Thursday, December 25, 2014


Southern food is not really my favorite food.  The food is just too heavy and low on the vegetable/high fiber component.  I'm not a healthnut really, but I prefer balance in my diet and Southern food represents everything wrong with the American diet in this country.  So you'll rarely see my seek out Southern food, which might explain why Screendoor was never high on my priority list in Portland.  It also did not help that the wait for weekend brunch can easily exceed an hour.  Big Spoon joined The Gunner and I for a delightful brunch on an unsurprisingly grey Saturday morning when the wait was less than 30 minutes.  Score!

Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwich house smoked pork shoulder, creamy coleslaw, toasted bun
People go crazy for pulled pork, and now I know why.  This sh*t was BOMB.  The coleslaw and pork were a perfect combination of sweet, salt, tang, crunch.  Our waiter said he's worked at the restaurant for 8 years and he ate this everyday for the first couple years.  It was that good.  Between the 3 of us, I ate half.  My only ding was that the bottom bun got soaked with grease pretty fast.

Does anybody notice anything wrong with this picture??
If you guessed that half the diners in the party were busy on their phones or taking pics, then you have valid point.  But the common denominator is this bad boy.

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Sunday, December 21, 2014


The Gunner and Perpetually Underwhelmed spoke very highly of Holdfast, a pop up dining experience to recently enter the culinary scene in Portland.  Pop ups are fun, but they can be unpredictable.  There's a lot of experimentation that goes into any given night's menu.  Sometimes items are being served for the first time, which can result in something spectacular or something poorly executed.  Holdfast has been holding steady in KitchenCru, which is a rentable kitchen space near the Pearl District.  It does not make for the best dining ambiance, but the pop up is more about the food than service or experience.  For $90 we had a 9 course meal with 5 wines. 

Crab beet, horseradish, dill
We started off the meal nice and light, a little crab salad topped with thinly shaved beets, drizzled with beet sauce.  I don't believe I've had beets and crabs paired together.  More dill would have elevated the dish.  
Razor Clam fennel, apple, sauerkraut
Another refreshing combination of flavors with ingredients never tried together by myself.  Some parts of the poached razor clams were off-puttingly fishy.  Apples and fennel are always good together.  All together, I'm not sure if these ingredients really sung.

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Lauretta Jean's

I love me some pie, but only the fruity ones.  I never ate pecan pie, pumpkin pie, or banana cream pie, just to name a few, growing up.  It's a strange concept to pair a flakey pie crust with the aforementioned ingredients.  I love the contrast of a tart tangy fruit with a slightly sweet buttery pie crust.  It's a match made in heaven when in my mouth and tummy.  I never got to check out Lauretta Jean's when I lived in Portland.  After a comforting lunch at Sen Yai where I was sufficiently satisfied, though not horribly stuffed, The Gunner informed me Lauretta Jean's was but a hop skip and a jump away.  Even though I knew I only wanted a few bites of anything and the rest would be boxed up, I just had to go and order more than I could eat alone.  The Gunner didn't plan on partaking too much.

They have a varied selection of baked goods beyond pie.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sen Yai

Andy Ricker's fame has spread beyond the confines of grey-ass, gloomy-ass Portland.  Who would have ever thought a white man could create this burgeoning Thai food empire from one of the less Asian influenced cities in this country?  If you won't take my word for it, believe me when I say even Thai people (Verde and Perpetually Underwhelmed included) love his food and give it their seal of authenticity.  He started off with a window that sold chicken wings, to a restaurant (Pok Pok), bar (Whiskey Soda Lounge), and offshoots in NYC and soon-to-be in LA's Chinatown.  In the past year or so, Andy Ricker opened up his noodle focused venture, Sen Yai in Portland.  Perpetually Underwhelmed actually seemed unsurprisingly underwhelmed with the place calling it's dishes "too salty."  Lucky for me, The Gunner is always game for noodles.  

Singapore Curry Laksa Noodles
I had just a bite of this.  Hard to gauge flavor and quality here since I've never eaten laksa before.  I would say it was a tad underseasoned, but I think it's because you're supposed to go to town on the condiments.

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Monday, December 15, 2014


Dear Readers,
I want to thank you for following along with me all these years.  I started off with some shitty pictures and photography skills, but I have tried to hone my craft over the years.  As you may know, I earn absolutely no money from this endeavor.  In fact, I lose a lot.  But I gain so much in the name of gastronomical fun, adventure, and happiness.  So in staying consistent with that, I am pleased to announce that this blog's getting an upgrade!  Behold!

Sony A5100 with E 35mm F1.8 OSS E mount prime lens  
It ain't the best or fanciest fanciest camera out there, but it really suits my needs and I'm loving the relatively compact size and picture quality so far.  Thanks to Grumpy Bear and Stubborn & Pushy for being my camera gurus through this whole process.

It's safe to say Black Friday was good to me. 

Who knows what Christmas and New Year's will bring!  =)

Overworked Underfed

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sushi Tsujita

It's so awesome how Little Osaka, or the area on the Westside I'm used to referring to as "Sawtelle," has totally exploded into this mecca of delicious Japanese-centric dining destinations.  I'm actually envious and wish I could turn back the clock to be a UCLA student now.  Back in the day, the only thing I really went there for was Hurry Curry.  Volcano House was also a popular hang out for their ultra milky milk teas.  There was Sawtelle Kitchen, which has since closed.  Asahi Ramen, which has been able to stay open all these years to my shock, served a totally mediocre bowl of ramen.  Everything else was either too pricey for the poor college student that I was back then, or just meh.  Now there's all these new and hot places like Tsujita Ramen, and its new high end sister sushi restaurant Sushi Tsujita.  The place is omakase only with a choice between $120, $150, and $180 menus.  Triple T, Smooth Obturator, Quadruple T, and I went for the mid range option.  Obviously, this place ain't cheap.  

Agedashi Tofu sesame tofue, bonito, ginger
While usually a huge fan of agedashi tofu, I found their take on this with a heavy hand on sesame to be a bit odd.  I guess I'm a traditionalist here.

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Da Poke Shack

I was super excited to try the #1 rated place on Yelp's Top 100 Places to Eat in the US.  We were lucky since Da Poke Shack was only a 5 minute walk from our condo.  We showed up right when it opened, but a crowd quickly amassed.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tex Drive In

I've never had a malasada before.  They're sorta of like Portuguese donuts.  Yummy, sweety, yeasty, fried dough balls.  Hard to go wrong.  At Tex Drive In, they serve a whole host of Hawaiian classics, but the place is mostly known for the variety of malasadas.  You can choose malasadas with different fillings.  We opted for mango and strawberry.  The mango was the winner here.

I really liked the malasadas here.  I don't have much of a basis for comparison.  I think there are multiple locations on the island, so be sure to stop by for a quick snack.  It's best eaten fresh out of the fryer.

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Pine Tree Cafe

After a grey morning in the mountains touring the Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation, sampling fresh Kona coffee, we Yelped our way to this nearby Hawaiian cafe.  It's a really casual joint.  Order, take a number, and pick up your food on a tray.  The menu is quite extensive and it was hard to widdle down our choices.  Like the fat asses we were, we over ordered as per usual.  

Fried Poke furikake rice, pickled cucumbers
Ho Bag, The Cat Whisperer, and I joined our forces to tackle some heavy options.  I'm not sure why people ordered this so much from the Yelp reviews.  Poke is meant to be raw, and then when you fry it, what makes it poke?  It wasn't very fresh tasting. 
Spicy Garlic Chicken
Very delicious.  Hard to go wrong with fried chicken bits slathered in sinful sauce.

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