Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Driftwood Room

The Driftwood Room

We went to the Driftwood Room's late night happy hour. This time capsule is located in the lobby of the swank Hotel de Luxe in Northwest Portland. One of those timeless lounges that serves Champagne cocktails with bitters and specialty drinks of days gone by. Happy Hour is the way to go here. Nothing over $5 and such a huge selection and portion size. The cheese platter included spiced nuts, quince paste, dublinger, Port Salute, and Roquefort. The mussels were fresh and flavorful, cooked with tomatoes and sausage
The grilled pork sandwich with apple pear chutney was crisp and delicious. By far my favorite were the Sizzling Wild Mushrooms drizzled with truffle oil and served with grilled bread. The double portabello mushroom burger was a beautiful and flavorful vegetatian option, and the Prawns Picatta were cooked just to perfection. Needless to say the portion sizes were more than generous and we ran out of table room quickly.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Pig Product!!!

Otto's Sausage Kitchen and Meat Shoppe
4138 Southeast Woodstock Boulevard
This place is Amazing!!! Pork, Sausages of ever variety, shape and size, Bacon, ham, ham hocks, pepperoni sticks, fresh ground breakfast sausage, bangers, Kielbasa Chorizo, Linguesa, braunschweiger, Liverwurst, Landjeager, and much much more.

Sort of a specialty butcher shop, with a hefty selection of salads, slaws, macaroni, potato, bean salads, as well as a large barbeque out front were the grill up selection of sausages daily. There is also a respectable sandwich counter with a range of sandwiches to choose from.

Otto's Sausage Kitchen and Meat Shoppe
4138 Southeast Woodstock Boulevard
Meal: Lunch
Price: $
What we got:
Carla: Grilled pork sausage
Kyle: Grilled pork sausage
Matt: Mad Otto Sandwiches
We got to share: Broccoli Salad, Coleslaw and Macaroni Salad
Landjaeger and hot pepperoni stick.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Getting to Know You...Portland.

Cuban Flavor, Bahn Mi, and Tour de Portland

I woke up late. When it's overcast all day, it always feels like morning. There is a sense that you have the whole day ahead of you, the whole day. After I made some German Pancakes, and drank a half a pot of coffee, we decided to unload the trailer for a while. This started off as a good plan but by the time we decided to go for lunch it was 3:00 pm. However, in a city with abundant happy hours, this turned out to work in our favor. Matt suggested we try Pambiche as it is one of the places that I am interview at next week. First of all, the outside of this place is painted in Vibrant colors. There is just something about the exterior splash of cheerful colors that hints at the array of colorful flavors that lie within. My hubby was unhappy with our table because it was right next to the front door but I was loving it because it put my in direct eye line of the pastry case.
PAMBICHE 2188 NE Glisan
Price: $
What We Ordered: We all Shared Everything
  • Empenadas-Beef encased in a flaky crust so tasty
  • Yuca con Mojo- Fried yuca root with a garlic lemon gravy-like dipping sauce
  • Moros & Cristianos-Black beans and rice
  • Potajes de Frijoles Colorados-A very hearty stew of red beans, pork and potatoes with tons of flavor served with white rice it is muy delicioso!
  • Masitas- Fried Pork and quite possible the best thing on the know how I love pork and fried foods, this is the holy grail, the best of both worlds, my favorite dish!
  • Ropa Viejas-Shredded beef simmered in salsa rojo.
This was truly a great meal and we loved every bite. We also got an array of desserts to take home. We haven't tried them yet but will let you know soon.

Best Baguette-8303 SE Powell Blvd
Cuisine: French-Vietnamese
Meal: Dinner
Price: -$ (We're talkin' $2.85 for a 6-inch sandwich)

  • Carla's: BBQ Pork Bahn Mi
  • Kyle's: Meat Ball Bahn Mi
  • Matt: Grilled Pork Bahn Mi
So here's the deal Bahn Mi is my new favorite thing seriously. East meets West in a totally unpretentious way. Here's the rundown: Fresh Baked French Baguette spread with a mayonnaise mixed with fish sauce, then comes the meat layer of your choice, (the best was the grilled pork), then comes pickled carrots, cilantro, daikon radish, and Jalapenos. Bahn Mi makes me happy!

We finished off our day with a guided tour around downtown (by our buddy Matt) and we saw all the food carts and about fifty other destinations to add to the adventure list. Back home to unpack some more and our room feels like home.

Stay Tuned for more fun, food, beer, baked goods, recipes, and crazy rantings from your favorite Mad Mistress of Pastry Chef Carla!

Day 3 Welcome to Portland Beer City USA!

We awoke in Rogue River, OR and glanced out the window to a holy crap moment! Trees every where and a huge river with a massive steel bridge and green as far as we could see. We meandered through the rain down to a tiny 50's style diner where we found ourselves encircled by coca cola paraphernalia. The sign above the counter read "Thank You for Your Patronage, Have A Great Oregon Day." I ordered the Hash Browns, and French Toast. These were by far the best hash browns ever. Just the right amount of crispiness and cooked in browned butter. The potatoes were shredded to large strips and were tender and fresh. I am talking about hash browns, people. There isn't much to them but these were, in my opinion, the best!
We traveled the rest of our journey through the rain, but the air everywhere smells sweet and clean. We decided to skip lunch as we were so anxious to get to our destination. We arrived at Matt's house, tended to our exhausted animals, and promptly went out to dinner.
On our way to Wild Abandon Restaurant, Kyle spotted 39th Mini Mart, a beer store that claims to have 1000 beers. We made a promise to head there after dinner.
WILD ABANDON- 2411 Southeast Belmont Street
Meal: Dinner
Price: $$
What We Ordered:
  • Appetizer: Goat Cheese Torta-A molded mound of goat cheese, fresh pesto, and roasted tomatoes, drizzled with balsamic vinegar reduction and served with roasted garlic and thinly sliced artisan bread grilled with extra virgin olive oil.
  • Salad: Garlicky Caesar Salad- Super fresh and crispy romaine lettuce, tangy Asaigo cheese and fresh croutons. Nothing fancy just a classic prepared correctly using the freshest sweetest lettuce which made all the difference.
  • Carla's Entree: Pan-Fried Oysters with Jasmine rice and French Green Beans and Carrots cooked in Beurre noisette. The oysters were buttery and tender and dredged in rice flour which made them extra crispy but not heavy. Matt tried one even though he is not a fan of oysters and he seemed to enjoy it. I on the other hand loved them and especially loved the paring with the green beans.
  • Kyle's Entree: Ziti Ziti- Ziti Pasta in a rich cream sauce with, portabello mushrooms,roasted garlic, and scallops, finished with smoked mozzarella cheese and bread crumbs and baked till bubbly. This dish was so delicious, I found myself eating more than just a few bites. Luckily the portion size was generous.
  • Matt's Entree: Cioppino-Super hearty tomato-based stew with a hint of spice and an explosion of seafood. I'm talkin, Salmon, Scallops, Shrimp, and a variety of shellfish. This dish was downright beautiful. Matt told us that he had been there 4 times and gotten this dish 3 out of the 4 times. It's just too good to pass up.
All in all it was a great first dinner in our new hometown. We left full and happy and ready to head to that cool beer place we passed and it was awesome. We made our selections after a friendly local gave us the rundown of the absolute best beer destinations in the city...more beer adventures to follow
  • Dick's Lava Rock Porter-6.2% Alcohol, descent for the price. (Guess I just like Dick's.)
  • Black Boss Porter-9.4% Alcohol
  • Tranquair House Ale-7.2% Alcohol

Thursday, June 10, 2010

DAY 2 - On the move: Centeral CA Fruit and Nuts

One thing can be said about central CA, its nuts. We headed out on I-5 N and made our way through the flat farm lands. Not too exciting but the fresh fruit and nuts are awesome. We stopped at one the many fruit and nut stands that line the stretch of highway. We stopped at the olive pit for some olive tasting. Our spirits soared as journey continued. Food Find: Garlic Roasted Almonds, Habenero Cashews, Sweet Local Apricots, Pickled Okra, Spicy Bleu Cheese Olives and Citrus Olive Oil.

We made our way up the entire length of California. Lots of driving. Lots of greasy spoons. We are now in beautiful Rogue River...more adventure to come!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

DAY 1 ...The MOVE

So Kyle and I had these great delusions of how we would wake up early, get the trailer, load it all with the help of some great friends, and everything would fit perfectly. We would hit the road at 2:00 pm and get passed LA before the major traffic would hit... here's the thing about reality. It's a bitch. So it took 2 hours to get the trailer, (geniuses at the Moreno Valley U-haul put the wrong hitch on), It took us twice as long to load that trailer, and not everything fit. Kyle kept joking "well I guess we don't have room for Dante." to which I would reply, "He can sit on my lap" I was joking at the time, but as the van filled, little by little, I realized it was no longer a joke. So off we go 1000 miles in an overloaded mini-van pulling an overloaded trailer 70 pound dog in my lap or curled up were my feet should go...this is going to be FUN!
We left at 7:00 pm after wishing Dad & Kris a fond farewell. (Kris felt funny so she put Mr. Winklebottom on her head) and we headed off after sharing our last California Taco Shop dinner for a long time. We made it all the way to Bakersfield before Kyle decided to rest for the night. Dante, Jesus, and I thought that was an excellent idea. and we set our Magellan for the Best Western. I have to admit, this is the nicest Best Western I have ever stayed at. Granite counter-tops, refrigerator, 7 pillows on the bed, crown molding and CLEAN! Not that we would have cared after a day like that. We are so happy and excited to be on our way! We miss our family and loved ones dearly but we know...we have started out on a great adventure!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Move to Portland...

The time has come for me and my hubby to flee the culinary wasteland of Inland Empire SoCal and escape to a place that captured my heart...Portland Oregon. The beer, the food, the trees, the view, the food, the food and did I mention the food? I am so excited about our move. The countdown begins.
My husband Kyle, Myself, our "mighty dog" Dante, Jesus the Cat and four Tarantulas will be crammed into a gold minivan and will tow all our worldly belongings (or whats left after the yard sale) in a trailer. We will travel the 1071 miles up the length of California, up through Oregon to the sweet and sexy city. Travel food diary to follow...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

For The Love All Things Edible:

Sunday April 18th 2010

Hello fellow food-lovers! I am your fearless leader! Pastry chef by day...Culinary explorer by night! Follow me for a trip down the epicurean rabbit hole. When we find that white rabbit we will braise him with cognac and shallots. I have the appetite and the love of all things edible...