Monday, May 24, 2010
Ten Things to Eat in Portland 2010
Last year I published a list of my go-to foods in Portland when I had no patience to be disappointed. Here is the revised version, which I would like to say is for 2010 but is more reflective of this particular week and is subject to change. You’ll notice that several of the restaurants are the same from the 2009 list, I’ve just moved on to different items. You also may think that I have no idea what I’m talking about, which I’m comfortable with, which is why i've included this picture of myself to boost my credibility. As Billy Dee Williams says, this list "Works Every Time."
1. Fried Shrimp Po’ Boy, Gumbo, and a Macaroon – Po’ Boys & Pickles (1124 Forest Ave. 207-518-9735)
This is probably my new favorite lunch spot in the Portland area, which is why I had to list an entire meal there rather than just one thing. They really get it right, down to the Crystal brand hot sauce, Abita beer, and Zapps potato chips. After the shrimp sandwich I’d recommend trying the others in this order: Pulled pork, muffaletta, fried oyster, the Reggie (meatloaf), cheeseburger, and the Debris (roast beef). The Gumbo is the best around and the accompanying biscuit is damn near perfect. Also, get a fucking Macaroon – trust me.
2. Rock Shrimp Appetizer – Kon Asian Bistro (1140 Brighton Ave. 207-874-0000)
Tempura fried shrimp doused in a spicy mayo sauce that I could probably eat damn near every day. Sure, Kon has several shortcomings on the menu, but these never disappoint, along with the Peking duck wrappers.
3. BBQ Beef Banh Mi Sandwich – Kim’s Sandwich Cafe (261 St. John’s St. 207-774-7165)
These simply can’t be beat, especially for 2.75. I know this is old news to many, but just in case you haven’t tried them….
4. Caramelized Pork with Lemongrass – Thanh Thanh 2 (782 Forest Ave. 207-828-1114)
Though I enjoy the Pho more at Saigon, Thanh Thanh still has a few items that can’t be beat, such as this dish along with the rare beef salad and fresh spring rolls.
5. Beef Pho – Saigon (795 Forest Ave. 207-874-6666)
I love the aromatic broth, the sawtooth herb, the sate paste, the meatballs, the noodles, and the fact that they open, and serve beer, at 9:00 a.m. The crispy dumplings with ginger and scallion make a great starter as well.
6. Chili-Cheese Dog – Rosie’s (330 Fore St. 207-772-5656)
Both Rosie’s and Ruski’s have kick-ass hot dogs, and when you add Rosie’s chili you’ve got a perfect (nap-inducing) hangover helper.
7. Maine Hamayaki – Miyake (129 Spring St. 207-871-9170)
Quite possibly one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. Lobster, crab, and scallop over sushi rice, covered with kewpie mayonnaise, broiled, and then topped with eel sauce, sansho pepper, and truffle oil. If you’ve never tried this, you’re fucking crazy.
8. Lamb with Ceylonese Korma Sauce – Haggarty’s (849 Forest Ave. 207-761-8222)
Nothing better than a night at home, getting this delivered with an order of garlic naan, slugging three bottles of cheap red wine, and watching Rocky III and IV consecutively.
9. Menudo – Tu Casa (70 Washington Ave. 207-828-4971)
Sunday morning got several times more exciting the day I found out about this tripey deliciousness. Like I said, only on Sundays and get there early, it goes fast. The good news is that if you do miss it, you can still order the Enchiladas Salvadorenas with tongue.
10. The Sicilian Slab – Miccuci’s (45 India St. 207-775-1854)
I love Stephen Lanzalotta’s breads, so when you mix his baking with a tomato sauce that reminds me of the one my grandmother used to make, I’m happy. While you're there, pick up some Luna bread to make ridiculous burgers at home.