Food Freaks Unite's Blog

It's all about food!

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/

 

Advertisements
 

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

 

Breakfast At Toast June 6, 2013

Rain Man and Sun King

Rain Man and Sun King

Thank you to Amber for telling me about this little known yet in many ways unknown spot in SE Portland.  Prepare for a wait during the weekend because it’s a busy place which only means one thing…great food!  Now, I’m not sure what I was thinking when I ordered 2 kinds of potatoes during my first visit there but I was hungry and after 20 minutes of waiting I felt I could eat it all.  Yes I failed at that but I got to eat my first rosti there, a classic Swiss potato dish, and anyone that knows me can tell you that I just love potatoes in all forms so I was super excited to have it prepared in a different way than the normal hash variety.  I ordered the Rain Man and Sun King ($10.50) which had sautéed vegetables (served Al dente) with greens and roasted potato hash topped with poached egg finished with aged balsamic and Parmesan cheese.  Super delicious! The service was great and the wait staff are very friendly so you always feel welcome when you come in.  They are now serving dinner a few times a week so I’m looking forward to trying that out too!

P.S. I heard their bloody marys are quite tasty if you like them!  My friends enjoyed them but I’m not big on tomato juice so I didn’t try it.

Location: 5222 SE 52nd Ave, Portland Oregon 97206 or try their food cart Yolk at 4804 SE Woodstock Blvd, Portland, OR 97206

Website: http://toastpdx.com/

Toast on Urbanspoon

 

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

 

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)

 

Pulled Pork Pastie, Spicy Slaw and Mac & Cheese ~ Pacific Pie Company January 25, 2013

Pulled pork pastie

Pulled pork pastie

I’ve been a loyal fan of Pacific Pie Company for years now and I like their savory and sweet selections equally that I order at least one of each every time I go there.  It’s a calorie busting visit each time so I try not to make a habit of going there too often, but when I do I don’t hold back one bit.  In fact my last visit even included a pastie, pot pie, sausage roll and peanut butter pie to go because y-o-l-o.

I decided to have lunch there on a rainy December afternoon with a coworker before heading out and running errands.  I was particularly hungry so I ordered a lot of food which is pictured above.  Let me preface that I only ate half of what you see on that plate so I’m not quite the oinker you will no doubt be wondering.  I chose the pulled pork pastie after ordering the pulled pork sandwich the last time I was there.  Let’s just say I almost needed a shower after eating it, yes it was that messy! Delicious but I wasn’t in the mood for a messy meal so the pastie was the way to go.  My side item is a spicy coleslaw and the sauce that came along with the meal is a tangy vinegar based dipping sauce that is also used in the pastie.  Too tangy in my opinion and not really needed because the pastie is already full of flavor.   Now here is the crazy part, I seriously thought I could also eat a side of mac and cheese so I ordered that too but that was a big mistake as you will soon be reading about.

If you are unfamiliar with a pastie (also can be spelled pasty) it is essentially a pot pie that you can hold and eat on the go but just be aware you will no doubt have flaky pastry goodness all over your face and hair if it’s made right.  I’ve had some of their vegetarian options (spinach & feta and veg & cheese) but since I’ve transformed into a carnivore I find myself ordering and craving pork more than anything else.  Hence, my order of the pulled pork pastie ($8).  Underneath the flaky buttery crust is a tangy blend of spices and an ample amount of pork.  My order came with a choice of either spicy coleslaw or a salad.  I don’t even like coleslaw but I really like their version.  All coleslaw should have a spicy kick of heat to it!  But if that wasn’t enough,  I also ordered mac and cheese ($3.50) which I will probably never order again.  I had high hopes considering I’ve never eaten anything bad there but I hate to even say that it wasn’t that great.  It was barely cheesy (a dry mac and cheese) and although the toasted breadcrumbs were a nice touch, there was zero flavor.  I had to add salt to even give it any at all. The first disappointment I’ve experienced at this place.  The second was it took over 20 minutes to make it.  If I timed it, it may be closer to 30 minutes so I’m being generous here.  It’s easier to order everything to go. There is a freezer of ready-made products as well ready to eat pasties in the display warmer.  And next time I’ll stick to what I like best which is pasties/pot pies and peanut butter pie ($4).  The “P” trifecta!

Best peanut butter pie I've ever eaten

Best peanut butter pie I’ve ever eaten

Location: 1520 SE 7th Ave, Portland, OR 97214 503-381-6157

Website: http://www.pacificpieco.com/

Pacific Pie Company on Urbanspoon