Monday, August 30, 2010

Cookbooking: Braised Chicken Thighs with Figs

It was a wonderful Sunday of food.

Big M and I started the day with Brunch at Deacon's Corner with Wendy, Gabs and baby Rocket. This post would have been about the deliciousness of that meal, but I forgot my camera. I will just have to go back next week! Maybe I will take my Mom to breakfast on Main and Powell... Also happy that I didn't wreck the baby when I was in charge of him for 2 minutes, phew.

On the way home we stopped a the Hastings Donald's Market for some groceries. On impulse I bought some fresh figs! I have never cooked with figs before. The neighbour has a fig tree in their backyard that I have been eyeing enviously. Some midnight urban foraging maybe?

Walmart was running a special of 12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs for $10.00 so I did some cookbook searching and came up with Braised Chicken Thighs with Figs and Bay Leaves on the Cooking Light website. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect recipe!

I don't have bay leaves because frankly, they weird me out. A quick search of the Internet suggested that thyme is a good substitute for bay leaves. I had to laugh because couple of websites told me that me that the substitute for bay leaves was dried bay leaves. Thanks, helpful.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Restaurants: Ikea Coquitlam

Big M and I spent the morning cleaning the house and I was feeling pretty good about that. I suggested that we go to Ikea and celebrate our domesticity by eating meatballs with fries and gravy!

Post JC food rule #25, I can eat gravy as long as I am at Ikea. Hooray! Ikea on a Saturday afternoon is always a gong show. We show up at 1:30 and get a great parking spot by the exit door. Everything is going great. We head straight to the food and the line is long. No worries, it moves fast and what else do we have to do? It starts to get weird when there are napkins covering some of the items on the menu. Over the meatballs part of the menu. We watch the people who are going towards the cashier and no one has meatballs. There are no picture signs of meatballs.... We get to the trays and a cook comes out and puts a sign up that they have RUN OUT OF MEATBALLS.

What? How does Ikea run out of meatballs? Who is getting fired for that mistake? When we are paying I ask the cashier and she says "well, it is summer" while the one beside her gives me the stink eye for complaining.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Restaurants: Phat

Today I was undecided on what to do for lunch so I went for a walk into Yaletown. I have lived in Vancouver for over 15 years and I work 2 blocks from Yaletown, yet I can count on my hand the number of times I have been in there. We went to Society for a good bye drink on Monday for the Temp and my boss pointed out a bunch of places she likes to lunch. I thought today would be a great day to give it a go.

And then it started to hail. So I ended up having lunch at the closest restaurant, Phat.

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I have to say that were it not for the rain, I would not have stopped here. The name, Phat, stands for Pretty Hot and Tasty. It is the primary color scheme and sports decor and TVs that would have turned me off.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Big M and I went to the PNE last night. I haven't been in years, and Big M for the first time ever. One of my first memories ever was eating a blue sno-cone that my father had bought me at the PNE. Not surprising that my first memory is of food. The other first memory is about napping.

Last night's free concert was Huey Lewis and the News; an excellent reason to hit the fair. Another reason- mini donuts.

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One of the food tricks that I have, post JC, is that I am only allowed to eat mini donuts when at a Fair. The last time I had mini donuts was at the Calgary Stampede 2 years ago. Needless to say, I was super excited about the donuts. We hit up a generic donut stand and the sugar fest started!

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Restaurants: The Brave Bull's House of Steak

Oh, the Brave Bull. Big M's choice for our next celebration dinner. That came on Sunday to celebrate his haul at the record sale. So off to Hastings and Clark we went. Brave Bull is a cash only kind of joint.

The Brave Bull has been there forever. I remember going there with Lori and Sarah when we first moved to town in 1994/95ish. And it was exactly the same in 2010. Rundown, kind of dirty, a strange decor mix of Chinese and Western and a waitress/hostess/bartender/busser who is older than my grandmother. She was the only person you saw working there. She may have cooked as well.

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We sat in a table by the entrance. There was another section of the restaurant divided by a wall and then behind us were more tables on a platform that had white plastic tablecloths. Must be the "special occasion" section. Tempted to get married again to have the reception there.

Photocopies of the 3 reviews the restaurant had back in the 90s are posted EVERYWHERE. On every window and wall. The menu is Steakhouse/Chinese. Some steaks, some seafood and some Chinese combos. We were there for the steak. All dinners are under $15.00 and they come with soup or salad, main and bread. They have a small cocktail and beer list. I am on a Caesar kick so:

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Not bad- hot enough but the celery was not crispy.

With my recent discovery that I like clams, I decided to order the clam chowder. I had never eaten clam chowder before.

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The best I can say is that it seemed to be homemade because it wasn't as salty as soup out of a can. Thin broth, a few straggly potatoes and carrots and some minced up tiny pieces of clam. Not the most auspicious introduction to the chowder.

I decided to go for the rib steak:

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Big M had the New York:

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And garlic bread:
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What to say? The mushrooms on the steaks were great! The steaks were large and cooked well. The vegetables were terrible. Soggy, over steamed and cold. I liked the size of the baked potatoes. They were not the really huge potatoes but a nicely portioned serving.

Should you go? If you are looking for somewhere funny to eat or a place to take your parents to freak them out, then the Brave Bull is for you. It is an experience that all Vancouverites should have at least once. I may go again- in another 15 years. I bet that waitress will still be there.

Brave Bull's House of Steaks on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 20, 2010

Restaurants: Cafe Vancouver

During our dinner at House of Dosas on the weekend, I was telling Marie about how I was writing a food blog and one of the focuses would be on the plight of the downtown office worker at lunch. She immediately said "Cafe Vancouver", her favorite lunch spot. How could I pass up such a ringing endorsement?

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Cafe Vancouver is located at Hamilton and Smithe, beside the fire station. I think their crowds would be mainly from the local offices who know it is there rather than walk in off the street. The website says that it used to be an art gallery and they have been open since last year. They serve the regular lunchtime sandwiches but they have a specialty in Turkish cuisine. They also have an all day breakfast menu! The restaurant is a very warm space that is larger than I had thought it was from the outside. The tables are a mix of big cozy chairs at tables for two along the sides and larger tables in the middle.

The house specialties is Turkish food, and because I can't pass food wrapped in dough, I had the Borek and Soup special for $7.99.

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From Wikipedia- Börek (also burek and other variants) is a family of baked or fried filled pastries made of a thin flaky dough known as yufka (or phyllo). It can be filled with cheese, often feta, sirene or kaşar, minced meat, or vegetables. Invented in Central Asia by nomadic Turks, it became a popular element of Ottoman cuisine.

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How could this go wrong? It was super tasty. I think it could be a bit better if it were served fresh. Mine seemed to be reheated in a panini press, but that did not really take away from the great taste. I have never had Turkish food before so I can't really describe any of the seasonings except to say it all worked well together.

The soup was the best part of the meal. They had 4 soup offerings today and I chose the Lamb and spinach soup. If I was alone, I would have licked the bowl clean. It was so fresh and creamy with large pieces of spinach, celery and red pepper along with a generous portion of lamb. It was spicy with a hint of sweetness. The best soup offering I have had from all my downtown lunches, easily.

The food at Cafe Vancouver was so fresh. There was a tray of muffins just out of the oven on the counter and other pastries that were made there as well. The staff was really friendly and greeted everyone as they came in and as they left. I have a new favorite lunch spot. Thanks Marie!

Cafe Vancouver on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Restaurants: Favorites Edition- Les Faux Bourgeois

Les Faux Bourgeois most likely doesn't need another raving review, but they sure are going to get one.

Big M and I visited last Thursday for date night. I had been to, as Big M calls it, Faux Bou once before with Wendy and fell in love. With the restaurant, not Wendy although she is lovely. I am currently infatuated with French food and LFB is my current restaurant of choice.

We arrived for our 8:30 reservation, and you must make reservations if you want a table, and the restaurant was packed. The hostess decided that one table had lingered there long enough and off she went to tell them to leave. I was half worried that they were going to be mad at us and the other half was pleased that we were important enough to be seated at our reservation time. Excellent customer service experience.

We had rode our bikes there (no bike racks!) so I decided to have some fancy cocktails. I love that the cocktail list has old school cocktails on it. I had the Tom Collins. Big M thought the beer offerings could have been better.

We started out with one of the specials, mussels with frites.

The sauce had fennel and it was delicious. The mussels were very fresh and the fries were crispy and not over salted.

The first time I was there I had the lamb stew. That wasn't on the menu anymore so I went with sausage:
Toulouse Sausage with tomato chutney and port pan jus. Choice of pommes purée or green salad. I chose the salad as the mussels came with potatoes.


Awesome. The sausage were very good. Upon returning home I looked the description of a Toulouse Sausage: "This exquisite French sausage is usually made with pork, smoked bacon, wine, and garlic. It's a great sausage for a cassoulet." Exquisite is not a term I have used for sausage before, but I will go with it because it was that good. I love that the pan jus was served in a little teacup. I need to learn more about salads because this one was seasoned so well.

Big M ordered the duck:
Crispy duck leg confit, fingerling potatoes, frisèe, green beans, port jus

He said the duck was crispy on the outside and nice and moist on the inside. He really liked the sauce.

We ended the meal with the Creme Brulee recommended by my friend Nick. When a French man makes a recommendation for a french restaurant it is probably best to take it. And it was.

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I love cracking the top of brulee with a spoon. I need to buy one of those little torches so I can do it more.

A great place to go for date night. The service was prompt but casual and the atmosphere is happy and bustling. Vous pouvez être sûr que je serai de retour, mes amis. Jusqu'à ce que nous nous reverrons ...

Les Faux Bourgeois on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 16, 2010

Restaurants: House of Dosas

A great example of the awesomeness that is food wrapped in dough is the dosa. Curry wrapped in a giant, crispy crepe? Yes please! One of the best places to get a dosa is the aptly named House of Dosas. HOD is located on the corner of Kingsway and Knight and is 24hrs!

When is the best time to go and eat mounds of hot curry? The hottest day of the year, of course! Pack the restaurant full of people eating hot food and make sure that the air conditioning is broken. The House of Dosas is worth it. Especially when Kingfisher is involved:
(plant and pot made by Marie)

Big M started us out with Pakora.

The service at HOD is very swift. I had some concerns about the freshness of the pakora when they arrived to the table within 5 minutes of ordering, but they were great. Very crispy on the outside and soft insides and not greasy. Too often I have received pakora sitting in a plate of grease so I was very pleased with this plate. My only criticism would be that they were more dough than vegetables, but they were really tasty and hot.

Dosa. I want to write songs about dosa. Stand on rooftops and proclaim my love. I need an I *heart* dosa T-Shirt. Marie informed us they ate dosa for breakfast at the place they visited in India. Sigh. Mine was the lamb curry dosa.


The dosa was perfect. So crispy on the outside with a little bit of soft dough on the inside. I had to get out of my seat to get a picture of how big it was. I also apologized to the semi-vegetarians we were with for the amount of lamb that it took to fill that! The lamb curry filling was fantastic. The lamb seemed to be ground instead of in chunks which made it easier to eat in this form. It was spicy without being overwhelming. I don't know the names of the sauces that come with a dosa, but I really enjoyed the coolness of the greenish coconut sauce.

The HOD offers quite an array of dosa as well as more traditional curries. Plenty of vegetarian options on the menu. The table next to us orded a jumbo dosa that was about twice the size of the ones we had ordered. I wanted to see the kitchen because I couldn't understand how they could cook a crepe so large! Everyone we went with raved about their dosas. The service is quick and friendly. If you are a cricket fan, they have it playing on the TVs in the restaurant.

Hooray for Dosa!
House of Dosas on Urbanspoon

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Restaurants: India's Flavor

I have eaten here a lot, before I found JC. For 4 years I worked at a call centre on Terminal Ave. Not many food choices in that area. For excitement I would ride my bike to International Village and eat curry from India's Flavor at least twice a week, my favorite fast food Indian joint. I would always order the 2 curry combo with Mixed Vegetable Curry and what they called Leon Curry. At the time I was a vegan, but my one cheat was the Leon curry. I didn't mean to cheat, but when I asked if there was any dairy in it, they said no. Turns out there was yogurt in it but it was too late- I was hooked. Damn you, dairy!

But, that is the past. I haven't been to India's Flavor for quite sometime... until this week! In the eternal struggle of the downtown office worker to find someplace new and exciting for lunch, I suggested International Village Food Court. I was pretty excited to have some curry again. I ordered the Leon Curry and the Butter Chicken.

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Was it as good as my memories? Mostly. I love that Leon Curry. I have seen it at other places called a Pakora Curry. The pakoras were plentiful and tasty and the sauce is more tangy than spicy. However, I should have stuck with the Mixed Vegetable instead of the Butter Chicken. There was nothing really wrong with the butter chicken but I thought the sauce could have been creamier. The naan could have been fresher as well. The woman at the counter was the only person working that day so the naan were sitting in the chafing dish and that made them kind of greasy. Most of the other times I had been there someone was working the naan oven as well. Tasty still, but a bit greasy.

I still have some problems with slopping the curries together. They are not made together, why would you mix them to serve them? But that is my issue.

India's Flavor is still a good option to keep in the under $10.00 lunch rotation. A reasonable price for the 2 curry combo and the few minor issues aside, a tasty lunch. Always a fun to see what store are trying to make a go of it in the Mall of Doom as well.

India's Flavour on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

BBQ Pork with Beans and Rice

Tonight I had planned to make Creamy Chicken Pot Pie from Now Eat This by Rocco Dispirito. It sounds good and is made from a rotisserie chicken which is also good because someone else has cooked it.(side note- have you noticed that you can buy a rotisserie chicken from the store for around 8.00 but if you want to buy a chicken you roast yourself, it will cost way more than that? I have always found that strange) Turns out that there were no chickens ready when I hit the store. On to plan B.

I had some homemade guacamole left in the fridge from taco beef on polenta the other night so Mexican it was! I picked up some pork that was on sale and decided to make some beans and rice to go with it.
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Okay. So here is my big confession.... I can't cook rice. No matter what I do, it turns out bad. I bought a rice cooker and ate rice that I cooked in it for years. Big M comes along and tells me that brown rice is not supposed to be kind of crunchy (what?) and makes me rice in a pot that is beautiful and not crunchy. So I throw the rice cooker out and follow his instructions. Crunchy, burned or runny. He makes rice all the time that is beautiful. Rice perfection continues to elude me so I gave up and bought instant rice- at Walmart.

I cooked the instant rice according to the box (boil water, put in rice, wait 5 minutes). I added some low sodium chicken broth, chili and onion powder to the water. Perfect! I then mixed in some black beans and mushrooms and cooked it for a bit longer. Nowhere near authentic, but it tastes really good. I topped it with some cheese (Cracker Barrel Cheese Snack. Individually wrapped and 60 calories each. Perfect for on meal and prompted a discussion with Big M about what a "cracker barrel" might be) and some parsley from my garden. The guacamole is my peach salsa that I blended in the Magic Bullet and is the brownish paste on the side. I don't know how to make green guac but it tastes awesome.

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Now I am waiting for my 10lbs of blueberries to be delivered. I think I will start with blueberry cornmeal muffins.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Restaurants: Favorites Edition-Sha Lin Noodles

When I find something I like, I stick with it. I watch movies over and over, read the same books and order the same things at restaurants. I know that I should be more adventurous, but when you really love a dish, what if the new item does not live up to the awesomeness that you could have had? Do you want to risk that? Case in point, Sha Lin Noodles.

I first stumbled across the restaurant in the late 90s when I was working down the street at Office Depot. I had just become a vegetarian and was looking for lunch time places to eat. My first meal there is the meal that I have been eating ever since. Cutting Noodles in Soup with Tofu and Vegetables in Vegetable Broth and Pan Fried Vegetarian Dumplings. I have strayed from time to time by trying the pork dumplings or the soup with chicken or a different type of noodle, but I always come back to you:


And the dumplings. I dream about the dumplings. Sometimes at work when I should be paying attention, I think about the dumplings. If I could marry food, I would have married these dumplings. The most awesome specimen of food wrapped in dough (my favorite food of all)

They come to your table so steaming hot that we have to poke holes in them to cool them down. I always end up burning my mouth because I cannot wait long enough and eat them piping hot.

Big M eats in much the same way, he orders the curried cutting noodles with chicken.

The Sha Lin is not glamorous. A bunch of tables in a room with pictures of the food on the wall for decoration and waitresses pulling an amazing amount of food out of the kitchen. Watching the cooks make the cutting noodles for my soup is a highlight. The cooks are shaving perfect strips of noodles off a round of dough held on their shoulder with a curved piece of metal, and they never miss the water. Very fun. You need to show up early, or you will have to wait. They only make a certain amount of the vegetarian dumplings everyday so if you come too late, you might not get any. I hate when this happens. There is a scary parking lot in the back for parking that lets you come in the back hallway.

If I like you, I have taken you here to eat. I have cut down on my appearances here since discovering JC. Big M used to know when in his bike ride to call so that the food was ready when he rode by. Awesome.

UPDATE: Dec 1, 2010.  Fire bad.  Sad news today as Sha Lin Noodles has been closed due to a fire in a neighbouring restaurant.  I really, really, really, really, really hope they are able to open again either there or a new location.  I don't want to think of a world that is without Pan Fried Vegetarian Dumplings.  Fire took Special #2 from Buddist Vegetarian from me, don't take my dumplings too.
Sha Lin Noodle House on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 9, 2010

Restaurants: Red Dot Cafe

Pop quiz- Name this location:
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Answer: The Red Dot Cafe at 401 W. Georgia. Still unsure? No worries, I had to be taken there. My co worker kept talking about this sandwich place that was "across from the Library in the Bank of Montreal building". I would never have know that this place existed. Walk down Homer past the BMO entrance and there is a little glass building up a ramp and the door is in a secret courtyard. A secret sandwich place for office workers!

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They have the usual listing of hot and cold sandwiches, soups and salads and a rather impressive desert selection. They have a specials board everyday as well.
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What I like about the Red Dot is the freshness and the service. The sandwiches are all made to order with really fresh ingredients. Nothing too exotic on the menu but the food is good and fast. Two important qualities of the downtown worker lunchtime experience. The counter is run cafeteria style and the workers have always been very happy and helpful. Most sandwiches are offered with different types of breads or wraps and they have fresh salads that change daily. A good selection of pastries for the morning and deserts include baked goods or fresh fruit salads that are made up from more than just melon. I also like that the prices seem like they have some sort of math behind them. Specials are $8.41 or $7.92 like they put thought into how much the ingredients and labour will cost them each day.

I always enjoy eating individual size portions of food that is normally bigger. I like pretending that the food is normal size and I am a giant. To that end, I ordered the individual quiche and salad. $7.92

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They had 3 different quiches to pick from. I had the mushroom and goat cheese and salad with raspberry poppy seed vinaigrette (So 1988, I know, but I like it). I don't know if they cook the crusts there but the quiche was really fresh and not overcooked.

An excellent option for a good, fresh, under $10.00 lunch. Now you are in on the secret.

Red Dot Cafe on Urbanspoon

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Cookbooking: Mushrooms and Polenta

How did I never know about Bosa Foods until today? I have lived in East Van for 12 years and didn't know there was a giant Italian grocery store. Granted it is in the middle of nowhere, but it is awesome! I bought dried chanterelles and porcinis, a fig jam, polenta and porchetta. They have fresh pasta there as well.

What to do with all of that? Look no further than How to Cook Everything! This is a combination of 2 recipes: Sauteed Mushrooms and Grilled Polenta.

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I have never cooked polenta before, I am not even sure if I have eaten it. It does come up often in my low fat cookbooks, so why not. I think I have stayed away because it is sold like this:
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Mmmmmmm, big tube of squishy, yellow goo. The grilled recipe called for it to be sliced and then cooked. I choose to cook it in the cast iron skillet. I was really surprised that you could slice it. I expected it to be less solid. But I sliced it and sprayed it with a little cooking spray, the recipe called for brushing it with olive oil. I wasn't sure how long to cook it and expected it to get a more crunchy bottom. Maybe I didn't cook it for long enough?

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Keeping with the new theme, I have never reconstituted mushrooms before. The book had a section on how to do that as well. It really does have everything. The chanterelles absorbed water really well, but the porcinis seemed to stay pretty hard.
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Mixed with button mushrooms they cooked for a while. Then you add some white wine, fresh parsley (from my garden!) and garlic (from the farmer's market) and let that cook down. This was really tasty. I enjoyed the mix of the mushrooms and the white wine. I then spooned it over the polenta.

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I was really happy with the mix of the two recipes. It worked! Served with a side salad and some more of the wine- it was open after all! The cherry tomatoes were also fresh from the garden!

Next weekend we are going back to Bosa for Italian sandwiches!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Cookbooking: Quick-Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce with Spaghetti

Tonight's dinner is from Cooking Light, my favorite magazine/website. I found this magazine when I had finished the JC and I was looking for ideas of how to cook meals for myself that were going to not send me back to the JC. The website has a complete listing of all their recipes and I go to it everyday at about 3:30 to decide what I want for dinner.

Today's weather is hot, muggy and smokey. So I thought, pasta! I don't know why I crave pasta and soup on hot days. I have made this Quick-Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce with Spaghetti recipe once before. I found it a fun, light and easy to make. I stuck to the original recipe the first time but tonight I stopped at the Smoked Meat Hut and bought some pork chops so I made it a porky pasta dinner tonight.

pork pasta

I had some olives and mushrooms in the fridge so I added those to the tomatoes and roasted them together. I used a cooking spray to coat them instead of olive oil. The pasta is a rice pasta as I am cutting down on the wheat. The gooey whiteness of the water when it cooks is a bit disturbing and it has to cook longer than regular pasta. After a few attempts, I finally worked out the proper cooking time for al dente. I cooked the pork in my cast iron skillet for 3 minutes a side. The basil is fresh from the window box on my deck. I used shakey cheese instead of the goat cheese- only because I don't have goat cheese in the fridge. I used the goat cheese the first time I made it and the combination of tomatoes and goat cheese was awesome.

I love the new skillet. I am sure that it is not the best quality as I did buy it at Walmart, but I am really enjoying it. Look at the sear on the pork:

It was cooked perfectly. I am trying to get better at determining the doneness of meat by how it feels when you touch it. I guess this is what Chefs do.

For dessert I had some blueberries with light whipped cream. I think I may have eaten over 10lbs of blueberries in the last month. And I ordered 10lbs from Big M's co worker's friend's farm. I see pie in the future.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Portland- Good Eating. The Farm Cafe

I love vacation. I never eat and drink like that at home, for good reason! One of the deals that I made with myself is that vacation is for a good time. I can keep with the program when I am at home.

As mentioned in the last post, we love Kenny and Zukes and Clyde Common. We had discussed a no-samesies for this trip but in the end we went back to both restaurants. We did hit some new ones as well.

We stayed at the Jupiter Hotel this time. I love the Jupiter but Big M found it too loud. There was a dance party on Saturday night. I think you know what you are in for when you stay at a hotel that gives you a free condom and earplugs on the bedside table.

Saturday night we decided to check out Farm Cafe. It is right by the Jupiter built out of an old Victorian house. The restaurant was rated well on Urban Spoon Portland and I liked their description of fresh, local and organic farm-to-table products from the Pacific Northwest" so off we went.

The decor of the restaurant is very nice. I find houses that are transformed into restaurants kind of odd, most times. This one was done well with a big group table in the "dining room" when you enter the restaurant to give it a nice, warm gathering feeling. The kitchen was in the middle with more tables and booths in the back. The lighting was really dim, almost a little too dark.

As this is vacation eating, we decided to go for a full 3 course meal. We decided on: (from the online menu)
"Clams and Mussels $9
Fresh local clams and mussels sauteed in golden ale with garlic, butter and red chili flakes, served with grilled bread."

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The mussels were huge! I am still a bit squeamish with the ugliness of shellfish so I found the gigantic size a bit off putting. Big M loves mussels so he was in shellfish delight. This was my first clam eating experience. Turn out that I like clams more than I like mussels. Can't wait to try Clam Chowder now. The garlic toast was a bit burnt, so it was really crunchy to eat but the sauce was wonderful and the shellfish was so fresh.

For dinner I had one of the specials so I don't have it's exact description. It was a half chicken on a bed of mixed beans.

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The chicken was AMAZING. So moist and flavorful. I would say perfect. I did not enjoy the beans on the bottom, unfortunately. They were really aggressively herbed. I am not sure what they were flavored with, but it was really strong and tasted like HERBS only. Big M and I had some "unstable herbs" jokes here.

Big M had the:
Goat Cheese Ravioli $15
Handmade ravioli stuffed with Fraga Farms goat cheese, hazelnuts, basil, pecorino, Parmigiano Reggiano, and ricotta served with blistered cherry tomatoes.

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I wish I would have ordered this, because Holey Cramoley, this was good. I just had a bite of it but the cheese and the hazelnut mixture was awesome. The sauce was flavored perfectly.

Side Note: I don't know whether Portland is so hip that all the servers are taught to be blase, or if we have aggressively perky servers in Vancouver, but we found that most places had such ambivalent service. You would say thanks and the servers would be like "okay, sure". The only time our waitress at Farm seemed interested was when I talked about how stunningly amazing the dessert was. Then she told us about how the chef recently went to study pastry with local pastry master, (didn't catch the name) and how this dessert was the best ever.

From the special menu, it was a blackberry bread pudding with creme fraiche.

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I should have ordered 3 servings of this. So good. So, so good. I am obsessed with bread pudding at the moment and this was the best I have had. So warm and creamy and good. I can see why the waitress would break from standard to rave about this.

Overall, really enjoyable meal. I don't know if we need to go back there again the next time we are in town, but if you are in the area it is worth considering.

Farm Cafe on Urbanspoon