Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fro-Yo the Best Thing Since, Well, Ice Cream

Frozen yogurt is like a welcome blast from my past, especially as summer hits its hottest. While I have fond memories of bubblegum and sprinkles, both things I no longer eat, I still crave the tantalizing treat as the perfect alternative to a calorific dessert, or lunch for that matter.

So what started my re-found love for this treat was...
Divine (Mississippi). A great venue with even better hours. They are open until 10 or 11 almost every night. Awesome. Divine is the one that turned me back onto fro-yo with a premium-level Dulce de Leche flavor, that is deliCIOUS. I love it. They also have fresh fruit that doesn't even appear that it was frozen and tastes just as good as it looks. Tres bueno!

Lucky Spoon is another nice spot if you happen to be downtown. The service is great and they have a wall of flavors to choose from.

ActiveCulture is a-okay. I was happy to find a coffee flavor here, but it wasn't the exciting display of toppings or self-serve, which although I don't want to watch everyone else taste-test flavors, I enjoy it thoroughly myself. I don't want anyone to ask me what flavor I want to try next. I want to try them all, you fool.

Avoid Swirl, as there's something about that place that reminds me of a nightmare. I can't quite put a finger on it, but there's something not quite right.

Yes, Yo-Cream makes them all but the atmosphere, service and cleanliness makes all the difference. Also, somehow people can mess up the batches. I've had the same chocolate at every place and it's managed to be slightly different at nearly every one.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Cheap Date

Okay, the economy sucks and unemployment is now stagnantly holding at over 10% for the Portland area. We still love to eat out...and oh, yes we'll spend our minute dispensable income on just that. So what made the top 3 of cheap date hot spots?
1. Blue Hour for Happy Hour. $20 goes further than you might imagine at this posh spot in upper Pearl. With a couple friends, a bottle of wine, a few appetizers and couple of entrees we had a difficult time spending even half of our $100 gift certificate. (By the way gift certificates for Blue Hour not recommended. The thought is what counts but they always write you a new certificate for the balance and you can't leave any portion for the tip. - Annoying.)
We find the service is always gracious. Grade: A
2. Jake's Crawfish for Happy Hour. Yes, they get you with the drinks, however this little place that's been here forever+ is still rockin' and their Happy Hour dishes are generous portions of decent. (Plus, you have to buy only one drink at $2.75 or more to get the good deal.)
The service is not quick or anything to write home about (who does that anymore anyway), but there's plenty of people-watching to entertain your appetite while you are waiting and this place is a Portland classic with interesting artwork to boot. Grade: C+
3. New Seasons Hot Wok. Surprise your local New Seasons is the cream of the crop when it comes to saving you some dough. Try stuffing your stainless steel bowl as full as you can. (I like to build fencing of broccoli around the perimeter and pile a whole mound of veggies :).) For $6-8 and enough to share, this is a steal. Buy a bottle of wine and light the candles for the table. This is a perfect meal and if your date doesn't bite, maybe you're just not that into him/her.
Okay so sometimes the staff at New Seasons has been smoking something else on their break. They can really mess up your order. We've had everything from chicken in a vegetarian order to getting some other person's hot wok. The service is kind but a Pandora's box. Grade B-

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Best Burgers in PDX

My best burger spots (because I know everyone is going to have an opinion.)

Castagna Cafe: Fine/casual dining - Suggested to me by a friend and, as promised, delivers a great burger. Tasty, not too large or heavy, and plenty of friendly fries to accompany every scrumptious bite. I also appreciate that every burger is usually made medium rare, cook's choice. This says the chef takes pride in a great dish. Comes with homemade pickles and classic veggies, except the tomato, which you won't miss. $11

Pause: Casual dining - Used to be the ultimate favorite burger, but since this restaurant has become so popular (because of it's decent prices and location), the spotty service and quality has squashed it's potential to remain at the top. Still a good burger, however, the patty can be a little too thick and cooks are inconsistent. Medium rare can come out anything from well done to rare.$8

Sagittarius: Bar/Casual - Great dependable burger. This is a really inexpensive steal-of-a-deal. The burger is always good, although there's nothing specifically memorable, other than the quirky fixin's they have, which almost all include bacon and delicious large portion of fries. (Which should likely be one of the top on my list for best fries in Portland.) Totally worth it. $6

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Division Eatery Alley

Let's start from the river...

Genie's - Boo for the longest wait time in the history of mediocre breakfast joints. Avoid it.

On the way up (not including Clinton – that’s another article, itself):
Reel ’M Inn: Bar Food - Standby best fried chicken you can get at the best price. It may take a long time to get your hands on it…first you order, half an hour later your chicken and jojos arrive, and then you wait until your piping hot plate cools enough so that the silverware you put in it is tangible. The wait is well worth it. There’s pool and beer to temper your appetite. BTW: Don’t come starving or you’ll be drunk enough that when your food arrives, you burn your mouth eating it and you probably won’t notice until the next day.
Clay’s Smokehouse: Casual Dining - Best coleslaw in Portland. Barbeque delight. Memorabilia to match.
Pok Pok: Casual/Fine Dining – Never a bad meal. Some call it amongst their favorites.
Lauro: Fine Dining - When they first opened, I went once out of curiosity. It was fantastic. I got pork medallions with bell peppers. I could have slurped the sauce on the plate all night. This was several years ago and my mouth still waters at the thought of that sauce! Great clay carafes for wine, too.
Hedge House: Casual Dining – This easy-going converted house has a pulled pork sandwich to take care of anyone’s appetite. They make their own beers and have great outdoor seating. Feel free to ride your bike over, it’s easier than finding somewhere to park.
Friends, fill in the blanks. Please tell us of more or add to what I’ve said.