What? BurgerDogBoy writing about Chinese food? You bet. A secret you don’t know – I lived in China for 8 years, loved every moment of it, and even managed to find a burger or two of unknown origin there from time to time, which I shared with my trusty sidekick, Chinese pop superstar Kayoumin.
Portland’s largest minority population is Asian, I suspect, so once and awhile you should be able to scrounge up some fairly authentic cuisine, not that Americanized pablum you get at most places.
We regularly go to House of Louie for dim sum, which is fairly authentic, if you know what to ask for, but even then, sometimes you have to order directly, rather than select from the rolling trolleys.
Often when I finish a business lunch at Louie’s, I will wander down the block to the Golden Horse Seafood Restaurant (yeah, I have no clue either about the name), and get an order of Peking Duck to take home for Mrs. BurgerDogBoy, and if I am feeling especially generous with myself, some pepper/salt shrimp avec heads, for moi.
Garishly lit, with uneven service, the Golden Horse is my choice for authentic Cantonese (Southern China and Hong Kong) food. It’s here you can savor delicacies like geoduck, hot pot, chicken feet, and some pretty authentic Chinese vegetable/arian dishes.
While we usually get Chinese take out from our neighborhood staple, Happy Fortune. His food is ok, and he’s a really nice guy who has been around the hood a really long time. And we like to support the locals. He has considerably Americanized the food to suit the local taste. But he’ll make ya something special if you ask.
But tonight was a special occasion (it’s Sunday) and I pushed Mrs. BDB out the door to hit the Golden Horse, mostly because I like spinning lazy susans til they are out of control, and they bottles of condiments launch across the room. OK, in my fantasy brain, anyway.
It did not disappoint this old China Hand. While most of my favorite Chinese vegetables (yes, I eat vegetables) (OK, but not until this year) are not available in the US, the Horse offers some fairly reasonable facsimiles.
We over-ordered. No surprise there. Mrs. BDB was in the mood for soup, to compliment her previous night’s repast of copious amounts of diffused juniper berries. She chose the seafood dumpling noodle soup, which was really excellent.
I went with the spinach and garlic (excellent), crispy tofu (surprise, folks!), and one of their “ceramic pots” – a combination of scallops, shrimp, squid, tofu and a few other assorted vegetables.
The Golden Horse Seafood restaurant is about as close as you can come in Portland to eating in a working man’s restaurant in Guangzhou (Canton), complete with the specials board in Chinese, that we ‘furriners’ don’t get to order from, a completely disinterested wait staff, and often, large Chinese families sharing dishes on the lazy susan, and bickering about one issue or another.
It’s a definite happy place for me. Takes me back to a far more pleasant (and climatically warmer!) place in my life.