The classic Herring Under a Fur Coat at Kachka, one of the delicious things I ate in the past couple of months.
Well, it’s been about two months since I last visited this little blog, and I sure didn’t mean to be absent for that long. Life took priority—estate work took a lot of my attention, but so did the emotional component of cancer recovery. I just didn’t have enough in me. But that has changed—I still have estate work and am still recovering from cancer, but my focus is better.
As a way of re-entry, I thought I’d recap some of the delicious things I ate in February and March.
I made it to five dumpling spots during Dumpling Week 2019, and managed to eat a real variety of dumplings. I had Kachka‘s chicken soup pelmeni in broth, braised celery, pickled carrots, black pepper, and smetana; Boke Bowl‘s Szechuan style 5-spice duck dumplings; Little Bird Bistro‘s ricotta gnocchi with a boeuf bourguignon ragu; Danwei Canting‘s wontons filled with Tails & Trotters ground pork, Oregon black truffles, ginger and scallions; and Delores‘s potato and cheese pierogi with onions and bacon. All were excellent versions of themselves and I’d eat any of them again.
Along with the Dumpling Week wontons, I tried the Li Zi Ji Chicken and Lamb Samsa at Danwei Canting. The samsa reminded me of the Central Asian food I used to eat in Queens, and was one of the milder dishes that evening; I loved the pastry and rich lamb filling. The La Zi Ji Chicken was crispy and spicy but not disabling, despite its reputation (I guess if I’d chowed down on the dried chilis it would have made things quite hot). However, those sichuan peppercorns, along with their warming and numbing qualities, altered the way many things tasted, including, of all things, the water, which became sweet; that was really unexpected. Danwei Canting, 803 SE Stark Street, Portland. danweicanting.com
Lamb Samsa at Danwei Canting
La Zi Ji Chicken at Danwei Canting
While eating some of the best pierogies I’ve ever had at Delores, I also ordered their butter lettuce salad, which with its delicate nature and acidity from the vinaigrette, was a great foil to the richness of the dumplings. I loved how fresh it all was, and as a not-very-much-so fan of radishes, the paper thin slices were just enough. The crunch of the hazelnuts was addicting. Delores, 1401 SE Morrison St, Portland. delorespdx.com
Butter lettuce salad at Delores
When family was in town, we went to Shandong—not my favorite place for Chinese food but it was a good compromise, all things considered. In the past I’ve found the food kind of blah, but was delightfully surprised at how tasty the Shandong Chicken was. Chicken breast with chiles and fermented black beans in a garlic-infused sweet and sour wine sauce. The chicken was tender, a little bit spicy, and more sour than sweet. I would get this again, and am actually craving it as I write this. Shandong, 3724 NE Broadway St, Portland. shandongportland.com
Shandong Chicken at Shandong
I was very happy when my egg farmer emailed to say the hens had laid enough eggs to sell. Spring really makes a difference for the girls. These eggs are fantastic, and come in beautiful colors.
I had some excellent maduros at Pambiche. I loved how deeply caramelized they were, their soft, luscious texture, and they were especially tasty with hot sauce (I have a weakness for sweet and spicy together). Pambiche, 2811 NE Glisan Street, Portland. pambiche.com
Maduros at Pambiche
I treated myself to a sombusa from the Somali woman from Alleamin Products at the Hollywood Farmers Market. It’s vegan, filled with a mix of vegetables, and the green sauce is tart, flavorful and spicy.
Sombusa from Alleamin Products at the Hollywood Farmers Market
I stopped in at Anchor End and had their classic pierogies. They were a good size and came with caramelized onions, pickled red cabbage, and carrot salad. Anchor End Eurocafe, 4641 NE Fremont St, Portland. anchorend.co
Pierogies at Anchor End
While wandering around Cully and Roseway one afternoon, we took a break and had drinks and Larb at Cully Central. I like the light funk and the texture of the ground rice along with the fully cooked ground pork. Sticky rice is a treat, too. Cully Central, 4579 NE Cully Blvd, Portland. cullycentral.com
Pork Larb at Cully Central
So there you have it. I look forward to posting more here, so stay tuned!