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What's for Dinner - #345 - the Winter Doldrums Already? Edition [through January 28, 2015]

Strangely enough, I got that leftover baked spud tip in college from a guy who was NOT a Chowhound. Now I sometimes make an extra baked potato or two in anticipation of frying 'em up on the weekend. Something about that ring of skin around the edge... sometimes they fall apart a bit but that is okay :-).

No idea WFD tonight which is lame.

2 days ago
grayelf in Home Cooking
1

Northeast's Shan Dong Spinning Off Chile-focused Kung Pow on NW 21st

http://pdx.eater.com/2015/1/26/791763...

This looks promising. I wonder what he means by "Szechuan chile pepper" -- the peppercorns, or facing heaven chiles. To me Sichuan food is as much about the numbing effect of the former as it is about the heat of the latter. Though he does say Szechuan inspired...

2 days ago
grayelf in Metro Portland

SF/East Bay restaurant and food trek report, and thanks

I think Octoberfeast is gone also, which is sad because I would have loved to have tried the reaper bun.

Why do Vietnamese restaurants close early?

Not sure if this would apply in SFBA, but where I live many of the Vietnamese spots are run by families. I've spoken to a few owners who say they can't afford to hire extra staff to stay open late.

What's for Dinner - #345 - the Winter Doldrums Already? Edition [through January 28, 2015]

The SO is away overnight on business and I hate cooking for one which means WFD is often bad-for-me-something-or-other-quick when he is not home. But tonight, I will steal/adapt lingua's Cobb salad idea to have on the side of my leftover cheeses from last night's dinner.

Just reading a Reuter's report on the big storm in the NE United States and shuddering. The wind sounds like the worst part -- how I hate wind/wind chill. It's one reason I don't live in TO anymore. Stay safe and warm, all you Noreasterners.

What's for Dinner - #345 - the Winter Doldrums Already? Edition [through January 28, 2015]

Thanks Midwesterner -- I could have googled but trust the WFD advisors over random Interwebs pages :-). Have you by chance ever tried subbing whole wheat flour for the all purpose?

Jan 26, 2015
grayelf in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner - #345 - the Winter Doldrums Already? Edition [through January 28, 2015]

Agree about the ability to live for quite some time off what is in our pantry/fridge/freezer/basement storage. Just the real perishables would be a potential issue.

After all this time, it dawned on me that I could buy TWO tanks of milk at once and store one in the downstairs coolerator unopened. As long as I watch the best before dates, all is well. We can't run out of milk for the SO's lattes, dontcha know.

Not that we're in any snowfall danger here, but my patio damn near floated away yesterday from the torrential rain. No way was I going out in that :-).

Jan 25, 2015
grayelf in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner - #345 - the Winter Doldrums Already? Edition [through January 28, 2015]

Yeah, I'm loving that link as well. I'm not a big baker so wondering how critical the self raising flour is to the final outcome. Anyone?

Jan 25, 2015
grayelf in Home Cooking

Late Report on PDX Trip over New Year's Eve Week

Great report, mc. We're gearing up for a late Feb visit, and Grassa is back on the radar thanks to you. I still haven't tried Pok Pok as I just can't face the wait. The SO went once on a business trip and liked it well enough.

Jan 25, 2015
grayelf in Metro Portland
1

What's for Dinner - #345 - the Winter Doldrums Already? Edition [through January 28, 2015]

Thanks for the reminder about using balsamic on erts as we call that portion of the meal. Even better with a grind of fresh black pepper!

WWFD last night was brill (petrale) sole. I bought a portion on the bone instead of my usual fillets and fried it in butter in my cast iron Lodge. Big mistake. It stuck like crazy, and I was afraid I'd overcooked it. Then my chubby little Iranian (gray) zucchini leaked as it was baking in the oven. And I scorched the couscous! Yeesh. But it all tasted just fine in the end and was a lovely dinner despite the hiccups.

WFD tonight will be CHEESE. I recently caught a rerun of No Reservations where Tony went to Burgundy with Ludo Lefebvre. They were eating a killer epoisses and another equally amazing looking cheese that I hadn't heard of, Chaource. Quick email to my local cheesemonger and I was on the alert list for her next shipment. Secured on Friday. Will augment with roquefort Gabriel Coulet AOC from France, natch, and wedges of Zacharie Cloutier from the Eastern Townships, and Vieux Pane, again from France. Baguette, walnut bread, pickles, olives, beets, local hard sausages from our favourite German charcutier. My kind of dinner. Wallace and Gromit would approve :-).

For Those Who Have Been to Le Pichet In Seattle...

I haven't been to Le Pichet either but I'd second Bistro Wagon Rouge. Drawback is no resos so you have to go early or prepare to wait. Closed Sundays. Best value French bistro style food in Vancouver for me.

Another option would be Pied a Terre on Cambie. A bit more upscale than BRW but still deffo bistro style. And they take resos even though they are small.

I must say I wasn't blown away either time I went to Faux Bo. Not sure what the hype is.

I go to Salade de Fruits occasionally because it is near work but it is VERY casual. If the OP needs even a soupcon of ambiance, this is not the place to go. Quality is a bit hit and miss as well.

Jan 24, 2015
grayelf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

any Japanese restaurants offers Kaiseki (not Omakase)

I couldn't find it on the Kiriri website, so really just a lead...

Jan 23, 2015
grayelf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Dumpling week in Portland Feb 1-7

I thought that too about gnocchi but then I remembered that dropped pasta can be counted as dumplings so I'll give them a pass! I was also thinking about what we ate when small called chicken and dumplings, which doesn't seem very dumpling-y to me now.

I'm on a mailing list for Little Bird so I get occasional messages such as this one. Funny it's nowhere on their website.

Jan 23, 2015
grayelf in Metro Portland

What's for Dinner - #345 - the Winter Doldrums Already? Edition [through January 28, 2015]

I have a pathological hatred for "crispy bits" of white on fried eggs, and yet I love a deep fried tempura egg. WTH? That salad sounds very good and I may make it with something else crispy on top :-).

Last night was a bowl of Thai carrot soup and a salad for me and emergency spag and a salad for the SO before a gnarly conference call that generated work till nearly 11 pm :-(.

Tonight is up in the air as I may be babysitting the little niece. Perhaps Vietnamese?

Weatherwise it's our version of winter in Vancouver: 10 degrees C and rain. I'm used to it, having grown up here, but the grey skies get to the man, who remembers the big sky of the prairies with fondness.

Who makes the best sausages in Vancouver?

The phone line at JN&Z is still live and says to check back often re their reopening date, so fingers crossed.

I'll jump on the D-Original bandwagon as well. I tend to get his hard cured snausages the most. Sure wish the one with Sichuan peppercorn had come to fruition :-).

Jan 23, 2015
grayelf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Dumpling week in Portland Feb 1-7

Tip from an email I received today via Little Bird. Looks like some good places are participating:

The Oregonian's Dumpling Week: February 1-7

During the first week of February, Little Bird is joining in the festivities for The Oregonian's first-ever Dumpling Week. For seven days, select restaurants around Portland will offer special dishes with their own unique take on the global comfort food. Little Bird will be serving Goat Cheese Gnocchi with mashed English peas, lamb tongue, pea tendrils and fresh Oregon truffles. Read more about Dumpling Week http://www.oregonianmediagroup.com/du... and follow along with #DumplingWeek.

Jan 22, 2015
grayelf in Metro Portland
1

any Japanese restaurants offers Kaiseki (not Omakase)

Thanks for the reminder about Nakamura, Sam. I keep meaning to take the 'rents there as it is in their hood and they love Japanese.

Hachi Bei on 16th does teishoku which I think is not as refined as kaiseki but might do in a pinch.

Maybe call Zest and ask Chef Yoshi (he's from Kyoto which I gather is a hotbed of kaiseki).

I've heard goodish things about Kiriri in Richmond, and there is a reference to a "kaiseki set" there for $23 on y**p from 2012.

Jan 22, 2015
grayelf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

What's for Dinner - #345 - the Winter Doldrums Already? Edition [through January 28, 2015]

Love the lack of faffing in other-grain "risottos"! I've been using farro meself, but why not barley? Great idea.

Jan 22, 2015
grayelf in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner - #345 - the Winter Doldrums Already? Edition [through January 28, 2015]

Thanks for the link! Barley mac'n'cheese, hmmm. Thinking...

Jan 22, 2015
grayelf in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner - #345 - the Winter Doldrums Already? Edition [through January 28, 2015]

I made this tonight and it was both delicious and virtuous-ish: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20... Something about a one-dish meal on a winter night... and I tend to forget how much I love barley. Must find more recipes that use it!

November trip report from a Vancouver Hound

Thanks, BKC, I just saw that! Maybe I'll see if the SO can head over to scout it out when he's next in town.

vietnamese thin porkchops

True dat, Scoffier. The gang at Tenderland on Granville Island always does me proud when I ask for a special cut, though I've not had occasion to request extra-thin pork chops. Nothing like watching them hack up beasts in front of you on the ol' band saw :-). I like your idea of calling ahead.

Jan 21, 2015
grayelf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

What's for Dinner #344 - Happy MLK Day Edition! [through Jan. 21, 2015]

That chicken dish looks great, Gio, and just the ticket for me in using up the slightly elderly fowl that is flocking around one shelf of my freezer -- thanks for the link.

I had a different kind of chicken, and two kinds of pork, and hush puppies and corn bread and deep fried pickled and pinto beans and coleslaw last night. Yup, we tried another bbq place in town and this one was pretty good, though the sides outstripped the meat. Lots of food and a good deal on one of those discount thingies.

Tonight will be soup, salad and bread to make up for the overindulgence :-) -- made a bunch of chicken stock and will prolly make more as we haven't been too good at eating up the leftovers from our double chicken night on Saturday. I hate to "waste" the meat but better than tossing it all...

Mt Pleasant Virgins

We were at Long's today for lunch, good as ever. Go by 12 to get a seat, or call at 11 when they open for a reservation as they get very busy. Cash only.

Mt Pleasant is home to a nifty trifecta of beer options, if you get into the suds at all. Main Street Brew Pub, 33 Acres and Brassneck all within easy staggering distance of one another, and walkable from 13th and Main if you are near Main perchance. I like Brassneck the best for beer and ambiance (they have a great barleywine on tap if you want something different) and if you go on a Saturday there is a solid food truck called Local Omnivore out front from 5ish who will bring your snacks to you inside. They also have a limited selection of nibblies at the bar like cheese straws and jerky. We saw more serious beer drinkers here than we've seen at any of the other newish beer parlours we've been checking out lately, a pretty eclectic crew actually. Main Street has nice ambiance and a wider selection of inhouse food but I found their beer less interesting. 33 Acres is a fun brunch option on the weekend (only two items but v. tasty) whereas I found it very loud in the evening, and again, not as high marks for the beers, though they had a nice dubbel on recently.

Another fun barrish options to check out is Campagnolo upstairs. Sit at the bar and tell Peter the 'tender that grayelf sent ya ;-). Get a dirty burger if you go early enough Wed-Sun, and ask for it Foghorn Leghorn style if you're feeling extra naughty. Or some housemade porky goodness in the charcuterie line. Wash it down with either a beer (there are secret beer growlers hiding in the fridge as well as what's on the menu) or a fine cocktail. And the full menu from Campag below is on offer as well.

For coffee in the hood, check out Kafka's.

Jan 19, 2015
grayelf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

The Dine Out dilemma...

So glad you had a great time and ate well. Thanks for the L'abb brunch report -- I'm even more keen to try it now, as it is my favourite dinner restaurant here. Really hoping they're still doing the avocado gimlet, drool.

Jan 19, 2015
grayelf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Grayelf seeking good eats for family and more on Feb trip from Vancouver, BC

Thanks, ninrn. We've been to Nostrana for dinner once and my concern is that it was quite loud when full, which wouldn't work for dad or little niece. I had one of the best salads I've ever had there. I would like to go back to try her pizza one of these days...

Multnomah Whiskey definitely intrigues me. Will have to try to tempt the SO -- he's a full-on beer guy.

Jan 18, 2015
grayelf in Metro Portland

Grayelf seeking good eats for family and more on Feb trip from Vancouver, BC

Thanks for the tip, cih. We don't have any southwestern places at home so Pepperbox could be just the ticket for a weekday brunch. I've never had huevos rancheros with cheese before, but why not?

Jan 18, 2015
grayelf in Metro Portland

What's for Dinner #344 - Happy MLK Day Edition! [through Jan. 21, 2015]

The SO is watching the eggball with the seabirds. He says they are not playing so well. I wouldn't know -- all I know is how to PVR the game so that we can go out for brunch first ;-).

WFD will be a rerun: leftover roast chicken bits from last's night's two-bird meal. The chix came out as perfectly as any I've done which is great since I tried the convection setting on the oven. So moist, even the breasticles! Polished off the last tub of cranberry salsa, and mashed German butter spuds to go with. Also steamed monkey brains, and a green salad with sliced cukes. Served with a nice sour brown for the grown ups and cranberry juice for the squiddly.

Tonight I'll resurrect some leftover mesa grits and stir fry something green.

Jan 18, 2015
grayelf in Home Cooking
1

Quality cafes and coffee shops in Vancouver and nearish by

Had some very fine pastries, in particular the kouign amann, from Batard, and also tried their white bread loaf, which I hadn't previously. Lovely crumb, a bit of chew and lots of flavour on the latter. I am of course a long time fan of the rye. Cool that you can buy whole, half, quarter or by weight. Still haven't tried coffee here yet as we keep getting stuff to go on our way to friends but I would love to sit in the French-feeling side room and sip away an hour.

Small Victory served me an outstanding pourover of a Kenyan from Bows And Arrows in Victoria last weekend (this one, I believe: http://bowsandarrowscoffee.com/collec...) Very nice mini-cheesecake to go with. Not an enormous fan of the café itself, a bit echoey, dark and not cozy, but a fine addition to Yaletown.

Another lovely Kenyan pourover, though perhaps not as expertly prepared, from the newish Bump'n'Grind on South Granville. Now this space I like muchly. We came late so the pastry selection was low. The sandwiches looked tasty and are quite reasonable (made on croissants).

Tried Purebread over the holidays and found it very welcoming, with tons of selection. Sadly, no morning buns but many other fine options. Coffee is Stumptown.

I popped into Danica's on my way to lunch yesterday and got a cheese and caramelized onion scone for later. The space seems a bit brighter than when it was Medina's. Everything is organic so a little pricier and smaller. Feels more like a lunch spot than a coffee shop to me.

Container Coffee I mentioned on another thread. A fine option in the area, and especially if you find yourself having to go to St Paul's.

Looking forward to trying Propaganda. Per their twitter feed, soft open will be Jan 21.

Jan 18, 2015
grayelf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Grayelf seeking good eats for family and more on Feb trip from Vancouver, BC

We did hit Rama last trip and had the sausage and the nem khao. Both were excellent but the highlight was the dipping sauce for the sausages. We asked for extra and I ate so much I was in pain from the heat, but in a good way. Deffo on the radar, likely for a return visit at lunch. Worth the drive to Beaverton!

Jan 18, 2015
grayelf in Metro Portland