Posts Tagged ‘Portland BBQ’
This is a pitiful review, in that I don’t have the company’s contact information, nor can I find anything about it online. This gentleman serves the greater Portland area, caters events, shows, carnivals, rodeos, and seems to be quite successful.
He brings a monster smoker on wheels, cooks on site, and supplies all the requisite fixin’s and side dishes.
At the corporate event I attended, on the menu were ribs, salmon, pulled pork, hot dogs, beans, salads, chips, drinks. All of the food was exemplary, in my opinion.
I overheard him say he does the Tri Met employee picnic, and will be at the St. Helen’s rodeo as well.
Track him down from there, if you can! Nice guy. Great food.
We headed out to pick up some office supplies at the world’s worst location for same, and over hill, over dale, all along the dusty trail, we (at least I) felt like we had missed two meal times in the process, and whipped into the parking lot at 9525 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy, Beaverton, OR, to pause for a light repast.
Pork Chop City has been operating in the neighborhood for a year or so, (with a second location in Florida), and we’d driven by a million times, particularly as I have to zoom into that parking lot on occasion to score some Stroopwaffels for Mrs. Burgerdogboy from the Dutch Import Store.
With a brief menu focusing on all things “Q”, Pork Chop City serves up some of the best smoked meats we’ve had in the Pacific Northwest. Mrs. Burgerdogboy went with the rib plate, ginormous meaty pork ribs, with two sides (rice, corn nibs, mac salad, potato salad, baked beans, slaw) and a drink. Dr. Pepper seemed the perfect beverage for her choice.
I went with the “Simply Wrong” sandwich, nearly a pound and a half of pulled pork and brisket, a mound of slaw on the sandwich, wedged between a heavenly “pub bun.” The bun was the perfect delivery vehicle, bakery soft, yet firm enough to hold the mound o’ meat.
I loved me some pulled pork, and the boys of Pork Chop City have it down pat. They also make their own sauces in-house, from a traditional Q sauce to one on the ‘hotter’ side.
I’d only suggest one change, a personal thing only. Please add a smoked hot link to the menu, and make a version of the “Simply Wrong” into a “Really, Really Wrong”, plopping one of those tasty links on top of the pork! Please!
You’ll love this place. They’re mobile, and they do cater. Their plans include Q dominance of the world and brick and mortars – I have no doubt they will make it. Since the plate prices (under $10) include the sides and drink, it’s a great value, as well.
We were off for a rare midday lunch together, and there are few things Mrs. Burgerdogboy likes better than ribs, and few things I like better than keeping Mrs. BDB happy. Took me a long time to learn “happy wife, happy life”, but it has sure paid off in spades in our house!
So U-Licious it was. I had not heard of it until a few weeks ago, cruising the general area for other pleasures.
She went with the rib platter, side of slaw, I went with the pulled pork, side of greens. We added two more sides (tho certainly didn’t need to, portions are ample and relatively inexpensive) mac n cheese, and beans and rice.
The pulled pork sandwich was divine. Crispy charred bits of pork in with sweet delicious hunks of savory meat and a slightly sweet (but not overpowering) bbq sauce. Both the pork and ribs obviously spent a good portion of their lives on the smoker – the flavor permeates every bite.
The crispy bits reminded me of the delicious offerings of “Mother”" in New Orleans, famous for their own crispiness – the charred black ham, or the roast beef debris (pronounced there as de BRIS.
I put some slaw on my sandwich in a good Carolina fashion. The beans and rice were flavorful – this isn’t a traditional ‘red beans and rice’ recipe, but two dishes served together, much more common in Creole influenced countries.
The rib meat was fall off the bone tender, and the mac and cheese filling and delicious.
I’m told this guy has been here awhile, and it was easy for us to understand why.
Mrs. BurgerDogBoy and I decided it was take out night, well, really, it happened by ‘accident’, she had received a gift certificate good at Porcelli‘s, courtesy of one of the time-schleppers that calls on her.
So she instructed me to hit up that place after I made a stop at Les Schwab (aren’t these guys utterly fantastic?!) for an “adjustment”. (On the car, not on my attitude, tho that could come in handy lately, too).
The gift certificate was only $25, so my selection was limited to a few appetizers, a. There is a wider variety of appys on the dinner menu, than on the lunch one (it was about 230 in the PM).
This not being enough to sustain us, I headed down the street to Reo’s Ribs.
My own repast would be supplemented at home by some handsome prosciutto that Mrs. BDB had picked up for me the day before at Foster & Dobbs. (She is SOOOO thoughtful and good to me!)
So, Porcelli’s. Never been in there before, and instantly regretted that, after seeing the place and perusing the menu. This is old school Italian (menu), with three chefs hard at it, in the open kitchen, cooking up favorites in an ambience-lacking atmosphere (who cares, I wanna stare at my plate at a place like this), and a waitress that was da bomb.
I picked up their hot artichoke dip, bruschetta, and the antipasto plate, each beautiful in their own right, even in take-out boxes. I don’t know if they bake or buy their bread, but it’s damned fine, and the bruschetta topping was chopped, diced, and spliced in front of my eyes. Even the olives on the antipasto plate were top notch, an interested variety of blacks and greens or different sizes. I’m sold. I’ll be heading back there a lot, solo, pigging out on whatever I fancy at the time.
Reo’s Ribs, I have hit before, but only for a sandwich. I picked up a half-rack of baby backs for Mrs. BDB, and two sides, mustard/collard green mix, and cheese grits. She pronounced them all fine, and I had a bite of one rib, even tho it’s not my thing, and I liked it a lot. She even went so far as to say she loved the greens, which is a big step for her, as nobody, but nobody, makes better greens than Mrs. BurgerDogBoy. And she’s a cheese grits fan from way back, which is kinda funny, I never knew this about herwhen we were living in grits-ville.
Foster & Dobbs? Superb wine shop and up market deli with to die for foodstuffs. It’s near a client of Mrs BDB, so she’s been in there a lot lately, which is good for me!
Last week she brought home some truffle butter, big trouble for both of us (as is anything “truffley” lately).
The prosciutto is top-grade, melts in your mouth, not in your hands, like eating ‘buttah”. Can’t get enough of it. Or jamon serrano, for that matter. Thank god the latter is finally legal in the US, tho I don’t understand why there was ever a ban on it.
Next time you see me, ask me to tell you the story of the “ham beagle” at JFK. It’s a stitch!
This could be subtitled “Uncle Dogg’s Eatery”, because apparently, this master chef is kin folk to the Snoop, and you might guess there is some connection by the 10′ portrait of Mr. Dogg when you walk in the front door.
Makes no never mind to me, I could never figure out why the guy is a celebrity, but I can say that about most “celebrities” these days.
I’m not a rib guy, but if you are a regular reader, you know that. You also know Mrs. BDB loves ribs, but she wasn’t along for the ride. There will probably be less and less about her in these posts, she’s going all organic vegan, maybe she’ll start her own blog!
I ended up at Reo’s because watching an episode of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives the previous day, I had developed a craving for a pulled pork sandwich, watching host Fieri couple one down somewhere in the Southeast. I love pulled pork, and actually had developed a pretty-fair one made at home on a smoker, prior to leaving Louisiana for the glorious Northwest. They key to great BBQ is low and slow, and there were many nites in swamp land where I would tend the back yard smoker for 12 hours, under the starry skies, accompanied only by the croaking bull-frogs.
Reo makes a fine mess o’ smoked pulled pork, and the sandwich comes in three different sizes, regular, medium, or large. The waitress explained menu questions in detail, including that the different sizes don’t mean a change in bun-size, but rather, quantity of meat, with the bun-filled for the regular, slightly overflowing for the medium, and gianormously overflowing for the large. We opted for mediums, and all sandwiches (beef, pork, chicken, sausage), come with one of a dozen choices of traditional Southern sides, either hot or cold. These run the gamut from collard greens, to gumbo, mac n cheese, fries, hush puppies, and so on.
One of my fellow diners went with the mac n cheese, the waitress spoke of it so highly. I opted for the fries, tho normally I would choose greens, we’ve cooked up a pile of greens at home from the garden this summer, and I know Dogg’s uncle couldn’t beat Mrs. BDB’s prep of that dish!
The food came quickly, and the servings were ample, as promised. The meat was overflowing the buns, and the smoking odor was thick and pleasant. Caramelized bits of sauce could be seen tinging the meat, but the sandwich was served ‘dry’, not bathed in sauce like some proprietors have a tendency to do.
The meat was tender and smokealicious. The bun bakery fresh and soft, but ample enough to keep the meat in its place. The fries were hot, crispy, salty, and also overflowing the plate.
Reo’s offers a full range of typical southern cuisine, with ribs as the highlight, brisket, chicken, and of course the sandwiches and sides. No beer or wine on site, that might be a drawback for some diners. I will definitely be back.
There is a kind of funny sidebar to the story. Reo’s moved to its present John’s landing location from a different area neighborhood, and a great many locals complained about the smoke generated from Reo’s outdoor smokers (photo left). They complained to the city, state, neighbors, media, any one who would listen. Portland is funny about stuff like that. Citizens and governments alike are good at making large issues out of nothing, instead of constructively working towards making the city a better place in areas that matter.
The end result was the agencies couldn’t find any law that had been violated, but in a neighborly fashion, Reo installed giant stacks on his cookers so the smoke would drift away from local homes and commerce. Funny, I’d PAY to have someone pump that delicious smoke in to my house!
But no, it turns out the BBQ mecca of the country is a tiny hamlet in Northern Wisconsin, called Hayward…. famous as the location of the Birkebinder,(oh, look it up!) Lumberjack contests, a couple of really big fish statues, and the birthplace of Famous Dave’s BBQ. (Caution, loud music upon opening the site).
Dave opened his first outlet there in the early 90s, at a resort he bought, and before too long, was serving up to 1000 folks a night! But this unveiling only came after Dave had spent 25 years investigating what puts the “Q” in barbecue, and perfecting his own secret recipes.
Today there are Famous Dave’s everywhere, in 36 states, with a couple hundred outlets open, both company owned and franchised locations.
I picked up the Baby Back and Meat combo for Mrs. BDB yesterday, she deserved a treat and she loves her ‘cue!
The platter, at $20.99, includs 1/3 slab of ribs, an extra meat choice (she got brisket), corn bread muffin, corn cobette, and two sides (mac n cheese and slaw).
She pronounced it delightful, and there was ample enough quantity that she’ll be gnawing on it for a second day. For her to like it says alot, because we have been to (arguably) the BBQ mecca of the US, Lockhart, TX, and grazed our way through their fine establishments.
Famous Dave’s is supposed to have a righteous burger, and I’ll have to try that sometime.
(Exterior shot of restaurant from the corporate website).
“Fusion” cuisine, created in the US in the 70s, marries the foods and flavors of two or more cultures on one plate. An early example of this could be found in Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant “Chinois”,in Santa Monica, which wedded French and various Asian cuisines on one plate. Due to the decades long influence of the French in Vietnam, this wasn’t much of a stretch.
“Bento” is a Japanese word for a single boxed meal, usually to take away, comprised of rice, a single protein like fish, beef, or chicken, and a portion of pickled or cooked vegetables.
“Hillbilly” is a term for the people residing in rural mountainous regions of the US, particularly the Appalachians and Ozarks.
Put them all together and you have “Hillbilly Bento”, a small lunch room in downtown Portland, short on space, and long on flavor.
Choose a style of rice, and a type of meat, including chicken, bbq pulled pork, gulf shrimp, or chuck beef cubes, a traditional Southern side like black-eyed peas, mac n cheese, collard greens, and you’re off and running. Daily specials start at about noon and are available “until they run out.” There is a different special for every day of the week, including such Southern/Southeastern fare like catfish, gumbo, ribs, or, on Saturdays, Chicken Fried Steak.
The very affable proprietor arrived in Portland via North Carolina, and North Carolina has two types of “official” BBQ, “Eastern”, and “Lexington” styles. “Eastern’ is generally whole hog with a sauce made of vinegar, pepper, and sometimes mustard. “Lexington” tends to only use pork shoulder, and most often the sauce is a vinegar and ketchup mix. The latter seems to have the broadest appeal to most American diners, and its what Hillbilly Bento serves up.
Mrs. BDB and I had completed a swing through Portland’s fabulous Saturday market, and acquired a few new pieces trinkets, and were hungry for a little more fanciful fare than the market has to offer, although that’s all truly grand.
We wandered through the downtown streets lamenting the Saturday closures of most food carts, and spotted Hillbilly Bento on 6th Street, across from the US Bank tower. I had seen a few ads for it recently, and had sent out a Tweet to ask people if they had been, and the reports were very favorable.
And I’m all about any place that serves Chicken Fried Steak.
It didn’t disappoint. The friendly owner took the time to answer any and all of our questions, and help steer our indecisiveness towards ordering. He offered us small tastes of the bbq, which was totally delicious. Mrs. BDB ultimately went with the shrimp bento offering, and I with the Chicken Fried Steak with a side of collard greens.
All the food we had was good and in ample enough quantities. The intense flavors of the south have been muted a bit for the Portland palate, and that’s fine, because Hillbilly has a counter full of every possible southern hot sauce you can imagine. (Ask a typical Louisianan to choose between Crystal Hot Sauce and Tabasco Brand, and you’re in for a spirited debate!)
The steak’s breading was crispy and flavorful, the greens smoky and tender, the white gravy had depth and flavor, w/o any flourly undertone that one occasionally finds in this accompaniment. The gulf shrimp were perfectly seasoned and cooked, and the mac n cheese had a little kick in it that may have come from jalapeno cheese.
Mrs. BDB was treating, (left) and the tab ran to about $18, for two lunches, two sodas, and a piece of pecan pie (natch!) to bring home. A great value, in my opinion.
This is another place in downtown Portland I must have walked by a dozen times w/o ever noticing it. I’m sorry that happened. I’ll be sure not to let it happen again, I’ll be back! If you want to become an honorary hillbilly while you visit, print out this certificate, bring it with you, and the owners will sign it!