A few weeks ago I decided to find the best Burgers in Portland and although my search is slow going, I am having some great burgers. I had heard of this place a few times and the rumor is that they have some pretty sweet Burgers, I don't find myself in that part of North East very often, so last week when I happened to drive by, I had to stop. At 35 years of age, I am rarely the youngest person in a room, well, I was by far the youngest person in for lunch that day at Stanich's. There are alot of cool little spots in that part of town for food, but none of them stand up to Stanich's. This place rules! I sat at the bar and found myself chatting with other customers and employees about the football game that was on the TV, I dont watch football, but everyone was grooving on it, so I kind of got in to it. The menu read "The Worlds Best Hamburger" so needless to say, I went for it. This burger was huge, messy and delicious, it was loaded up with Beef, Ham, Egg, Bacon, Cheese, Lettuce, Tomatoe, Onion, Mayo, Mustard, and some sort of Relish. It took 6 napkins to get through this burger, but damn it was worth it, I might go there right now.
4915 Ne Fremont St.
Portland, OR 97213
As Fall finally arrived last weekend, my cooking style quickly took a big U-Turn. If my grill didnt kick ass, I might just leave the cover on it until next Spring, but its way too cool to do that, I will touch on my cool grill at different time. It's time to dig out the big Stock Pot for Pork and White Bean Chili and the Braising Pan for Pork Shoulder.
The weather this week has screamed Portland to me and as it often does, the weather pointed my cooking in its own direction. Usually when I crave Mac and Cheese, I go for the dish that was on the menu at my restaurant, Smoked Gouda with Ham Mac & Cheese, oh yes, it's as good as it sounds. But, this week I was craving traditional baked Mac & Cheese with the crunchy Bread Crumb topping, and the only thing that it needed after resting for about 30 minutes was a healthy dose of Srirach. If you have never had Srirach Mac & Cheese, you havent lived. Go to your favorite restaurant, order some Mac & Cheese, if they dont have it on the menu, just tell them what you are craving and if you know somone in the kitchen, they will hook you up, and you know that there is a bottle of Srirach kicking around in that kitchen somewhere.
Some friends of mine have a new place in North Portland called The Little Red Bike Cafe, they are cool folks and have a great thing going. I was in there a couple of weeks ago and we were chating tattoos when I busted out my Camera and snapped a couple of shots of the Knife, Fork and Spoon that Ali has on her forearms. Sweet Ink!
I know that it's not actually Fall yet, but this weather screams Lentils to me. Baby French Lentils were on the menu for lunch today at my house. They are so simple, Lentils, Onion, Carrots, Celery, Bacon, some random Spices and Herbs, Water and Salt, it doesnt get much easier than that. Thank goodness Fall is almost here. EAT MORE SOUP
A great burger can be one of the best things in the world and I have decided that I have a mission to find the great burgers of Portland. So I start with Skyline Burgers, if you havent been there, well, you need to go, this place rocks. The burger is simple and good, nothing crazy, just a quality burger. The menu is pretty big and has alot of Breakfast and Lunch items to choose from, but the sign says "Best Burgers in Portland" and even if I don't plan on ordering a burger, I always do. They cut the burger in half and for some reason I really like that, the fries are decent and the service is great. I highly recomend Skyline Burgers.
1313 NW Skyline Blvd
Portland, OR 97229
There is a fair amount of Dim Sum in Portland, most of which is up around 82nd and Division, I dont find myself in that area very often so I tend to go Downtown for my Dim Sum. Fong Chong is not my favorite Asian Restaurant in Portland, but it is my favorite Dim Sum spot. This place gets packed for lunch and early dinner, but the wait is certainly worth it, go with friends and family and order a ton of food, oh yea, the food is cheap too! The Shrimp and Pork Dumplings are awesome, as are the Pork Sui My, BBQ Pork, Stuffed Green Peppers, Spring Rolls, Fried Shrimp Dumplings and Sticky Rice, but the main thing you need to try is the Foil Wrapped Ginger Chicken, get two or three, they are bitchin. The service is fine, nothing great, kind of slow at times, but again, the Ginger Chicken is worth it. If you dig Dim Sum and havent tried it yet, Fong Chong is worth checking out.
301 NW 4th
Portland, OR 97209
When I hear of a new restaurant in "Inner Southeast" my ears perk up, when I hear that it's Asian I start getting excited, when I hear they make their own Ramen, I say "oh yea, I love Biwa, it's one of my favorite places." It's also in one of my favorite buildings, the old La Luna spot, which is like the Showbox in Seattle to me, far too many great shows to list.
When I first ate at Biwa, I had Miso Soup and a plate of skewers, the skewers were Steak and Green Onion, Chicken, Shitake and oh yes, Pork Belly. Well, I would love to say that I have had everything on the menu, but the truth is, I am yet to try something different, its so damn good that I crave Miso Soup and Skewers. Biwa was always my solid lunch spot, but now they are only open for dinner, so my visits to the old La Luna building are not going to be as frequent, but I will still spread the word and get there as often as possible.
I could really go for some Pork Belly and Hi Chew right now.
215 SE 9th Ave.
Portland, OR 97214
I figured that I would start the Tattoos off with one of my own. This is a Chef's Knife on my leg, I took my 10 inch Sabatier into my tattoo guy and he put his twist on it, its one of my favorite tattoos, it reminds me every day of the 15 years I spent in professional kitchens. This tattoo was done by The Reverend Todd at Triumphant II Tattoos in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Rev. is a good friend of mine and I have had the pleasure of sitting in his Tattoo Chair for about 40 hours. If you have any ink that you want to share, send me a picture and please include the story behind it as well as the Artist and Shop.
When I moved away from Portland, one of the places I missed the most was Otto's. Now that I have moved back, I find myself in Otto's at least once twice a week, if it's not for lunch, it's to buy some Salami, Sausages or Pork Belly. Everyone at Otto's is always willing to help and can answer questions about the amazing number of House-Made Sausages they stock in the Deli case. Jerry and Gretchen Eichentopf are super nice folks and I love supporting this Woodstock landmark. If you have never been to Otto's, go check em out.
Otto's Sausage Kitchen
4138 SE Woodstock
Portland, OR 97202
Food and Ink is something that I have been thinking about for quite a few years and today I am finally starting this Blog. I am going to be photographing and writing about Restaurants, Professional Kitchens, Chefs, Coffee and Tattoos. The majority of this Blog will be about Portland, but I will include friends of mine from all over the country in this as well. I invite anyone who takes the time to read this blog to send pictures, restaurant reviews and general coments, I want to know what you are thinking.