17 December 2009

Pancakes Please: Jam on Hawthorne

Lemon Ricotta Pancake with blueberry compote

Make Your Own Scramble: Bacon, Tomato, Green Onions and Cream Cheese w/ a Lemon Ricotta Pancake on the side= 10.75 split with a friend = 5.50

Another key player in the Portland breakfast scene is Jam on Hawthorne. A small establishment with a good size menu, including all the standard breakfast items: scrambles, omelets, egg sandwiches, sweets and Stumptown coffee. However, one thing separates Jam for the rest: Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, smothered in blueberry compote.

Pesto Scramble, $8.25

Whoever came up with the brilliant idea to add ricotta to pancake batter is God sent, because the cheese makes the pancakes moist inside, but still allows them to get a good crisp on the top and bottom. The hint of lemon adds a touch of zest and then they sprinkle powdered sugar on top and smoother the entire thing in their homemade blueberry compote. These pancakes melt in your mouth and trust me; they are like nothing else you’ve ever tasted.

El Paso Scramble, $8.25

I like to split a “make your own” scramble and then add a Lemon Ricotta Pancake on the side for only $2.00. This allows me to get the sweet and savory combo I always crave at breakfast.

This holiday season, give someone the gift of pancakes. Tie a ribbon around a bottle of Trader Joe's maple syrup and attach a gift certificate for Jam on Hawthorne. Jot down my blog address for them and recommend the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes!

Jam on Hawthorne on Urbanspoon

06 December 2009

Baby it’s Cold Outside: Moonstruck Chocolatier

Hot Cocoa $2.90

Nothing is more holiday-esque then hot cocoa and peppermint flavored chocolates. So this afternoon, in the blistering cold, my girls and I walked up to NW 23rd to get hot cocoas and chocolate. I felt like a child knowing that I was about to be served “special” hot cocoa, made from the very best chocolate in the world. Tim Allen in Santa Clause anyone? This little adventure actually brought up many movie references: Chocolat and of course Moonstruck. And so, we sat in the café, sipping our hot cocoas and gabbed and gabbed and gabbed until suddenly our cocoas were gone.

The cocoa was rich and creamy—even with my request of non-fat milk and no whip (I’m sorry, but I have some holiday dresses I need to fit into). Moonstruck is really something else and if you haven’t had a chance to visit their quaint little chocolate factory, this is the perfect time of year to do so. These chocolates are sent all over the nation and lucky for us, their only Chocolate Café’s are in Portland.

Each chocolate is handmade, exquisitely designed and their ingredients are from the Pacific NW. Needing to get someone a gift, want to get your wife in the mood, stocking stuffers. . . even one chocolate in their tiny single chocolate boxes are adorable and with one bite they will be transformed as were the French townspeople in Chocolat. These are not your everyday Hershey chocolates. And believe me, if there is a skeptic out there it is moi. I’ve been hearing for years these chocolates are too good to be true and in a sip I was made a believer. The chocolates are almost so delicate you don’t want to bite into them. However, at $2.00 a pop, you must take on the motto less is more here.

Ok, cocoa isn’t your thing—but I know wine is. A bottle of red with these chocolates will send you . . . well, straight to bed.

Moonstruck Chocolate on Urbanspoon

02 December 2009

Tis' the Season for Long Lines

Italian Cured Meat Sandwich, $9.00

A line outside of an establishment always means there is something delicious waiting for you inside. For the more tightly wound folk (my father), lines equal stress, anxiety, crowded places with inadequate safety exits and a change of plans. So you can imagine my dismay when, after circling a few times on Morrison, trying to find Bunk Sandwich that when we did and there was a line, I was in for some confrontation. Automatically he wanted to leave and go to Meat, Cheese, Bread (next on my sandwich endeavors). No, no no, I protested, just as I did when I was a child. I was determined to try a Bunk sandwich and the line only made me want it more.

After only a few minutes we were in the door and able to see their sandwich board—an entire wall turned into a chalkboard, with daily changing sandwiches. The shop is pretty small, with a handful of tables inside and out and a small bar with a about 8 or so stools. The roast beef with caramelized onions, horseradish and cheddar caught my eye. But then so did the Italian cured meats with Mama’s lil’ peppers and provolone. And if I hadn’t been so sick of turkey from the Thanksgiving, their roasted Turkey with Grandma’s sage sausage stuffing looked amazing as well. This is a sandwich shop that thinks outside the box. How do you feel about Grilled Chicken with Romaine, Garlic-Anchovy Vinaigrette & Spicy Avocado Dressing? Or what about Fried Mortadella with Teleme and Green Apple Mustard, Beans and Cornbread or Oxtail Confit with Celery & Hot Pepper Relish?

We settled on splitting the Italian cured meat sandwich. It came out on a black tray with butcher paper on top. Simple and to the point, with a handful of Kettles chips on the side. The sandwich was oozing olive oil, the meat slightly warmed and the provolone melted onto the rustic sub roll. The Mama’s Lil’ peppers were spicy hot and a perfect pairing with the salty salami and prosciutto.

I can’t wait to go back and try more of these sandwich geniuses’ daily creations! I would say it’s even worth the wait. You may be thinking that $9 is a little steep for a sandwich. You must understand these are gourmet sandwiches, made by people that call themselves: sandwich aficionados. You are paying for quality ingredients and more than anything a sandwich that’s out of the ordinary. Check out more of their “possible” specials online.

Bunk Sandwiches on Urbanspoon