Special Review: Boke Bird Dinner @ Boke Bowl


Boke Bird Dinner @ Boke Bowl
1028 SE Water Avenue
Portland, OR 97214
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Hours: Thursday nights **ONLY** from 5 to 9:30 p.m.
No reservations! Walk-in only.
Menu | Twitter
Rating: ★★★★☆

Dear Lunch Lady,

You do know the name of this website is Stumptown Lunch, right? Why the heck are you reviewing a dinner spot?

Love,
Your devoted readers
xoxoxoxoxo

OK, I know, I know…technically this is a dinner review, but it’s a very unique dinner review. While Boke Bowl is open Monday through Saturday for their very delicious ramen bowl lunches, they also open up their dining room every Thursday night for a very special eating event: the Boke Bird Dinner.

When I received an email announcing the debut of Boke Bird Dinners in late December I was so excited to try it that I pushed my birthday dinner back one day so that I could do it there.

The idea behind Boke Bird Dinner is very straightforward. Korean fried chicken and an array of sides served family style.

Like Boke Bowl at lunch, there is a somewhat limited menu, but there are options for both meat-eaters and veggies alike.

Unlike Boke Bowl at lunch, you are seated before you place your order, which gives this casual lunch spot a bit more of a formal feel. Despite that, the place will still be rather loud, very busy and your neighboring diners will likely be elbow-bumping distance away.

The chicken (or fried tofu for you veggies) is what you’re here for. You can order a half bird ($25/serves 2-3 ppl) or a whole bird ($50/serves 4-5 ppl) depending on how many people are eating. Along with the chicken come the standard sides: kimchi, assorted pickled vegetables, roasted seaweed, ginger/green onion steamed rice, steamed buns and the special orange dot sauce (ODS) for the chicken.

Still hungry? There are a variety of additional sides and desserts to order as well, including sautéed mushrooms, noodles, greens, salad, fried pears, Boke twinkies, fried pies and soft serve ice cream.

One thing I particularly liked about dinner was the pace. It wasn’t rushed and food came out in courses before the big plate of bird arrived at the table. At times it was a little frustrating to manage all the plates on our small table, but that’s a small price to pay for such high-quality, delicious food.

All in all, our dinner lasted about 90 minutes. This is not fast food by any means.

The service was good and prompt, although they do seem to get VERY busy and one of our courses almost ended up on a neighboring table.

Here’s the one thing I DO NOT LIKE: You can no longer make reservations for dinner. Initially they went with a reservation only system, then they quickly changed it to both reservations and walk-in, but as of last week it’s first-come/first-serve ONLY.

I’m sure the owners have their own reasons for this, but I’m a bit bummed. You see, there is almost always a line at Boke Bowl and not a lot of places to wait around for a table…and not a whole lot of places nearby to bide your time if you’re waiting. Even with our reservation for dinner, we waited about 10 minutes for our table. Others, without reservations that night, seemed to have to linger in the small waiting area for quite some time.

Overall, Boke Bird Dinner, like Boke Bowl itself, is quite a treat. The most important thing is to know and expect is that there will be lines and dinner will linger longer than most places. But, if you can muster up the patience, you won’t regret it!

PROS:
– Melt-in-your-mouth chicken. Delish!
– High-quality, fresh food served at a reasonable pace
– Fun family style meal
– Very reasonably priced

CONS:
– No longer taking reservations
– You’ll most likely have to wait in line ☹
– The tables are rather small for all the plates of food

Video: Yelp’s Party at OMSI for Game On 2.0

We got invited to attend Yelp’s party at OMSI to celebrate the Game On 2.0 exhibit on Saturday, September 17. Although it was crazy-crowded, we had a great time checking out all that the museum has to offer…as well as all the yummy free snacks and (adult) beverages. Great party, OMSI and Yelp! Check out all the action (or at least most of it as our camera battery unexpectedly died)!! CHEERS!

Are you going to Bite?

Ready for The Bite of Oregon this weekend? We are!! It’s our favorite summer food weekend of the year. We love to taste-test delicious tidbits from all around our beautiful state. Great food, delightful drinks, rockin’ entertainment and a fun crowd…all that, and it benefits Special Olympics Oregon! Awesome! :)

Here are the deets:
FOOD
WINE/BEER
ENTERTAINMENT

WHEN
Friday, August 12, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday, August 13, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday, August 14, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

WHERE
Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Portland

ADMISSION
$15 Weekend Pass
$10 One Day Pass
$5 Early Bird Special (Friday entry before 2 p.m.)

[NOTE: Admission does not include the price of food or beverage.]

We sadly missed the 2010 event, but check out our seriously fun photos from 2009. Gallery: Bite of Oregon 2009

Gallery: North American Organic Brewers Festival

It’s the first official weekend of summer in PDX. The sky is clear and the sun is sparkling. What do you do? Go to a brewers festival, of course!!

Luckily, the North American Organic Brewers Festival was at North Portland’s beautiful Overlook Park all weekend, so we definitely got our fix of great beer, tasty food, sunshine and fun!

When we arrived Saturday afternoon the lines were long and daunting, but we were quite surprised the lines moved quickly and everyone was in a cheerful mood. What’s a little wait when there is beer at the other end of the line, right? Although, we did decide to “hold it” when we saw that the longest lines at the festival were to use the Porta-Potties! 😉

Enjoy the photos!

Gallery: Wieden+Kennedy’s 13th and Farm

Today we stepped away from our desk around lunchtime and strolled over to the Pearl District for Wieden+Kennedy’s 13th and Farm event. Like a mini farmers market mixed with a block party vibe, Portlanders enjoyed the warm summer day and perused the vendors’ tasty treats, refreshing drinks, colorful flowers, pretty plants and delicious desserts.

If you missed it, just check out our photo gallery and it’ll be like you were there!

Stumptown Lunch News: Thanksgiving Day Dining!

Last year the Lunch Lady loaded up the Honda Element with her three closest friends (and their luggage) and trekked up north for a wonderful Thanksgiving meal on the exquisite Orcas Island. This year, with the cost of, well, just about everything skyrocketing, we’re staying closer to home.

So what’s a Lunch Lady to do? Our kitchen is so small Rachael Ray would burst into tears upon seeing it (and would hopefully immediately offer to redo the entire kitchen with high-end European appliances like the ones Kelly Ripa pretends to use in those TV ads). Not only do we not have a dishwasher, but making anything more complicated than Cup O’Noodles or instant oatmeal requires some superhuman creativity.

So whipping up a turkey dinner with all the trimmings just isn’t going to happen. That said, I don’t want to do what I did when I was 22 and had just moved to Washington, DC—order in Chinese—so I’ll likely be overindulging at a restaurant this year.

And why the heck not? If you want to skip the cooking, the anxiety-inducing relatives and the messy kitchen hangover on Thanksgiving Day, why not just eat out?

Several Portland-area restaurants offer special holiday menus just for Thanksgiving. We tracked down some of the more creative and (somewhat) moderately priced options for opting out of slaving away in the kitchen.

Check out our list! Continue reading Stumptown Lunch News: Thanksgiving Day Dining!

HH Review: Dragonfish Asian Café

Dragonfish Asian Café
909 SW Park Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97205
503-243-5991
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Rating: ★★★★½

It’s rare that I go to sushi places where you order off the menu, as I’m a diehard sushi train fan. But the Sushi Hour at the upscale Dragonfish Asian Café is absolutely worth a visit.

Sushi Hour is their version of happy hour (4 to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to close daily), and it’s a terrific way to sample the restaurant’s upscale fare without breaking your budget. Located in the lobby of the Paramount Hotel, the restaurant on one side and the lounge, where Sushi Hour is offered, on the other.

The best part of Sushi Hour is that you can enjoy an array of the selected nigiri, sushi rolls and small plates for possibly less than a single entrée over in the restaurant. There is a minimum drink purchase requirement, but the specialty cocktails, beer selections and the sake and wine lists should easily cover that.

On our recent visit, my HH friend and I were pretty hungry and ordered four out of the five sushi roll options, a couple pieces of nigiri, two orders of pot stickers and a plate of the caramel ginger chicken. If that sounds like a lot of food, it was! But the food was so good we ignored our filling bellies and chowed down. Continue reading HH Review: Dragonfish Asian Café

The Bite of Oregon: Day 1 Photo Gallery

Stumptown Lunch News: The Bite of Oregon

thebite

 Who else is super excited for the Bite of Oregon? It runs from August 8 to 10, and this year seems jam-packed with cool stuff–not to mention all the food!

The Lunch Lady is going on both Friday and Saturday (follow our live Twitter coverage), then not planning to eat at all on Sunday! We are psyched to see the Crazy 8’s are playing on Friday night. We heard from the band’s trombone player, Tim Tubb, who is really excited to take the stage for what will surely be a rowdy-fun performance.

On Saturday Cat Cora from Iron Chef America will be a guest for Iron Chef Oregon and later that night the MarchFourth Marching Band performs!

I guess I shouldn’t forget about the main attraction: All the food!

I am already looking forward to a Kobe beef slider from Rogue Ales Public House, the bay shrimp and scallop ceviche from Hayden’s Lakefront Grill and the Oregon steak and cheese sandwich from the Chef’s de Cuisine Society of Oregon.

Warning: Don’t read the Bite’s menu if you are hungry! It all sounds so tasty.

The Bite’s added bonus this year: An all-Oregon beer garden!

Are you planning to go to the Bite? Vote in our poll!

Review: E-San Thai Cuisine

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E-San Thai Cuisine
133 SW Second Avenue
Portland, OR
503-223-4090
Map It!
Rating: ★★★★½

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As Rachael Ray would say, Yum-o! When I stopped by E-San Thai Cuisine I was starving, so I probably would have devoured anything they put in front of me. However, the food was outstanding–so I pretty much ate until my stomach could not hold another bean sprout!

First of all, I was pretty overwhelmed by the menu. They offer more than 70 dishes! Wow! But don’t be scared off by all the options, each dish is carefully detailed for those who aren’t completely familiar with all the Thai delicacies they offer.

My lunch companion and I started with the appetizer combination plate, which for $8 is a pretty good deal if you are sharing a meal. It includes three dipping sauces (peanut sauce, cucumber sauce and sweet and sour sauce) for the deep-fried egg rolls, the fried tofu, satay (choice of chicken, beef or pork) and the fried wontons. Continue reading Review: E-San Thai Cuisine

Review: The Cheesecake Factory


The Cheesecake Factory
(At Washington Square)
9309 SW Washington Square Road
Portland, OR
503-620-1100
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Rating: ★★★★½

OK, the moniker The Cheesecake Factory is a little misleading, because this place serves WAY more than just cheesecake. In fact, for a chain restaurant, it’s some of the best food in the burbs!

I try to avoid reviewing chain restaurants, but this is the one and only Cheesecake Factory in town, and if Portland ever gets an In-N-Out, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf or Pinkberry, you can bet your life I’m reviewing those places (sometimes I miss L.A. for more reasons than just the constant sunshine).

But back to the Cheesecake Factory, it’s pretty darn impressive. I’ve been there for lunch more times than my waistline likes to remember. The menu is, literally, heavy, and probably 20 pages long! Continue reading Review: The Cheesecake Factory