped with even more unhealthy goodness.  I swear a bit of regret comes over me each time I eat it but I always  share this so the guilt doesn’t linger too long.

My order is always the same.  Straight up nutella.  They finish off the tail with a dusting of confectioners sugar before it’s ready to devour. Mmmm Mmmm.  Is your mouth-watering yet?   Because it should be! I always ask them to cut it up so it’s easier to eat and this way if you are the sharing type, you know exactly how much everyone is getting.  Seriously,  counting of pieces each person is allotted has happened and you’ll understand why if you’ve ever had one.  You gotta protect your share of the beavertail right?   I purchase this wonderful creation at Beavertails Inc. located in North Vancouver (Canada) inside the Lonsdale Quay.   Check their website for all their locations.  My hips are so grateful this is 6 hour drive for me.

Location: 123 Carrie Cates Court, North Vancouver,British-Columbia V7N 3K7

Website: www.beavertailsinc.com

Beaver Tails (Lonsdale Quay) on Urbanspoon

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Oh My French Fry. Part 1 July 19, 2012

Swift’s fries

My favorite go-to bar food is french fries.  Truth be told, it really boils down to any kind of potato in fried form so tater tots can easily be a winner too.   When I look over a restaurant’s menu, I take note of what kind of fries they serve and sometimes I’ll choose a place just based on how they make their fries (I’m wacky that way).  I look for something different from the run of the mill frozen fries sprinkled with just salt because I can make those at home.  The fries that get my attention are anything hand cut, fried in duck fat, topped with cheeses, sauces, herbs or some other interesting condiment that brings it to a different level of potato greatness. This got me thinking that there has to be more people faced with the same question of where to get amazing fried potatoes in Portland.  So I thought I would share some of the places to get your hands on the most interesting and tastiest fries in town. I’ve already talked about the tater tot “totcho” (Blitz) and the poutine (Hawthorne Hophouse) so check those out if you haven’t already.

My first french fry post will be about the remarkable fries from Swift Lounge on NE Broadway. I’ve always wanted to go there and the opportunity came when I needed to hit a quick happy hour noshing before a Black Keys concert. Keep in mind there is no wait staff so you have to get in line (which can get super long) and order at the bar. Their $5 mason jar happy hour drinks are fantastic so get one of those too! Swift has plain hand cut fries (a happy hour steal at $2) which looks delicious but I like to enjoy over the top ones so I ordered it topped with cheese fondue sauce. I think it looks more like gravy but it is cheese-tastic all the way.  I thought I needed help eating these babies and although I’m glad I had the assistance, I could have easily polished these off by myself.  You’ll be licking the bowl, it’s that good.

Mason jar drinks

Address: 1932 NE Broadway Portland Oregon

Website: http://www.swiftloungepdx.com/index.html

Price: $4 happy hour/$8 regular menu

Swift Lounge on Urbanspoon

 

The Amazing Cheese Bar July 3, 2012

An overcast day in Portland made sunnier with duck salami

I’ve had this on my list of places to eat at but it was a recent picnic plan that finally steered me over to the Cheese Bar.  Yay!

When you enter, a display case full of cheese will greet you and more than likely you will stare at it not knowing where to even begin.  Luckily the staff are helpful and will assist you in narrowing down your choices while giving you samples to try along the way.  We managed to pick out a mild but flavorful Perrydale cheese made out of cow and sheep’s milk before making the next decision of which cured meat should accompany the cheese.  We were much more adventurous with that part of the picnic fare and chose a curry flavored salami  (recommended by the staff) along with a duck salami. 

Ok, so the curry salami was really good but messes with your idea of what salami should taste like.  It is very creamy and has an almost cheese like taste to it which complimented the Perrydale we purchased.  The duck salami was a salty, peppery and fatty meat which was more reminiscent of the traditional salami our taste buds are accustomed to.  Overall, a really great spread to the other food we brought along for the picnic.  They also have a sit down area to enjoy their pub menu (nice selection of beer and wine) which I will be trying in the very near future. 

Left to right: Curry salami, Perrydale cheese and duck salami

Location: 6031 SE Belmont St. Portland Oregon

Website: http://cheese-bar.com/

Cheese Bar  on Urbanspoon

 

Pastry Perfection ~ Petite Provence June 6, 2012

Oh la la

Boulangerie: the French word for bakery

I spent 3 short but glorious days in Paris in the late 1990’s and I can still remember every pastry and dessert I ate there.  I began my mornings at the boulangerie next to my hotel and ordered something called a l’orangerie which is a flaky and buttery croissant-like pastry with apricot halves baked in and finished off with sprinkles of French pearl sugar. 

I’ve been searching for something similar to the l’orangerie but nothing I tried was memorable enough to make me want to go back for more until I walked into Petite Provence.  My experience with French bakeries in Portland have been so-so.  Nothing has blown my mind or has come close to the taste of the croissants and other pastries I ate in Paris so I wasn’t expecting anything more from this place.  Don’t get me wrong, they were tasty but I wouldn’t make a special trip out there to buy anything more if I had the craving.  However, the apricot croissant at Petite Provence caught my eye and as I began to eat it I was transported back to Paris circa 1999, sitting on a bench outside the local boulangerie in a food trance.  

Their flaky layers of croissant pastry envelopes a light custard filling with apricot halves on each end and becomes something out of this world delicious. I’ve been longing for something like this for decades and it is the closest thing I’ve found to pastry bliss since Paris.  I am happy I don’t have to travel far to enjoy it either as Petite Provence is conveniently located close to my work and another location is on the route I travel to go home.  They also have a bistro menu serving  breakfast, lunch and dinner items which I have yet to try but I am planning on it soon. Check their website below for more information. 

The picture above is their strawberry flower. 

Website: http://provencepdx.com/

Locations: 4 locations (so far) in Oregon 

Petite Provence on Urbanspoon

 

A Waffle Like No Other…The Liege Waffle ~The Waffle Window May 6, 2012

 

Seasonal Peach Strawberry Waffle

Liege Waffle: Named after the city of Liege in Eastern Brussels.  This waffle is dough based rather than batter based which creates a denser and chewier waffle than the traditional variety.  It is also smaller in size and sweeter in nature due to the incorporation of pearl sugar in the dough.  Once baked, the sugar creates a hint of caramelization on the outside and crunchy bits of sweetness in the inside. 

I tend to develop food snobbery from time to time only after eating something so good at one place that I can’t go back to what I’ve had previously had at other establishments.  It’s happened with coffee and calamari and now it’s happened with waffles.  Yes waffles!  A regular waffle will no longer do.  Only a liege style waffle will satisfy my waffle cravings because they are simply the best I’ve ever had.  The Gaufre Gourmet food cart introduced me to them and now I’m forever hooked. 

My friend from Vancouver Canada was in town recently and wanted to check out the Gaufre cart but it was closed on the last 2 days of her trip here.  I happened to introduce her to these waffles the last time I was visiting Canada and she wanted some during her visit here.   The prospect of eating a liege waffle seemed unlikely until we spent her last day walking down the streets of Hawthorne and spotted the Waffle Window.  We were happily surprised that they served the magical liege waffles!  I’ve heard about this place and walked by it many times but never stopped to take a look at their menu until now. 

My friend opted for the Guittard dark chocolate dipped waffle and I decided to try their seasonal peach and strawberry waffle drizzled with lime curd and strawberry sauce then topped with whipped cream.  Sounds pretty fantastic doesn’t it?  The chocolate dipped one was pretty rich and I don’t think I could  eat the whole thing by myself in one sitting.  I did, however, manage to polish off the fruit one with relative ease and I wasn’t even hungry.  They have a great selection of waffle toppings and they get them out pretty quickly.  The only thing they could improve on is yelling your order out louder since the outside seating picnic tables are far enough away that you can barely hear them. 

Location: 3610 SE Hawthorne Blvd 503.239.4756

Website: www.wafflewindow.com

Cost:  Chocolate dipped $3.00  Peach/Strawberry around $4.00

The Waffle Window on Urbanspoon

Chocolate Waffle

 

Oh My Peanut Butter Pie ~ Pacific Pie Company March 22, 2012

Filed under: Dessert,Eat Anytime,Food,My Favs — Food Freaks Unite @ 4:20 pm
Tags: , ,

Best peanut butter pie I've ever eaten

I’ve never been a big peanut butter pie fan and I’m not sure why.  I love peanut butter and anything with a good crust but it’s taken over 30 years for a pb pie to blow me away.  I’ve tried some homemade and restaurant ones and none of them left me really craving for more.  In fact, I remember one occasion where I turned down dessert when I found out it was a pb pie.  Anyone who knows me well will not believe this story but I assure you that it is true.  I am completely capable of turning down dessert.  It doesn’t happen often which is why I remember that particular day.  Well those days of over looking  pb pie are over now thanks to the Pacific Pie Company. 

Their version is the best I’ve ever had.  Period.  Hands down. End of story.  I shouldn’t be too surprised because they make some great food in both the savoury and sweet department.  Another reason to love them is their dedication to obtaining local and sustainable ingredients without a preservative in sight.  Yay!  I’ve  planned my work week around buying it so I could enjoy it with another coworker who also shares a love for it.  They do offer delivery service through another company if you are so inclined but there is a charge depending on the distance travelled. It’s a nice option to keep in mind but I’ve never used it to know the pricing for it. 

Ok, so back to the pie….It’s the one menu item that I will always go back to and the one that satisfies my sweet cravings.  I’ve tried to buy other desserts just to check them all off my food list but if I stare at the dessert case long enough I can’t resist buying it.  It’s like crack in dessert form and I won’t get my “fix” by anything else with the same amount of pleasure.  The topping is a chocolaty layer with bits of peanuts in it and the the crust is a standard graham variety.  It is the middle section that makes this amazing and it’s unlike anything I’ve ever had.  It is not too overpowering in peanut flavor and not dense at all.  It has a silky texture that is so smooth and creamy but not too rich that you won’t be able to inhale the whole thing in a few minutes.  My coworkers and I haven’t been able to figure out what the main ingredient in middle section is yet.  Cream cheese?  Sour cream?  Whipped cream? Fluff?  I have no idea.  We have our theories but I know if we tried to re-create it that it wouldn’t  match the original so why bother.  Pacific pie doesn’t charge a lot for pie heaven.

Location: 1520 SE 7th Ave, Portland OR 97215   Phone 503.381.6157

Website: www.pacificpieco.com

Cost: $4.50-ish (I’m the worst at remembering details like this, I only care about the pie)

Pacific Pie Company on Urbanspoon

 

Byron’s Dive In…Oops Drive Inn ~ Honolulu Hawaii March 8, 2012

Grilled Ahi

Everyone knows about Byron’s.  Everyone.  It’s a Honolulu institute and it is a quintessential dive spot so don’t expect much except  food at a decent price.  The location is nestled right by the airport so it is easy to access for people flying in and out of Oahu.  There is at least a zillion things to choose from and you may even find time to look over everything offered depending on the amount of people in front of you.  My wait was and easy 10 minutes.  They have specials and other offerings posted on the windows so you may really want to look at every square inch if you don’t want to miss something. 

I ordered the grilled ahi tuna steaks which were huge!  It came with a side of rice and mac salad.  I’ve never been a fan of Hawaiian macaroni salad and their version is no different.  No flavor unless mayo is a flavor.  Yuck.  But the ahi was good and the portion was worth the the 10 or so dollars I spent there.  It is no frills over at Bryon’s but I get the appeal for the tourists and locals who are looking to get cheapy food, good portions and relatively fast service.  The seating is outdoors and you can peer into the restaurant while you wait and wonder how many health violations were made during their last inspection.  I mean it’s not exactly the cleanest place but maybe the dingy ceilings and walls were grease stained from the many years of frying and it just won’t come off.  That’s what I like to think anyways.  Who knows.  At least I  didn’t get food poisoning so for that I am grateful.  I would eat there again and this time try the deep fried desserts they offer.  Twinkies?  Oreos anyone?  

Location: 3297 N Nimitz Hwy Honolulu, HI 96819  Phone: (808) 836-0541

Hours: Open all the time

Byron's Drive Inn on Urbanspoon