Eater's Digest: PNW

Previously on Adam Riff™ (Dec 2014): Eater's Digest: Portland, OR

August 2018
// Portland, OR
canard / hunnymilk / expatriate / hat yai / salt and straw / outer darkness donuts / bark city bbq / the people's pig / smallwares / han oak / fifty licks / stacked / kachinka / kachka / little conejo cart / expatriate / aviary / salt and straw / coquine / basilisk / ok omens

// Tigard, OR
banning's restaurant and pie house

// Portland, OR
trap kitchen pdx trap truck / bing mi!

// Seaview, WA
laurie's homestead breakfast house / lost roo / the pub at shelburne hotel

// Vancouver, WA
deda's bakery

// Portland, OR
gumba / back to eden bakery / ok omens / deadshot / bottle rocket / kachka / black star grill / pacific pie co. / chicken and guns / potato champion / nong's khao man gai / wiz bang bar

Duck Stack (Canard)
pancakes, duck gravy, tabasco onions, duck egg, seared foie gras

^ Disappointingly one-note.

I am forever chasing the Foie Gras, Biscuit, Maple Sausage Gravy dish at (Animal) in Los Angeles.

Clam Ceviche Nachos (Canard)
bacon-pepper relish, fontina and jalapeño fonduta

^ It's hot, then it's cold. I'm "yes," then I'm "no."

"What is this white sauce?"
"It's a clam sour cream."

Pastrami-Wrapped Veal Terrine (Canard)
blackberry sauerkraut mostarda, frisée, herbs

Steak Tartare (Canard)
chinese sausage, broccoli, parmesan, cashew
—Served with lettuce cups.

Steam Burger (Canard)
pickles, onion, mustard, american
—A play on a White Castle slider seasoned with housemade French onion soup mix.

Paris Brest (Canard)
peaches, hazelnut praline

James Beard's Onion and Butter Sandwich (Expatriate)
butter, onions, parsley, grey salt

^ This was…not terrible?

Laotian Tacos (Expatriate)
toasted coconut, tuna belly, nectarine, lime, chili, dried shrimp, candied peanuts, fish sauce

^ New rule: If you use a leaf or, like, a thin slice of jicama as the base of a taco, you cannot call it a "taco."

Expatriate Nacho (Expatriate)
fried wonton chips, thai chili cheese sauce, spicy lemongrass beef, crema, kaffir lime and tomato salsa, herbs
—Wonton chips > tortilla chips.

Smothered and Covered Expatriate Hashbrowns (Expatriate)
pho sour cream, sharp cheddar, thai chili and sauteed onion salsa, basil, thinly sliced eye of round, hoisin-tamarind sauce, fried shallots
—Expatriate Hashbrowns > Expatriate Nacho.

(Hunnymilk) serves a $22 prix fixe brunch. Choose one drink, one savoury dish, and one sweet dish.

My drink: Guava juice.

Crispy Pork Ribs (Hunnymilk)
cheesy garlic grits, soft egg, avocado, parsley-hazelnut pesto
—My savoury dish.

Fortune Cookie Waffle Dipped in Honey Butter (Hunnymilk)
vanilla bean mascarpone mousse, white wine jelly, juicy blackberries, astronaut peaches

^ My sweet dish.

All three sweet dish options wet my mouth whet my appetite.

Amaretto Funnel Cake (Hunnymilk)
butterscotch meringue, rhubarb purée, raspberry, banana, almond graham crumble

^ Option two.

Poppy Seed Crêpe (Hunnymilk)
key lime curd, coconut-yogurt semifreddo, white chocolate magic shell, blueberries, brûléed kiwi

^ Option three.

(Outer Darkness Donuts) is (Hunnymilk)'s superior sister bruncheria, serving a prix fixe flight of five sweet and savoury mini donuts for $9.

The Hot Mini Donut Flight when I visited:

"Donuts and Gravy" (Outer Darkness Donuts)
potato-cheddar brioche, sausage and mushroom gravy, emoji egg, spicy maple syrup

Blueberry Glazed Fortune Cookie Hole (Outer Darkness Donuts)
cookie crumble, yuzu curd, juicy blackberries

Nacho Dusted Funnel Cake (Outer Darkness Donuts)
guacamole, pico de gallo, queso fresco

Cocoa Churro Hashtag (Outer Darkness Donuts)
malted milk dust, mixed chocolate custard, strawberry floating island

Whiskey Peach Pie Shortcake (Outer Darkness Donuts)
vanilla bean mascarpone whip, brown butter almond crispy bits

Coriander Dulce de Leche (Outer Darkness Donuts)
Chocolate Rum Syrup (Outer Darkness Donuts)

Fry Bread (Gumba)
—Unstuffed calzones, basically.

PB&J Fries (Potato Champion)
fries topped with satay sauce and a smoky chipotle raspberry jam
—Its portion size should be halved. It's too much.

Dan Dan Fries (Basilisk)
large bowl of fries covered in szechuan peanut sauce, chili oil, baby dill pickles, crushed peanuts, green onion, cilantro, lime
—Its peanut sauce was off-puttingly gummy.

Spicy Fish Sauce Tots (Bottle Rocket)
—Tots treated like Southeast Asian wings.

Chicken and Guns (Chicken and Guns)
wood-fired chicken, crispy potatoes, peruvian aji sauce

^ Good chicken, excellent smashed fries ["guns"].

Buttermilk Fried Chicken (OK Omens)
green szechuan peppercorn, hot sour cream

^ Boneless. The green Szechuan peppercorn seasoning could have been numbier.

Smoked Fried Chicken (The People's Pig)
spicy mayo, jalapeño jelly, salad greens

Fried Chicken Curry and Roti Set (Hat Yai)
malayu-style curry, roti, sticky rice

^ Southern Thai fried chicken with fried shallots and whole coriander seeds.

Korean Fried Chicken (Han Oak)
dry spice, bread and butter daikon
—Immaculately crisp. The daikon garnish was odd.

Soondae (Han Oak)
terrine of pork blood, jowl, pig ear; duck fat-fried duck egg

Nacho Dofu (Han Oak)
beef mapo, silken tofu, nacho cheese, wonton chips, pickled peppers
—I was wary of mapo tofu with nacho cheese, but it works.

Corned Beef 'Soo Yook' (Han Oak)
shaved brisket, bone broth, shredded radish salad

^ The kitchen accidentally made an extra one of this and blessed me with it gratis.

Hand-Pulled Noodles in Chili Oil ['Biang Biang' Mian] (Han Oak)
twice-cooked pork belly, cabbage, onions, garlic chives
—I did not expect the pork belly to be bacon bits.

I am forever chasing the Spicy Cumin Lamb Hand-Ripped Noodles at (Xi'an Famous Foods) in New York City.

Nori Risotto (Smallwares)
brown jasmine rice, green beans, mushrooms, squash, parmesan, scallion, chili oil

Burger (Smallwares)
creekstone beef, tillamook cheddar, fried shallots, sweet chili sauce, vietnamese roll
—Topped with CHERRY tomatoes?

Ablis Sparkling Cranberry/Blood Orange CBD [cannabidiol] Infusion (Smallwares)
—I felt nothing.

// Seaview, WA

Cranberry Banana Bread (Laurie's Homestead Breakfast House)

^ I didn't discern cranberry.

Fries and Gravy (Lost Roo)
guinness gravy, goat cheese

Northwest Jambalaya (The Pub at Shelburne Hotel)
wild rice, tomato sauce, andouille sausage, oysters, smoked salmon, fried flood farms duck egg, cilantro, spicy pickled mustard greens, sourdough bread

^ [pause]

Never mind the egg on top or its paltry amount of rice, how does a seaside restaurant not put SHRIMP in a jambalaya?

Shrimp Bowl (Black Star Grill)
deep-fried shrimp, jollof rice, fried plantains, slaw

^ Ghanaian lunch.

Jollof rice was described to me as "jambalaya's grandmother," but it reminded me of Taiwanese sticky rice [yóu fàn] – which I also like.

Oxtail French Dip (Stacked)
cast iron-charred onions and crimini mushrooms, havarti, rosemary jus, toasted hoagie

I was surprised to learn that (Trap Kitchen), founded in Compton by a Crip and a Blood, has a satellite location in Portland, of all places.

TK Rich Boy (Trap Kitchen PDX Trap Truck)
—Salmon and shrimp.

Cajun Garlic Lobster Roll (Trap Kitchen PDX Trap Truck)

Lemon Pepper Fries (Trap Kitchen PDX Trap Truck)
—The lemon pepper seasoning could have been more potent.

Crispy Pig Ear (Aviary)
coconut rice, chinese sausage, avocado

^ Utterly perplexing. Crispy pig ear, avocado, and greens on a bed of coconut rice with Chinese sausage?

The pig ear could have been crispier.

(Deadshot) had annoyingly just replaced its Pig Ear Nachos with puffed tendon nachos when I visited.

Chips and Dip (Deadshot)
caramelized onion and potato chips, miso almond dip

^ My first encounter with chips made out of what I assume is puréed caramelized onion [upper left].

Steamed Brown Bread (Deadshot)
whipped brown butter

Cornbread Madeleine (Deadshot)
lardo, parmesan, honeycomb

Coquine Cookie (Coquine)
—A chocolate chip cookie featuring smoked almonds rolled in caramel.

// Vancouver, WA
Peach Vanilla Pie Bar (Deda's Bakery)
peach custard on a shortbread crust with buttery streusel on top

// Tigard, OR
Strawberry Pie (Banning's Restaurant and Pie House)

Spumoni Cake (Back to Eden Bakery)
two layers of rich chocolate-cherry cake surrounded by smooth pistachio buttercream, topped with a chocolate-dipped maraschino cherry

Frozen Nectarine, Butterscotch, Shortbread (OK Omens)
lime leaf oil

^ Like a Chopped dessert. It worked, though.

Carrot Cake Batter and Pralined Hazelnuts Ice Cream (Salt and Straw)
we shred and roast fresh, sweet carrots into a creamy spiced ice cream with a hint of molasses, then mix in crunchy, candied hazelnuts and a swirl of cheesecake frosting
—(Salt and Straw)'s August theme was "Eat Your Vegetables." Alas, its Portland locations didn't offer its San Francisco locations' Melon and Capicola flavour.

Freckled Chocolate Zucchini Bread Ice Cream (Salt and Straw)
generous chunks of fresh-baked zucchini bread in a chocolate-speckled ice cream

Chocolate AF Ice Cream (Fifty Licks)
super duper dark chocolate with housemade ganache

Hood Strawberry Ice Cream (Fifty Licks)
60% berries!

Thai Rice Ice Cream (Fifty Licks)
creamy jasmine rice pudding infused with pandan
—It tastes of sticky rice, but that's not enough for an ice cream flavour.

Banana Pudding Milkshake (Bark City BBQ)
local ice cream with pudding, bananas, and nilla wafers
—I dug its consistency.

Kool-Aid Tropical Punch Soft Serve (Basilisk)

Blue Star Old Fashioned Donuts Soft Serve (Wiz Bang Bar)
—(Wiz Bang Bar) is (Salt and Straw)'s soft serve dessert bar.

Coava Coffee and Bourbon (Wiz Bang Bar)
—A magic shell flavour.

Beignets Filled with Tillamook Cheddar (OK Omens)

Chicken Liver Mousse, Grilled Bread, Pickled Veggies, like a Banh Mi (OK Omens)

"The Torito" Romaine, Creamy Cilantro Dressing, Corn Nuts, Cotija (OK Omens)
—A salad inspired by the Mexican restaurant chain El Torito. It tastes like popcorn.

Tuna Butsu, Avocado, Lime Leaf, Potato Chips (OK Omens)
—Just call it "poke."

Burnt Beets, Steak Tartare, Koji, Scallions (OK Omens)
—Burnt beets on a bed of steak tartare? What were they thinking?

Crab Pasta, Fish Sauce Bisque, Lime, Chives (OK Omens)

Beet and Walnut 'Caviar' (Kachinka)
House Smetana Butter (Kachinka)
Hungarian Paprika Whipped Salo (Kachinka)
Pepper and Eggplant Ajvar (Kachinka)
Brindza Cheese Pashtet (Kachinka)
borodinsky bread, lavash crisps

^ In Russia, "caviar" doesn't just mean "fish eggs." There is a whole tradition of vegetable caviars – beets, eggplants, or mushrooms, all finely minced.

Sour Cherry Vareniki Dumplings (Kachinka)
basil, mint
—Taste like cherry pie.

Vladimir Poutine (Kachinka)
hand-cut fries smothered in a mushroom gravy with walnut adjika, smoked sulguni cheese

Herring 'Under a Fur Coat' (Kachka)
herring, potatoes, onions, carrots, beets, mayo, eggs

^ A salad that looks like a layered dip and is eaten like a cake.

Duck Olivier (Kachka)
—Duck potato salad.

The potato could have been softer.


Coffee Mocktails (Either/Or)
—"By using coffee in various ways, we mimic a similar profile to the alcoholic component."

Salty Russian
Cold Fashioned
Coffee Bloody Mary
Coffee Julep
Planter's Punch
Gin Ricky

Shrimp Toast (Canard)
cucumber, avocado, chili mayo, furikake

The Corn Cob Omelette (Laurie's Homestead Breakfast House)
filled with fried corn, sweet onions, and chopped bacon

Potato Skin (Castagna)
smoked sugar meringues, buttermilk granita, potato skin ice cream

Fig Leaf Soft Serve (Tusk)
candied almonds, olive oil

Cherry Zinfandel Soft Serve (Canard)

Tequila Ice Cream (Ome Calli)
with salty sunflower seeds

Cotija Cheese Ice Cream (Ome Calli)
salty cotija cheese crumbles in sweet ice cream

Almond with Hemp Ice Cream (Ome Calli)
mild nutty flavour of hemp with sweet almond ice cream

Lemongrass Ginger Sorbet (Ome Calli)

Spicy Dole Whip (Zero Degrees)
pineapple dole whip float with fresh strawberries, dressed in chamoy and tajin; tamarind straw included

Blackberry, Pink Peppercorn, and Buttermilk Ice Cream (Smallwares)

Cookies, Cream, Berries, Balsamic, Kinda like a Blizzard (OK Omens)

Plombir Sandwich (Kachka)
—"Russian-style ice cream."

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