Mr Taster's Profile

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Carded in our Mid 50s!

I always keep my passport with me when I travel, as well. Above my pants and below my trousers, in a pickpocket-proof money belt.

Mr Taster

1 day ago
Mr Taster in Not About Food

Other PDX food boards?

Hey Jill, I re-emailed Nick through the site, and this time the email worked. He set me up with an account, so all is well. I look forward to engaging with the gang at PortlandFood.org

Mr Taster

1 day ago
Mr Taster in Metro Portland

Other PDX food boards?

Hi Jill,

I'm checking in a year later. I've officially moved to Portland now, and am still trying to access Portlandfood.org. forgot about your reply here....

Mr Taster

Mar 26, 2015
Mr Taster in Metro Portland

site forgetting "read" posts

2 months later-- checking in again on the status of the fix for this problem.

Mr Taster

Mar 26, 2015
Mr Taster in Site Talk

Chowhound blamed for killing Breed St. Market

I may no longer be physically in the city of Los Angeles, but Zocalo still thinks I am.

http://www.zocalopublicsquare.org/201...

Mr Taster

Mar 26, 2015
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

An Easy Way to Print Out CH Posts in a Long Thread?

You may want to read this suggestion I made two years ago. No chance in hell of it being implemented, sadly.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9175...

Mr Taster

Mar 25, 2015
Mr Taster in Site Talk

Site enhancement suggestion...

That is an excellent suggestion, and that's why it won't be implemented.

Chowhound has been backing away from anything improving the experience of managing read/unread threads. They inexplicably seem to want to divest themselves entirely from this critical usability aspect to the site.

They don't even want to fix read/unread errors that have been plaguing the site for well over half a year.

Mr Taster

Mar 25, 2015
Mr Taster in Site Talk
2

Mr Taster's first report as a Portland resident! Boxer Ramen? Oy.

I'm not saying Japanese people don't like kimchi. But in my ramen-eating experience, which primarily consists of the best ramen throughout the Japanese neighborhoods of LA, its not a common menu item. Over seem the Japanese pickles much more commonly than Korean kimchi.

I did also spend over a month traveling through Japan, for what it's worth, and don't remember seeing kimchi. But then again, I don't read Japanese ☺

Mr Taster

Mar 22, 2015
Mr Taster in Metro Portland

Mr Taster's first report as a Portland resident! Boxer Ramen? Oy.

House-made vanilla flavoring? Do you mean that they make a drink with it, or that I should ask it to be added to the coffee?

If you can get high quality ramen in Vancouver, if probably focus on other things. As far as I can tell, it would be as much a waste of your time as coming here for Chinese food. But since this is my new home, and so little is posted here on it, I feel compelled to do my Chowhoundly duty and get the info posted.

Noraneko is a brand new ramen place with a tiny menu of mostly traditional ramen flavors and dishes like kaarage, but they did also throw kimchi on the menu (which gives me pause). Once I have a chance to check it out, I'll post here. If this is Portland's first grown-up ramen place, the world needs to know.

Mr Taster

Mar 21, 2015
Mr Taster in Metro Portland

The ultimate way to season cast iron, per Cook's Illustrated

I did it on an old Griswold several years ago and the seasoning stuck and is still going strong.

Mr Taster

Mar 21, 2015
Mr Taster in Cookware

BLUE PLATE - Why is there not more conversation about this utterly magnificent lunch counter?

Good to hear, Greyelf. The guy who cooks is also the owner and he puts an extraordinary amount of care into his cooking. He has an electric griddle that heats unevenly, so if something comes out slightly burned, he dumps it and starts over.

But seriously, start with those sliders and expand out from there.

By the way, my Lovely Tasting Assistant™ (LTA™) and I plan to visit Vancouver this summer to experience the wonder of your Chinese food and the night markets. I'll make a new post closer to the time, but it would be great to have a Chowmeet if you're open to it!

Mr Taster

Mar 21, 2015
Mr Taster in Metro Portland
1

Noraneko: have they upped the state of ramen in PDX?

Let's hope so!

For those who have read my prior post on Boxer Ramen (which includes experiences at Yuzu and Boke Bowl):

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1007772

Has anyone tried Noraneko's ramen yet? I'm particularly interested to hear from those Portland hounds who are very familiar with ramen in Japan, or have eaten some of the best offerings in Los Angeles. I've eaten quite a lot of good to very high quality ramen in my time, and so far I've yet to find a Portland equivalent that even approaches that level of execution.

Thanks, fellow PDX 'hounds!

http://www.noranekoramen.com/

Mr Taster

Mar 18, 2015
Mr Taster in Metro Portland

A Faster Chowhound: Pagination for Longer Threads (Part 2)

Amen to that, sister.

Mr Taster

Mr Taster's first report as a Portland resident! Boxer Ramen? Oy.

Yes. Fancy alley place. And that's terribly discouraging to hear. The noodles should be cooked to order-- not waiting for the soup.

We tried the ramen at Boke Bowl once, and were similarly disappointed, as well as at the mom & pop izakaya-ish place Yuzu in Beaverton, which I wanted to love-- it seems the most traditional/least hipsterish of all the ramen offerings I've found. Sadly, none of them were anything to write home about.

Portland has a long way to go in the ramen arena.

Mr Taster

Mar 17, 2015
Mr Taster in Metro Portland
1

BLUE PLATE - Why is there not more conversation about this utterly magnificent lunch counter?

I've gone twice now, and have been completely impressed with the care and love (and very affordable prices) at this joint.

The sliders are served with the gorgeous mashed potatoes (Yukon gold, intensely creamy but studded with chunks of tender potato and skins). And here's the kicker... For the burgers, they griddle cheese directly into the buttered bun, so you get this crazy, wonderful texture and flavor thing of the soft, untoasted bun with the crisp and chewy griddled cheese, along with the rest of the burger's fixings. Magnificent.

Today was grandma's pot roast day. Brisket rubbed with brown sugar and spices and stewed overnight, creating this beautiful savory and sweet gravy, which they also braise the carrots and potatoes in. Served with a buttered, toasted dinner roll.

The guy behind the counter really, really cares about the cooking (as much as I care about my home cooking, it seems) and it shows.

This place is a definite keeper.

Mr Taster

Mar 17, 2015
Mr Taster in Metro Portland

Portland Farmers Market Breakfast recommendations

I've also tried Lauretta Jean's and concur, they're quite good. We visited Pine State Biscuits (the SE division location) but have not tried the PSU stand. I'll look for Tastebud Farms the next time I'm there.

Mr Taster

Mar 17, 2015
Mr Taster in Metro Portland

Mr Taster's first report as a Portland resident! Boxer Ramen? Oy.

Hi Leonardo

I checked out Courier-- good lord, you're right. Their baked goods were incredible! I went in thinking I'd take an assortment of baked goods to my office, as I was expecting a place with a glass case filled with all manner of assorted baked goods. Instead, there were 3-- and not that many. A tray of muffins, a small stack of canele, and a small tray of chocolate chip cookies. They looked magnificent. A petite Asian lady was mixing a big bowl of cookie dough when I walked in, and explained to me that they change the fruit in the muffins to the season (currently pear). The chocolate chip cookies have a dusting of salt on top, and the canele had a shatteringly sharp crust on the outside. The muffins tasted intensely of pear-- they must have caramelized the fruit, or mixed in some reduced pear sauce, or something to boost the flavor. And the chocolate chip cookies-- perfectly crisp on the edges, chewy on the inside, with a rich, complex flavor.

A wonderful recommendation all around-- thanks Leonardo. I can't wait to try your other two recommendations.

Mr Taster

Mar 17, 2015
Mr Taster in Metro Portland

A Faster Chowhound: Pagination for Longer Threads (Part 2)

Re: patsully's reply, I think this means you win.

Mr Taster

Mar 16, 2015
Mr Taster in Site Talk

Mr Taster's first report as a Portland resident! Boxer Ramen? Oy.

Hello fellow Portland hounds,

Mr Taster here, long time Chowhound (circa 2003), formerly of the Los Angeles boards. I've transitioned up to Portland for work 2 weeks ago, and am acclimating to your very different dining climate.

In Los Angeles, I really grew up through Chowhound in many ways. LA has a wealth of riches in terms of the traditional food served at the infinite array of immigrant mom and pop shops of Mexico, central America and Asia. My specialty was the regional cooking represented by the incredible array of restaurants in Chinese San Gabriel Valley. (I learned to speak Chinese, in part, because I wanted to know how to order specific dishes. Oh, and also, my wife is Taiwanese.)

I know that's really not what Portland does (with some notable exceptions, like Rama Thai), and one if the things I've learned is rather than lamenting the things I've lost, to focus on the things I do have. And Portland does have a pretty stunning array of choices.

This is not my first PDX Chowhound post, but it is my first post as a resident. My company is paying for an apartment in the Indigo (Blue Star, Cacao, Lardo, Grassa, Racion building) for 5 weeks, and I've primarily been exploring this area. Haven't been out to the east side at all, yet.

We decided to give Boxer Ramen a shot. LA has become a kind of nexus for high quality ramen, attracting superstars from Japan to do guest stints at food courts of large Japanese supermarkets. So yes, my standards and expectations are set at a pretty high bar.

Sad to say, the ramen itself (tonkotsu shio and shiitake shoyu) were pretty weak overall. Both were served with partially cooked eggs (not soft boiled, mind you, but semi-raw) and the soup was not served hot enough to cook them. The noodles were slightly underdone (again, not al dente, but slightly raw). The tonkotsu did not have the silky, rich texture of a long simmered pork bone broth, but was watery and thin. The shoyo was similarly weak. And the pork belly in my soup was smoked, like bacon. Totally weird. Not bad, just unexpected, and completely untraditional, with no mention of it on the menu. It would be kind of like ordering pancakes and syrup and instead of maple they bring you chocolate syrup. Hey, if thats how you roll as a reataurant, I'm cool with that, and I'm sure it's tasty, but doesn't it at least deserve a mention on the menu description?

The appetizers, however, were spectacular. We ordered the kale, chard, cabbage slaw with walnuts which was a real surprise standout dish. Sweet, sour, crunchy, chewy, and totally satisfying. Also we tried the okinomiyaki tots, which was a brilliant fusion. Tater tots covered with okinomiyaki sauce, mayo and bonito flakes. It worked perfectly... In fact, despite my general preference for traditional dishes, I may actually prefer it to the original!

So, overall, I'll be avoiding the ramen at Boxer Ramen. I'll be back for the apps.

Looking forward to future explorations!

Mr Taster

Mar 15, 2015
Mr Taster in Metro Portland

Sushi in Portland in 2015?

Hi all, Mr Taster of the Los Angeles boards here. I'm an old time Chowhounder, going back to ~2002.

Just arrived in Portland for good, having landed a job which I start on Monday.

After having read a bit about Hokusei, I'm curious, does Portland not have any notable Japanese-run sushi places? I'm definitely bringing my LA bias here. When I see non-Asians cooking traditional Asian food, it generally means the price has just increased exponentially. (I say this having loved my experience at Pok Pok, mind you.) But in LA, if I'm craving northern Thai dishes for example, I'm going to one of a dozen or more mom and pops making excellent traditional preparations, with minimal emphasis on architectural design or decor, for a very fair price, not a place mixing cocktails and charging 5x the price. In Portland, I found Rama Thai near Beaverton which fits that mold perfectly. With regard to sushi, fit those familiar with LA, Sushi Gen in Little Tokyo fits the bill. If even go fit a Sugarfish style place, though that's not really what I'm taking about.

I'd live to know of a Japanese owned equivalent for sushi. We did try Yuzu in Beaverton, which is also in that vein, though we felt the food was unexceptional.

Thanks for your insights, all.

Mr Taster

Feb 28, 2015
Mr Taster in Metro Portland

Songkran 2015: Thoughts?

Bring your super soakers, buckets and talcum powder.

Mr Tater

Feb 23, 2015
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

Mr Taster is leaving Los Angeles!

She did. My time is limited, though... Only one week left in LA, and most of that time is organizing, cleaning and saying goodbyes.

Mr Taster

Feb 19, 2015
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area
1

Mr Taster is leaving Los Angeles!

Thanks, wildswede. Haven't read much from you lately. Glad to hear from you, and thank you for the well wishes.

By the way, I always wonder whether you're sitting nearby when I have attended the lutefisk festival :-) I've been the last several years and it's been a hoot. A much-belated thanks for that suggestion.

Mr Taster

Mr Taster is leaving Los Angeles!

Had a great meal last night with kevin & westsidegal, despite Sergio's absence (and despite Coni' being out of smoked marlin and snook.) The sauces in the shrimp diablo, chicharones de pescado, ceviche marinero were particularly good. We also ordered the camarones al barbacoa, which tasted not particularly smoky at all. Shrimp slightly overcooked in all dishes, but really hard to argue with how delicious the sauces were. The acidity of the sauce in the chicharones was a really wonderful foil to the deep fried fish. The thinner pieces were a bit jerky-like, overcooked and chewy. Despite that, I actually enjoyed the textural contrast.

kevin sends his regards from the abyss. (After over a decade of posting on Chowhound, he's been provided a "style guide" by Marssy as to how to compose his posts, and as a result has decided to voluntarily withdraw from the party.)

Mr Taster

Feb 19, 2015
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

Westside restaurant where you can watch the Oscars?

That's funny!!

The flyer they've got on display at the castle promotes the event as if he's hosting. I suppose he is. (The event is, after all, happening across the street!)

I suppose we'd call that slight of mind.

Mr Taster

Mr Taster is leaving Los Angeles!

Sergio is not cooking tonight X(

Mr Taster

Feb 18, 2015
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area
1

Westside restaurant where you can watch the Oscars?

This is not really a fit for what you're looking for, but it's an interesting mention nonetheless.

I've been taking classes at the Magic Castle for the last couple of months, and they're having an Oscar party and buffet for $35. Doors open at 3:30. The event is being hosted by none other than past president Neil Patrick Harris.

Mr Taster

Feb 18, 2015
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area
1

Mr Taster is leaving Los Angeles!

Hi Schweinhaxen,

I remember you. Yeah, Portland is something of a budget hipster-food paradise. There is a lot of very high quality cooking for a comparatively low price. My Lovely Tasting Assistant™ (LTA™) and I have had some very good meals there. The $1 oysters at EAT (a New Orleans inspired oyster bar) were wonderful, as was the pizza and roasted vegetables at Ken's. (Haven't tried Apizza Scholls yet, but I'm sure we will soon.)

My new company is providing me a rental car for 2 weeks, so after 8 months of slumming it with buses, zipcars and ubers, I'm finally able to do things like go to spontaneously go to Langer's for lunch, which I did on Monday. Pastrami on rye, with a smidge of Guldens. Delicious.

I've never understood the love for Ricky's, though that was based on one visit. I suffered a half hour in line with a gaggle of bearded hipsters at Sunset Junction, to end up getting a relatively bland taco without a lot of crunch. I simply couldn't ever bring myself to go back-- instead, I've gone to Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada, which is consistently fresh, crispy and flavorful, and I've never had to wait in line longer than a couple of minutes.

Sushi Gen is a great idea. Haven't been in years, and next week could be the perfect opportunity.

Am heading out tonight to Coni'Seafood with westsidegal and kevin. Really looking forward to that meal.

Thanks again for checking in, the well wishes, and for the suggestions. I certainly will chime in again here whenever the occasion calls for it.

Mr Taster

Feb 18, 2015
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

Mr Taster is leaving Los Angeles!

I'm traveling on Alaska Airlines-- no joke!

Mr Taster

Mr Taster is leaving Los Angeles!

We took the Cascades up to Seattle and really enjoyed the trip. BC is definitely on our list to visit, particularly when the summer night market(s) roll(s) around.

http://www.tourismrichmond.com/things...

If I end up doing any comparison reviews, I'll post in BC but will leave a heads up on the LA boards.

Mr Taster