Sunday, September 14, 2008

Gluttony, part Roux...

If I were a catholic, I'd be very concerned about my soul. Today, I may have participated in one of the seven deadly sins: Gluttony

A friend from the veterinary hospital where I work, one Dr. Horner (a.k.a. H-man, Dr. Homer), took me out to brunch. Loni was also invited so we could celebrate her transfer to a new position in the company. We joined Joshua and his wife Kim at a wonderful place in North Portland called Roux. It's just a few blocks east of Interstate on N. Killingsworth, which is a grip of driving but well worth the trip.

Loni suggested the "Four course brunch", but neglected to specify that she would be willing to share. None of us really knew how much food was involved and we all ended up ordering this way. It may be slightly cheaper than the buffet at Salty's if you go this route, especially if you split them. It depends how much you can eat, I guess. I am willing to fall on either of those grenades, for sure.

    Here is the list of what I consumed today:

  • Several cups of coffee with cream and sugar.
  • A delicious bloody mary.
  • 2 shrimp fritters with a deliciously spicy remoulade.
  • 1 fresh oyster on the half-shell with a tasty peppercorn vinegar dressing.
  • 1 fruit bowl (blueberries, grapefruit or pomelo, cantaloupe, honeydew).
  • 1 largish cornmeal muffin, buttered with some preserves.
  • 1 medium scone (blueberry?)
  • 1 oyster and bacon Benedict. 4 large battered and fried oysters, 2 slices bacon.
  • Half of the Yukon Gold home fries that came with the Benedict.
  • 1 plate o' meat: 2 slices bacon, 1 link each white and andouille sausages.
  • More cantaloupe and honeydew with the Benedict.
  • 3 beignets with lemon curd.

Oh my god, I think I may have ruptured my stomach! My gall bladder has retreated to my kidney region to regroup in the face of the lipid onslaught. I'm sure all of my arteries are nearly closed up with rich, buttery, cholesterolic plaque. You could kill a man with that meal if they had any kind of circulatory disease. Unless you're a real he-man (or H-man), pick regular entrées or split it. The decor is tasteful, subdued, upscale. The tables are very well laid, clean, and a high degree of attention to detail. There may have been excess rounds of silverware laid during our brunch, because I'm sure most people are comfortable using a fork for multiple dishes. Service was attentive and friendly, and they didn't rush us through our epic brunch orgy. Total time in the joint was 2.5 hours. Hey, good food and entertaining conversation makes the clock fly...

The bloody mary is very good, with a decent kick. I'd almost put it up against Genie's and Francis', depending on the day. They toss a nice assortment of vegetables on top, too. The oyster was excellent, as were the shrimp fritters.

All of my Benedict's have had slightly overcooked eggs lately, and this was no exception. The hollandaise sauce was very well executed, though. The Yukon Gold home-fries were just too much food, even for me. I felt bad leaving half of them behind, because they tasted good. There are children starving in Africa, damn it! Oh well.

I really liked all the meats, especially the white sausage. I think it was probably a boudin blanc, based on my relatively narrow meat history. It had a slight sweetness that helped convince me to finish it. The andouille sausage was spicy, although I didn't quite make it to the end of that link. I managed to scarf down all four large slices of deliciously smoky bacon. It still hasn't passed my pylorus, I'm sure.

Really, when they kept coming back and setting more food in front of me, I was looking for the hidden camera. I was SURE there were sociologists and behaviorists waiting to see my reaction to the continuous trough-load of calories presented to us. As they took away the home fries and the stub of sausage that I didn't finish, I looked over to see the H-man with a COMPLETELY empty plate. I think he may have even licked it clean.

I was happy to see dessert arrive in the form of the beignets. I'm sure that ONE of these little sugar-covered bars of fried dough would have been adequate to round off breakfast. Three is excessive. They were very heavily covered in powdered sugar - DON'T breathe in while you are taking a bite! The lemon curd was nicely tart and may have helped break down some of the fat rind that was forming on the inside of my mouth. I dipped one of mine in Roux's decent (but not spectacular) coffee and it was also good that way. Again, looking for the hidden camera while I rammed the last few bites down my gullet. I almost resorted to using the back of my butter knife to get it past my epiglottis, but by taking shallower breaths I created JUST enough space for it.

When we left the restaurant there was still swallowed food queued up in my esophagus waiting to get into my stomach. I spent the remainder of today in a state of post-prandial somnolence (a.k.a. food coma.) I drank some White Table Wine from the Magnificent Wine Company, in the hopes that the alcohol or the acidity could dissolve some of the fat. It didn't. That, plus the heat (mid to upper 90's) served only to increase my torpor. I'm sure the lack of sleep last night contributed as well.

I am unable to even guess how many calories this was, but it's 8 hours later and I'm still not hungry. I may not even be hungry tomorrow!

So now my gluttony has resulted in an express train to the lower regions of hell. Excellent. Next time, I'll treat for a breakfast or dinner or whatever, because this was absolutely one good turn and it deserves another. My gratitude to Joshua and Kim for this excellent brunch adventure!

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