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Poppy

We shall see... made a reservation for wife and I on Saturday the 27th.

Sep 17, 2008
zippyzop in Pacific Northwest

Looking for really good dinner in Seattle area

Thanks... got it... is there any place better that I should be going to instead for Chinese? Why does Seattle have good Chinese, but Portland sucks?

Sep 16, 2008
zippyzop in Pacific Northwest

Looking for really good dinner in Seattle area

Wife and I are trekking up I-5 from PDX in 2 weeks and are looking for a really good meal up there for Fri/Sat night dinner. It's been awhile since I've been up there, and loved Wild Ginger and Dahlia Lounge, but am looking for a new experience.

Herbfarm is intriguing, but seems really drawn out, and then, how do I drive back to the city all sloshed?

Also, I remember some great Chinese place that cut their own noodles down near the train station. Shanghai something?

Thanks.

Sep 15, 2008
zippyzop in Pacific Northwest

Best food of the best in Portland

BTW, Sel Gris serves Courier!

Dec 03, 2007
zippyzop in Metro Portland

My visit to Sel Gris (Portland)

My father chimes in that his Manhattan was "perfectly made and chilled." I ordered their equivalent of a Greyhound or Salty Dog (but it was served up), which was good, and made more interesting by a special lemon sel gris on the rim.

Nov 13, 2007
zippyzop in Pacific Northwest

My visit to Sel Gris (Portland)

I've seen a couple of posts about Sel Gris here, but since no one replied to me last week, I've got to assume no one knows about this place. Hopefully this post will change things, because Sel Gris is the best thing to happen to the Portland food scene since I moved here in 1998.

Ok, so my parents were in town, and I managed to get us the "chef's table" which is essentially the bar with a great view of Chef Daniel Montok (formerly of Carlyle and French Laundry) and the rest of the crew in the small kitchen. The decor was cool, yet not over the top. The location, if you don't know, is on 18th and Hawthorne, right next to Castagna.

But let's cut to the chase, the food was outstanding. I'll go into everyone else's appetizer after mine, but I had the Sweetbreads, which was the best dish I've had, maybe ever. Here's the thing, on top of the sweetbreads is a quails egg that has been cooked inside pancake batter. Read that again. Watching him make this was a thing of beauty, and the whole thing was covered in a maple pecan syrup like sauce. It was divine. Every bite needed to get a little of everything, but I cannot stress this enough... even if you object on some grounds to eating sweetbreads, get this dish!

My wife and father had "Beets 3 ways". I believed the 3 ways were cured, roasted, and raw. I despise beets, but I liked the cured and raw, the latter of which had a cilantro, green onion and parsley mix that made it delicious.

My Mom also scored on the appetizer front, ordering a "Lyonnaise" which is a curly lettuce with lardon (cubed bacon, fried) and a poached egg on top. Excellently done.

For entrees, my wife had a really, really good scallop dish (wrapped in bacon, natch). Some kind of cream sauce, but the scallops were so well cooked, that their inner sweetness came through. Somehow the bacon was crunchy, but the scallops were not overdone. Dang, scallops can be good. Can we just agree that scallops are like the "egg" test for sushi chefs. The better a chef can do scallops, the better he/she is.

My mom had the sweetbreads for her entree (see above). One thing to add here, is that my mom always has a Dewars and Soda, and she actually made the comment that it was "perfect." If you knew my mom, you'd know that means a lot.

My Dad had the special Sturgeon, which I forewent, but just barely. I don't remember all of it, but it was topped with pork cheeks and had parisian gnocchi and a cider reduction. It was very good especially the gnocchi, which is different than italian gnocchi in that no potatoes, but instead stuffed with ricotta.

I had the Halibut "Mac and Cheese" primarily because the Mac and Cheese was an israeli couscous with some fancy cheese mixed in. I am kind of a slut for israeli couscous, which, if you haven't had it, is the best textured food in the world. The halibut was good, topped with greens and a parmesan chip, but not, unfortunately, fantastic. The mac and cheese part was fantastic, a dish on its own.

Oh, we also had a great wine - a Brown Estates Zinfandel. I'm not a Zin guy but this was very very good, and went with the meal nicely. The wine list was great, and the markups were exceedingly reasonable.

We finished with decaf coffee (local roaster "Courier Coffee") french pressed and dessert. The four of us shared a brown betty with apple, and a key lime semifreddo. Both were excellent. The check came with caramel truffles for each of us, topped with "sel gris" which is grey salt. The combination worked on a lot of levels.

Sel Gris takes risks, and I don't see too many Portland restaurants do that. The service was excellent, hearing from Ron the owner and maitre'd about his adventueres running a bagel store in Mexico for expats. Please, please, go visit Sel Gris. I would be shocked if this place was easy to get in to this time next year.

Nov 12, 2007
zippyzop in Pacific Northwest

Foster and Dobbs

Ah, rare roast beef... you fickle friend. So tough to find. By the way, New Seasons now carries Carnegie Deli corned beef, which is out of this world. Anyone tried Zuke's yet?

Nov 09, 2007
zippyzop in Pacific Northwest

Foster and Dobbs

Ok, hadn't been there for awhile, but seriously, there is not a better sandwich in Portland than the Mole Salumi with Cheddar and Chile/Tomato Jelly on Pearl Bakery roll that you get at Foster and Dobbs. Nicest people around too, tried 3 salumis and cheeses.

Problem was, it was pretty empty today and I fear that places like this won't stay around. Our tastes have demanded places like this, and F&D does it better than any, but how can there not be more traffic at 12:15PM at this place?

Anyone with thoughts on this or other great sandwiches?

Nov 08, 2007
zippyzop in Pacific Northwest

Looking for amazing pastry shop/bakery in Oregon

I personally think St. Honore in the NW 23rd area (also one in Lake Oswego) for a French Bakery is the bomb. I know of no good italian bakeries.

Nov 08, 2007
zippyzop in Pacific Northwest

Downtown Portland, OR

Great Sushi (Hiroshi) in the Pearl. About a 10 minute walk. Silk is also strong for Vietnamese. I am still not crazy about any of the Chinese food downtown.

By "fluff" do you mean pretentious? If not, I'd go straight to Clyde Common.

Nov 08, 2007
zippyzop in Pacific Northwest

Sel Gris thoughts? Going this weekend

oh, making sure they have their act together service-wise

Nov 07, 2007
zippyzop in Pacific Northwest

Sel Gris thoughts? Going this weekend

Parents in town this weekend - they are foodies and paying. I made a reservation at Sel Gris (after getting shut out by Paley's and Le Pigeon). all the posts look amazing... but I haven't seen a menu since they changed it (which I read about).

Any thoughts on what they've been like the last few weeks?

Nov 06, 2007
zippyzop in Pacific Northwest

Portland/Rose Garden Arena Dives

You can't go wrong with Burgerville, which is about as good as it gets for fast food. How far can you go from the Rose Garden? I also like Nicholas (Lebanese food), but getting a bunch of people in there will be problematic.

Oct 03, 2007
zippyzop in Pacific Northwest

Choices for visiting friend (PDX)

Chowhounders:
I have a friend coming into town this weekend... former New Yorker who lives in Missoula now and is desperate for some real food/culture experience. He says "Somewhere great downtown or place you have been wanting to try." We are going to dinner Saturday night... here are the places I've thought of:

Bluehour: High on the scene factor, but I've never been a fan of anything beyond their appetizers. Haven't been there in a couple years though.

Fenouil: Looks expensive. I had lunch there and it was good, but is the food all that good?

Park Kitchen: Looks fine, but is it really a scene? I'm not crazy about that type of food, for some reason, but I could be swayed.

DF - I really like this place, but I feel the Mexican food element will be disappointing.

Higgins - Really the best food, no? Lower on the "scene" rating.

Le Pigeon - Dying to try this place. Who has been there? Is it all that? What about the "scene" factor, being on the east side?

Clarklewis - Been there, done that. Food is great, but I'd rather try Le Pigeon.

The new place in the Ace Hotel - Don't know much about it. Definitely high on the scene factor.

Thanks in advance!

Oct 03, 2007
zippyzop in Pacific Northwest

Salumi in Portland

Thanks for the info. What can you tell me about Fra Mani?

Jul 05, 2007
zippyzop in Pacific Northwest

Salumi in Portland

Anyone know of where you can get the Battali Salumi in Portland? I have heard Curds and Whey as well as that place on 15th that I can never remember the name of. Anyone know?

Jul 04, 2007
zippyzop in Pacific Northwest

Vegas Sushi/Great seafood. Break the bank?

Thanks Larry... that looks great and is an extensive review. Better at the sushi bar or a table?

Feb 18, 2007
zippyzop in Southwest

Vegas Sushi/Great seafood. Break the bank?

I am heading to Vegas next weekend with my wife for a much needed break from the kids. We want a really good sushi/seafood meal (and I'll pay up to $100/head). I am currently booked at Nobu, but getting cold feet. Steer this Portlander right, o chowhounds!

Feb 17, 2007
zippyzop in Southwest

Alberta Street Oyster Bar & Grill

Just tried this place out on Sat. night. My wife and I opted for the 5 course tasting menu ($50). You can pair it with wine flights for $20 more, but we passed so as not to end up with a DUI.

Anyway, it was really great, 4 of the 5 dishes were outstanding, the other was fair. The last course was oxtail with Gnocchi, topped with sturgeon topped with a sweetbread!

I'd go again, nice atmosphere. Anyone else been there?

Sep 04, 2006
zippyzop in Pacific Northwest

DC Chowhound needs Sunday Brunch recommendations in PDX area

I love the La Provence for Breakfast/Brunch. Has to be the best straight eggs/bacon/toast in town. $7.25 and it gets you juice and coffee too.

Aug 28, 2006
zippyzop in Pacific Northwest

Lake Oswego ethnic

Wow.. I pass that place every day. Would never have known. Have you been to Hunan Pearl? What is especially good at Szechuan Kitchen? Maybe I'll try for lunch.

Also, tried to go to Maki for lunch yesterday... random, not open for lunch on Mondays. Oh well.

Aug 22, 2006
zippyzop in Pacific Northwest

Lake Oswego ethnic

I have no problem driving a bit further (and I do), I'm just amazed that will all the money and people who eat out in the area that there isn't a better ethnic selection. Example, San Diego, there is great Chinese, Greek, what have you in the burbs. Better food in the city, but still solid outside. With all the money in the area, I would just think someone would make something solid.

Note: Fivespice tried, unfortunately, IMHO, that place is disappointing. Anyone else have a positive experience there?

Aug 21, 2006
zippyzop in Pacific Northwest

San Diego Mexican in Oregon

Actually, I've been here 8 years, but just recently found the Roberto's. The one in Salem is on Wallace Road, and given that I don't know Salem very well, I'll just give you a brief description.

Get off 5-S on Salem Parkway, take it 3-4 miles into downtown Salem. When you get to downtown, stay right, and follow the signs to the Coast, you'll make a right and that will put you on a bridge. Stay right, and take the first exit, following the signs for Wallace Road, Dallas, 213, something like that. Go right on Wallace (North), and Roberto's will be on your right, about 2-3 blocks, 1/3 of mile or so. There is a 24 hour drive through!

Aug 21, 2006
zippyzop in Pacific Northwest

San Diego Mexican in Oregon

Since this is Portland I'm willing to wager that plenty of us are California natives. This San Diego native is busting over the discovery of 2 San Diego institutions that have somehow landed in the area:
1) Fidel's - 3 locations: Solana Beach, CA, Carlsbad, CA, and Bingen, WA???? Right across from Hood River, this is just as good as the Fidel's in San Diego (opened by the guy's son). This was our family mexican place growing up. I can't recommend the tacos (hard) and chili rellenos enough.
2) Roberto's - anyone from San Diego should be tickled to know that there is a Roberto's in Salem and one in Bend. I've only been to the former, but I'd rate it as 85% of the San Diego chain. Same great rolled tacos (though cheese is not cotija) and the carne asada is tremendous. Tricky to find, but worth the trip.

Aug 17, 2006
zippyzop in Pacific Northwest

Lake Oswego ethnic

Ok, I know, contradiction in terms, but what the heck? There is not a single decent middle eastern/greek/vietnamese/japanese place in LO, and everyone eats out! I am completely jonesing for this stuff and it is my own fault for living/working in the area, but any ideas? Tualatin? Tigard? Aaaaaaaaah!

Aug 17, 2006
zippyzop in Pacific Northwest