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Beer brewing kits?

No don't buy this kit. It looks like a rip-off. Hard to really see what you are getting for your money. First, beer bottles are free. Fermenting in plastic won't cut it over the long haul. It seems to me that if you went to a decent homebrew store and bought decent equipment and bought bulk extract syrup and a basic intro book (which I am guessing would have to be better than their limited video tape) you would come out ahead in both the long term and the short. I have found homebrewers to be a very helpful lot. If you went to a good store (not on a weekend) they would probably be generous with their time.

May 09, 2008
portpig in Beer

Habesha: New Ethiopian Place

Interesting about the injera. Because injera does not keep well I assumed it was always made on site. Thanks for the report.

May 02, 2008
portpig in Pacific Northwest

Are there any regional foods unique to Idaho and Oregon?

Joel Palmer House uses too many suillus as filler. I would not go to this restaurant at these prices.

May 02, 2008
portpig in Pacific Northwest

Planning trip to OR - need recs!!

Yeah Mo's is gross. If the Sea Hag is still around in Depot Bay that was better chowder.

Apr 18, 2008
portpig in Pacific Northwest

Where can I buy morels?

There is no snow along the Columbia. Real morels are being found. I am not talking about Verpa bohemica but Morchella.

Apr 15, 2008
portpig in Pacific Northwest

Planning trip to OR - need recs!!

The Oregon Coast ain't no great shakes--you might try Blackfish Cafe in Lincoln City or Tidal Raves in Depot Bay--nice view!

Apr 15, 2008
portpig in Pacific Northwest

Oregon wine/food/beer road trip

On the wine front--Food and Wine mag Apr 08 had an article on some Willamette Vly. Pinot Noir. A good place to start and some good recs.

Apr 15, 2008
portpig in Pacific Northwest

Oregon wine/food/beer road trip

You did mention beer and I want to restrict my comments to beer.

There are over 40 breweries in Oregon. Many of them won't even require a detour. From south to north (taking I-5 and going Eugene to Florence does make some sense so that is the beer trail we will follow for our purposes) here are some that you might encounter--with comments.

There are a couple microbrewers in Ashland. I have not been to any of these but I have had Caldera and it has been good.

Grants Pass--Wild River--skipable. Ditto Umqua in Roseberg.

In Eugene I have been favorably impressed with the upstart Ninkasi. Steelhead is respectable--you can pass on the others.

Newport is the home of Rogue. Rogue has some good marketing --almost a cult following--and a couple of good beers. Alas some of the beer is mediocre and most of it is overpriced.

I want to mention Lighthouse in Lincoln City because you may see it and wonder--don't. This is part of the McMenamins empire. McMenamins is a quintessential Oregon experience. I don't know why this is. The beer is mediocre at best and the food (save the fries) is worse. The food, however, is better than the service. If you walk into a brewpub and see the hippie art you know you are in one of these places--get out.

Continuing on your journey north--Pacific City is home to Pelican. Few brewpubs in Oregon have the location that Pelican does--right on the beach. Eliot Glacier Public House has a great view of Mt. Hood but that is for your next trip. Worth a stop if it is lunch time.

Bill's Tavern in Cannon Beach--you won't need to stop here after Pelican.

Haven't had any Astoria beer--sorry. Though come to think of it there might be a Rogue there now.

McMinnville is home to Golden Valley--they do a good job as well. I haven't had Trask.

Any hey if you can take wine home you can take beer home. I might suggest a Hair of the Dog --Adam or Fred. Deschutes is another favorite.

Happy Trails

Apr 13, 2008
portpig in Pacific Northwest

Where can I buy morels?

There are morels being found in the Portland area now--along the Columbia--according to my sources:) I have seen fresh ones in the stores for $50 a pound--probably up here from down south..

Apr 13, 2008
portpig in Pacific Northwest

How many McCormick and Schmicks are there?

And then they bought it back. Personally, I think there are too many. Portland , off the top of my head, seems to lack a truly great fish restaurant.

Apr 09, 2008
portpig in Pacific Northwest

WIll be in Morton Grove 3 days, any Recs ?

MG native here. Just got back from a five day visit to Mortgage Grove was back in Dec. as well. It is still the culinary desert of my youth. Was in SF last month and I think I know what you are shooting for. MG is not the ideal location for quintessential "Chicago" food. It is, however, located near some places.

When I think of "Chicago" food, I think of deep dish pizza, hot dogs, Italian beef, Polish pork, and soul food.

Soul food--I can't think of anything.
Italian Beef-- I believe there is an Al's open in Evanston.
Eastern European Pork--drive south on Milwaukie Ave- (into Chicago but not the nasty traffic Chicago--and yes the Edens and Kennedy repairs have started and it is NASTY. Pay attention to time of day, Cubs traffic, etc. if you do go into the city) -can't think of the names of some of the places.
Barbeque--Hecky's in Evanston. But probably similar to stuff you can get in Oakland.
Pizza-- So many wars started over deep dish opinions but in MG there is, in no particular order: Burts, Pequods and Giordanos.
Hot dogs and gyros--The Works in Glenview accross the street from MG corner of Washington and Golf.

A North Shore institution (there was a scene shot there in "Ordinary People" so it must be an institution) is Walker Bros. Pancakes. There is an outpost north of MG on Waukegan.

Good Luck.

Apr 09, 2008
portpig in Chicago Area