This has been a weekend of wild excess in the field of food, and I need to spit this out before I forget my experiences. My friend Loni and I ate through a swath of Portland restaurants the past few days, and had some pretty good times doing it.
Breakfast before our hike Friday was the Francis Xavier's out off 181st and 84. I've had breakfast there before and it was...fairly good. This wasn't any better, neither was it any worse. They did an almost-spicy bloody Mary that we had to wait way too long for, and a salmon benedict that was decent. The last time I ate there, they broke the hollendaise sauce. I'm glad I gave them another chance. Now, all they need to do is figure out how to serve good food in a REASONABLE amount of time. I don't have two hours to kill over breakfast when there are mountains to be climbed!
As an aside, I just want to know why Gresham can't step up with good breakfast? It'd be so much more convenient to hike the gorge if I could get some really tasty food in me first!
After the stroll (can't call it a hike, 'cuz it wasn't!) came Edgefield. Oh, wait, that was just a ton of beer and a superb BBQ Brisket sandwich. It hardly even counts. Never mind. I just warn everybody that the Ruby Ale is delicious, but kicks you in the head the next day.
Later Friday evening we headed over to N. Mississippi to dine at the ¿Por Qué No? but it was PACKED! Same with Amnesia Brewing. We REALLY wanted to eat outside, so we finally ended up at a random place: Mississippi Station. I had a Portobella sandwich with pesto which was tasty, if slightly heavy on the pesto. I elected to get a cup of the cream of broccoli soup with my entree. The soup was almost well executed - smooth and delicious and oversalted.
The sweet potato fries were good as well. The provided bottle of Heinz 57 really brought out their best characteristics. Aren't sweet potato fries supposed to come with a dip that is essentially frosting? Maybe that's just wishful thinking. All told, this place was about as generic as you can get. Rather trendy, overpriced, somewhat pretentious. I get the feeling they would LOVE to make a franchise out of it. Pray this never happens, because it'll be another Ram, or Rock Bottom, or *shudder* Applebee's. Their fatal flaw is a heavy hand with the salt.
I give it only 2.5 out of 5 stars total if you are into food. It may have other redeeming qualities, but I'm not coming back to explore them.
Moving on, breakfast today was a new place over near the excellent Yahala on Stark, called the The Country Cat. It was FANTASTIC! I'd say they are making a bid to beat out Genie's Cafe for best breakfast in Portland.
Except, Genie's whups their ASS on drinks. Their bloody Mary was weak, weak, WEAK! Not even a hint of fire.
On the other hand, their food was phe-fucking-nomminal! (You see what I did there?) It was the salmon benedict again for me, and a HUGE step up from yesterday. They had a buttery biscuit for the base, perfectly cooked salmon for the meat, slightly wilted red chard to accent. I felt the eggs were slightly overcooked, because I like the yolks runny in a poached egg and these were starting to set, but that's a tiny issue. The hollandaise sauce was unique in my eating experience. It was made with a lemon curd base, and it rounded out the whole dish magnificently. The dishes have potatoes on the side with a heap of seasonings. They are well-roasted, and come with a home-made ketchup that really suits the herbs they are roasted in. I'll be coming back as long as they keep making dishes like this. They really need to kick up their bloody mix, though. Prices here are somewhat steep, maybe a smidge above Genies. $4.00 for bacon? Even really good bacon? Better stick to the entrees.
Dinner tonight was Salvador Molly's over off Sunset Blvd. They used to have a clone off Belmont, but it died. I had a mojito to start and it was good. My dish was the chili rellano plate, and I was very happy with my selection. The chili's were not your usual weak-ass run-o'-the mill chili - they actually had a little heat. A very nice change from the usual "Careful, hot plate!" cheese smothered, orange rice, refried bean serving Mexican restaurant that spreads like dandelions in this city. The coleslaw, if that's what you call it, didn't have a vinegar or mayonnaise base, rather a pineapple juice dressing. Brilliant, I thought. Our second round of drinks was the "Fire Rita" and it was indeed VERY spicy. Spicier than both of the bloody Mary's mentioned above put together, and then some. As a special treat, I ordered two "Great Ball of Fire", one each for Loni and myself. Heh, that was highly entertaining. She quartered hers, and popped one piece into her mouth without any sauce. She started chewing nonchalantly, got about two chews in and her eyes got really wide. I started laughing, and so did she. That meant she had to keep chewing because she couldn't swallow. Wow, those things are just a BITCH to try and eat. I ate my whole one with some sauce, and spent about 15 uncomfortable minutes trying to get off the pain train. She wouldn't touch another bit of hers, but gave me props for choking it down. I also learned that a fiery cocktail, it doesn't help a bit when you are trying to cool down a 4 alarm blaze in your mouth. Actually, it makes it worse a little bit. Overall, this is probably the best value in food entertainment in Portland.
It's very exciting for me to actually be able to FEEL my arteries hardening, and my cardiovascular system trying to pump globs of cholesterol through my body. Thankfully all the alcohol has diluted the sludge in my blood down to the approximate thickness of gravy, so I can put off my stroke for another day. I'll go for another stroll tomorrow to work off some of this overindulgence. Here's to good company, and good eats!