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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

 

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

 

Oh My French Fry Part Four ~ Cassidy’s Pecorino Cheese And Rosemary Salt May 8, 2013

Pecorino Cheese and Rosemary Salt

Pecorino Cheese and Rosemary Salt

The fourth installment with my search for great fries in Portland takes me to Cassidy’s Restaurant.  (Previous french fry posts featured The Observatory, Swift and Hawthorne Hop House).  I’ve only been here a handful of times but each time has been a good experience.  It’s conveniently located next to the Crystal Ballroom so eating there before a concert is convenient plus you can see how long the line is getting if you sit by the windows.  The place also accommodates large groups fairly quickly even on a busy Friday night when every other place in town can’t seat a party of 8.

Their delicious hand-cut fries are topped with grated smoked pecorino cheese and sprinkled with rosemary salt ($7).  Oh my gosh they are so good.   Even if you are not hungry you will eat a few of these if you like french fries.  I turned down sharing these fries with a friend until I smelled them and then proceeded to eat half of them anyways.

Websitehttp://cassidysrestaurant.com/

Address: 1331 SW Washington St. Portland Oregon

 

 

Happiest of Happy Hours ~ Brix Tavern April 8, 2013

Amante Picante with spicy Vodka

Amante Picante with spicy Vodka

Brix Chips

Brix Chips

My first time at Brix was fantastic!  Here are the highlights and good things to know…I apologize for the mediocre photos, I was too busy eating and drinking to focus 🙂

  1. Monday is all day happy hour which is usually the day we need it most (3 pm to close)
  2. Early happy hour is 3 pm to 6:30 pm  everyday
  3. Late happy hour is 9:30 pm to 12 am Sunday through Thursday (no happy hour cocktails Fri and Sat night)
  4. Martinis (with infused liquors and muddled goodness) is $4! Yes $4!!! That alone should get you in their door.
  5. Brix chips ($6.95 during happy hour) is ridiculous and everyone should eat it at least once if they are there (verde roasted pork shoulder / baked cheddar / grilled tomato salsa / cilantro cream / tortilla chips)
  6. The beer braised chicken wings are also great but I would pass on their calamari
  7. If you like the ingredients in their martinis but not the liquor it’s paired with just substitute your favorite one! I had them use house infused chili pepper vodka in the martini that originally called for tequila. I had about 3 of those babies called the “amante picante” using pepper vodka, mixed with fresh cucumber and lemon.  I also tried the “zesty mango” and I sampled their cinnamon infused whiskey which I liked and I normally can’t say that about whiskey.
  8. The bartenders rock! It can get busy but they were awesome and are super helpful if you have questions about the menu and drinks. They even let us try a sample of a couple martinis to help us decide our next pick. They may even let you order a few extra in advance before happy hour ends
  9. When we closed out our bill for happy hour, we ate 4-5  food items and about 9 or 10 drinks and it was about $77. Give or take. I can’t remember exactly but I know we had a good time!

I’m not sure what else to say about this place.  I really liked it and I’ll definitely come back.  I’m especially curious to try   their weekend brunch menu which features bottomless mimosas for $9 and a variety of eggs benedicts which is my personal favorite.  Parking can always be a challenge in the Pearl but suck it up because it’s worth it in the end.

brix1

Zesty mango martini and the remains of the Brix chips

Dry chicken wings

Dry chicken wings

brix4

Website: http://www.brixtavern.com/

Address: 1338 Nw Hoyt St.

Brix Tavern on Urbanspoon

 

McDonald’s Is Better Than Orenco Station Grill March 21, 2013

Gosh, I haven’t written a bad review like this one in a loooongg time.  In fact, the last restaurant I disliked this much closed down (Afrique) and is now a pub (Tavin’s). At some point, bad food coupled with bad service will catch up to you and if the owner’s don’t start reading customer reviews and realize there is an issue they deserve to lose money and eventually close their doors forever.

The night started out fine. We got seated right away and our server (Alysha) seemed nice enough and brought out water in a timely manner and said she would take our order shortly. We decided to try their scallop starter wrapped in bacon (4 medium scallops which calculated close to $2.75 a scallop). It arrived in a reasonable time and then things went downhill from there. Tables around us, some seated after us, were receiving their main courses before us. In fact, the couple beside us even paid and left before we even got our main courses but then again, they had a different server.  Let me add that we didn’t order anything too complicated or time-consuming to put together. I ordered a veggie burger (frozen patty) and my bf ordered the kobe beef burger and the fries that came with the meal were frozen too. It took over 45 min after we got our starter (and we placed the entire order at the same time) for our food to arrive. She knew our order was missing and told us she would check on the status but never came back to tell us how much longer. I’m sure she never put it in. She gave us no explanation at all. She kept walking back and forth to her other tables (still ignoring us) and each time she did, we got madder that she didn’t have the decency to tell us what the hell happened to our food. Our used starter plates and utensils sat at our table for over 30 minutes because she couldn’t bother taking the dirty dishes off our table which is just plain lazy.

When we finally got our meal, she offered no apology for it taking so long and still had no explanation either.  I guess we should have just been grateful to have received it at all. My burger was meh. I liked the bread but the frozen patty was a bit dry. They charged me an extra $1 for the cheese and $1 for sweet potato fry substitution which brought my meal to about $12. I should have gone to Little Big Burger and saved at least half of my money. The kobe beef was even more disappointing.  My bf stated it was dry inside and burned outside and that plate of food costs about $15-16. Their website doesn’t include the prices on their menu, a strategic measure I’m sure because there is a lot on their menu that is over priced for the quality they serve.

We wanted to get out of there so I had the restaurant.com coupon on my phone ready to scan along with a debit card so we didn’t have to wait another 10 minutes for her to come back to take our money.  What I hate most is she earned 18% whether she gave good service or not.

Don’t waste your time or money here. Read the reviews and you’ll notice 2 extremes.  You have a 50/50 chance of getting pissed off and wasting your money or being happy and claiming it’s the best meal you’ve ever had or the best place you’ve ever eaten (no seriously, people have written this sh$t). Now, when I read things like that, I can’t really take their opinion seriously because Portland is a foodie city and if Orenco Grill is the best experience you’ve had then I feel bad you haven’t done your stomach or wallet a favor. They deserve better and so does everyone walking through their door.

Here is a picture of the scallops.  I didn’t take a picture of our mains because we were hungry by then and a bit angry but trust me, it’s nothing to write home about.

scallops

Website: http://www.orencostationgrill.com/

Orenco Station Grill on Urbanspoon

 

Oh My French Fry – Part 3 At The Observatory January 7, 2013

Recap of my mission:  Sharing some of the locations with the best fries in town because it’s important to know these things!! 

Next stop: The Observatory for garlic rosemary parmesan fries ($2 happy hour).

If memory serves me correctly, we ordered 3 of these because we inhaled the first batch in no time and two just wasn’t going to be enough.

The smell of the garlic and rosemary on these fries will grab your attention immediately and pull you in to try them and before you know it, they are all gone!

I know this post is about their fries but I thought I would mention they have delicious oregano fry bread ($2 happy hour/$4 dinner) which should be used to slather their smoked whitefish spread on ($5 happy hour/$7-10 dinner) because paired together is absolutely fabulous.  Also try to get there during happy hour because the savings are huge which you can use towards tasty cocktails ($1-$5 specials during happy hour).

There is more seating in the back (The Over and Out side) which is where I’ve had to sit most of the times I’ve eaten here due to the crowds however, the menu is essentially the same.  There is just a more relaxed feel with pinball machines and pool tables gracing the open space.

Address: 8115 SE Stark Street, Portland Oregon

Website: http://www.theobservatorypdx.com/

The Observatory on Urbanspoon