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Posts Tagged ‘Portland lunch’

Portland, OR – Veritable Quandary

The name literally is a contradiction, “Veritable” means ‘something of certainty”, and “Quandary”  means ‘difficult to predict, or uncertainty,’  and the restaurant of the same name near Portland’s waterfront, is anything but.

VQ, as locals refer to it, was created in 1971 and for decades has consistently hammered out some of the most innovative takes on America’s regional fares while utilizing local ingredients.

The menu varies from time to time, and can be found online.

I was meeting some pals for a quick lunch, and VQ was geographically desirable to their office location(s).

One of my friends said in advance he had been jonesing for the seafood stew, a rich broth full of fish, mollusks, and shellfish.  From the smile on his face and the interruption in the conversation, I can only surmise it was delicious and I have made a note to try it next time.

And me?  Why, I went with the highly-acclaimed VQ burger, Cascade Range beef on a ciabatta that leaned towards the softer side, accompanied by some pickled vegetables, and house-cut fries.

It was cooked to my medium rare preference, and plated beautifully.

One of my companions said it was one of the best burgers in Portland, and opined he thought they put some sausage or sausage-like seasonings in the meat.   I wouldn’t disagree on his judgement, but I don’t believe the burger had any sausage (pork) in it, or the menu or waiter would have stated so.   Wait-service was great, by the way.

The beef was seasoned, and the flavor reminded me of burgers I have had in the  Caribbean, tho I cannot pinpoint the flavor for you.  It’s not strong or unplesanant at all;  I may guess that the seasoning is onion-related.

The ample meat patty was crowned with a slab of medium white cheddar, and the entire experience was on the high end of the scale.

Definitely now one of my top 5 burgers in Portland.  I shall return.   A nice hot lunch for another dreary, rainy December day in Portland.

It’s said the VQ has a great weekend brunch, and it’s within an easy hike of most downtown hotels, as well.  Brunch offerings vary,  and are surprising, like this month’s blackened catfish, or pumpkin and brie quiche!

Veritable Quandary

 

Veritable Quandary on Urbanspoon

Portland, OR – Piroshki & A Pickle (Review)

On a desolate stretch of Corbett, Piroshki and A Pickle is a typical Portland coffee house with a twist – serving Russian style Piroshkis and half-sour pickles.

For those of you undesirous of clicking the link and navigating away from my narrative, piroshkis are stuffed Russian pastries, with either sweet or savory fillings.

While there can be some comparison to the neighborly pastries to the west of Russia, Poland’s pierogi’s, they really aren’t the same.

In any case, we munched on a beef and cheese piroshki with our coffee; we would have ordered the traditional accompaniment of a pickle, but the shop was out.

The minced beef in the pie was full of oniony-beefy flavor;  if you’ve traveled to emerging economies, you’ve experienced this flavor previously.

I like this place, and we’ll try their other varieties in the future, I am sure.

Peroshki & A Pickle Portland Oregon

Beef & Cheese Peroshki

Piroshki & A Pickle Coffeehouse on Urbanspoon

Tualatin, OR – Birra Deli

Birra Deli Tualatin OregonMrs. BDB scored a couple of Groupon deals for this place, $15 worth of grub for $7, so off we went on Memorial Day, for a nosh after some shopping and prior to a home grilling session.

Birra Deli serves “American style” deli sandwiches and sells beer, on and off-site.

I have to say, we’re not much for “sub-type” sandwiches to being with – (or heroes, grinders, hoagies), but we knew that’s what we were in for at Birra Deli, and we were hungry!

I went with the traditional Italian (pictured below) (Salami, pepperoni, provolone), but sans the vegetables.  The Mrs. had the traditional club.  Both were served on white rolls (our request) tho other breads and add-ons are available.

Birra Deli also has a little condiment station which is fun, featuring house made mustards and a variety of pickled vegetables.

I’m sure we’ll be back; in addition to the Groupon deal, Birra Deli frequently has offerings in Coupon Clipper, but even at full price, it’s good grub and a good value.

Birra Deli Tualatin Oregon

Birra Deli on Urbanspoon

Portland, OR – Jean’s Hot Dogs on the Square

Jean's Hot Dogs on the Square PortlandBeen here before, but then, what Portlandian hasn’t?  Waiting on a biz meeting in downtown, ambled through Pioneer Courthouse Square and grabbed a polish sausage to soothe the savage b(r)east prior to the meet.

“It is what it is” people are fond of saying these days, and Jean’s certainly fits in that category.

Value pricing, suitable product, the only exception I noted to Jean’s on this day, was her offer of the “traditional Chicago hot dog.”

Something has gone amiss in Jean’s education of said animal.  Any hot dog aficionado knows the intimate details of constructing a Chicago style dog.  If you don’t, check out the blueprints on Vienna Beef’s website.

Jean’s version includes ketchup (!!!) mustard, mayo (!!!), onion, kraut, sour cream and applesauce.  Judging by the two last condiments, maybe Jean knows of a Chicago in Germany?

Anyway, of no matter.  My polish with yellow mustard was just fine.

Jean's Hot Dogs on the Square, Portland, OR

Portland, OR – Buckley’s Catch Sports Bar

Mrs. Burgerdogboy and I were on our way out to meet some folks for dinner at Wong’s King - so, as we do on occasion, we stopped to get a bit of pre-dinner and cocktails nearby.

The afternoon’s “victim” was Buckely’s Catch, a sports bar and grill in Mt. Tabor/SE.  We were just looking for a ‘cool’ place to escape Portland’s ‘heatwave’, douse the fire in my belly for something to eat after sitting through a local college graduation – and to get Mrs. BDB a bump or two.

If there is one thing Portland doesn’t have a shortage of, it’s neighborhood bars/saloons/dives, and Buckley’s fits the bill for any number of reasons.  Regular patrons, cheap drinks, and a bar food menu that is a combination of both the usual fare and in house pot cooking.  (Add to that the mound of TVs, games, a patio, and a cigarette machine!)

I could tell from the first glance that the chili mound on top of the taters was brewed up in house, and in fact, Ms. Julie confirmed this without me asking.

It’s a respectable contestant for Portland’s best chili cheese fries.  We barely made a dent before having to shuffle off to our chinese cuisine encounter.

If you’re looking for a cold quaff and some decent cheap bar food, check out Buckley’s Catch, I say.

Buckley's Catch Sports Bar Portland Oregon

Buckley's Catch Sports Pub on Urbanspoon

Portland, OR – Sho Japanese Restaurant

This is our “go to” neighborhood sushi place. Mrs. Burgerdogboy loves to get her sushi on, and Sho (formerly an outlet of KOJI) fills the bill with fresh, made-to-order sushi  at a nominal price.

Mrs. BDB always gets the deluxe sushi assortment, which comes with a variety of pieces and miso;  I generally go for the panko chicken breast dinner, which comes with (wait for it) – a  helluvalot of chicken strips, miso, 4 pieces of california roll, a green salad, potato salad (?) and rice.   We escape for less than $35.

We’re both happy with the joint, and have also dined in on occasion; the service is usually fast and courteous, the restaurant is clean.  SHO has a full bar, an adequate wine list, and over 20 varieties of saki.

They are open for lunch and dinner seven days, later on Friday and Saturday.   We recommend you patronize these nice people when you are in SW.

Sho Japanese, Portland, OR

Sho on Urbanspoon

Leonardi’s Pizza – Inside Winco Stores

Winco is a low-priced, employee-owned grocery store chain across six states in the West, including multiple locations here in Oregon.  Inside most of the stores, you’ll find a Leonardi’s Pizza, featuring value-priced take and bake, or baked in the store, pizzas and subs from a counter at the front of the store.

They also sell bargain slices, tantamount to a quarter of a pie for $1.98.  Elsewhere in Portland, you can buy up to $6 a slice, for a much smaller (and skimpier, in some places) slice o’ pie.

Couple it with a Shasta from the nearby vending machine, and you have a quick meal for about $2.25.   Feed yourself or the kids on the long trip home from the market – tho I always recommend eating BEFORE grocery shopping.

Another fun thing, elsewhere in the store (usually around the cheese case) you can find Leonardo’s dough balls, if you are really feeling ambitious for the bake at home pizzeria experience.

A slice is a slice, and this one measure up, both in heft and taste.  It’s a respectable product, and $8.98 for a large whole pie, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better pizza value.

Winco Leonardo's Pizza

Portland, OR – Guild’s Lake Inn

Guild’s Lake Inn is a diner/cafe located in the heart of NW industrial Portland. Near to the establishment I am currently spending my days at, it’s a favorite of colleagues for both a quick lunch or take out.

Guild’s prides themselves on locally-sourced artisan breads from Marsee and Grand Central, produce, as well as burger patties from Fulton Provisions.

Today was quick bite day with Portland organic garden consultant extraordinaire Sara Pool.  In case you were wondering, yes, she manages the set-up of Burgerdogboy’s annual effort at a condiment garden at home.  Almost time to plant the seeds!

I went with the bacon/blue burger @ 7.95, which comes with a side, the choices include  Homemade Pesto Pasta, Dill Macaroni, Potato Salad, Coleslaw, Green Salad, Chips, or a Piece of Fruit.  Pool opted for the chicken Caesar.   The burger patty was great, the bun was over the top, and I went with the dill macaroni (cold), which I surprisingly enjoyed.

Menu and take out order forms are online.  They also do catering.

Guild Lake Inn Portland Oregon

Guild's Lake Inn on Urbanspoon

Portland, OR – Joe’s Burgers (Downtown)

Joe's Burgers PortlandHmmm, where to begin this one? Where to end. Shall I write a couple hundred words about Joe’s? Or simply (spoiler alert) “Meh.”

I was running around downtown today when I spotted the latest location of Joe’s, which started as a “kiosk” type operation at the fancy pants Bridgeport Mall, and although people urged me to try it, I never got to it.  Every time I go to Bridgeport, and pass the burger stand, I’m either on my way into or out of the cinema.   He has another location at his former Italian dining estab on BHH, but I don’t get over that way much either.  Bored yet?  I’m am.

I sauntered (sashayed?) in to the downtown location and was promptly greeted by the counter person;  the place was “moderately’ busy for a weekday lunch period, but I was the only one ordering.   Joe’s menu is spartan – burgers, dogs, rings, fries, shakes.   If there are topping options, neither I, nor anyway else who has read the menu, is aware of them, and the counter people aren’t coughing up any suggestions either.

I went with the regular burger, “Oregon all natural beef”, iceberg lettuce, tomato and sauce.   I could see by the pile of packages in the corner they use locally baked Franz buns, as well.

I was not asked if I wanted any other condiments, if any where available, or how I wanted it prepared.  I was told that it would be ready in ‘six or seven minutes.’  A burger with a side of fries clocked in at $6.75, I could have added a soda for another 50 cents I was informed.

I wiled away my time sitting at the counter facing the street, and the sandwich was done in less than the estimated time.

Like In N Out (I am not comparing, I am saying ‘in the style of’) Joe’s hopes that a bunch of produce a glob of sauce (both top and bottom bun) will disguise the paper thin patty, cooked into the realm of oblivion.

The fries were hot, crispy shoestring style, lightly salted.

The burger sauce was a variation of the standard secret sauce (thousand island-ish).  (Why doesn’t anybody have a truly SECRET sauce?)

I’m not a fan of In N Out.  Fatburger also employs a similar style patty, well done, crispy on the edges, and for some reason, I like theirs.

I wish Joe all the success in the world, I know how hard the hospitality business is, and I’m sure he will prosper for awhile.

But like one of Portland’s other “faves” at the moment, “Little Big Burger,” all I can say is (yawn).   As always, this is MY opinion.  You may find Joe’s to be the perfect burger for you, and I urge you to try it!

Sorry Joe, for me,  no go for the dough.

Joe's Burgers Portland Oregon

If that thick pink slab was meat instead of ‘mato….I’d be happy!

 

Joe's Burgers Portland Oregon

Why yes, that IS a bag of Moonstruck Chocolates for Mrs. BDB!

Joe's Burgers (SW 4th/Morrison) on Urbanspoon

Portland, OR – Mac! Mac and Cheesery

Mac! Mac and CheeseryI had an urge to roast coffee today, and so I stopped by my bean purveyor of choice, Mr. Green Beans, on N. Mississippi in Portland.

On the way out, I noticed a new next door neighbor (new to me), which is called Mac! Mac and Cheesery, and I thought to myself, “Self, you’re on your way home, and who loves mac n cheese more than Mrs. Burgerdogboy? No one!). So I ambled in and perused the menu.

Myriad of combos await the discerning m & c lover, with “original” topping the list, but you may avail yourself of numerous ingredients to blend in – whether your taste buds tingle for truffles, or you salivate for “Southwestern”, have a vice for vegan, or brag about bacon.

I went with original with bacon, noting that the “b” word at our house is spoken in hushed tones, we hold it in such high regard.

I texted Mrs. BDB (not while driving!) that I was on my way home with a yummy, and delivered it to her in her home office.

She loved it, not only because it’s great mac n cheese, and had delicious pork parts in it, but also because it resembles the “baked kind” in that the top is sprinkled with bread crumbs and slightly browned.

I was offered a morsel or two, and I believe this to be a fine product, worthy of your attention. The shop also has sandwiches, burgers, and dogs, which will require an in-house visit for a complete and thorough examination.

Did I mention they have cocktails? I did not. They do. When Mrs. BDB and I get in there for a sit down repast, I predict a long and enjoyable day.

Now I’m off to roast coffee beans.

Mac! Mac and Cheesery, Portland, Oregon

Mac! Mac & Cheesery on Urbanspoon

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