"the way wine bores take one of the world's most enjoyable substances and, with their tight-fitting sport coats and insufferable pedantry, suck all the joy out of it"
Thanks, foodwhistle, for demonstrating that Chris's comment applies to the world of chocolate, too.
Actually, Chocolate Bear, both Woodblock and Mana are bean to bar chocolatiers. Alma uses someone else's chocolate base, and does not start even from the nib. I can't speak to Cocanu's practices. Yes, Darren is a fine bean to bar chocolatier and the first in Portland to perform on a craftmanship level. Chris Onstad is a jackass and should not be writing food reviews.
All of these supposed bean to bar companies are actually "Nibs to bar", meaning they don't buy the whole beans, they instead buy nibs. The only Portland chocolatiers that I know of that actually go from bean to bar is none other than "Stirs the Soul" owned and operated by Daren Hayes. So next time you do another article on Bean to Bar chocolatiers, please don't mislead the public and for god's sake, do your research and what Bean to Bar actually means.
I do understand nostalgia for food you can't get in a new place... I struggled to find a Hawaiian restaurant I liked until Ate-Oh-Ate came on the scene (there are others that are acceptable, but none were what I was looking for).
If you have an interest in comparing apples to apples though, I'd love to hear how Szechuan Chef compares to Lucky Strike; there's no sense comparing it to other regional Chinese cuisines and dim sum restaurants... that's like comparing wyoming steak to louisiana gumbo--not that helpful.
Lucky Strike on Hawthorne is absolutely open and still pretty damn good.
Flint, actually, I'm not too clever. The pig's rectum and "shredded vegetarian" dishes are straight off the menu there.
Jake, I'm not your pal, but was honestly curious about what's good at Shenzen. Your initial post suggested you might actually know something about the food. On my part, I've been unimpressed with their squid, lobster, and duck. You certainly are a clever person, though, to use the word "rectum"!
Flinty ol' pal, if you don't know what to get in order to avoid the "disguising" low quality and "protoypical sweet-flavor, stereotype MSG flavor," then you need more than my recommendations. I suppose the hordes of Chinese customers there must have lower standards than you and less refined palates.
If, by chance, you're a vegetarian, I suggest ordering the "Shredded Vegetarian in Cold Dishes" off the Szechuan appetizer menu for a new delight. That'll be right up your alley. Or, if not, maybe the Peppered Pig's rectum.
Or, just look at what all the Chinese customers are eating, ask some questions, and branch out a bit. Tough, I know. Or, you know, just stick with the General Tso's chicken and some fried rice. Your choice.
what's good at shenzen, jake? can you actually offer something to the conversation?
that place is protoypical sweet-flavor, stereotype MSG flavor disguising low quality, IMO.
I just can't seem to locate a worth-the-name serving of Chicken With Depleted-Uranium Suppository Lodged Precariously In Its Cloaca, please let me know.
For me, it's always Fujin for the win.
I enjoy Mr. Onstad's reviews. His food writing reminds me of the protagonist in Huysmans' "Downstream", doomed in his search for a good dinner.
@Rich Bach: The bar for Chinese in Portland is pretty damn low -- identifiable is good; tasty AND identifiable scans as amazing, etc.
I thought Lucky Strike's (39th and Hawthorne) Szechuan was really good. I wonder if they're still open...
"I expect to read nothing interesting or provocative when I pick up your paper with the chick with ice cream cones on her nipples."
Way to much flourish on this review. Two paragraphs before we roll into the restaurant. You guys need to fill a page? The restaurant is good. The menu is adventurous for the local kale/beet crowd.
I'd like to say that a good review isn't built on the mention of other restaurants in a negative way. A restaurant should stand on it's own.
A positively shit review Merc. Good job.
Yup, nothing good to eat at Shen Zhen, located in the "manure-scented squid and cornstarch gravies of NE 82nd" dead zone. Nothing at all.
I keep wondering why everybody keeps acting like this place is anything special. It's certainly not bad -more than par for the course, as far as Portland Chinese- but come the fuck on.
SCORE! Touchdown Mercury!
i wondered about the SIAM society until it went away and i figured "oh just another failed pad thai shack". Now i know the substation doesn't have subs (probably) and is not for eating.
Who the fuck still pays $800 for rent here? it hasn't been that cheap since 2008 unless we're talking 200 sqft studios.
Yup, that's the way of the Alberta Bar District, just a scam for the unknowning to come and be shaken down while getting bad service.
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