Monday, July 11, 2016

My list of places I dined for June 2016 in Portland and beyond!

Fecking Brewing in Oregon City!

Just a heads up this month… I was all over the map traveling and eating my way through Rainey Street in Austin, gobbling delicious Mexican food in Galveston, devouring In & Out just outside of Dallas and quite embarrassingly, I've made a pig of myself as evidenced by my list of the places I've dined and drank beer at right here at home in Portland, Oregon!  So, hang on, loosen your trousers and grab a beer for yourself and enjoy this list of my reviews of the places I've dined in June!

A Fecking Taster of Beer!
Fecking Brewing Co.:  So, Oregon City has a few nice breweries and Fecking is one of them!  Rustic to say the least and probably the reason why I loved it!  Good beer, nice tasting flight and looking forward to more of it!

Stammtisch:  Because I don't make it to Prost as much as I used to, this place is near and dear as I love German beer, pretzels and potato pancakes.  Always good fun and with the summer upon us, nice seating outside.

BarBar:  Attached to Mississippi Studios, this place is quick and has a nice burger.  Nothing that stands out too much but when you need a good one for hubby and a veggie burger for yourself, this is the "to-go" place esp. if you have tickets for a concert or Live Wire in our case right next door!

Basilisk:  In The Zipper on Sandy where I spent a half hour gabbing with an ED doc about his chicken sandwich whilst enjoying my fried tofu burger to the max!  But really folks, it was the mac salad that grabbed at my heart strings.  The best ever and a fun place to try many different things in one space, Basilisk is worth the trek and by trek, I mean trek cause you know… fried everything… you'll need to WALK that off!

Bernies:  On Alberta and one and a half blocks from my house, I've only been once before.  Neighbors invited us to happy hour and it was nice.  Cool patio, nice happy hour with weakish cocktails which I'm totally fine with cause I do need to carry on a conversation, duh and the best fried pickles in the city in my opinion.  So yes, I'll go again… soon.!

Good Life Beer:  Shout out to having a beer at home, Sweet As… a new favorite and love love love the flavor!

Pecado Bueno:  In SEATTLE btw and so good!  My second time there and this time I had veggie tacos and they were delightful!  I love this place cause every one from meat eater to full fledged vegan can eat in one place right in the darling Fremont District in Seattle.  Go check it out when your there sometime!

Woodlawn Cafe:  Another all time favorite but now they serve Roseline coffee and I'm so happy!  I enjoyed my usual grilled cheese after trekking over which gave me about 7,000 steps and I was thrilled to have at least worked some of that cheese off during my walk!

Public Coast Brewing:  In my favorite beach town, Cannon Beach… my love!!!  This brewery is biggish for being new and so sets that right out there.  Order at the counter, get your beer, sit down and wait for your food.  I did not eat there however, I did enjoy one of their beers.  Great for large groups and noise!

Perierra Creperie:  In the Cartopia Food Cart Pod and sweet!  Love this little cart and I had a few bites of a crepe filled with peanut butter, honey and banana.  Wish I wasn't sharing but hey, I can get more soon, right?!

Chicken & Guns:  I finally took them up on their offer and had a basket of all sides.  Hubby and family ate chicken but I enjoyed my broasted potatoes and salad and wow, I love this place.  The setting is nice and this is thee most sweetest cart in all the land!

Jade:  In Sellwood, once again on a trekking adventure which I do about once a week or so.  This one week in particular, I was with my mom and sister and had the Lemongrass Tofu sandwich and man oh man… I love this but, that sandwich is too much.  I shared this time with my mom and really enjoyed once again that fresh Lemongrass flavor.  I have it growing in my garden this year so I can't wait to harvest and cook with it soon.

Basilisk Tofu Burger at The Zipper!
Tin Shed:  Always will have a special place in my heart.  Took my visiting family for breakfast and it was a little cold on the patio but it was nice with the fire place roaring and the coffee hot.  This is my favorite spot for breakfast/brunch and always will be.

Stella Taco:  Again… the best little tacos on Alberta Street!  Another place where everyone can enjoy a meal.  Meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans can all enjoy tacos, chips and salsa and guacamole and this last time, some delicious street corn.  All very good!

Nongs Khao Man Gai:  Took a friend that didn't enjoy her meal and kept saying it wasn't spicy enough.    There's spicy sauce on the tables but she decided against trying it on her lunch.  I enjoyed my choice which was of course vegetarian tofu with peanut sauce with broccoli.  The place was packed and parking was difficult so I recommend you bus or walk over for lunch.  It's super cute inside and feels like you are not in the city at all.  Open air concept with plants and many tables along with a bar stretch that looks out to other dining on the sidewalk, etc.  Very cool!

Tacos and Tequila:  At Mississippi Studios and BarBar we attended this event mainly for the tequila but the tacos were great too!  Stella Taco was there as well as Maya with her brisket tacos which hubby loved by the way.  Great event but packed to the hilt there on Miss Ave.

Pine Street Market:  I enjoy this place although I can't seem to get comfy there.  The seating up high is uncomfortable and it's packed so finding regular height tables/seating is hard to come by.  I did thoroughly enjoy my SHALOM Y'ALL lunch and they make a nice whiskey sour as well.  Hubby had an OP WURST hot dog with great fries and we topped it all off with WizBang soft serve, dipped in chocolate of course!

Iaapdx:  A cute Japanese picnic fare pop-up inside Milk Glass Market and sweet it was!  No substitutions however, the chef did leave the fish and off my corn on the cob and made me an egg salad sandwich instead of pork which was all delicious.  I really enjoyed the popsicle the most though.  Matcha and Strawberry… amazing combo and gone in a second!

My love… Jade in Sellwood!

At home with these ciders… delicious!
Off to Texas now….

Vaquero Taquero:  Austin Street Tacos off an Austin food cart near the state capitol building on a hot June morning and I asked my grand-daughter to please have one for me.  She did!  Filled with bacon and eggs and spices, she had gone straight to taco heaven!  Nice folks and he loved posing for a photo too!

Torchy's Tacos:  Ok… so, when are these guys coming to Portland??? I asked in an email and they would love to come and bring a restaurant and they have branched out to a few other states however, I don't think Oregon is soon on the list.  The best tacos I have ever had, the best corn I ever had and I went twice in less than 24 hours.  I was there in Austin with grandkiddos and my daughter and we surely enjoyed every single bite… all of us!  Love this place!

The Science of Ice Cream:  Around Austin, this ice cream shop this time was found in a food truck park called Midway and they make some great ice cream using the nitrogen method.  Fresh, creamy and flavorful and my favorite was the vanilla covered in berries!

Little Lucy's Mini Donuts:  On Rainey Street in Austin just behind the hotel we were staying at and wow… I'd go back just for this street.  A few blocks lined with vernacular bungalow's, food trucks, food carts, bars, music in every form and fun people enjoying every second of their 90 degree plus evening!  I cannot wait to go back to this donut shop and all the great places on Rainey Street in Austin.

and… back home again,

Pollo Norte:  Home again and taking a few of the gkiddos I brought home with me out for chicken!  This places is the best for quick rotisserie chicken with all the delicious sides.  Some indoor seating but mostly for the warmer months at the picnic tables outside.  Everyone got to eat a lot of everything and we loved it!

Cheese and Crack:  As always, so delicious!  We had two ploughman's platters, some mac and cheese, a buttermilk biscuit, soft serve and a sundae.  Stuffed and happy, we waddled out and went home!  One of my favorite places for lunch or a snack in Portland.

Lickety:  Great little bicycle cart filled with popsicles at the Moreland Farmer's Markets on Wednesdays!  Kiddos loved their treat and so did hubby!

Red Sauce Pizza:  Again, delicious!  Pizza all around and a few beers while the gkiddos played with sidewalk chalk which I later found all over papa's shoes.  Yes, everyone had a great time eating great pizza!

My charcuterie… at home!
Except for some of the delightful dishes I stirred up at home over the month of June, that's pretty much my list for the month.  Always seems that I get it out later and later each month but it gets out eventually.  Taking things a little slower this month and eating at home since we had such a crazy month previously.  No trips planned in July and more home cooking which is always a good thing.  Re-group, counting calories, lowering my intake of sweets and carbs is helping me feel better and choosing the right foods when we do venture out makes me think twice about what I'm putting in my mouth.  So, even if you're out a lot, you can still make it matter and feel good going home knowing you haven't made yourself sick with all that delicious food out there.  It's a struggle and probably always will be but again, planning, sharing and choosing to not gorge myself is helping a lot!  Plus, if I'm walking to where I'm dining, that makes it all better too;)!!  Nothing better than a good meal and a trek to work it off.

Enjoy and Cheers!  See you around town!

Taco's 'n' Tequila at Mississippi Studios!

Wiz Bang Bar at Pine Street Market!

iaapdx… a Japanese themed picnic hosted at Milk Glass Market!  

iaapdx… corn on the cob!

Strawberry and Matcha pops at iaapdx hosted at Milk Glass Market.    Pop-Up

Street Taco in Austin… Vaquero Taquero!

The Science of Ice Cream… watermelon!

The Science of Ice Cream… vanilla with berries!

Little Lucy's Mini Donuts on Rainey Street… Austin!

Rainey Street Food Trailer!

Torchy's Tacos in Austin!

Pollo Norte on NE 42nd.

Tonalis Doughnuts and Ice Cream on Alberta!

Red Sauce Pizza on NE 42nd. 

Salt & Straw on Alberta St. 

Cheese and Crack Sundae!

Cheese and Crack Soft Serve with Espresso Powder!

Buttermilk Biscuit at Cheese and Crack!

Pips Doughnuts!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Strawberry Salsa for chips or ice cream! It's good both ways!

Strawberry Salsa!
Looking for something delicious, unique and filled with flavor, I found once more a great salsa recipe from my cookbook, Truly Mexican!  I love this cookbook and now this recipe is just one more delicious addition to my Mexican dinner repertoire!  I served it with a charcuterie board, tortilla chips and other snacky things when my parents, sister and nephew were visiting last week.  I am pretty sure it would be good on anything and had a strong berry flavor with a little twinge of tomatillo and the chili ratio was perfect too.  I didn't put it on ice cream however, but I'm sure it would have been great that way as well.  Here goes, enjoy and now you have something else different to do with all those gorgeous Oregon strawberries:)!!

  • SWEET STRAWBERRY SALSA WITH ÁRBOL CHILES

    SALSA DULCE DE FRESA CON CHILES DE ÁRBOL


  • 2 Dried Árbol Chiles, Wiped Clean And Stemmed
  • Tomatillos, Husked And Rinsed
  • 1 Pound Strawberries, Rinsed, Hulled, And Quartered (3 1/2 Cups)
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 10 Whole Black Peppercorns
  • Whole Cloves
  • Small Turkish Bay Leaves Or 1 Small California Bay Leaf
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Fine Salt, Or 1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

HEAT a heavy skillet over medium-low heat and roast the tomatillos and toast the chiles, turning the chiles over and pressing down on them frequently with tongs, until they are browned all over and with some blackened spots, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the chiles and continue to roast the tomatillos, turning them over only once, until their tops and bottoms have black-ened and the tomatillos are a khaki-green color and cooked to the core, 20 to 30 minutes total.
ADD the strawberries to the tomatillos in the hot skillet and cook, stirring over medium heat, until they start to give off liquid. Add the toasted chiles, sugar, peppercorns, cloves, bay leaves, and salt and cook until the strawberries are soft, about 5 minutes.
TRANSFER the mixture to the blender jar and blend until the spices break down and the salsa is very smooth, about 1 minute, then strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing on and then discarding the solids.
This salsa keeps in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Cook till the berries are so fragrant you want to eat them out of the pan!

Cast iron is great for making this salsa!
Thanks to my Whole Foods on NE Fremont and 15th, they had everything I needed to make this recipe!
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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

May 2016… where I ate in Portland and Beyond!

Juniper and Ivy… San Diego's Little Italy!

We were gone for almost three weeks and on our trip, we did indeed plan out excursions around our meals.  I will tell you about where I ate however, note most places were not in Portland this time.  Just had to put that out there.  We did dine at some amazing places but two really stand out and so I'll cover those first off.  Here goes and have fun reading and then planning where you're going to eat next:

JUNIPER & IVY:  San Diego's Little Italy never disappoints and I say that like I'm a regular.  I am not!  I grew up and lived most of my life in Southern California but had never been to the Little Italy area of San Diego.  Our daughter Sher kept telling us about this place and since we were in San Diego for a few days, we went.  I will tell you this is at the very tippy top on my places to dine if I had an all time list. There's a few more spots that would have to share the space but seriously… this is the place to eat in San Diego.  From the cocktails to the starters to the main courses all just the perfect size and picture perfect too, we ordered many things, shared and tasted and ooh'd and ahh'd over each bite.  Dessert was pretty awesome too!  If you ever get a chance, please go check this place out.  I love the openness of the restaurant, the staff was attentive but not overly and again, all the food… perfect!

THE BUTCHER'S DAUGHTER:  On the way home, we stayed a night in Venice Beach and walking Abbot Kinney, I saw this restaurant and decided it would be our breakfast spot.  We arrived the next morning after checking out of our AirBnB cottage and sat in the sweet front patio and with a large open, clean-lined, well decorated dining room, there's also more patio out back for more private seating.  French Toast, coffee and toast with peanut butter, bananas, honey and grapes were ordered and devoured.  Lots of pictures and smiles of satisfaction, we were ready to hit the road and head home from there.  I do suggest a little side trip to Venice as we loved hitting the Salt & Straw and Blue Star Donuts there as well.  Hello Portland in LA… how sweet is that!?

LUNA:  First in Corona, CA and then to Victoria Gardens in Rancho Cucamonga, CA now, this place is our go-to "Modern Mexican Kitchen!"  Delicious Mexican Food wrapped in a sweet atmosphere filled with tequila and horchata concoctions, chips and salsa and an amazing menu with twists on every recipe.  I highly suggest Luna if you are ever in Corona or Rancho.  Not far from the Ontario airport… so go!

ANCHOS:  When some people see this on my list, they'll laugh cause really, this place was good when it first opened in Riverside, CA but we quit going there even when we lived there.  Went back for Cinco de Mayo while still on our trip and the homemade tortillas and salsa got to me.  So good and since I crave Mexican food every, single, day… this made my day!  Again, if you are ever in SoCal… check it out!

PIG PEN DELICACY:  In Santa Ana, CA, I had been following this place on Instagram for a while.  Newly opened and located in old downtown Santa Ana, it sits nicely in a market alongside other food spots.  Ice Cream, House made s'mores shop and more can be found under one single roof.  Hubby enjoyed his full on meat burger and I had messy fries topped in all kinds of deliciousness!  Go if you are meat eater, I'm sure you'll just love it!

Now back to Portland…

Charcuterie at Juniper and Ivy!

Juniper and Ivy!
NOSSA FAMILIA:  I was invited to attend a cupping event at Nossa Famila in Portland's Pearl District and although I had been in for coffee, this was something I had never done here before.  It was a great experience and if you have a chance to go sometime and your a coffee lover as I am, you should go!  Great people work here, love the business story and it's nice to see a company that really cares about family and others the way these folks do.

PIED COW:  Went once more for hubby's birthday cause he was getting a banana split! I've never just had regular food here and this place is always interesting.  Good desserts, great people watching and hookah if you're interested!

ECLIPTIC:  I think this is the first place I went to after returning home from our almost three weeks away.  Sometimes you just need to connect asap and so I did!  Always delicious beer, delicious food and hubby had a special hot burger that night as we sat outside on one of Portland's warmest evenings so far.  Perfect!

WOODLAWN COFFEE & PASTRY:  As sweet as ever and I'm so excited that since I've been a while ago, they now are serving Coava and Roseline Coffees and so I'll be back soon for that!  I did have my usual lunch there of salad and grilled cheese, a favorite.  The lettuces are so fresh that you can actually taste the lettuce taste!  I took a friend and she had the meatloaf sandwich and loved it!  I'll go back again and again!

PEPPER BOX:  I can't believe I've only been here a few times cause I love love love this place.  Cheap, good and hot!  Everything is hot and so good!  I had the sopapilla and wow… hot!  I ate all of it and you must go!  I highly recommend for a during the week breakfast or brunch!

PODNAH'S:  Went cause my son wanted to go for his birthday and wow… I had been putting it off cause I am as I mention now and then, a vegetarian.  I got the mac n cheese and some other sides and enjoyed watching hubby and son devour their brisket and ribs.  I'll go back over and over with them any time, any day!

BREAD AND HONEY:  I trekked over for a little breakfast one morning last week.  This spot is new and so I was hoping for something yummy.  I had a little empanada and chocolate chip scone and everything is made earlier in the day and then heated up as you order it.  I was a little disappointed however, it was tasty.  Kind of a quiet location but clean and quick especially if you're looking for something to go!

KING FARMER'S MARKET:  I started volunteering here a few weeks ago in the Master Gardening booth and I love it!  Mostly I love it cause from the minute I get there, I can smell some delicious scents wafting across the isles and it draws me in quick.  From coffee to breakfast burritos to baked goodies and more, this is the best place for breakfast or lunch on Sunday's 10-2pm from now till November.  Get it now folks!

BOLLYWOOD THEATER:  I was invited to attend a kitchen event with Troy, the owner of the restaurant and I will say, I enjoyed every single minute.  You can read about my time there on my blog link here:  In The Kitchen With Troy….  I have always liked Bollywood Theater however, spending time with other "foodies" and Troy in one room, his kitchen, kind of deepened the love I have for our Portland chefs.  They love their craft, delight in their ideas and food making skills and mostly, they seem to really care about us as customers and even more so, they care about their staff.  Happy kitchen, happy and busy chef, satisfied customers and you've got a nicely wrapped gift for every one to enjoy.  Congrats to Troy in his success with all of it!

Macarone'd Deviled Eggs… Juniper and Ivy!

So, besides all the little stops on our trip to places like In and Out, Frostbites, street taco joints in San Diego, Mother's Day brunch with our daughter and her fiancé and his family,  and all the cocktails here and there, we did miss home a lot. It's always good to come back and I will say that it's June 1st and I'm already working on my list again as of tonight!  See you on Mississippi Ave. later folks!

I hope you've enjoyed reading my list and making plans for your next food adventure!

Cheers!
My farm root and grain dinner at Juniper and Ivy!

The Butcher's Daughter in Venice Beach!

Troy at Bollywood Theater!

Asparagus at Bollywood Theater!

Cupping at Nossa Familia!

Happy Birthday Steven at Podnah's!

Marion Berry Pie and Ice Cream at Pied Cow!

Luna!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Boulevardier… Aged Cocktails made at home!


We used a basic aged cocktail recipe for this delicious and very popular Boulevardier however, instead of using one whiskey for the lot, we used a mixture of a local Oregon rye from Rogue Farms and Elijah Craig, a Kentucky Bourbon.  Adding those into the barrel along with Sweet (red) Vermouth and Campari, we realized that after several cocktail batches, this would most likely be the end of this barrels life.  We found some charred oak in an aged cocktail kit we received as a gift and broke it up and got it to fit in the bung hole thank goodness.  We do need a new barrel and so that's on order for now.

We actually let this age a bit longer than anticipated and loved the gooey sweet ooze that snuck out of the openings and yeah, it was like sweet liquored up honey and only provided a sign that perhaps we needed to drain the barrel in to bottles and be done with it.

We did fill two large bottles one of which made it to California with us on a road trip.  For some reason, I felt this cocktail would be a man's cocktail but I will say, between the friends gathered around one evening while on our trip south, men and women equally enjoyed sipping this aged concoction.  I think we have hidden the last bottle somewhere but we do have family coming for a visit soon so I'll have to dig it out and share it. Looking forward to the new barrel coming so we can make another batch.

Here's the recipe as is from Feast Magazine and cheers from Oregon!

Boulevardier, 2-LITER BARREL

  • bottle, plus 8½ oz Dark Horse Distillery Reserve Bourbon Whiskey
  • 17 oz sweet vermouth
  • 17 oz Campari
  • ice
  • orange peel (for garnish)
Add 3 ounces barrel-aged Boulevardier into a chilled coupe or Old Fashioned glass and fill with ice. Zest an orange peel into the drink, use it for garnish and serve.





Thursday, May 26, 2016

Banana Chocolate Chip Cake with a dusting of Powdered Sugar served with Salt & Straw Ice Cream! Happy Birthday to you!

Right out of the oven!
Steven wanted some kind of dessert for his birthday yesterday but wasn't exactly sure what he wanted.  Finally, he just said for me to surprise him, so I did.  One of his favorite things is Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins so I found this cake recipe and decided this would be the perfect birthday cake for him.  The recipe is basic and I found it on Allrecipies.com.  I only tweaked it a little bit and loved that it was so simple and after tasting it last night, it was the perfect birthday cake for him!  Filled with banana flavor, I can totally see this made with walnuts and perhaps even leaving the chocolate chips out if you're looking for a less sweet or chocolaty flavor.  Pretty easy to play with and change if you want to.  Here's the basic recipe with my tweaks:


Banana Chocolate Chip Cake


Served with Salt & Straw Ice Cream!

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine bananas, egg, melted butter and milk.
  4. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture until blended. Be careful not to over mix.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Pour batter into 9x13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. (It will have some melted chocolate, but no crumbs.)
    NOTES:  I actually used parchment instead of greasing a pan and used two whole very ripe bananas instead of one cup mashed although it wasn't a whole lot different in amount size.  Also, I read some reviews before baking this cake and some people said to use a smaller pan which makes the cake thicker and some said they substituted baking soda for the baking powder.  I wanted to stick as much to this simple recipe as possible so I followed it word for word on the leavening, using baking powder however, I did use a smaller pan that suggested.  An 8x8 square worked perfectly!  Baking time was pretty spot on too!  Also… I did bake the cake one day before serving because like banana bread, I was sure this cake would taste even better baked the day before eating, wrapped tightly and refrigerated overnight.  The banana flavor came through rich and delicious!  Don't forget to dust with powdered sugar if you want to and that rhino… well, just a little added touch is all.  He loved it! Happy baking and happy birthday to Steven… we love you!! 
Happy Birthday!

Friday, May 20, 2016

In The Kitchen with Troy MacLarty's Bollywood Theater! Indian Street Food in Portland, Oregon!


Troy MacLarty
I walked by the stove in my grandmothers kitchen in Fullerton, California when I was about ten years old.  I saw something boiling like crazy in a huge pot.  I peeked in and amongst the steamy liquid was a huge corn beef roast bubbling away wafting its scent throughout the house.  In this kitchen, there were also huge crocks lining the floors near one long hallway and shelves in the windows lined with canning jars.  In the crocks and in those jars were pickles being pickled and as a young girl, I was mesmerized by the things that seemed suspended in the pickling liquid which I now know was salt water of course. The pickling spices that dangled and floated in-between the pickles as well as the fans of dill sprigs seemed to attach themselves to the sides of the jars making for the most interesting designs and later added flavor to the best pickles I have ever eaten in my life since.  My other grandmother as I recall, my fathers mother, could make a feast of chicken fried steak, veggies and biscuits out of seemingly nothing at Sunday evening dinners.  I could find myself eating and eating and never getting full knowing it would be at least a week before this was happening again and enjoying every minute of my family around one big table.  And then there's my mother who could quite literally twist any recipe in to an amazing dish and later in my life, watching my husband and his co-worker firefighters making dinner for their families and for each other at the firehouse which for so many reasons, thrilled me to no end.  When I think back about this childhood of mine and later in to adulthood, the fact that I love to cook and throughout all my experience of being around food,  I learned that although amazing and delicious is always important when it comes to really good food, there's another aspect that touches my soul in regards to the experience as a whole. When the Chef/Owner of one of the best restaurants in my town not only lets you in to his kitchen and when he talks to you about how his food is made, why he does what he does and why this, his food and this space is so important to him, one can't help but to be drawn in with a kinship in regards to good food.

Meet Troy MacLarty Chef/Owner of Bollywood Theater.  An invite brought me to Bollywood and I would have said yes immediately but knowing I was headed for the kitchen and a sit down with the owner was a huge plus.  A little background here quickly again, my story of how food surrounded my life as a child never left me.  I grew up with it and was influenced by mostly women cooks in my family along with a few pretty awesome dinners made by our firefighter family where food was not only meant to taste good, it was fuel for the fire so to speak so it needed to mean something.  So, it makes sense that I take away not only the love for really good food, I also understand and know that there's more to this food story.  I began the Albany Nosh Tours several years ago while running my BnB in the Willamette Valley.  The tours still run today which does make me very happy however, from the beginning even before the tours began, I knew how I needed for this to go.  I needed chefs to realize the importance of not only their food being the main attraction of these food tours but I needed them to know that while people expected good food, I wanted tour goers to have the whole experience.  I wanted them in the kitchens, in the dining rooms and in front of the chefs.  So, as often as possible, our tour guests were invited in to these kitchens, met head on with the chefs themselves and gratifying to no end, everyone truly enjoyed the experience.  Last night was exactly the same.  

Troy told me he was shy and this event held mostly in his kitchen at the Division Street location could seem a little unnerving to most chef's however, it went off splendidly and I learned quickly that he gets the whole idea behind my vision for my food tour some years ago, however, he is not alone as many chefs I have met have that similar shy trait and don't enjoy being in the spotlight.  Troy though was informative, clear and educated many of us gathered around the butcher block table on the ins and outs of Indian spices, the making of Paneer (the most delicious cheese ever), curry, masala, chutney's and more stories of his Indian food history.  I loved the part when someone asked him if he had gone to India quite a bit before opening his first Bollywood Theater restaurant on Alberta Street. His reply was that he signed the lease agreement on the space on Alberta and then hopped on a plane literally the same day headed to India for the very first time. Guts, stamina and knowing exactly what he wanted has surely played a roll here for Troy.  A learning process, a chef trained former biologist and yes, that's another interesting story, lots of time, the love for what he does and the master craftsmanship of Indian street food, this casual setting at both Portland locations leaves you satisfied, intrigued and for me… smiling all the way home.  I'm lucky to have had this experience and lucky to live literally less than a half mile from the Alberta location.

I do recommend many dishes at Bollywood Theater however a few favorites yesterday, Dahi Papri Chaat, the asparagus pictured although this may have been a special yesterday and anything with curry!      Also note that not only is the Division location a restaurant, it's also a market as well.  You can touch and smell all the ingredients and purchase spices, beans, rice etc. there as well.

For when people want to know how an Indian restaurant prepares asparagus!



Dahi Papri Chaat.. made with house made crackers!

Prepping for Paratha! 

The Bollywood Theater Market!
note:  Although I did not pay for the meal and event at Bollywood Theater, my thoughts are my own.  Thanks for the invite Broussard Communications and Troy MacLarty.

My favorite time of year!

My favorite time of year!
in the leaves