Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"I Should Have Never Gone Ziplining"

I happily discovered earlier this month that I had three credits that came from places that had either closed or were no longer honoring their promotions.  So through perusal of the selections, I found a little place called I <3 Sushi Teriyaki.  Being adventurous, exhausted, and stressed does wonders for one's desire to cook, so we decided to try it out.

Free miso soup and a small salad with ginger dressing-- both with every meal!  How exciting!

Seaweed salad

White Castle roll on left (tuna covered with crunchy white noodles)

Eel roll on left; tuna on the right

Caterpillar roll (eel, crab, avocado)

Cajun roll (crawfish, avocado, other stuff deep fried)

Spicy yellowtail roll
The first thing that struck me was that we were the only people at the restaurant at 5 pm.  The second thing I realized after I clumsily dropped my soy sauce dish was how courteous and friendly the staff was.  The prices were very reasonable (basic rolls, like the tuna roll, were $4.50 and most of the special rolls were $10) and portion size was decent.  The crunchy white noodles on the White Castle roll were all crunch with no flavor.  I am usually not fond of fried rolls (that's what significant others are for, to eat what you don't like :)  ) but everything else was delicious.

This is second only to Oishii Sushi in my book (which has bigger cuts of fish, but which also moved into a new location that somehow pales in comparison to their older cramped one...).  I have never reviewed that one because I'm usually dining with people who would look at me like I've grown an extra limb if I pulled my camera out.  And yes, the camera may be as big as my head, but it takes awesome pictures in low light.

I have sadly neglected this blog due to work, traveling, taking pictures, work, cleaning, reading, running and more work.  I am loath to promise posts that never materialize (like I've done before, multiple times-- *gulp*) but I am working on a post that summarizes eating my way through Portland, and my husband just bought a rotating Belgian waffle maker.  So homemade sourdough waffles with bourbon maple syrup are in our future......  :D I Love Sushi & Teriyaki on Urbanspoon

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Taco Punk, you can do better than this.

My husband and I were so excited to go to Taco Punk tonight.  We enjoyed their booth at the NuLu Festival and thought they had a great concept and potential, which made tonight's dining experience disappointing.

-I ordered the Lucky Ducky and the Taj Ma-hell and was answered with "I'm sorry, you are NOT lucky today!"  It's understandable that the specials can run out, but there was no sign indicating this... It was only 5 pm and they're open until 2 am!  So I decided to order the Yucatecan style fish and the smoked chicken mole instead. 
-I thought the process would run quickly and smoothly as it's an assembly line, but after I was asked three times what I had ordered, the process became neither.  
-The server inexplicably switched my tortilla out after putting chicken mole on it...and put it back in the bin.  I'm still confused about this.

-The homemade tortillas were cold, thick, and slightly brittle on the edges.
-The fish was well seasoned and freshly grilled.  I was pleasantly surprised that cod could taste so good.
-The chicken mole was slightly spicy and barely smoked; good but not memorable.
-Our favorite was the BarBEERcoa; the meat was moist, tender and well marinated.
-The adobo chicken was also freshly grilled, but there wasn't much of an adobo flavor in my opinion.
-Chorizo and potato tasted bland.  We are not sure where the potato went---perhaps it was pureed with the chorizo...
-Lime chili mayo is awesome.
-The free fillings (shredded cabbage, pickled onions, jalapeno peppers, and cilantro) all added distinct flavors and textures that I found creative, colorful and most importantly, very tasty.
-The saffron rice was overcooked and completely flavorless.  Black beans were well seasoned--but again, not memorable.  

-This is somewhat expensive---four small tacos, two small sides, 2 drinks and about 7 tortilla chips apiece cost $25.

And now for some pictures:

 Top: chicken mole; Bottom: Yucatecan style fish
 Close-up of the Yucatecan style fish
Top: chorizo and potato; Bottom: BarBEERcoa with lime chili mayo
Chicken adobo 
Black beans and rice

Bottom Line: Yes, I realize that this is only day 3 of this restaurant.  I would be willing to return, but I have multiple reservations.

Taco Punk (food truck) on Urbanspoon