29 May 2010

Sandwich Saturdays: Meat Cheese Bread

Chicken Salad Sandwich, $7.95

Saturday. Sandwich day. Not your brown bag sandwich variety though; Saturdays are for complex sandwiches and Meat Cheese Bread stands and delivers (figuratively, they don’t actually do deliveries). Have I ever told you that I used to be a sandwich extraordinaire—making sandwiches at a hole in the wall deli for 3 years in high school? If I know anything, its sandwiches.

 Meat Cheese Bread, with its quaint retro-southern feel, has a short list of 8 sandwiches; each distinctly unique and complex. With a staff suggestion, I decided to try the Smoked Chicken Salad. This sandwich was remarkable. Let’s begin with tender chicken in a smokey mayo with diced water chestnuts for an added crunch. The chicken salad was then topped with grilled onion, slices of avocado and lettuce, all atop a toasted flaky baguette, tasting practically like a croissant. Everything about this sandwich worked; the smokey chicken with the creamy avocado and sweetness from the bread.


My sandwich eating partner in crime decided on the Roasted Mushroom sandwich. I’m not typically a fan of mushrooms, due to paranoia of getting slipped magic mushrooms. However, I put my fears aside and sandwich also packed a huge flavor punch, with sherry onions, smooth and creamy goat cheese and thick, smoky bacon, and frisee on a sweet roll. Be advised, in a matter of minutes this sandwich will melt together and if it’s not consumed fast, you will have yourself a delicious mess, with a soaked roll.

 Everything about Meat Cheese Bread works and I will be visiting again soon to try their Park Kitchen, with flank steak, pickled onions and blue cheese aioli.

Meat Cheese Bread on Urbanspoon

18 May 2010

Can I Take the Plates Home with The Take Out? Cha'Ba Thai

I had been hearing rave reviews from some fellas who used to live on deep Sandy about a little hole in the wall Thai restaurant called Cha’Ba Thai. Well just a few weeks ago, Cha’ Ba opened their second location (good work!), taking over the old Vita Café spot on NE Alberta.

I was able to go before the Alberta crowds knew what was up. The food was excellent and their new set up is perfect for summer Thai nights in their large . . . side yard really. Our server was this sweet gentleman with the softest, most calming voice—I think he was trying to hypnotize us.

Cha’Ba is super cheap—four us ordered Pad Vegetable with Cashew, Red Curry, Pad See Ew and two orders of Fresh Rolls and it was $9.00 each!!! We were all perfectly full. The vegetables were cooked with the right amount of crisp and every dish was incredibly flavorful. I can’t wait to go back! Tuk Tuk has a new competitor . . .

Pad Vegetable with Cashew Nut and Chicken

 Fresh Rolls with Tofu

Red Curry with Tofu and broccoli 

Pad See Ew with Tofu

NEW Cha'Ba Thai
3024 NE Alberta

Cha'Ba Thai on Urbanspoon

16 May 2010

This Little Piggy Went to Cochon 555

 Beloved Foodbuzz gifted me tickets to Cochon 555. Probably haven’t heard of this event unless you are a serious farmer, foodie, chef or wine connoisseur. Cochon 555 (French for pig) is a culinary competition to raise awareness for heritage pigs and the 555 comes from 5 top chefs, 5 winemakers and 5 pigs make this event, where each chef creates a tasting menu using, wait for it . . . the whole pig. This event spams 10 metropolitan cities and in the end, one chef is marked the Chochon winner.

 Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon
Naomi Pomeroy, Beast
Andy Ricker, Pok Pok
Chathy Whims, Nostrana
Jason Barwikowski, Olympic Provisions

If you are vegetarian, stop reading now and DO NOT SCROLL DOWN! I’m about to show you a picture of a skinned pig head. I’m a carnivore and this was even a lot for me. So before I understood this event in the slightest, I thought some meat heads had gotten together to eat a lot pork. However, after some research, I saw that these foodies are actually saving the world and heritage pigs (pigs that have bloodlines that go back hundreds of years; we’re talking 1700-1800’s) from becoming extinct, due to commercial farmers and a loss of demand. These breeds have distinct flavors that you simply cannot find in commercial hogs.

Local chefs and restaurants are bringing heritage pigs back and tonight I had a sampling from Portland’s finest culinary geniuses.

my favorite: coppa di testa, polenta, grana padano
Olympic Provisions
                            larb, Pok Pok

                                          pulled pork and coleslaw
                                          Le Pigeon 

13 May 2010

Lovejoy Bakers.

Egg and Ham and Cheese Sandwich $6.00

Oooh Ristretto Roasters—how I love you. When I wake up in the morning and my eyes are practically swollen shut, I think about swimming in your goodness. Welcome Lovejoy Bakers—Finally a spot that serves Ristretto Roasters in NW. A warehouse-esque bakery that recently opened in the pearl, with clean white walls, lots of seating and good baking and people watching (and sorry to say because I still love my Acai bowls, but who will most likely run Sip and Kranz into the ground if they don't get their act together!). Ristretto Roasters, Egg sandwiches and cute bakers sounds like the perfect
coffee house . . .

Their egg sandwiches are delish—I ordered the ham and egg and added fontina. They have a small menu of only 4 breakfast sandwiches. If you like a more complex breakfast, try their Deluxe Egg Sandwich, which is rich with blue cheese and bacon. All sandwiches are on their homemade ciabatta bread, toasted and spread with salted butter.

 deluxe egg sandwich.


exposed pastry rack.



ristretto's new location on n. williams. 

Lovejoy Bakers on Urbanspoon

06 May 2010

Happy Mothers Day Momma

My mother is sweet like sugar and sassy like lemons, so for Mother's Day I'm gonna make her these beautiful Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins. I frequent Cannelle et Vanielle, the most beautiful food blog I've ever seen. Her pictures are stunning and every post is cheery and fresh. This will be my first attempt at one of her recipes. Wish me luck ;)

 I'm gluten tolerant and like to indulge in all the flour I can eat, so to make this recipe gluten filled, all you have to do is use add up all the flour amounts and use all purpose flour instead. Omit the xanthan gum and use melted and cooled butter instead of olive oil.

Soaked Lemon, Poppy Seed and Olive Oil Cakes
(Gluten and Casein Free)                                                                                                  
5 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 Tbs grated lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract (gluten free)
1 cup superfine brown rice flour
1/2 cup millet flour
2 Tbs tapioca starch
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 Tbs poppy seeds
1 cup olive oil (I used Arbequina)

Lemon Syrup
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar

Whip the eggs, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla extract for about 5 minutes until they are light and thick.In a bowl, whisk together, the flours, xanthan gum, salt and poppy seeds. Fold the dry into the whipped egg mixture. Be gentle not to deflate the batter too much.Take about 1/2 cup of the batter and whisk it with the olive oil. Incorporate this to the main batter and fold gently. Pour into baking cups and bake at 350F for about 18-20 minutes.

In the meantime, make the simple syrup by boiling the lemon juice and sugar. When the cakes come out and are still warm, poke holes on the top and brush them with the lemon simple syrup until well soaked.

*Pictures and recipe via Cannelle et Vanille*

Love you momma!
P.S. Will you help me make these?

02 May 2010

Hipster Zza: Dove Vivi PIzza

Slice- $3.75 Half- $10.00 Whole- $20.00

I'm obsessed with Dove Vivi. I go to bed dreaming of their crust. I like pizza. I'm pretty much down to get down on pizza any night and now that I've found my new favorite pizza place in town, my pizza eating days have just taken a new low . . . or high?

I had driven by Dove Vivi on NE Glisan countless times and neither noticed it nor knew or heard anything about it. People of Portland: Why are you keeping pizza secrets from me? Finally my friends brought me home left overs and even their luke warm pizza scraps were enough to get me hooked.

Its all in the crust and theirs is like crusty cornmeal pie. I can't explain to you how good it is, you'll just have to go and see for yourself, because me explaining it is just going to make it sound weird and your gonna be like that sounds like some hipster pizza and it is kinda hipster, but it is smazing hipster pizza.

goat cheese and pesto pizza.

They use local ingredients and have a way of making every pizza unique. I Tried their Goat Cheese, which of course has goat cheese and mozzarella, marinated green peppers, rosemary and marinated roasted tomatoes. It was divine. Their Sausage pizza has homemade fennel sausage, caramelized onions and marinated green peppers. They offer combination's that will blow your pizza loving mind--Fig Pancetta with fresh fig jam, greens and mozz, Tasso Ham with fontina and sauteed greens, Caramelized Onion with blue cheese and thyme. They know what's up with pizza.

fresh spices.

outdoor seating.

fresh green salad.

Dove Vivi on Urbanspoon