Thursday, August 29, 2013

Life, As of Late

Summer Sunset LightSummer LoungingSummer YardChopstick Holder & Peach CostrataRose City Food Court Burger WeekTilt & TotsSummer Meals

It seems summer didn't start until after the 4th of July holiday, when we finally settled in with lots of time outdoors, many many meals eaten outside, weekend day trips, spending time with friends far and near, eating as many burgers as we can muster for Portland Burger Week, preferring to go for walks (instead of biking) to knock more restaurants off our must-try list, enjoying our patio/yard and trying to slow down a bit because summer is the best season and we never want to let it go.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Feeling Grateful

Mt. Hood

The end of 2012 and the first half of 2013 were really difficult months for us. It almost seems as if our year and summer didn't kick start until July. But after weeks of spending time with family and friends and settling into new schedules, we're really looking forward to the future and hoping to enjoy our summer to the fullest. Needless to say, we're feeling really grateful at the moment. Hope everyone else is having a good summer and looking forward to the rest of the year.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Ba's Benihana Birthday


Last year we surprised my dad with a beach week birthday, but that was a milestone birthday. This year we're back to our typical "Your Choice of Restaurant" birthday celebration. This year Dad wanted dinner and a show, so he suggested a teppanyaki restaurant. After asking around and consulting the internet we were informed the only real teppanyaki restaurant in the Portland area is world wide chain restaurant Benihana. So we used Open Table, earned our 100 points and made reservations for a night of dinner and theater.  


Dinner at Benihana's is fairly pricey, but it came with a lot of extras. Of course we started with a nice carafe of sake served cold in the most amazing little iced sake carafe.

Cold Sake Carafe

A waitress walked us through the menu and how it all works. It took a minute to go through the menu, we placed our order, had a somewhat salty Japanese onion soup, and our chef arrived at the hot flat grill and the main portion of the meal began.

Our Chef

Our meal came with white rice, but we could substitute fried rice for an extra cost. It was fun to watch the chef whisk around an egg with just his spatula and knife. It was hard to believe that the egg wasn't a hard boiled egg the way we rolled and tossed it around before cracking it on the grill to become the base of our fried rice. Which was really good.

Fried Rice

Next came the grilled veggies and shrimp, which the chef sliced and diced and removed the tails efficiently and quickly.

Onion VolcanoShrimp Appetizer

The big draw of Benihana's is their grilled steaks, but Mike & I were going to share so we opted for the Seafood Diablo and their largest steak-the 12.5 oz filet mignon. The Seafood Diablo consisted of grilled udon noodles, vegetables, shrimp, scallops and squid. Man was this dish delicious. We did not take a single piece of this seafood noodle dish home. There were no leftovers. Everything was terrific and the most tender scallop and squid we've had in awhile.

The Makings of the Seafood DiabloUdon Noodles in the Seafood DiabloSeafood Diablo

The rest of us opted for steaks and scallops (Land and Sea), all medium-rare. Once these thick cut steaks hit the grill and the smoke started floating in the air, the cameras came out. These steaks were a thing of beauty.

Time for SteaksGrilling SteaksPreparing Our SteaksFilet MignonLand & Sea

When the chef first cut into the steaks they were perfectly medium-rare, but by the time they hit our plates they were more medium, but we didn't mind too much, the choice meats were still terrific.

Apparently Benihana's is a popular birthday restaurant, we probably heard happy birthday (English and Japanese) about every 10-15 minutes in the 2 hours we were there. We were really happy with the choice, the restaurant is beautiful, the service is great and the food was terrific. Happy Birthday BA, hope it was a great one!

Birthday Celebration

9205 SW Cascade Avenue
Beaverton, Oregon

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Oregon Wine Country

The Vineyards at Stoller

One of the best things about living in Portland is that within half an hour you can be at a vineyard tasting wine among gorgeous hills. On a leisurely Saturday afternoon we made the trek out west to visit two vineyards to enjoy the view and taste some terrific wines. Good friends of ours are wine club members at Stoller Family Estate which had a beautiful tasting room overlooking their vineyard with its own frisbee golf course!

We tasted both whites and reds that afternoon and took home a bottle of the Reisling and Pinot Noir. The super member deal and friendly unpretentious service had us contemplating becoming wine members ourselves.

Wine Tasting with Mike & MattVineyard FarmhouseThe grapevinesStoller White Flight TastingStoller Vineyard Tasting RoomStoller Red TastingsSetting Up for a Wedding

Next we headed up the road to Dobbes Family Estate, where we tasted more white and red wines and took home another bottle, this time a rose. It was a leisurely and terrific way to spend a Saturday and thanks to our friends, very affordable!

Dobbes Family Estate

Afterwards, we drove back to Portland and enjoyed another burger for Portland Burger Week. It was a great day.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Miss Delta Anniversary Dinner

Our second wedding anniversary fell on a Tuesday. The week prior was extremely stressful and the day of our anniversary was particularly frustrating. Initially we had hoped for a quiet evening at home with a nice piece of fish for dinner, but that plan was unexpectedly interrupted and we found ourselves unmotivated to cook the nice romantic dinner we had hoped for. Instead we simply wanted a nice quiet evening and not think about everything that was looming in our lives. We couldn't agree on where to go, but knew we wanted some place close and reliable. We decided some down home southern cooking was what we were up for and strolled down to Miss Delta for a comforting meal to kick start our second year of marriage.


We weren't planning on anything extravagant, but when we found out Tuesdays is 1/2 off bottles of wine we decided a nice summery Malbec Rose was exactly what we needed to ease into our second year of marriage.

Rose of Malbec

We started off with two appetizers, the Corn and Black Eyed Pea Fritters with Green Chile and Jack Cheese Dip ($6) and the Wedge Salad ($9). Both light and heavy and delicious.

Hush PuppiesWedge Salad

For our entrees we ordered the Gumbo ($14) and the Skirt Steak Special with sides of Pancetta Green Beans and Tomato/Okra Stew ($13).

Shrimp GumboSteak with pancetta grean beans and tomato and okra

The Gumbo totally hit our comfort zone with a little bit of everything over fluffy white rice, we thoroughly enjoyed this dish. The Skirt Steak on the other hand wasn't as good as we had hoped. The green beans were mushy and the stewed tomato/okra was boring and uninteresting.

The restaurant was very quiet when we first arrived and we were able to snag a sunny table up front. As we were finishing up our meal people started to filter in and the place soon became incredibly festival and lively. The service was friendly and it lifted our spirits that a place so close to home could dish up a reliable, homey and economical meal. After the year we've been having some stability and something we could depend on was more than we could hope for. Thanks again Miss Delta.

Miss Delta
3950 N Mississippi
Portland, Oregon

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Brazil Grill

Brasil Grill

We're a bit back logged on restaurant reviews. Sorry dad, we're just now getting to posting about our Father's Day all meat extravaganza!

Brazil Grill is a Churrasco (Grilled Meats) restaurant, where servers bring various grilled meats on a stick to your table, carve you off a piece and let you sit and enjoy. The menu includes Marinated Prawns, Chili-Lime Pork Loin, Marinated Chicken Legs, Bacon-Wrapped Chicken, Marinate Lamb, Black Forest Ham, Linguicia Sausage, Beef Tri-Tip, Bacon-Wrapped Beef Filet, Mustard Beef Sirloin, Beef Sirloin, and for dessert Roasted Cinnamon Pineapple. That's a long list. For one price you get unlimited amounts of salad, sides of empanadas & garlic polenta and all those meats.

Each table has a big plastic chip that's red on one side and green on the other to tell the servers yes we're ready for more or not now still chewing on this piece of meat. To be honest the novelty is more interesting than the actual food. The salad bar was good and the empanadas with beef and garlic polenta fries were also good. What everyone seems to talk mostly about is the roasted cinnamon pineapple, which was also really good, and probably the best part of the meal. I think Dad liked it and we're glad we were able to try something different for his special day.

BA & his Brasilian BeerEmpanadasPolenta FriesSlow Roasted Pineapple

Brazil Grill
1201 SW 12th
Portland, Oregon

Dinner Daily 4:30 - 9:30 PM

Monday, August 12, 2013

Bollywood Theater

Please buss your table

Bollywood Theater was cute as can be. Indian Street food served not out of a food cart and at reasonable prices! We ate at the Bollywood Theater during a time when we were we were on doctor's orders to restrict what we eat, so we had to pick and choose what we would allow ourselves. We were avoiding potatoes, which made eating at Bollywood impossible, but we did the best we could. We ordered at the counter, grabbed a seat by an open window and our dishes started arriving shortly after.

Roasted Beets with Coconut and Curry Leaves ($5.50). Nothing too outstanding, fairly standard. We thought the coconut milk would bring out the sweetness of the beets, but it seem to do the exact opposite.

Roasted Beets in Coconut Milk and Curry Leaves

Okra julienned and fried with chile, lime and raita ($5.50). We were looking forward to this dish. Okra - yes! Fried - yes! Chile and Lime - YES! But sadly, nothing outstanding.


Beef Kati Roll ($7.00) - yum! This was delicious! The beef was fork tender and absolutely scrumptious. The doughy roll was a bit much after awhile and I ended up pulling the meat out of the roll, while Mike ate up every last bite, including the doughy bread from my half of the roll. We'd like to go back and try the paneer cheese roll.

Beef Kati Roll

Mumbai Sandwich ($6.00) - vegetable sandwich with cucumbers, potatoes, tomatoes, cheese and beets, grilled and topped with chutneys and sev. This sandwich was an utter disappointment. Nothing noteworthy. We were sad after eating this.

Mumbai Sandwich

Now it may seem we didn't enjoy the food at Bollywood Theater, it wasn't as fantastic as we had hoped, but the menu is extensive, and we're on the mend, so we'll be up for trying some of their other dishes soon. Everything we ate, other than the Kati Roll, just didn't have the aromatic spice punch Indian food is known for. It is a fun restaurant, check out the bathroom when you're there. The video playing is beautiful. We've embedded a link found off their website below.


Bollywood Theater
2039 NE Alberta
Portland, Oregon
11AM - 10PM Daily