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 Some great food in Portland and Salem and Online

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mr chips

  • Total Posts: 4715
  • Joined: 2/19/2003
  • Location: portland, OR
Some great food in Portland and Salem and Online Sun, 09/2/12 6:09 PM (permalink)
This has been a week where I took care of myself. I had laser surgery on my right eye and got my teeth worked on by a dentist. This was combined with some excellent food to make for a nice holiday weekend.
       The McMenamin brothers have made quite a splash in Oregon. They were one of the first people to set up brew pubs in the Oregon and Washington area and they have a career out of rehabbing schools, funeral parlors, old folks homes and other buildings and turning them into restaurants and places for decent beer. my eye surgery was two blocks from one of their pubs and i stopped there for lunch before my eye surgery.
      I had a surprisingly good grilled cheese. it featured smoked bacon, a fried egg and pimento cheese on sourdough bread. The combination of flavors was quite a treat. The smokey bacon and the egg flavors mixed well and the pimento provided a nice contrast. Sometimes McMenamins can be hit or miss but this sandwich was a definite winner.
       Friday trudy and i went to the Mekong Bistro, a Cambodian restaurant across the street from my son's old high school. I asked for guidance from the owner's daughter as i have had very little experience with Cambodian cuisine.. She recommended I try the Ah-Mok, catfish steamed in a banana leaf and served with coconut cream and homemade curry. it looked a lot like Chilean sea bass I have eaten and the flavor was wondrous, sweet and spicy but the heat did not overwhelm the fish.And coconut is a flavor I very much enjoy.
      Trudy had Som La ga Go(Khmer combo soup) with a lot of mixed greens and chicken. It was heated over an open serving dish and was nice mix of flavors.Trudy and i shared a dessert of 3 colors jello, a mix of tapioca, jackfruit, Asian jello and water chestnuts that soothed the stomach and interested the taste buds. Our first visit but it won't be out last.
   Saturday we drove to Salem to sample a newly reviewed roadfood place and also eat at a place that was chased off the review section by massive criticism from a lot of people who never ate there. Los Temos is a recently reviewed Mexican place just north of the most northern Salem freeway exit and Brooks. it is near an auto junkyard and an R.V dealer. its speciality is birria(goat) tacos and a most excellent birria soup. The food is mildly spiced but served with a lot of condiments that can spice it up considerably. Many folks dip the tacos in the broth to provide a very satisfying taste. Trudy had a shrimp plate with a dozen boiled shrimp, excellent rice and beans, fresh veggies and an order of 6(sic) homemade tortillas. Both meals were excellent, very filling and worth the short drive north of the city.
          Our second stop was reviewed on the website a few years ago. One day it was the restaurant of the day and was attacked by a large number of roadfooders for a couple days until its review was removed from the website. I'd been meaning to eat there  to see if all the fuss had been justified.
        The worst thing about the place was its difficulty to locate. it is located in the bottom floor of a utility company office building and there is no sign indicating the restaurant's presence. The place is well-reviewed on yelp but has no real personality. Its hummus was good as was a macaroni and cheese dish with smoked cheese and bacon. My garlic toast was burnt and served with the worst marinara sauce i have ever eaten. The other entrees were  basic American, the salads looked good and the baked goods were an eclectic mix. it had the feel of a place that was a small town owner's idea of big city sophistication. Not horrible food but a kind of place you might want to eat at if you wanted a classy feel to your meal. my ultimate verdict, it wasn't road food but you could do a lot worse.
<message edited by mr chips on Sun, 06/30/13 10:57 AM>
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