25 June 2010

Doughnut Pool Party: Tonalli's Doughnut's and Cream

Deep dark secret: last summer, the students drove me to eat an entire bucket of doughnuts. I know, sick right? I couldn’t eat a doughnut for six months and ever since Voodoo Doughnuts kind of make me weary. But my doughnut eating days are back and in perfect time for school and iced coffees. I'm a huge doughnut fan--probably my biggest vice is binge eating doughnuts. Confession: I used to go to church for the doughnuts. Most recently I have fallen in love with Tonalli's Doughnuts.

Tonalli’s Doughnuts and Cream is a family owned (Roosevelt Roughrider family coincidentally) doughnut and ice cream shop. They began on  Alberta and stuck through when they could have easily been pushed out by some $3.00 fancified doughnuts. Lucky for us, they’ve pushed through and have even expanded to a store on N. Lombard (Yay doughnuts at work daily!). The N. Lombard store looks pretty . . . hmm, how to do I put this . . . sketch? But in all seriousness, both doughnut shops offer incredibly tasty doughnuts that are fresh, fresh, fresh. This is your classic doughnut shop, stocked full with every imaginable variety and for .75 cents apiece it feels like stealing . . . Their cake doughnuts literally melt and I mean melt in your mouth.Their maple bars and twists are light and fluffy and their cake doughnuts glazed to perfection. Try their doughnut holes too.



Came across this blog post: Holy Foods with a fabulous overview of Portland Doughnuts: live it, learn it, love it.

Tonallis Doughnuts & Cream on Urbanspoon

22 June 2010

It's True, I've Never Been to Pok Pok

You know those restaurants you can’t stop hearing good things about and you spend months thinking/planning a time to go, but it just doesn’t happen and then suddenly you’re the elephant in the room who hasn’t been? But by this time, you feel like you can’t even go, because everyone has hyped the place up so much that the food is supposedly better then sex and it’s just never going to be as good as anyone has made out to be and so you find yourself, a food blogger, avoiding a very, very good thing, for very, very bad reasons. Welcome to my Pok Pok situation.

Saturday night, my two fake sisters were in town and what a better occasion to do it up. We made reservations for 6 at 6, I wore my new strappy wedges that make me oh so tall and I anticipated my virginal Pok Pok meal for count em’ 3 days.

We left all decisions in the hands of our waiter (smart choice) and as each dish was brought out, he explained in detail the ingredients and how to eat each item. I was too excited though and I couldn’t take pictures, comprehend ingredients and eat all at once, so I sat dumbfounded for a moment or so and then just started grabbing food as fast as I could, because as it goes with family style—when its gone, it’s gone.

The food was exquisite, the flavors unique and bursting with spice. I started with a special cocktail, made with mango infused vodka and coconut milk; it was like a very mellow version of a piña colada straight up. The Khao Soi Kai, a delicious soup had a bone-in chicken leg and thigh in it, with the meat literally melting off the bone into the broth. Ike's Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings were as good as everyone describes them— spicy, garlicky and yet caramelized with a hint of sugar. The Kuung Op Wun Sen— gulf prawns cooked in their shell with pork belly, soy, ginger, whiskey . . . had too many ingredients to even doubt their prestige. Everything was like nothing I’d ever tasted.

The table favorite was the Muu Paa Kham Waan—boar collar meat smothered in garlic, coriander root and pepper, and then glazed with soy and sugar, grilled and served with a spicy chili-lime-garlic sauce. We paired the small slices of meat with sticky rice. They serve you mustard greens covered in crushed ice to chew on post spice.

We ended the meal with two desserts: the Coconut Ice Cream Sandwich—ice cream made with coconut and pieces of jackfruit (a mango/papaya tasting fruit) a top a sweet bread and drizzled with chocolate syrup and the Pok Pok Affagato—condensed milk ice cream drizzled with Vietnemese coffee and served with two homemade doughnuts.

Anticipation equaled about 3 days and some odd hours. The meal was prepared in about 40 minutes and it was consumed in about 10. Brilliant, delicious, can’t wait to go back, relax and enjoy it all again.

Pok Pok & Whiskey Soda Lounge on Urbanspoon

16 June 2010

Burger Bust: 23/Hoyt

$5.00 Happy Hour Burger
23/Hoyt went through a little makeover since last summer and this “new American tavern” now offers a $5.00 happy hour burger, which is to die for. Their burger is made with fresh ground beef from Strawberry Farms, white cheddar, aioli on a brioche bun. I’m not sure exactly what makes this burger so delicious—perhaps it’s the white cheddar and brioche bun, making it sweet and savory. The beef is tender and well seasoned and cooked excellently medium rare.

If you are into happy hour burgers or burgers in general, 23/Hoyt should definitely be on your radar. However, be fair warned, their staff needs a straight attitude check. I just called to double check their beef resource and the beezy’s attitude almost just got her Mangia cut! Sit outside so you don’t have to deal with people that think they are the ish for working on 23rd. Ok, now I’m just pissed—but seriously their burger is bomb, so you should try it.

23 Hoyt on Urbanspoon

06 June 2010

Elephant Ears and Beer

I may have been more excited about the elephant ear than the beer Friday night at Zoo Brew (don't judge). Nothing compliments a beer buzz more than fried dough, melted butter and loads of cinnamon and sugar. When life takes some unexpected turns, you just need to sit back and eat an elephant ear. A staple to the Portland Zoo.

June marks the beginning of elephant ear season—zoo trips, Rose Festival, Saturday Market, Oregon State Fair (etc). Although it feels like summer may never come this year . . . at least we have elephant ears to make us think that summer is in the near future.

For beer enthusiasts, a copious amount of breweries offered tastings- 50 to be exact. You also had the option to purchase more tokens for, yes you guessed it, more beer. There was so much beer, I witnessed four people fall on their faces, including a dear bestie of mine (love ya!). Still, nothing warmed me as much as that elephant ear- hot, crispy, doughy goodness.

Do yourself a favor; celebrate the beginning of summer with one of Portland's finest treats, the elephant ear. You won't get enough.

04 June 2010

Ken’s Artisan Bakery Pizza Mondays

Arrabiata Pizza $13.00

A few weeks ago I went on a little pizza date. You know when you haven’t had pizza in like 5 days and suddenly you can’t stop thinking about it and even boxed pizza seems like it will suffice? But then you realize that you will spend $5 on a frozen pizza, which is practically 2 slices of good pizza . . . ok, so now you understand my eternal pizza struggles.
I happened to remember that Ken’s Artisan Bakery on NW 21st makes pizza’s in their brick oven every Monday evenings! I have wanted to try Ken’s Artisan Pizza for quite some time, but every venture to SE leaves me undetermined to wait over an hour.

We walked in and were seated right away. Shhh, we don’t want all those SE folk knowing our Ken’s ‘no wait secret.’ We ordered two pizza’s; the Soppressato Pizza, with tomato sauce, spicy soppressato, fresh mozzarella and basil and the Arrabiata Pizza, with tomato sauce, hot Calabrian chilies, mozzarella and basil. The Arrabiata was topped with a small dish of sea salt and dried chilies. Both were delicious; the crusts were crispy and the sauce tasted just as it does in Naples.

So currently I’m feeling really torn. When it comes to Italian style pizzas, I've been a Nostrana’s girl, but after trying Ken's, I'm realizing that Nostrana's has some serious competition . . . I’m undecided as to who’s pizza is better. What do you think??

Ken's Artisan Bakery on Urbanspoon

01 June 2010

Happy Graduation Roosevelt Seniors!

My nostalgia about the Seniors graduating is in full force, so I decided to buy a school lunch today and spend one of the last lunch periods with Roosevelt's soon to be graduates. If you were somehow unaware of what we are serving youth these days, look very carefully and tell me if that chicken is from a bird.

FYI, PPS is still using Styrofoam plates and those pears are covered in high fructose corn syrup and cinnamon! YUM! The plate may taste better than most entrees. However, they out did themselves with the fried spicy chicken nuggets and the cornbread was *fire.*

Can I just rant for hot second? Roosevelt HS serves a population where 76% of the students receive free or reduced lunch—meaning many students are eating meals at school for not one, not two, but three meals a day!!! And this is what we are serving them?! Believe you me, this is not the first time I’ve thought about the issue and if the staff wasn’t dealing with the districts highest teen pregnancy rates, dropout rates at 50% and mental and social health issues on an hourly basis, we may be able to get together and boycott the fair.

  Sriracha hot sauce to cover up the taste of almost anything.

Until then, cheers to school lunches and to the 2010 graduates who have eaten Nutrition Services food for the past 12 years of their lives. We love you!