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Friday afternoon snacks in eastern parts of Portland

I'll be flying into Portland tomorrow (Friday) -- renting a car at airport, and then heading to Hood River. But I'd love to get a quick snack or mini-meal before hitting the road for Hood River.

I am tempted to go to Viking Soul Food again, since it's not *too* far out of the way, and I loved it last time I was in Portland: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/908604
Should I just do that? Or anywhere else coming to mind?

I'm curious about other recommendations, from donuts up to more substantial snacks. This will be happening between 2 and 4 pm, or in that general time frame. I could potentially go to two places if it were worthwhile.

Thanks in advance!
Dave MP

1 day ago
Dave MP in Metro Portland

Favorite Portland Breakfast Spot

I'm going to be in Portland (briefly) this coming Monday (Memorial Day) during breakfast time, so my follow up to Emmanue's question is:

Do you have any favorite breakfast spots that you think will be open on Monday AM?

Tasty N Sons is not going to be open.

Would be fine with casual places, like trucks, donut shops, etc. —— but ideally an experience I can't get in SF.

Thanks!
Dave MP

1 day ago
Dave MP in Metro Portland

Boiling Beijing (San Bruno)

Sounds awesome. Thanks for the report! I will be trying this place soon,

Dave MP

Mexico City - on a Monday night in July!

We are flying through Mexico City in July and have a long layover, so I'm hoping to get into the city for a bit. I was last in Mexico City in September 2012, and had a great time. I wrote about it here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/870467

We will be arriving on a Monday at about 3 PM, and then our flight out is not until 1 AM....so we have about 10 hours. I really liked the evening we spent in Coyoacán so I was thinking about heading in that direction, but I could be convinced to head to a different neighborhood instead, especially if there were good churros and chocolate there.

But mostly I'm looking for a restaurant for dinner that would be relaxing but casual. We could (and may) end up eating at a street stall like we did in Coyoacan last time, but I'm curious about sit-down places. Probably don't want anything super heavy, since we'll be flying later in the night.

We loved Contramar and would potentially go back there if they were opened a bit later (they close at 6 pm on weekdays). Any favorites in that price range, or cheaper, in Coyoacan? Or other options to consider?

Also not sure about how we'll get around (bus vs. metro vs. taxi), but I think we'll be able to leave luggage in the airport (or have it checked directly through). We both speak Spanish, so I'm pretty comfortable getting around.

Thanks in advance!

Dave MP

1 day ago
Dave MP in Mexico

Mountain View Advice? Ramen?

Yeah, it was clear that they weren't even remotely trying to make the gyoza good there. It's just an afterthought/filler.

Mountain View Advice? Ramen?

Thanks again to everyone for the recommendations. We ended up eating at Maru Ichi, and I liked it. I'd never fried kuru ramen before, so it was new to me, and I enjoyed the flavor.

I got a combo, which included the large ramen, as well as a small plate of California roll and three gyoza. The gyoza and California rolls were mediocre (at best), but I liked the ramen. There was a plastic container of kimchee on every table—I enjoyed this quite a bit.

Dining companion got ramen w/ pork curry (also mediocre, in my opinion) and a salad. Other dining companions got the vegetarian ramen (which looked nice) and tonkotsu ramen.

Service was very quick, and it was easy to get a table at 5:30 PM. Mountain View does have lots of restaurants! For dessert, we followed ssfire's advice and checked out the new Midtown Cafe for the gelato. I got the mojito sorbet, which was light and refreshing, and others had flavors like chocolate, honey lavender, and cardamom-orange. Thanks ssfire for the tip!

Mountain View Advice? Ramen?

Thanks everybody for the responses so far! Sounds like I need to make it down there more often!

Will be consulting with my dining companions, and I'll report back.

Mountain View Advice? Ramen?

Four of us would like to get an early dinner (5:15 or 5:30 PM) in Mountain View on Sunday evening, and we need to be out of the restaurant by 7:00 PM at the very latest.

I'd be interested in eating something that I can't get as easily in SF/Oakland, so some of the ramen places came to mind. Shalala, Ryowa, and Maru Ichi all sound like possibilities, so which one is best these days?

Would also love to hear about newer options (particularly Asian, but doesn't have to be) in Mountain View that could be worth a try. We definitely want casual and relatively quick (given timeframe).

I hardly ever am in Mountain View so I'd love the advice!
Dave MP

Potstickers : SFBA Dish of the Month May 2015

Yeah, I sometimes boil dumplings, let them cool a bit, and then pan fry. But like Melanie says, the dough on the potstickers is thicker, and I don't think it would come out quite as nice to boil them.

Thanks for the tip about Tian Jin Dumpling. That'll probably be my new go-to spot!

Potstickers : SFBA Dish of the Month May 2015

Aside from the potstickers, I mainly just buy bags of frozen 'pork and cabbage dumplings' and 'pork and chive dumplings.' Sometimes, if they are making dumplings fresh when I am there, I buy whatever they are making at that moment (I've tried various, including pork and celery which I also like). I haven't tried their non-dumpling items (like buns).

Potstickers : SFBA Dish of the Month May 2015

I often make potstickers at home using frozen dumplings that I buy at Yummy Dumpling (on Irving @ 18th Ave in Inner Sunset). I really like their pork potstickers, and since I am moving to the East Bay soon, I'd love to know if there are any places to buy frozen potstickers in Oakland or Berkeley.

Brief Angkor Borei Report [San Francisco]

Nice report. I agree that this is the best ahmohk that I've tried in the Bay Area

Liba Falafel Truck now at Civic Center [San Francisco]

Their pita and the falafel themselves were not particularly special. Falafel were freshly fried, but a bit dry. They were good, but it was definitely the toppings that made the sandwich noteworthy.

Commonwealth, SF: Report

Thanks! I hope you enjoy it! Would love to read your report after your trip!

Liba Falafel Truck now at Civic Center [San Francisco]

Just tried this spot for the first time, over at the Grand Lake Farmer's Market in Oakland. I agree with the others that the falafel sandwich is great, mainly thanks to all the great condiments, pickles and other toppings!

ISO celtuce AKA asparagus lettuce or wosun

I saw this for sale at Alemany Farmer's market last weekend. On the south side of the market, in the middle.

Commonwealth, SF: Report

My partner and I were able to snag a last-minute reservation at Commonwealth the other night. It was our first visit, and we both loved it. Service was professional and efficient, but not overly formal. We chose to do the tasting menu, even though we weren't particularly drawn to all of the dishes when we read through it. However, once each plate arrived, the flavor combinations worked amazingly, and we ended up really enjoying everything.

The menu was as follows:

0a) seaweed potato chips with malt vinegar foam for dipping
0b) amuse-bouche of scallop crudo with pickled cherry and daikon in miso broth
1) oatmeal crusted foie gras, rhubarb, garden sorrels, brioche, ginger gelée
2) asparagus, oyster cream, potato, coastal succulents, cured egg yolk, trout roe
3) young beets, yuba, tangerine, black olive mousse, puffed quinoa, mizuna
4) seaweed rubbed beef, turnips, maitake mushrooms, smoked marrow pistou
5) celery sorbet, verjus soda
6) beer meringue, chocolate ganache, pretzel crumble, crème fraîche ice cream

The chips and foam came out before we had even ordered, and it was a big serving. I really like places that give you an interesting, complimentary snack, and this was a great one. We didn't do the wine pairings, but instead each ordered a glass of wine. Nice wine menu with some interesting single glass choices. After we had ordered, they brought out the amuse-bouche, which was basically two-bites per person, but was delicious. I loved the flavor combos! We didn't end up taking a picture of this.

I'll talk about subsequent courses with each photo.

Da Nang Quan [Oakland]

Any recent reports on this place?

Food at terminal I at SFO

JetBlue is on the A side (as opposed to the G side), and like goldangl95 says, there are only a few restaurants post-security.

Food at terminal I at SFO

Just to clarify for folks reading along that JetBlue is in terminal I, not terminal 1. It's one of the wings of the international terminal. Beyond security, the options really aren't great unfortunately. I personally always bring stuff from the city. Others might have ideas of good places that are pre-security.

Pho King - Oakland - Quick Report

I ate at Pho King for the second time this weekend. The place was full at 1 PM on Sunday, but it wasn't a very long wait.

We shared Chao Tom Cuon (sugarcane shrimp rolls), Pho (not pictured), and Mi Quang.

Everything was good, and I particularly liked the broth of the pho. This was my first time trying the dish mi quang, and while I liked it, I wasn't totally wowed by it. I think this version sort of lacked flavor, and it might have benefitted from extra fish sauce or something else to augment the flavors of the various ingredients. My DC, who is much more familiar with the dish, agreed that he's had better versions elsewhere.

That said, we both liked this place, and I'd definitely return for pho or to try other items (lots of tables had bun bo hue).

Traditional Korean in SF?

I picked up a takeout menu from My Tofu House yesterday to look at prices for April 2015.

Sundubus cost $11.99
Bibimbap (all varieties) cost $16.59
Pancakes cost $22.58

We actually ended up eating two non-BBQ items at the Wooden Charcoal Korean Village BBQ a few doors down. We ordered a spicy beef and vegetable soup (large and really good, with lots of veggies and egg with strips of beef), and the kimchi noodles (made with lots of kimchi, tofu, glass noodles, and rice cakes). Both servings were huge, so this was way more than enough for 2 of us, especially since they served 10 different panchan. Total bill for this meal was $36 before tip, and we had a full lunch's worth of leftovers. Service was friendly, no wait. Prices are a little bit cheaper than My Tofu House for comparable items...i.e. I think the pancakes are about $18 and the bibimbap was about $12 or $13. And unlike My Tofu House, there is no wait!

New location in tenderloin for Ha Nam Ninh [San Francisco]

Went here again the other day. Service was much better on a Saturday evening and it wasn't too busy. Really good fresh spring rolls, packed with lots of herbs. Banh xeo again was excellent and they still have the best mint and basil. I really think this is the best place currently for banh xeo.

Hu tieu nam vang was excellent as usual. Also ordered a vermicelli dish which was just okay.

Overall, very satisfying meal.

Korean for Large Group in SF w Some Vegetarians?

I've been to large group dinners at Han Il Kwan, and while there are some veggie options, they are somewhat limited. I don't know if they use fish/shrimp in the kimchi and soups. I actually like the veggie japchae there, and there are probably a few other things, but it's definitely more meat focused.

Manna (in the Inner Sunset) is a small place and would not work for a group of that size.

Hope this helps!

Hawker Fare in the Mission [San Francisco]

Ate at the Mission location last night for the first time. My only other experience at Hawker Fare was at the Oakland location in 2012, and I really liked it. Unfortunately, I am not so positive about the Mission location.

The food itself was the highlight. Everything tasted good, and a few things tasted very good. Most of the rest of the experience was not my cup of tea.

We made a reservation on OpenTable, and were seated on time. It's a big space, decked out with uncomfortable chairs/stools. I get what they are going for, though. I suppose that the reservation process was another positive.

A waiter came over after we had been seated for about 4 minutes to see if any of us wanted any drinks. We ended up ordering drinks and food at the same time.

About 5 minutes later, out came the beef short ribs, which I expected to be more of a main dish. These must have already been on the grill before we ordered them, since there is no way they could have cooked them that fast. They weren't super hot, either. Served with a very nice satay sauce and some run-of-the-mill cucumber salad.

Next to arrive, right after the short ribs, were the peanuts. These were nice, but $5 for a big bowl of these felt strange next to the rest of dinner. I think it should have been a complimentary snack. Or portioned smaller and sold for $2.50. I guess they'd be fine if you were just at the bar, though.

We also got our rice at this point—one regular white rice and one sticky rice. These ended up being cold by the time we got the rest of our food.

About 3 minutes later, we got our drinks. One DC got a beer Lao, which was good, and I had a Singapore Sling, which was fine but nothing special.

A bit later, all the rest of the food came out at once. Fried egg salad, grilled pork chop, fried chicken, Chinese broccoli. The fried chicken was awesome, and this is really the only dish that I'd return here for. Thanks Candice for the recommendation! Fried egg salad was a big disappointment. Non-ripe tomatoes were in large chunks, the whole salad was way too wet (oil? water?) and the flavors didn't really gel. Chinese broccoli was pretty good, lots of umami flavor. Grilled pork was served with a fish-sauce dipping sauce, and was pretty unremarkable, especially at that price point ($17 IIRC)

Three of us finished all of this food relatively easily, and had room for dessert (which we ate elsewhere). Price before tip for the food, plus the two drinks, was $94. I agree with others that at this price point, I expect better pacing of food and better service. The experience just wasn't all that fun or special.

Reading through this review, it's hard to pinpoint why I don't feel more positive about this place. Maybe it just feels like it's following a trend of hipster-Asian-food in the Mission, which is something I don't really like that much (see my opinions on Mission Chinese).

But if you ever need a good place in the Mission for a cold Beer Lao and some fried chicken, this is the place.

PHOTOS: The beef short ribs, the Chinese broccoli, and the fried chicken.

Xinjiang style skewer roundup

House of Pancake on Taraval in SF has a skewer section of the menu. Only tried them once, but when I ate there the other day, I saw them on another table and they looked/smelled good.

Considering the relatively small menu at HoP, I feel like it should be included.

Lanxang Kingdom - Laotian Pop-up at Tenderloin Turtle Tower [San Francisco]

Thanks for the reminder!

Also, I like the ice in your beer :)

Dragon Gate - New Taiwanese Food Venue in Oakland

Ate here a few weeks back and I liked this place. The best thing I tried was the beef noodle soup, which soupçon describes well as being "truly remarkable and satisfying." The bowl is huge, though, so I don't think I would be able to eat a whole one myself unless I was quite hungry. It's worth trying this place just for the soup, though.

Three cup chicken had pieces of chicken on the bone, and the basil gave it a nice flavor (but it was also quite salty). Dried radish omelette was really nice, and oyster pancake was good too (although some of my dining companions did not like the style, which includes lots of mayo topping). Fried tofu with onions and pepper was good but I was hoping they'd have the type of Taiwanese crispy tofu that I have had in Boston and New York: tempura-like outer layer with a very soft interior. The Dragon Gate version had a much thicker shell, and was more like salt and pepper tofu. Stinky tofu seemed to be a hit amongst the people who like it, which does not include me. Butter cabbage in claypot was nice, but very rich from the butter and bacon. Shrimp bacon skewer was unremarkable.

The interior of this place is really decked out, plus they have karaoke rooms in the back. If the awesome beef noodle soup makes you want to break into song, then they have you covered.

Best HK Milk Tea SF?

I think ABC would be worth a try, though I haven't had the HK milk tea there. I did have the lemon tea, though, and it was made with super strong black tea, similar to what you'd want to see in a HK milk tea. So that is why I think it could be a good choice. Food there was kinda meh, though. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/930504

Best Sandwich in Berkeley?

Just after reading this last week, I tried this sandwich. Agree that it was really good! Got the potato puffs too which were awesome.