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Tag: oregon

A Beast of a Brunch

For the couple days I was in Portland, there was only time for a few meals, so I made sure to make them all count. I was impressed by the cooking of chef Naomi Pomeroy after watching Top Chef Masters. I was even more excited to have the opportunity to visit Portland and dine at her restaurant.

Brunches at Beast seem almost like exclusive events, having only 2 seatings each Sunday at 10am and 12pm. Doors open exactly at the time of seating, as patrons are allowed to enter and sit at long community-style tables. Reservations are a must. The cozy restaurant is small and quaint, with an open kitchen on one side and the plating table right in the middle. It’s nice to see the chefs working to prepare all the ingredients and plate all the dishes just a few feet away. Seeing everything come together from scratch gives the diners a feeling of comfort that the food is fresh and cooked with care.

We started brunch off with a light bing cherry clafoutis topped with a smokey and crispy thin slice of maple-glazed bacon and some powdered sugar. The pastry was soft, creamy, and had an almost flan-like texture. Fresh pitted cherries added a rich dark fruit flavor and some sweetness. The dish was paired with nice crisp white from Germany.

Our second course was exactly what I pictured in my mind as the ideal brunch entree. A lovely fresh poached egg sat on top of some potatoes, romanesco, maitake mushrooms, and summer squash, all with some hollandaise sauce poured over them. To make things better, delicious tender duck confit gave the dish its savory element. Some mustard greens, a drizzle of chive oil, and a slice of crispy bread on the side finished off this picture perfect and tremendously tasty “Beast Hash” dish. A low acidic Beaujolais from France paired nicely with the dish as well.

Following the main entree, we had a small plate of cheeses with some fresh farm greens. The cheese were a French sheep cheese, an Italian goat cheese, and a cow’s milk cheese from Washinton state. This dish was paired with a chilled smooth white wine from France that had a hint of sweetness to it.

To finish off our meal, we had a chocolate truffle cake. The creamy cake tasted rich and had a very smooth texture, topped with a peach leaf and white chocolate mousse that was not too sweet, so it balanced well with the chocolate cake. A strawberry rose from France was paired with this dessert.

Of all the food I ate in Portland that weekend, the brunch at Beast was my favorite. The food was not only fresh and delicious, but all the wine pairings complimented the food well, and I could really see the thought that went into each dish. Portland should consider itself lucky to have Chef Pomeroy at the helm of such a wonderful restaurant. I cannot wait to go back and treat myself to dinner. Thank you Beast!



A Trip to Portland or Thailand?

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.