Sunday, May 25, 2008

Truffle Hunter Restaurant Gresham

I'd heard good things about this place, and since my first choice was closed today I crossed my fingers and pulled in.

Why was my first choice closed? Because Memorial Day is tomorrow. Right.

Silly me, thinking that a restaurant with truffles in the title would be a delicious and exciting source for tasty fungus dishes. The only item on their menu even remotely related to the name of the place was Hungarian mushroom soup. This was a pink cream with mushroom slices, no dill, no paprika, no flavor.

The decor was ick. It's a Victorian/farmhouse cross converted to a restaurant, and not much to look at. All the furniture was mis-matched - it looked like a collection of "Table and 6" lots from an auction house. The upholstery on my chair looked like somebody had been practicing their Psycho knife skills on it. Paper napkins on the table, white linen tablecloths under glass, you know the type. No lipstick on my water glass, which was unexpected... I had a Black Butte Porter, she had a selection from the comprehensive collection of Stash teas they stock.

My supper was a penne pasta with Gorgonzola sauce. Presentation was good, some chopped walnuts on top, a few sprigs of fresh rosemary tossed on it. Also cubed chicken tossed in, which was completely blah. The Gorgonzola didn't smack my mouth around, and actually was only barely present in the flavor profile. I barely even ate half, and that was after a semi-brutal hike.
It came with a side of "garlic toast" which was over an inch thick, had no garlic on it, wasn't toasted, and had some kind of bizarre cheese grated on it that wasn't melted in the slightest. I just vomited a little in the back of my mouth thinking about it.

The high point was my companion's entrée - a prime rib French dip. Meaty, to be sure. The au jus was actually well prepared and probably didn't come entirely from a packet or can. I ate half the sandwich. It also came with a handful of Kettle chips. Nothing but the best in Gresham... Bill was about $30 for two people for dinner/late lunch, not including tip. I'd rather eat $5.00 worth of beans and use the methane produced to torch the other $25 than eat here again. I guess it's my fault - other food bloggers would have warned me off...

It's still food, so it'll cushion the handful of ibuprofen I'm about to swallow. Didn't summit Nesmith point for the second time today. Damn, that means I've got to hike it AGAIN!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


This was originally meant to be a review of D.F. which is now closed, as I found out the hard way. Taqueria Nueve is also closed! Taqueria Nueve was the same folks as D.F., very similar menu, different location. When we arrived at D.F., it was unlit, and there was a note on the door stating the locks had been changed by the landlord. Funny, they didn't call me to tell me the reservation was canceled! I wish I had been able to eat there, because it looked far more inviting and polished than Taqueria Nueve.

Instead, we went to ¡Oba! a few blocks away and a few bucks more expensive. I had planned on spending $40 on myself for dinner, but it actually cost closer to $60 (although it could easily have been a lot more!)

Opened with a cocktail called a Fiery Orange - orange vodka, some citrus juices, and some sliced serrano pepper in a sugar-rimmed martini glass. Delicious, even after I chewed on the pepper. I could drink these all night long, if there weren't so many other delicious-sounding options on their martini list.

For a starter the rock fish ceviche was fantastic, with an avocado base, but the tortilla chips seemed like straight from a bag. Very nice presentation in a martini glass with a couple of romaine leaves sticking out the top. It was a decent sized serving of fish, and I could have added a couple other appetizers and done a tapas dinner rather than gorging myself. However, since the soup I requested never arrived, I plunged on into gluttony.

My entrée was a swordfish steak crusted with macadamia nuts and nicely seared, topped with a cilantro pesto, all over coconut rice and sliced roasted red peppers. Very well prepared, and some of the best swordfish I've ever had. I was especially pleased with the way all of the flavors in the dish accented and complemented each other. The portion size was just right, although I would have eaten more given the chance (my problem, not ¡Oba!'s). I liked it so much, I was sorely tempted to lick the plate. Instead, I used my fork to scrape the top layer of glaze off to ensure I got every delicious molecule of the pesto and red pepper.

Dessert was baked Argentina, which was bananas over a chocolate cookie, with vanilla bean ice cream over that, and the whole thing was covered in a marshmallow-ish meringue and caramelized. It had some mango slices on the side, drizzled with a caramel sauce they didn't really need. It made the mango seem excessively tart by comparison. Last, it had a pineapple wedge and a flower (non-edible: I tried.) sticking out from the side of the mountain of toasted meringue - why? I was not terribly impressed by this dish, although I did manage to finish it. All probably 900 odd calories of it. Next time I'll go to Papa Haydn's for dessert and eat my way through their pastry case like last time.

I guess I would eat there again, although the service was iffy. Very nice waiter, just didn't provide us with service. I had ordered soup - it never showed up. I ordered another appetizer, because of the wait for the meal - it never came.
Then, he brought me a drink - that I hadn't ordered... Bizarre. My companions didn't encounter these difficulties, so maybe he had a grudge against me?