Food Freaks Unite's Blog

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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

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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.

 

Oh My French Fry Part 5 ~ Duck Fat Fries at Branch Whiskey Bar October 8, 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: Branch Whiskey Bar on 29th and NE Alberta St, Portland Oregon

Oh my duck fat fries

Oh my duck fat fries

A basket of fries is a mere $5 for happy hour and just $6 all other times.  These fries are incredible and I’m sure we have the duck fat to thank for that.  Sage and salt are sprinkled on the fries and it comes with aioli dipping sauce and lemon wedges (don’t be afraid of the lemon, it elevates the fries to a new level!). I’ve eaten at branch a couple of times and their food and drinks are solid but holy heck they need to hire more staff to keep up with customers.  The bartender can’t make drinks, take your food order and then bring everything out for you and keep up with the tables even with the bare minimum help of another staff or two.  Service is slow there and god forbid you want some ketchup or something else because it will take a while to get someone to come around to check on you.  The fries will keep me coming back despite the slow service.

Website: http://branchwhiskeybar.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

 

Ice Cream Headaches Coming Up! ~ Salt & Straw August 30, 2013

Salt and Straw headache

Salt and Straw headache

I’d like to try that goat cheese, marionberry and habanero (summer flavor) and my normal sea salt ice cream and caramel ribbon please! Holy cow, I always get a headache after eating at Salt and Straw but I always tell myself it’s worth it.  This photo of the ice cream is very special to me because it was the first photo taken with my brand new iphone and it’s fitting that honor went to food. My other phone suffered a fall against the concrete pavement and lost so I needed to start my photo collection stat because I’m still trying to figure out how to recover all my other photos from “the cloud.” So this marked the start of my new collection of food photos.  This picture was also taken at the brand new location of Salt and Straw on 33rd and SE Division.  I’d like to share a small miracle that happened there: I had to park a few blocks away and as I walked towards the location, there was no line out the door and around the corner. Unheard of right?  Well get this…when I walked inside, there was no line again!  I think I was standing in shock for a minute trying to figure out if I walked into the right place.  This kind of thing just doesn’t happen at the other locations and I’m kicking myself for not buying a lottery ticket the day this miracle happened.  I was ecstatic for that reason and that we got seats by the window to enjoy our future ice cream headaches (my friend gets them too and she’s a nurse yet it doesn’t concern her so why should I care right?).  The goat cheese one is delicious but it isn’t spicy at all so don’t let the habanero part of it scare you away and I always get the caramel ribbon because it is my favorite.  By the way, the image is of a half and half scoop (seriously it’s considered one full scoop) so don’t get a double if you can’t decide.  The half and half is plenty!

Website: http://saltandstraw.com/

 

Breakfast Served All Day ~ Bridges Cafe And Catering August 11, 2013

Florentine Benedict

Ok, so what if they are only open until 2 pm on the weekdays and 3 pm on the weekends, it’s still considered all day right? I have to thank the Chinook Book for introducing me to this little cafe.  I’m a sucker for 2-for-1 meals so the coupon in last years book got me in the door and the food made be come back for more.  I decided to use it for a brunch meeting and chose the most delicious eggs benedict florentine (pictured above for $9.95).  The potatoes were to die for and I wasn’t sure if it there were bits of bacon in it or just caramelized bits of onion or something but I ate it all even though I was a vegetarian back then.  My coworker wasn’t sure either and suggested I ask the waitress but truth be told I didn’t really want to know.  Oh what a year has done to me! My love for bacon has reappeared and may never go away again.

My latest visit I decided to try the catfish hash ($11.75) consisting of pan-fried catfish (duh), two poached eggs, grilled onions, peppers & potatoes , and then topped with creole  hollandaise sauce and served with toast.  It was a spicy and filling meal that had incredible flavor and would order again.  I was not able to finish this even with a little help from my boyfriend because his salmon benedict filled him up too.  You definitely leave this place full because we didn’t end up eating again until dinner time.

There can be a wait because the space is pretty small and there was only one person working all the tables so don’t be in a rush if you decide to eat here.

Catfish Hash

Catfish Hash

Location: 2716 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Portland, OR 97212

Website: http://www.bridgescafeandcatering.net/

Bridges Cafe on Urbanspoon

 

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/