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Oh My Poulet ~ Cocotte April 26, 2013

Hen. Honey. Dish. Chick. Harlot.

Those are just some of the translations of the word Cocotte. Brilliant right? I took the bf out for dinner there recently to celebrate his birthday and it was a wonderful experience.

Our server came by to take our drink order shortly after being seated in an intimate corner but nothing really stood out for me.  My favorite beverage, vodka, was not listed on any of their signature drinks so I needed some coaxing into trying something else. The server recommended the “Mère” ($9) made with Hendricks Gin, Dubonnet Rouge and Lemon (London Late 19th Century).  He had a nice bearded face that I could trust so my normal vodka drink was swapped out for gin and I actually liked it.

Mere

Mere

The bf ordered the “Biter” ($9) made with Beefeater Gin, Cheartruse Vert, Lemon Juice and Home Made Absinthe Bitters (London Early 20th Century).  That drink was like jet fuel.  Wow! Needless to say he got a buzz from the Biter.

Part of the reason I picked this place was the French inspired menu because the bf has never eaten escargot in his life so I had to change that and we both love foie gras so indulgence had to be repeated when given the opportunity.

I’ve had escargot a couple of times but it was never served like this! Their escargot ($9) was topped on house made brioche and garlic & leek pistou. The color took me by surprise as it is a bright green but it was fresh and very flavorful.

Escargot

Escargot

We also ordered the sonoma county foie gras ($13) which is pan roasted with balsamic, house brioche, berry dressed fennel salad and almond butter.  There were so many flavors and textures going on that every bite was different yet the same, that being delicious.

Foie Gras

Foie Gras

Both our appetizers were fantastic and we still had our main orders to look forward to. The bf ordered the pan-roasted lamb leg ($24) with ragoût of flageolet bean with boudin blanc & foie gras, meyer lemon purée, spring shoots & boquerones .  He polished the entire plate off so that says something right?

Lamb Leg

Lamb Leg

I decided to order the poulet en cocotte ($25) because I had to see what all the fuss was about after reading reviews stating this dish can sell out before the night was over. Their chicken is a half bird preparation of pan roasted breast, confit leg, farro risotto with seasonal produce, chicken demi-glace and a slow poached egg.  This dish is bomb!  The confit melts in your mouth and everything was cooked perfectly. The breast was still moist and we even noticed the pearl onions were still crisp yet cooked throughout.  I even ate the radishes on top and I don’t care for radishes.  Seriously ridiculous delicious.  I couldn’t finish it off so the small portion I had left was boxed up after the server and my bf suggested that I could make breakfast with it the next day.  I wasn’t sure that was possible but I took it anyways because I had to try and eat it the following day.  FYI, I made the best tasting omelet of it for Sunday brunch.

My only regret is not saving enough room for dessert.  Lucky for us that they gave us madeleines to go so you can enjoy it later.  Nice touch Cocotte!

I love this place. It’s cozy and charming with fantastic staff to help you along the way in deciding what to try.  The prices are reasonable for French food (dare I say cheaper than I thought) and the portions were ample.  There is nothing more I hate than to going out to eat, dropping good money yet walking out still hungry.  Trust me, it shouldn’t happen here!

poulet

Poulet en Cocotte

Website: http://cocottepdx.com/

Cocotte 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!

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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

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Falafel sandwich with a side of potatoes ($9)

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Falafel sandwich ($8)

 

Veggie Tostada-ada-ada ~ La Bonita December 13, 2012

Is there a time this place isn’t busy for lunch?  The line can be long but usually the wait for food isn’t quite as bad.  Be advised the food doesn’t always come out in order so the guy behind you (and the guy behind that guy) might get their meal first.  No biggie in my opinion but I always find myself lunging at what I think should be my order since everyone ahead of me received their food.  Hmmm, maybe it is all in order until it gets to me?  Oh well, the extra minute or two is worth it since the food is so good and you never leave hungry.

As you can see from the picture above, the tostada is piled high with beans, lettuce, salsa, sour cream and cheese.  Very filling and I would order it again.  The staff is super friendly and sometimes when the lines are really long they have been known to throw in a free fountain drink, at least for me they did 🙂

La Bonita is one of my go to lunch spots and several people at work like eating there now too.  Great find on Alberta St. where there are so many Mexican places to choose from.  I’m glad their gorgeous green door (below) caught my eye one day and made me take notice of their establishment so I could remember to try it out one day.

The door that caught my attention

Location: 2839 NE Alberta St Portland OR 97211 Phone: (503) 281 3662

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

Cost: $4.50
La Bonita on Urbanspoon

 

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