I was really excited to go to Portland and experience the food scene out there because I had heard so much about it. Even though Pok Pok just opened a NYC location, I needed to try the original and see what all the hype was about. We got there around 1pm on a Saturday afternoon and only had to wait about 10 minutes. For such a popular place, this was already a win in my book.
Another win was the fish sauce wings, ordered spicy. They were lathered in an almost Korean-style wet sauce with spices and red chili flakes. The meat was tender and juicy in their slightly crispy outer skin. Unfortunately, this was the only real high point for me.
The charcoal rotisserie roasted game hen was another one of their specialties and while good, it was not enough to impress. The marinade added a lot of different flavors to the subtly smokey meat. However, the meat could have been juicier; also, whenever there are extra dipping sauces on the side, I feel like it takes away from true taste of the meat and cooking. Good meat and seasoning should be able to stand by themselves.
Everything else we tried was just OK too. The grilled boar collar had a citrus-y garnish. And the grilled baby back ribs were small and lacking in meat. They tasted almost exactly like Chinese spare ribs, so there was nothing unique to me about the dish.
I would come back to have some more wings and try some other dishes, but my overall reaction for my first time at Pok Pok was just slightly disappointing. Until next time.