Food Freaks Unite's Blog

It's all about food!

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

Advertisements
 

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.

 

Carnita Tacos ~ La Bonita September 30, 2013

Filed under: Food,Lunch — Food Freaks Unite @ 4:20 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,
Carnitas

Carnitas

 

I should eat here more often than I do, I think I avoid Alberta Street as a driver because of the cyclists and the lack of a proper bike lane on that street.  There is only so many blocks I want to drive at 5 miles an hour and I get a little antsy around the 30 block mark of being behind a bike.  Don’t get me wrong, I get along with bikes and I love them but you are pretty screwed as a driver on this street if you are behind one.

Now that I’m done griping about traffic, I can talk a little about my delicious lunch I had a few weeks ago.  My coworker drove (yay!) and we both ordered the carnitas tacos.  Yes, she got stuck behind a bike in case you were wondering! My tacos were delicious and not greasy at all.  I ordered the lunch special (I think it was $6.95) and got rice, beans and a drink with my meal.  I definitely needed salt and hot sauce to flavor up the beans but they were filling and I ate pretty much everything on my plate.  It’s always a good meal and good service here.

Website: http://www.labonitarestaurant.net/

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Falafel Addiction ~ Cedo’s March 1, 2013

Sometimes you have to park further away from your intended destination to find falafel heaven.  True story!

20130131-142859.jpg

Falafel appetizer ($6)

It happened to me as I was walking back to my car after an appointment and then the smell hit me…the spices used in Middle Eastern cuisine was drawing me closer to Cedo’s and I so wished I was hungry enough to order something because it smelled sooooo good! I remember reading something on the exterior of the building that said they had the best gyros and fresh falafels were made daily.  The latter is what I wanted and I’m glad I went back the next day to try it out. The falafel balls are crisp on the outside and not dry at all on the inside. Very flavorful and distinctly different from most falafels I’ve had so they are putting something else in there which sets theirs apart from the rest (no, I don’t have a clue what it could be, maybe crack but I’m not sure). They serve it with quite possibly the best spicy chunky sauce I’ve had which I’m hoping they sell but I keep forgetting to ask. (I finally remembered to ask and it’s $5 for a small container). The potatoes are ridiculously good but I have no idea what spices were on them. I was particularly hungry when I ordered that side item and didn’t bother to get a good look at them before devouring them. Hey, it happens. They are super nice too!  The line and wait can be somewhat long (10-15 min) so if you are in a rush call ahead.  My food is always ready when I walk in and still hot when I get back to work to eat it.

Thank you Cedo’s, you make a mighty fine falafel ball.  I’ll even go so far as to say they are the best ones I’ve had yet.

Address: 3901 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd Portland, OR 97212  (503) 719-7344

Cedo's Falafel and Gyros on Urbanspoon

20130131-160337.jpg

Falafel sandwich with a side of potatoes ($9)

20130131-160327.jpg

Falafel sandwich ($8)