Thursday, August 17, 2017

Wonderful Street Food Restaurants: Portland, Oregon: Kenny and Zuke's deli; Nong's Khao Man Gai, Cafe Broder; The People's Pig; Bowery Bagels; marukin Ramen; 24th And Meatballs.

Nong's khao Man Gai

Poached, organic, kosher chickens (Mary's chicken) with jasmine rice simmered in chicken stock and Thai herbs, accompanied by a sauce of fermented soybeans, ginger, garlic, thai chilies, vinegar, house made syrup and soy sauce. Garnishes are sliced cucumber and cilantro, and accompanied by a light chicken soup. The chicken was perfectly poached, very flavourful and juicy. On the table was a crock of freshly chopped garlic to add as one wishes (I did). Quite fabulous and simple.
    Kenny and Zuke's Deli

    The famous (at least it SHOULD be famous) 14 hour smoked brisket sandwich (whole grain rye). The pastrami is cured in the typical way and presents those typical flavours, BUT, when those flavours are combined with the smokey flavours, one gets a flavour miracle! The meat was topped with house made slaw.

    Cafe Broder

    It is best to arrive early, before 11. Pretty much most of the day there are either short or long line ups. The food is pretty special here. For me, the go to dish her is pitt-y-panna, a Swedish hash dish that I fell in love with over 30 years ago, at a traditional Swedish Christmas eve celebration (lots of drinking too!!). The menu is fairly extensive.

    One of the 3 smorrebrod (open faced sandwiches typical of Scandinavia, particularly of Denmark) offerings. I chose the shrimp salad (flavoured with dill weed) and gravlox with a mustard sauce and topped with micro greens and mounted on lettuce, served on vollkornbrot (brown bread made with whole grain flour). Quite delicious and reminded me of my recent trip to Copenhagen and Stockholm.

    The pitt-y-panna, consisting of finely diced potatoes, onions, bell peppers and pickled beets, fried on the grill, and here, typically cooked with either smoked trout or bits of beer braised beef short ribs and smoked ham, or roasted mushrooms and summer squash (for vegetarians). All would be topped with fried eggs. This was served with toasted walnut bread. This dish was well done, the textures well preserved and the flavours quite delicious.

    The People's Pig

    Street view.

    On the left, smoked and fried chicken (dark meat); On the right, sliced BBQ pork shoulder. The sauce on the top left is spicy mayo; the middle sauce is jalapeno jelly (skip this!) and on the right, a very credible BBQ sauce that was quite good. The chicken had a good flavour but was overcooked and a bit dry. The breading was heavy and was a bit like a hard shell. I would skip the chicken. But the pork was very good, very smokey as I like it with a very good crust. On this particular day and time, their well known smoked lamb and brisket were unavailable. Go early as some things get sold out rather quickly.

    Bowery Bagels

    Bowery Bagels professes to be a NY style bagel. Coming from Toronto where we have both "toronto style" and Montreal style and having been to Montreal to enjoy the bagels there many times, I don't feel that bagels are any better anywhere (!!!!) in North America, than we have in Toronto (or Montreal). Wood oven style Montreal's, Gryffe's and bagel World are in a class of their own.

    That being said, the Bowery bagel is a credible bagel for Portland and makes for a good sandwich, BUT.

    By the way, there are lots of choices for fillings. However, no smoked salmon! Just a very tasty gravlax that was cured with fresh dill, chopped fennel leaves and Clear Creek Distillery's Eau de Vie of Douglas Fir Vodka.

    The "everything" bagel (onion, garlic, sesame seeds and poppy seeds) was tasty and had a reasonably good texture. But, I am spoiled when it comes to "crust". The filling is lots of onions and house made gravlax. A good sandwich.

    Marukin Ramen

    There are several types of ramen broth available. There is a wonderful chicken/pork broth I tasted but today I wanted to try the only cold dish, only served in summer months.

    Hiyashi, served cold, with a vegan shio broth made with shiitake mushrooms konbu, garlic and negi. Toppings of pickled purple cabbage, napa cabbage, snap peas, spicy mushrooms, abura a-ge, leeks/negi mix and spinach.

    24TH and Meatballs

    There were meatballs made with beef, veal pork and basil; pork, chilies and spices; chicken, parmesan and thyme; and the vegan. I tried them all. Four kinds of sauce are available. I chose the tomato and pesto. You can have the meatballs as a sandwich or plate. Each type of meatball was very good and if you are a meatball lover, make a beeline here. 

    For this photo, I went with the vegan. The vegan meatball is house made seitan ground with brown rice, black beans and walnuts, and is not only delicious but has a very good texture. I ordered two with 2 sauces, the tomato basil marinara and the arugula pesto made with arugula, spinach, walnuts, hazelnuts and parmesan. Both sauces were wonderful and classic in flavour with just the right amount of garlic.

    No comments:

    Post a Comment