UnConundrum's Profile

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Orchid Thai

We stopped in at Foley's Gourmet Bakery and while I enjoyed a great cheese Danish, I paged through the April edition of Portland Magazine which had a blurb about Orchid Thai and a short rib dish. Loving short ribs we headed out there for lunch. Unfortunately, the short ribs were rated mildly spicy and I have zero tolerance,so we started out with a special appetizer of lettuce leaves with ground chicken, peanut, red bell pepper filling. They served 7 lettuce cups for $10. The cups were delicious and easily satisfied both of us. Avoiding the heat, I ordered the mango fried rice with shrimp and chicken for $10. Again a generous portion that I really enjoyed. The only criticism I can come up with was that the mango could have been a tad sweeter, but I'd order it again without hesitation.

My wife ordered the Beef with Macadamias for $12. Another generous portion served with half inch cubes of steak that were tender and perfectly done. They didn't hold back on the Macadamias either. My wife loved it.

Only later did I find out that they have different prices for lunch and dinner. I can't imagine that the portions could be much larger making lunch a real bargain. I forgot to mention that they also served a small complimentary salad with two different small fried dumplings which was quite nice.

Jul 19, 2014
UnConundrum in Northern New England

Kneading Conference

It's two days of workshops on bread baking related issues. This year Peter Reinhart will present one of the workshops related to his upcoming book. Several of the presenters have written books on baking

Jul 17, 2014
UnConundrum in Northern New England

Kneading Conference

Just wondering if anyone is planning on attending the kneading conference? This will be our 4th year. We're spending a week in Portland first to enjoy all the great restaurants, well, at least a good sampling of them :)

Jul 17, 2014
UnConundrum in Northern New England

Portland from a different perspective

We'll be visiting Portland next week, then heading up to Skowhegan for 3 days and then back to Portland for a few days. We love all the restaurants, but I've reached that point where dinner out for a few days in a row leaves me uncomfortable. We're thinking of trying to do bigger lunches and smaller dinners. I know several of the restaurants are now offering small plates, but I still want to try everything.

So, what would be the best lunch destinations where we could get smaller portions of the evening offerings?

Jul 07, 2014
UnConundrum in Northern New England

Curbside Cafe, Main St, Skowhegan, Maine (DDD worthy)

Can anyone confirm whether this restaurant exists anymore? I'll be heading to Skowhegan late July for the Kneading Conference and would look it up if it's open.

Jun 30, 2014
UnConundrum in Northern New England

Driving tour of Vermont - Any must-visit spots?

If you'll be nearby, a stop at King Arthur's in Norwich VT is always on my list. Don't forget Ben & Jerry's

Jul 22, 2013
UnConundrum in Northern New England

Portland questions -- please help me out

We visited 2Fat Cats for the first time this week, and while what they have is great, the range of products is limited. If you're nibbling, I'd hit Micucci's (half a block from 2 FC's) and share a slab of pizza. That should be a mandatory stop. After that, I'd walk a short distance to Standard Bakery for any of their excellent products. They make a sticky bun out of croissant dough that is terrific (they call it a morning roll).

After that, you'll have to find a lobster roll, but I'll defer to others for advice there.

Oh, if you're a real foodie, stop in at LeRoux and sample some of their flavored balsamic vinegars and olive oils.

Jul 22, 2013
UnConundrum in Northern New England

Phoever Maine

Phoever Maine is near our hotel so we figured we'd stop in tonight. We saw some reviews that indicated service was very slow. That wasn't the case tonight as we were served rather quickly. Then again, we were the only table at 7:00. There were about 8 customers at the American style bar that ran the length of the dining room.

My wife ordered Pad Thai and I had vermicelli with beef. My wife said the Pad Thai was very different from what she's had in the past. It lacked taste and had very little chicken. My vermicelli was rather bland as well. The beef did have some nicely charred edges that added flavor, but the bulk of the meat was dry and grainy.

Overall, there was no comparison to Saigon and consequently no reason to consider a return visit

Jul 17, 2013
UnConundrum in Northern New England

Report -- 3.5 days in Portland

I'll 2nd this. I'm not a local, but always stop in at Micucci's for some pizza. Their other baked goods are rather good as well. Besides that, it's a great Italian grocery store.

Jul 13, 2013
UnConundrum in Northern New England

What's new in Portland?

It's held at the fairgrounds. This will be our third year and yes, it is a nice farmers' market. Across the street, the Bankery is a great little bakery, and I was surprised by the Thai restaurant which we also enjoyed.

We went to Duck Fat our first year and neither of us were really impressed. Maybe we hit it on a bad day.

Jul 13, 2013
UnConundrum in Northern New England

What's new in Portland?

Well, we were last there this time last year. The restaurant Fore Street and Miyake are the two that we most enjoyed that trip.

Jul 13, 2013
UnConundrum in Northern New England

What's new in Portland?

We're heading up to Portland this week, and then on to Skowhegan for the Kneading Conference the week after. I was wondering if there's any new restaurants worth checking out, or any old ones that have gone downhill?

Jul 13, 2013
UnConundrum in Northern New England

Cuchen rice/pressure cooker

I just received a 10 cup Cuchen black diamond as a gift. Only time I use a pressure cooker is for canning. Does anyone have one of these? What do you make in it other than rice and beans? Does the pressure cooker work like any other electric pressure cooker?

Apr 14, 2012
UnConundrum in Cookware

Drunken Fish. - STL

No, 612 2nd Street

Apr 13, 2012
UnConundrum in Great Plains

Drunken Fish. - STL

My son and I enjoyed a much above average evening. Wait staff was quite pleasant and familiar with the menu. Although he wrote nothing down, he intercepted a mistake from the kitchen, reordered, and brought the mistake to our table without charge. We each had an appetizer and 3 maki, and shared 2 carafes of the house sake. While not traditional Japanese style, the fish was quite fresh, the rice was properly cooked and special requests no prob. Our total bill came to only $125. Quite the bargain IMHO. We're in town for the NRA convention and will probably stop back before we leave.

Apr 12, 2012
UnConundrum in Great Plains

What does a foodie want for Christmas?

How about a vinegar collection? Ice wine cider, ice cider vinegar, a good balsamic, champagne vinegar, raspberry, etc....

Nov 29, 2009
UnConundrum in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

What is Montreal's Best Greek Restaurant?

Probably everyone will say Milo's is THE best, and I won't disagree, but it's expensive. If you're looking to impress, that's where to go. We had a very nice meal at Faros last night. We like to order 3-4 appetizers instead of a main, because there are so many things we love :) We've also enjoyed Philinos and Mythos in the past. Mythos is the largest of the three and I think Philinos has the most active bar. Faros is the smallest and no bar that I noticed. So, I'd say Faros is the quietest of the three as well and I think maybe Philinos the liveliest.

Hope that helps

Nov 29, 2009
UnConundrum in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Bouchees Gourmandes: reopening soon!!!

Just another note of sadness. I had missed Moh's post and we walked up Bernard today planing on making reservations for the weekend... I'm depressed. They were great folks and an asset to the city. They'll be missed, both in Canada and out.

Nov 26, 2009
UnConundrum in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Grains of Paradise [split from Montreal]

Interesting. Thank you :)

Nov 26, 2009
UnConundrum in General Topics

Rosalie - Pizza

I agree, but then, that's why I posted the question here. I've seen no comment on their pizzas anywhere, or even the wood fired oven. I didn't know if it was new or old, but it's existence offers the "POTENTIAL" for great pizza. Asking the Hounds is the only way I know of to glean the opinions of those who have tried it.

Nov 26, 2009
UnConundrum in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Grains of Paradise [split from Montreal]

[Note: this thread was spliti from the Quebec board at: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/669834 -- The Chowhound Team].

I've never heard of "grains of paradise." Could you describe the taste and how you use it?

Nov 26, 2009
UnConundrum in General Topics

Rosalie - Pizza

Walking past Rosalie tonight, I could see a wood fired oven through their window. Their menu (http://www.rosalierestaurant.com/inde...) confirms that they serve pizza. Anyone know what their pizza is like and whether they welcome patrons for just pizza ?

Nov 25, 2009
UnConundrum in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Lunch at Nhu Y today :)

We had a very nice lunch at Nhu Y today. We were fans years ago of Le Papaya Verte, but it changed hands a few times, and declined until it went out of business. We were happy to find Nhu Y last year and we're glad to report that the food is still fine. We arrived at about 12:30 to find the restaurant absolutely packed, not a table to be had. We returned about 15 minutes later. My wife had the dumplings in peanut sauce and I the shrimp with sweet potatoes for starters. Jan went on to the chicken with basil and I had one of the lunch specials, shrimp and chicken with vermicelli. We thoroughly enjoyed everything. If you're looking for something other than Pho, give this restaurant a try :)

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Restaurant Nhu Y
134 Rue Jean-Talon W, Montreal, QC H2R2X1, CA

Nov 25, 2009
UnConundrum in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Stopped in a Avesta Tonight.

Tonight we decided to go cheap and stopped at one of our favorites, Avesta ( www.restoavesta.com ). As before I got the Manti, small beef filled dumplings, made by hand, in a yoghurt sauce for $12.99. There has to be well over 100 of the little dumplings in a serving. It's beyond my comprehension that someone would still make them by hand, but it you time it right, you can see her sitting in the window making them! They're tender, and the flavor is great. My wife had Menemen, a spicy tomato sauce with veggies and eggs that she just loved. I can't speak to the quality of the wine as that has never really clicked with me, but we had half a carafe for $11.95. I think our whole meal, including tax, came to $44. If you want an inexpensive night out, Avesta is great.

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Avesta Cafe Resto
2077 Rue Sainte-Catherine W, Montreal, QC H3H1M6, CA

Nov 24, 2009
UnConundrum in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Stopped in at Mozza tonight

A sheeter is a machine that rolls dough out, like a pasta machine, but on steroids. Instead of shaping the dough by hand, this machine makes all the dough the same thickness.

A cornicone is the rim around the pizza, often called the "crust." I happen to like a high, airy, tender cornicone, and the pizza at Mozza had virtually none.

Nov 24, 2009
UnConundrum in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Stopped in at Mozza tonight

We went exploring in Laval today and stopped in at Mozza for dinner. The restaurant was dead so we picked a seat with a terrific view of the wood fired oven. Overall, our reaction was... eh!

We started out with the calamari and what I believe they called a "pizza fresca" which was a salad served on a flatbread. The calamari was excellent. Served with both a marinara sauce and aioli, both in ample quantities. The calamari was quite tender... very well done :) The pasta fresca was OK too, but launched a warning shot. As our order went in, I saw dough sheeter off to the side of the oven. Sure enough, the flatbread went right into the sheeter. A show was made of throwing the dough in the air after the sheeter, but I wasn't impressed. When served, to no surprise, it was quite thin and none of the great dough taste I was hoping for. The salad and toppings were fine, so I figured... ok... it's a flatbread. As we were finishing our meal, someone ordered a pizza, and sure enough the dough went through the sheeter again. I got up to look at it when it came out and there was hardly any cornicone, surely not the type of product their oven is capable of producing.

They served some warm rolls with a nice crust, but both my wife and I felt the bread had no taste. She finished up with the 4 cheese ziti which she thought was ok, but it had no sauce to speak of. The pasta itself seemed to be of decent quality, and the cheese was fine, but we had expected a bit of sauce of some sort, probably gorgonzola since that was one of the cheeses, but no such luck. I ordered the Chicken parm which was quite tender, but left me with a feeling that the breast was dry... My wife didn't agree, and I have problems describing the mouth feel I was left with... dry is the best I can do. Once again, the platter was under sauced. There was indeed some tomato based sauce on the chicken, under the cheese, but not a drop on the plate; almost like the sauce was painted onto the chicken. Same with the cheese, just enough to cover the chicken. I also thought it was somewhat strange that the default side for chicken parm was french fries. The fries were fine, but in my neck of the woods chicken parm is usually served with a side of some kind of pasta. There were also some grilled veggies included that I enjoyed.

Bottom line is that the meal was OK, and I'd surely go back for the calamari, but don't know what else I'd order.

On a side note, I noticed that Sami's Fruits was across the street. We stopped in an picked up some fruit for our hotel room. Sure wish I had that kind of selection somewhere near my home. Of course, you guys have Jean Talon, not much more is needed.

Nov 23, 2009
UnConundrum in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Pizzeria Napoletana HELP

I agree with you. Bottega wasn't worth the time the night we were there. I make my own Neapolitan pizzas in a WFO at 800F - 900F/1450 - 1650C, and enjoy proper leoparding of the crust, but that's not what we got at Bottega.

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Bottega
65 Rue Saint-Zotique E, Montreal, QC H2S1K7, CA

Nov 16, 2009
UnConundrum in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Lemon extract or oil

Email me at wprince@unconundrum.com. We'll be staying at the Vogue. And send me a reminder next Friday (20th) so I don't just forget :)

Nov 11, 2009
UnConundrum in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Lemon extract or oil

I'll be traveling to Montreal on the 22nd, stopping at King Arthur's in Vermont on the way North. I'll gladly pick some of the "good stuff" up for you if you can wait till then.

Nov 10, 2009
UnConundrum in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Montreal sushi?

I've been to Zenya several times and enjoyed it. Koji works there, well, at least he did. Haven't visited Montreal in a year.

Nov 10, 2009
UnConundrum in Quebec (inc. Montreal)