What's good here?

I love love LOVE southern food. Pulled pork, fried chicken, collard greens, corn bread, gumbo, pecan pie, what’s not to love?! When my Portland fellow foodie took me to Miss Delta (3950 North Mississippi Ave., 97227) I was in southern food heavenoverall restaurant rating: 4.5/5. We walked right in when happy hour started so I had delicious Cajun jambalaya and amazing lemonade for only $8. It was such a good deal!

What we ordered:

Lemonade

Lemonade - Rating: 4.5/5 – So refreshing, tart and sweet at the same time, served in Mason jar. Classic hipster Portland.

Sweet Potato Fries served with homemade applesauce

Sweet Potato Fries – Rating: 5/5 – I’m a HUGE fan of sweet potato fries and these were awesome: Sweet and not greasy because they were baked, instead of deep-fried. The best part was that they were served with warm, homemade applesauce. Who knew applesauce and sweet potato fries would go so well together? I definitely didn’t, and boy, was I missing out!

Fried Okra served with sauce

Fried Okra – Rating: 4.5/5 – I’ve never had fried okra before, but it was very good. I’m not a big fan of okra in general because of its sliminess, but the fried okra at Miss Delta was not slimy at all. The breading was delicious: It was lightly breaded and deep-fried, but not greasy at all.

Collard Greens

Collard Greens – Rating: 5/5  ­- We ordered pork-seasoned collard greens and they were perfectly spiced and cooked. The stems were still attached, which I don’t mind, but I know many people who prefer collard greens without the stems.

Smoked Chicken & Pesto Trashy Mac

Smoked Chicken & Pesto Trashy Mac – Rating: 4/5 – I actually am not a fan of pesto anything, but this dish was so bomb because the pesto wasn’t overwhelming and the dish itself was creamy.

Jambalaya

Jambalaya – Rating: 4.5/5 – I loved this jambalaya. I order jambalaya whenever I get a chance to because it’s one of my most favorite dishes. The jambalaya at Miss Delta was so delicious and spicy! They weren’t afraid of making it spicy like other places. The jambalaya had shrimp, chicken and Andouille sausage, all perfectly spiced and mixed in with rice. If you can’t handle spiciness, this jambalaya might not be for you.

Meatloaf Trashy Mac

Meatloaf Trashy Mac – Rating: 4/5 – This mac ‘n’ cheese was like high quality Hamburger Helper. The cheese was very good and tasted like a blend of cheddar and pepper Jack cheese. The mac might’ve needed a dash of salt and pepper, but it was still creamy and had delicious meatloaf bits mixed into it.

Overall, the food was fantastic. I heard their hushpuppies and chicken fried steak is delicious too, but I didn’t get a chance to try them this time. I plan on going back to do so sometime soon! The service was okay; my table and another table were the only ones there, but our server was a bit frantic as if the place was packed. So I can’t imagine what it’d be like if we came in while they were busy.

Miss Delta has odd hours like many of the popular Portland restaurants; they don’t open until 3pm on the weekdays and close around 10pm. If you’re planning to stop by the restaurant, I highly recommend shooting for their happy hour, which is from 3pm to 6pm. The prices are great for both drinks and food! I would also check their website before coming in as well because they have different specials everyday:

http://missdeltapdx.net/home.html

Urbanspoon has more reviews and ratings worth checking out:

Miss Delta on Urbanspoon

Happy eating, my fellow foodies!

I’m from Portland, Oregon, but you probably can’t tell from reading my reviews. I’ve lived in Portland my whole life, but for some reason, I don’t know of very many places to eat there. Once I move back to Portland after graduation, I definitely need to explore the food places there. One place I do know about is HK Café (4410 SE 82nd Ave., 97266) – Overall restaurant rating: 3.5/5. I haven’t had dinner there, but whenever I’m in Portland, my family always takes me there for dim sum. Dim sum is great for breakfast or lunch because the portions are small and served with hot tea! Dim sum food is served on rolling carts with servers pushing the carts and yelling out what they have on their carts in Chinese. Then they stop by your table and show you what dishes they have on their cart and you point to the dishes you want. My family and I used to go to dim sum weekly when I was living at home so I know very well what’s delicious and what’s not so delicious.

What we ordered:

Pork Dumplings from HK Café

Shiu Mai (Pork Dumplings) – Rating: 4.5/5 – The pork dumplings here are so good! My family and I usually order four baskets of these. The baskets are supposed to have four dumplings in them, but my family took the other two dumplings before I could get a picture! This is a traditional dish of dim sum, if you don’t order it, you’re missing out on real dim sum food.

Chow Fun from HK Café

Chow Fun – Rating: 3.5/5 – These stir-fried flat rice noodles are delicious. The only thing missing from the noodles is some meat, but it’s because it’s the dim sum serving size.

Chow Mein from HK Café

Chow Mein – Rating: 4/5 – Different from chow fun, these are stir-fried crispy egg noodles. I really liked these noodles because they were so crispy. It’s difficult to keep the noodles crispy when you cook them, but the noodles from HK Café were perfect.

BBQ Pork Buns from HK Café

BBQ Pork Buns – Rating: 2/5 – The pork buns are stuffed with diced pork, mixed with a Chinese BBQ sauce and the bun is glazed with honey. I gave this a 2/5 because the buns were over glazed with honey and made them somewhat difficult to handle (too sticky!). The sweetened pork and the honey bun combined were a little too sweet for my taste.

Shrimp Rice Noodle Rolls from HK Café

Shrimp Rice Noodle Rolls– Rating: 4.5/5 – Besides the shiu mai, this is my family’s second favorite dish at dim sum. This is a wide strip of rice noodle wrapped around shrimp. They also have beef rice noodle rolls, which is very good as well. I always ask for extra soy sauce on the noodles to keep them from becoming dry and tasteless. The soy sauce on the rice noodle is usually a bit less salty than soy sauce from the bottle.

Stick Rice wrapped in Lotus Leaf from HK Café

Sticky Rice wrapped with Lotus Leaf – Rating: 3.5/5 – A ball of sticky rice stuffed with chicken and wrapped with a lotus leaf. The rice is moist and the chicken is flavorful. The lotus leaf gives it a great aroma as well. I gave it a 3.5/5 because sometimes the chicken is a bit greasy.

Pinnapple Egg Custard Bun from HK Café

Pineapple Egg Custard Bun – Rating: 3.5/5 – This is my favorite dim sum dessert. If you like eggy desserts like crème brulee or flan, then you should try this one. The bun is filled with an egg custard that is sweet and rich. The custard in the buns served at HK Café needed to be thicker because mine was too liquidy. It may have been because I ordered them while they were still hot and fresh out of the oven. The plate is served with three buns, but my family grabbed them too quickly, and I could only take a picture of one.

Baby sister picking at her egg tart

Egg Tart – Rating: 3/5 – I don’t have a picture of the egg tart, but this is my adorable two-year-old sister sticking her finger into an egg tart. The egg tart at HK Café is standard, but sometimes too dry. It varies every time we’re there.

Around my area of Portland, I think HK Café has the best dim sum. I’m sure there are better places around Portland, but I’m talking about southeast Portland. My family ate dim sum at Wong King for years, until they raised their prices. Not only did Wong King raise their prices, but their quality of food went downhill as well. There’s also Ocean City Restaurant near that area that serves dim sum, but that place has horrible service. O.C’s dim sum is about 10 cents per dish cheaper than dim sum at HK Café, but HK Café’s food and atmosphere is better. I can tell because my baby sister isn’t as cranky when she’s at HK Café than when we take her to Ocean City. Dim sum is only served in the mornings until 3 p.m., so make sure you plan accordingly. This review is just on their dim sum, but as for dinner, I have no idea. I would try going on a weekday as well because the place it PACKED on the weekends, so service is ridiculous.

Here are other reviews on UrbanSpoon:

H.K. Cafe on Urbanspoon

Happy eating my fellow foodies!

The best day of vacation I had this spring break was when I went sight seeing and saw how beautiful Vancouver, B.C. really is. Not only did I get to go sight seeing, but I also had the best meal that day. My best friend’s cousin is a fellow foodie. He once worked at a corporate restaurant in Vancouver, B.C. called Joey’s and really understands good food. It’s super awesome to know fellow foodies when traveling because he knew exactly the best restaurants to take us to.

It was a beautiful day in Vancouver, B.C.

We went to Phnom Penh (244 E Georgia St. V6A) for some Vietnamese/Cambodian food – Overall Restaurant Rating: 5/5 – The locals were telling me that Phnom Penh’s chicken wings were voted the best wings in town. WINGS! I love wings and I was about to have the best wings in all of Vancouver! You can imagine my excitement at the table.

What my table ordered:

Phnom Penh Spicy Garlic Calamari

Spicy Garlic Calamari – Rating: 4.5/5 – Deep fried squid seasoned with salt, pepper and fried garlic. It wasn’t really spicy though, just flavorful and crispy. Squid when cooked incorrectly can be too chewy, but the squid from Phnom Penh was cooked to perfection.

Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup

Vietnamese Hot & Sour Soup – Rating: 5/5 – Vietnamese hot and sour soup can sometimes be too sweet, too spicy or too sour. Phnom Penh’s hot and sour soup was great because it was just right: sweet, sour and spicy. Not too much of anything. The perfect mix of flavors made it exotic and delicious.

Phnom Penh Marinated Buttered Beef

Marinated Buttered Beef – Rating: 5/5 – I’ve never had anything like this, but wow, it was so good! I wanted to eat the whole plate by myself. I thought of the perfect word to describe it: savory, or to Canadians, savoury! One thing I should point out is that the beef is thinly sliced rib eye that is barely cooked. It’s not chewy like you would expect raw meat to be, but moist and flavorful.

Trieu Chow Fried Rice

“Trieu Chow” Fried Rice (Friend Rice special) – Rating: 4.5/5 – Great fried rice is not easy to find, but I found it here at Phnom Penh. The fried rice was moist and flavorful, made with bomb Vietnamese sausage.

Beef Salad

Beef Salad – Rating: 4/5 – Cooked beef on lettuce, the beef was a bit sweet, but it tasted great with rice.

Phnom Penh Deep Friend Chicken Wings

Phnom Penh Deep Fried Chicken Wings – Rating: 5/5 – Phnom Penh’s wings were voted the best wings in Vancouver B.C. and I couldn’t agree more. We had two orders of these wings because they were eaten so quickly. The wings were lightly battered, but extra crispy. They were meaty and well seasoned with salt, pepper and fried garlic.  The dish was served with a lime sauce that goes perfect with the wings.

From the outside, the restaurant just looks like another Asian restaurant in the midst of Vancouver’s Chinatown, but Phnom Penh is better than most of those restaurants because it has quality, delicious food. If you ever have the chance to stop by, make sure to order their famous chicken wings, the spicy garlic calamari and if you can handle some raw meat, the marinated buttered beef. Go for it! I already have plans to go back to Vancouver in May and can’t wait to try more delicious food there. Now that I’m back in Eugene, no food here can seem to compare to the food I had in Vancouver!

Phnom Penh’s menu and other reviews are available on UrbanSpoon:

Phnom Penh on Urbanspoon

Happy eating and traveling my fellow foodies!

I’m back! I finally have a chance to post since coming back from spring break. For the first few days of spring break, I was at home in Portland, Oregon. I didn’t end up going to the Great Wolf Lodge as planned, but I went out to eat a few times with my family and friends in Portland. It was a chill time. The best part of break was when I visited beautiful Vancouver, B.C. at the end of break. I ate so much amazing food there and had such a great time! I wish I could just move there. My best friend has cousins and friends in Vancouver around our age, who are all super cool. We’re so lucky to have them to show us around town. Another awesome thing about Canada is that I am of legal age there so I can order drinks with my dinner!

Martini's Restaurant

The first night in Vancouver, our Canadian friends took us to a little restaurant called Martini’s Restaurant (151 West Broadway V5Y 1P4). Overall Restaurant Rating - 3/5 – I liked the vibes and the coziness of the restaurant, but the food needed a little work. The drinks were decent priced if you come in on the right night! The first thing I did when I walked into the restaurant was walk up to the bar and ask the bartender to give me the two most popular martinis. She gave me a sour apple and a grape martini. After two martinis, I, being extremely lightweight, was already warm and giggly at the table.

What my table ordered:

Appetizers:

Honey Garlic Wings

Honey Garlic Wings – Rating: 4.5/5 – Who knew honey and garlic went so well together? I really like how crispy and sweet the wings were, but they were also very sticky. Although, that is inevitable when it comes to honey. I couldn’t figure out what the dip was though, but it tasted like sweetened mayonnaise and went well with the wings. The wings weren’t on the regular menu, but were on the March Specials menu.

Side Salad

Salad – Rating: 4.5/5 – The entrees were all served with salads. I really like the fresh vegetables and the subtly spicy dressing on the salad.

Entrees:

Seafood Jambalaya

Seafood Jambalaya - Rating: 3/5 – The jambalaya tasted like mashed up tomatoes with rice. It wasn’t spicy like how I like my jambalaya, but more tart. I think the dish would’ve been better as a pasta dish than a rice dish. I did like the seafood in it though.

Spanish Tortellini

Spanish Tortellini - Rating: 2/5 – The flavors, or lack of flavors in the dish just didn’t go too well together. The description of the sauce on the menu was supposed to be a spicy cream tomato sauce, but the sauce wasn’t very spicy or flavorful at all. I’m not sure if the cheese inside the tortellini went well with the rest of the dish either.

Chicken Penne

Chicken penne - Rating: 2/5 – So I’m not sure what this dish is called because it was on the March Specials menu and since it’s April now, the March menu is not available online. Overall, every pasta dish I tried there was really bland. This dish had a tomato cream sauce with penne pasta, chicken and spinach. The sauce needed more flavor (or to Canadians, flavour!).

Calamari Dinner

Calamari Dinner – Rating: 4.5/5 – I tried a bunch of people’s dishes at the table and I’m sure the Calamari Dinner is the best item on the menu. Who knew tzatziki dip would go so well with calamari!

Overall, Martini’s is a good place for late night food when nothing else is open. We got into Vancouver, B.C. at 10pm on Thursday and Martini’s was open until 1am. So if you ever are in Vancouver late night on a weekday, here’s a place to check out.

Check out their menus and specials on the website: http://www.martinis.ca/

Here are UrbanSpoons’ reviews:

Martini's on Urbanspoon

Happy traveling and eating my fellow foodies!

Sorry about the squeakity-squeak noise! I don’t know how to make it go away. I tried adding music to make it less noticeable, but it didn’t really work! It’s kind of choppy, but I’m still working on my video editing skills. I hope to post again within two to three weeks!

Japan: Please don’t crumble on me now. I want to visit Japan one day and try some real, authentic Japanese food. I’m sending my love and best wishes that way. This is only the beginning: First an earthquake, then a tsunami, aftershocks, fires, and then another earthquake, followed by more aftershocks. Even when all these natural disasters end, many people will be left without family members, homes, warmth and food. I cannot imagine how scary it would be to try to outrun gigantic waves, while watching it swallow up your house.

We should do what we can to help people in Japan – Huffingtonpost posted an article on How to Help Japan: Earthquake Relief Options (click to see options). Please do help if you can- this could be us. $10 might not be much to us, but could really help out over there.

March 11, 2011: Widespread destruction in Japan from 8.9 earthquake and tsunami

Picture from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/11/how-to-help-japan-earthquake-relief_n_834484.html

Although, I may not be able to try authentic Japanese food right now, there is a decent Japanese restaurant near the University of Oregon’s campus that suits my Japanese food craving.

Overall Restaurant Rating – Rating: 3 ½ out of 5Miso (686 E 13th Ave, 97401) is definitely not some high-quality sushi place and it’s sushi selection is somewhat limited, but it is a good bang for the buck. The portion sizes are very generous. I can never finish my meals there, and always have leftovers.

What we ordered:

Miso's Teriyaki Bowl: Teriyaki chicken and rice - only $3.95

Teriyaki bowl – Rating: 4/5 – White rice and teriyaki chicken. The rice was very good and moist, and so was the chicken. There is a lot of food in that little bowl they serve! The best part is it’s only $3.95! So if you ever have $4 and you want some food that will fill you up, this is what you need to order.

Teriyaki beef combo: Teriyaki beef, two scoops of white rice and a salad.

Teriyaki beef combo – Rating: 4/5 – The beef is cooked well and drenched in teriyaki sauce. It comes with two scoops of rice and a fresh salad. I loved the salad; the lettuce was so crispy! I’m not sure what the dressing was though; it might have been some sort of sweeten vinegar. All of this was only $6.50.

Shrimp Tempura Roll (left), California Crunch Roll (right)

Shrimp Tempura Roll – Rating 3/5 – Tempura shrimp, imitation crab, cucumber and avocado – $5.95.  This was okay, nothing too special. They covered the sushi with teriyaki sauce, so if you don’t eat it right away, the roll will become less crunchy. I would actually ask them to hold the sauce because they have the sauce bottle available, so you can add some if you wanted later.

Crunch California Roll – Rating: 3/5 – Imitation crab, cucumber, avocado and tempura crunch bits – $3.50. It was the basic California roll, but there wasn’t really a crunch because they drenched the roll in teriyaki sauce so the crunch turned soggy.

Spicy Crunch Roll (Not pictured)– Rating: 2/5 – Spicy tuna, cucumber, and tempura crunch bits – $6.50. The roll had a good spice to it, but the raw tuna was a bit too rich.

Conclusions: Miso loves their teriyaki sauce and likes to drench everything they serve in it. So my advice is to tell them to hold the sauce, then you can add your own. If you like pickled ginger, they have self-serve pickled ginger as well. Like many places on camps, you order at the counter, grab your own utensils and bus your own table. They bring your food to you. One thing that should be improved about the restaurant is that you can’t customize your order. I would love it if I could switch my teriyaki chicken bowl with chicken Katsu instead, but they said no. I’m not sure why they would say no to a paying customer, but okay.

I couldn’t find a copy of Miso’s menu online, but there are other reviews of Miso’s dishes on Urbanspoon:

Miso on UrbanspoonHappy eating my fellow foodies and keep praying for Japan!

Overall Restaurant - Rating: 3/5. As a college student I eat a lot of Top Ramen. Honestly, the ramen I tried at Toshi’s Ramen (1520 Pearl St. 97401) didn’t taste much different from what I can make at home. Unless someone points out a dish I MUST try from there, I probably won’t be back anytime soon. I might go there if I completely run out of Top Ramen at home and really feel like paying $7.50 for some. I’m not giving the restaurant lower than a 3 because they at least have some ingredients that an average person wouldn’t have at home to add to their ramen.

Toshi’s menu is extremely overwhelming. It’s difficult to figure out where to start if it’s your first time! However, the cashier was more than happy to explain how the menu works:

First, there are three soup bases to choose from:
Sho-yu: Soy sauce based
Miso: Soybean paste based – this is the most popular soup base, she noted.
Shio: Salt based

Once you choose your soup base, you choose what you want in your ramen:

It starts with plain: Ramen noodles with topped with green onions and bean sprouts.
Then the original: Green onions, bean sprout, corn, bamboo shoots, green beans and marinated sliced pork.
After that, the choices are everything in original with one or two more ingredients added to it. The price increases according to what you add to it.

What we ordered:

Toshi's Miso Wakame: Miso soup with seaweed, green onions, bean sprouts, corn, bamboo shoots, green beans, and marinated sliced pork.

Miso Wakame – Rating: 2/5 – Soybean based soup with seaweed and everything in the orginal (green onions, bean sprouts, corn, bamboo shoots, green beans, and marinated sliced pork). I liked the seaweed and corn in my ramen, but the broth was overly salted. I generally like my miso soup a little more bland. I also like my miso soup with tofu and have the tofu soak up the tasty soup, but tofu wasn’t even an option as an add-in on the menu. The pork slice had a little bit too much fat on it.  I did however, like the ramen noodles – they were cooked al dente; I think the ramen noodles are actually made there from scratch.

If I wanted to make something like this at home, I would use Top Ramen and crack an egg in it. I’d watch the noodles to make sure they are cooked al dente and add all those ingredients in the ramen. I learned from my Miso Wakame that I like corn in my ramen so I would add that.

Toshi's Shoyu Butter: Soy sauce soup with butter, green onions, bean sprouts, corn, bamboo shoots, green beans, and marinated sliced pork.

Shoyu Butter – Rating: 3/5 – Soy sauce based soup with original ingredients and BUTTER. I liked this soup based a lot better than the miso. I think it actually had a lot to do with the butter. I was turned off by the idea of a whole stick of butter in the soup, but it actually made a big difference in taste. They had a few seasonings on the table you could add to your soup. There was a shaker with red seasoning in it, which I’m guessing is paprika. My friend added a lot of it to her soup and it made it taste a lot better.

If I wanted to make something like this at home, I would cook ramen noodles as usual, but use only half of the seasoning and add 2 tablespoon of soy sauce. Then I’d add 1/3 cup of butter and any other ingredients, like vegetables or meat I’d like. I’m sure I’d get the same affect as the Shoyu Butter ramen bowl.

If you end up going there, I’ve heard the Gyoza (pork & veggies potstickers) and the Cha-han (fried rice served with a side of soup) is good to try. The gyoza is little pricey for 6 potstickers though,  they’re $4. Those are two items I’d try next time if I come back. If you’re ordering ramen, I’d stick with the shoyu soup and have butter be one of the ingredients.

Toshi’s Ramen doesn’t have a fully active website, but urbanspoon has menus, reviews and other information for the place:
Toshi's Ramen on UrbanspoonHappy eating my fellow foodies!

Blogger Linda Lam

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