Thank you for the review Chris. As you say, there are a legion of places here and it is good to have direction...this place sounds very intriguing.
I've been coming to Hanoi Kitchen since about 6 months after they opened. I've been coming back several times a week since. I love getting the fried rice and pork chops dish but I after reading the review of that particular dish it made me realize why I love it so much. Ho-Hum bachelor hash? I'm a bachelor. No wonder I love it so much. The real gem on the menu is their Bun Bo Hue C3 on the menu. Superior to any other I've had at other restaurants in this town and I've been ordering it for years now. Its my "Usual" when I walk in.
This totally has my mouth watering and my heart full of pride for the efforts of these younguns. My partner ate there on his last trip to Portland and can't stop raving about the mussels! I can't wait to take it all in myself. Worth the plane fare!
I love this place so so so so much. I also love that the staff are very responsive to feedback. Not that I have had much besides "yum".....I can't believe that this article didn't talk about the perfect egg...I could live on that dish.
Chocolate bear gets a half-true. Sure, Mana and Woodblock do bean-to-bar, but as far as I can tell Mana has been around for a couple months and Woodblock about a year. Daren was doing this, and doing it excellently, long before that. Writing this piece on chocolate, mentioning bean-to-bar and not including his name is like writing a piece on Portland's bike builders without mentioning Andy Newlands. Daren was and is THE pioneer and the others wouldn't be nearly where they are without his market leadership. Pretty big oversight for this column.
Jake, you are not supposed to let the cat out of the bag damnit!
I never knew an inanimate chocolate bar could be "troubled." You learn something new every day!
Well, I suppose it's no different than the local media falling over themselves to fawn over the local "artisan" distillers who just re-distilled mass produced base spirits, bottled them up, and marketed them as "craft produced."
for people interested in learning more about the complex world of chocolate in a beachside retreat, check out
This coming weekend NOV. 16-18th.
kimmy47, I'm glad you have this forum to express your banal, negative opinions. But learn how to use punctuation before you criticize writing. ("mines its' ideas" doesn't need an apostrophe).
and on content: if you can't embrace whatever we are in portland, and these reviews and portlandia even MIGHT catch on occasion, then maybe you are in the wrong place.
Chris, this is the most pretentious piece of food fetish I have ever read. I almost thought this might be a parody piece making fun of a Food and Wine article. Then I unfortunately realized it was real. Your last paragraph describing Sarah Hart made me embarrassed to admit I live in Portland. I now see where Portlandia mines its' ideas.
Please... stop...writing for the Mercury. You have turned into the Perez Hilton After He Lost Weight of food critics, and it's just wrong.
"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.
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