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Hillsdale Farmers Market

10am-2pm, Sundays, February 21, March 7, March 21, April 11, 25, May 2 - November 21, 2010
Wilson High-Rieke Elementary Parking Lot
SW Capitol Hwy & Sunset
get there via trimet
find a bike route

Hillsdale Farmers Market

The Hillsdale Farmers Market is a good one. First of all, it's on Sundays. Free parking is close by. It's big enough to have at least one of everything but not so big that you get overwhelmed. There's a pork vendor there that is magnificent, some folks that make tasty wood-fired bagels, and a soup vendor that I cross town for.

filled under Farmers Markets in Portland
February 14, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Autentica Mexican Cuisine

5507 NE 30th
(503) 287-7555
get there via trimet
find a bike route
haute Pacific Mexican
dinner Tuesday-Sunday, brunch Saturday & Sunday

Pescado entero
Camarones... mojo de ajo
It's been a little bit since I've visited and written up about Autentica, so let me tell you about a meal just the other night.

A caveat: I went on a Sunday night, and the chef/owner Oswaldo Bibiano was not there.

The service here is much improved. I'm not sure what happened, but something certainly did because the service is attentive.

I ordered a margarita, which is always good here, blended or on the rocks. They also offered a pomegranite version.

The menu is divided up between small & large plates, seafood cocktails, salads, soups, and sides. Large plates do tend to be generous enough that you don't need an appetizer or salad. Those run from $17-$20.

Seafood cocktails run from $12-$15; small plates from $3-$10; salads, $8-$13; soups, $7-$8; and sides, $4-$7.

Generally, there are at least a couple vegetarian and vegan options, but on the current menu, there is only one vegetarian dish.

We ordered a succession of food: pulpo al pescador, queso fundido con chorizo, and a couple of platillos mexicano. And they began arriving, along with three homemade salsas and freshly made corn tortillas, almost immediately.

The pulpo is an octopus cocktail. The octopus is sliced into small pieces and then combined with chunks of avocado and onions in a red chile sauce. It's served with saltine crackers. All in all, a very traditional dish. As always, the octopus was delicious, but I really wanted bigger chunks of it, and more of it.

At about the same time, the queso fundido arrived. This is basically a mexican fondue, made with oaxacan cheese and chorizo -- a heart attack in a little bowl. And it has the potential to be incredible. Not so on my visit -- the fundido was overcooked, leaving tough cheese, little islands of chorizo and puddles of grease. It still tasted good, and my companion and I scraped and scraped to get bits of cheesy goodness off. This was especially good with the black corn tortillas in our tortilla basket.

And finally, the main event. The platillo mexicano ($18) is made up of two enchiladas, in red and green moles, with a chile relleno. It sounds like your regular combo plate at your corner mexican joint, right? Wrong. If you're a fan of mole, you have to try this! The green mole is made from pumpkin seeds, tomatillos and serrano peppers, really rich and complex, over a simple chicken or cheese in a tortilla. The red mole is made from 8 kinds of dried chiles and nuts, and is better than any I've tasted anywhere. And the chile relleno is stuffed with cotija cheese, in a tomato sauce topped with crema. We were glad to have some extra, handmade, fresh corn tortillas to sop up all the extra sauce!

Other dishes I've tried before include the tortilla soup ($8) which was delicious. Camarones al autententico mojo de ajo ($20) are to die for, gorgeous, subtle and garlicky, and accompanied by rice . Anything with a mole sauce is worth seeking out, as is the pescado entero or whole fish. Tamales and tostadas are excellent too.

I've never tried the desserts.

All and all, it was not as good as I've had in the past, but still a very good meal.

By the way, check out their brunch.

filled under Restaurants in NE Portland, Mexican, weekend brunch, Concordia, Fox Chase
December 10, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (5)

What bugs you about Portland restaurants?

at the lunch counterWe're lucky here in Portland, but that doesn't mean everything is hunky-dory. Portland restaurants offer a lot to be irritated by, too. Here's my short-list, but I totally want to know what bugs you too!

Restaurant Websites

  1. Have one
  2. Keep it current -- that means hours, and if you'll be open on xmas
  3. Make it readable with Flash turned off!
  4. No music! None!

At the restaurant

  1. Don't have an Open sign on unless you are open
  2. What time is Close, exactly? Saying you're open 5-Close doesn't really tell me your hours.

So, what bugs you about Portland Restaurants? Feel free to name names...

filled under
November 30, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (17)

The Tolman Guide to Green Living in Portland

Tolman, Deborah, Lasley, Michelle, & Parker, Joe. (2008). The Tolman Guide to Green Living in Portland: Simple, Sustainable, and Affordable Practices.

Lydgate, Chris. (2008, May 15). Home, green home: Professor, students write online DIY guide to sustainability. Portland Tribune.

huntress in the grass
Check out The Tolman Guide to Green Living in Portland: Simple, Sustainable, and Affordable Practices, a totally cool resource on how to live greener. I just browsed several of the sections and was totally excited about the options of improving the way I live and impact the world.

To be absolutely fair, I learned about this via the Tribune where poor Chris Lydgate is now contributing to the Sustainable Life section. Still, the article came across a little snarky. For example, there's a remark about worms in the primary author's bedroom. And then, at the end of the article he complains that "Some entries fail to list a Web site where readers actually could find the article being reviewed — a puzzling omission in an online guide."

[Putting on my librarian hat now.] As you might be aware, a lot of publications don't publish their articles online, or if they do, they offer them for a fee. Tolman et al, being academicians, probably used the electronic resources available at the Portland State University Library to research the guide. But that doesn't mean you can't read the articles, or learn more about those topics.

Here's what you do: go to your library website with your library card in hand. It could be Multnomah County libraries, Washington County libraries, or your college or university library. Look for a link labeled Research, Databases, Find Articles, or Periodicals, and once there, select Academic Search Premier (I mention ASP because it's a huge full-text database). Once you get in the database, you can search for article titles, authors, keywords, really just about anything you'd like.

But back to the Tolman Guide; if you prefer to read on paper rather than on screen, they do have a PDF available for download (under the Download link, natch), Multnomah County Library also has several copies that will be available soon, but you can put on hold now.

filled under Selected Portland, Oregon-oriented links
May 15, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0)

New Seasons Market Deli

all over town

At the New Seasons Deli

This may be the best cheap lunch or dinner in town.

Of course you can buy groceries at New Seasons. But at their deli, you can also get hot food. Yay!!

We've been long time fans of the New Seasons deli, ever since we figured out that eating before shopping means we spend a lot less. But really, the food prices here can't be beat.

For example, tonight we tried the hot wok ($6.95 and up). Yum! You get a metal bowl and fill it as high as you can with goodies: noodles, rice, garlic, ginger, tofu and veggies. You can also add chicken, beef or shrimp, or white or brown rice to your wok bowl for a little extra. Now, choose from the 8 different sauces: most are vegan, a good number are gluten-free, so you have options. You can also get them to ratchet up the heat. Just a few minutes later, you have a huge hot meal on a plate. Grab a drink from the cooler, stop at the cashier, and then make your way to the dining area, stocked with condiments and magazines and lots of tables.

You can get a huge salad for $6.99 from their salad bar. Or if you prefer, they can make a caesar for you ($3.95 and up). They have 2 pastas each day, one veggie, one meat for $4.95 (and up). And two soups a day, one veggie, one meat.

You can get a bagel with lox, or cream cheese, or whitefish spread, or tofu paté (warning, not vegan!), or hummus, and veggies. You can even get your bagel toasted!

And then there are sandwiches. You can build your own from coldcuts, or tuna or chicken salad, or even grilled veggies. They have hamburgers, turkey burgers, veggie burgers, chickenwiches, even groovy hot dogs. And there's some specialty sandwiches as well.

If this isn't enough, there's always rotisserie chicken and chicken quarters, always pizza, always some type of roasted potatoes, and always some other yummy stuff. Chips and sweets are close at hand.

While the chicken and pizza leave me cold, the hot wok, salad bar, and sandwiches are consistently great, as good as you'd get in a restaurant -- but cheaper.

The only drawback is, if you're hungry and you're having them make you a sandwich or some other type of non-instant gratification, waiting may make you crazy. But no crazier than shopping with an empty stomach.

filled under Eating in Portland
April 6, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Farmers Markets are updated!

veggies at the farmers market

It makes perfect sense to me that the first week of spring should feature snow flurries and hail. But spring means so many things - the end of the grey season, the beginning of our surroundings looking alive and colorful again, time for crushes and baseball and asparagus!

For those of us who are trying to locavore, spring also means finally vegetables that aren't root veggies or greens. Not that either is bad, it's just, well, it's nice to eat something else.

And so, locavores rejoice: the Saturday Farmers Market at PSU will be back this Saturday! And, in honor of that, the altportland Farmers Market section is now fully up-to-date with 2008 information.

filled under Farmers Markets in Portland
March 31, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1)

East African Restaurant Row

Horn of Africa
5237 NE Martin Luther King Blvd, in the Vanport Square Plaza

Burqitu East African Restaurant
3939 NE MLK Blvd

Sengatera Ethiopian Restaurant
3833 NE MLK Blvd

Selam Market & Restaurant
3513 NE MLK Blvd

East African Restaurant Row

In the last two months, there has been a ton of activity in the East African restaurant business on NE MLK. It's doubled, and there may well be more in store.

A new ethiopian restaurant?At the corner of NE Russell & Rodney is a new restaurant that it appears the Queen of Sheba folks are involved in. At least, when I chatted with them, they neither confirmed nor denied.

Selam Market & RestaurantSelam Market, previously known as the only place to buy crack baggies for blocks around, is now a restaurant.

Sengatera Ethiopian RestaurantThe cursed location formally known as Aunties' Kitchen is now Sengatera Ethiopian Restaurant.

Burqitu East African Restaurant And the former locale of Horn of Africa is Burqitu, a halal breakfast, lunch & dinner place.

All of the restaurants had heavy, home-made curtains in the windows. None of these have menus or hours posted, so for all I know, they aren't even open yet. But I'll be curious to hear what you think if you visit any of these.

filled under East African cuisine on the MLK corridor
March 26, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (11)

Vegan options central to downtown

While Portland is known as a vegan-friendly place, it's harder to find vegan food downtown at night than it should be. Here are some suggestions:

Food Carts (generally weekday lunch only)

Aybla Grill
SW 9th and Alder
SW 2nd and Alder

Dreamer's Cafe
SW 5th at Stark

SW Yamhill at 6th
SW 2nd at Morrison
SW Market at 2nd
SW 4th at Madison
(all over downtown, the Pearl and NW)
vegan burritos

India Chaat House
SW 12th & Yamhill

No Fish! Go Fish! CartNo Fish Go Fish
SW Yamhill at 5th
Everyday, they have at least one, and up to three different vegan soups, plus at least two kinds of little warm cornmeal sandwiches

Tabor Czech Food
SW 5th & Oak

THE whole bowlThe Whole Bowl
SW Alder at Park
"Whole Bowl has 3 food carts around the city and they all serve only ONE thing (yes, only one): a big, hearty bowl layered brown rice, red and black beans, fresh avocado, salsa, black olives, ..., cilantro, and tali sauce (their handmade signature sauce which tastes lemony and garlicky), " according to VegGuide.

Restaurants Downtown

115 NE Couch (at 5th)
Monday-Wednesday, 7am-11pm
Th-Fri, 7am-12 midnight
Sat, 10am-12 midnight
Sun, 10am-11pm
free wifi on site

1012 SW Morrison St
(503) 274-0628

1239 SW Broadway
upscale, local-seasonal foods, always something vegan on the menu

Karam RestaurantKaram
316 SW Stark St
(503) 223-0830

412 SW Fourth Ave
open Monday-Saturday, 10am-4pm... or is it 9:30-5? Call to be sure
free wifi on site
raw as well as vegan options, lots of fake meat, beer & wine.

Vegetarian HouseVegetarian House
22 NW Fourth Ave
open 7 days a week, 11am-9pm
Chinese vegetarian & vegan food - thanks to the Supreme Master

In the Pearl:

filled under Vegan food downtown
February 25, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0)

**Must-dos for anyone visiting Portland**

  1. Powell's BooksVisit Powells
    what, do I have to sell this? They're the largest bookstore in the US, for cripes sakes. They have a coffee shop for reading, wifi-ing, and people watching.
    1. Powell's Technical BooksVisit Powells Technical Store (if you're a techie)
      Our beloved Fup no longer walks among us, but PTS is an awesome place to visit, or camp with your laptop.
  2. go to Voodoo Doughnuts
    No, they're not the world's best donuts, and if that's what you're looking for, you're missing the point. No, this is just the world's funkiest donut shop. You can get vegan donuts, non-vegan donuts, donuts in the shape of unmentionables, and even, a couple of years back, donuts with nyqyil in them. Marc Acito notes, "Let's not forget the donuts with bacon at Voodoo Donuts. Yummy and good for the arteries. LOL."
  3. Leave downtown and visit the east side
    If you're a foodie, know that the majority of excellent food options is on the east. The majority of ethnic food is on the east side (exceptions being Indian most notably). The best pubs, and some of the best brewpubs, are on the east side. The inner eastside is easily and quickly reached using TriMet, our local public transportation.
  4. Go for a ride on the tram
    Portlanders love to complain about the tram, but if you really want a good view of Portland, there is none better. McAuliflower of Brownie Points notes, "The tram is free to ride down (the #8 bus will take you up to the top), otherwise you need to buy a $4 tram ticket to ride it up." Course, if you're scared of heights, how's about checking out Council Crest, the city's highest point, and a lovely one, too, as Randy suggests.
  5. Go for a walk!
    You don't have to go all the way to Forest Park to get a good walk in. I have some suggestions for walks that are adjacent to downtown...

And here are some ideas that aren't for everyone, but, you know, might be right for you

  1. Go to Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade for some classic video-gaming
    home to video games from the 70s on, and the largest and best-maintained collection of pinball machines. After 7pm, you can have a beer with your game...
  2. See a Timbers Game
    The Timbers are our professional soccer league. And they have an army. Just saying.
  3. go to Forest Park
    there are trails, an arboreteum, mountain views, and, um, trails. You can mountain bike on Leif Ericksen, and run and walk just about all the rest
  4. History buffs must check out Pittock Mansion
  5. Check out the liquid of your choice vice
    We are the craftbrew center of the world. We're surrounded by some of the best vineyards (and wine producers) in the world. We're known by coffee lovers around the country as a hotbed of coffee roasters and master baristas. We even have shops devoted to the pursuit of tea, and restaurants that specialize in old-fashioned sodas.
  6. Visit a garden
    We have two rose gardens in Portland. We have a Chinese Classical garden, and a Japanese Garden. We have an arboreteum, and a rhododendron garden. And, we have the world's smallest park -- right downtown.

So, Portlanders, what do you consider the universals, that every visitor should do when they come to town?

filled under Sightseeing in Portland
February 24, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (12)

BC2 - Bento Coffee & Cookies

431 SW Madison St. (Portland Building)
(503) 227-0707
6:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday
get there via trimet
find a bike route
Great little bento shop for unusual bentos and good city/county gossip.

Bento Coffee & Cookie

Aaron wrote me awhile back, asking about BC2. So like a good reporter, I dropped everything and went there for lunch. And then sat on it until this week.

BC2 is a tiny place tucked in on the Madison Street side of the Multnomah Building. From the outside, it looks like just another bento/rice bowl shop. But that's where the comparisons end.

BC2 is a place with a following. Many folks who work in city or county government are devotees, for obvious reasons. And thus, many news reporters from the Oregonian also make this a necessary lunch stop.

They offer an assortment of cookies, naturally. And coffee. But I didn't pay any attention to that, because the lunch options are worth crossing town for. Of course they have an assortment of chicken bentos, shrimp, salmon, and tofu as well. Nothing really exceptional there.

But where you can you get unagi kabayaki? Or ginger pork bento? Or udon soup? Hawaiian bento? Mexican or spring roll or potsticker bento? Octopus Mt Vege bento? Sesame seaweed? Kimchee? Fish Cake? Bibimbob? or the Hi-Pro Lo-Carb? You know where I'm going, don't you?

On my first visit, I ordered the Octopus Mt Vege bento ($6.75)—that's an octopus salad, made up of pickled ginger & seaweed, with a cabbage & carrot salad and your choice of white or brown rice. Both types of salad were delicious, and I love having a choice of rices. And it was a perfect amount of food -- enough to sate, but not enough to make you sleepy the rest of the afternoon.

On the second visit, I saw someone enjoying the unagi kabayaki (that's grilled eel to you, $6.75). I decided to try something more pedestrian, like the tofu bento ($5.50). This is a traditional bento with steamed veggies and your choice of rice. The tofu was heated and doused in teriyaki, and thery were very generous with it. The veggies had seen a bit too much time in the steamer, but they were still had a little flavor.

With all the bentos ringing in between $5.25-$6.75, this is a very reasonable lunch downtown. Add a cookie for a $1, and, well, you have a cookie.

There are two vegetarian options and one vegan, so vegetarians, this is probably not the place for you.

filled under Restaurants Downtown
February 14, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBacks (0)



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