Tag: Little Green Pickle

Restaurant Review: Double Dragon

Double Dragon

A few weeks ago, my co-worker Kelly (who is also a big foodie) told me about this restaurant by our office, the Double Dragon. He said they had awesome bahn mi sandwiches for lunch. So the following week, Jonah and I went to get lunch there with our co-worker Sarah. I had the pork belly bahn mi, which was delicious. Now, let me say that I am not usually a sandwich person. There is usually just too much bread and all the fillings squeeze out as you eat it and it can just be a big mess. I’m a fan of silverware. But this bread was so good – like a baguette but really light and the crust was more crispy than crusty. I don’t know what they did to it, but it was awesome. The pork belly was wonderfully cooked and just melted in my mouth, and the whole thing was topped with aioli, jalapeno, and pickled carrot and daikon. It was awesome.

So when Little Green Pickle invited me to the celebration at Double Dragon to welcome their new expanded menu (after 5 pm) and cocktails (yum), I was more than happy to show up, eat some food, and drink some drinks. The party was open to the public, so I was happy to bring Jonah and our roommate Mac along. It was a beautiful day in Portland, and the picnic tables outside were packed. Here’s what we ate (and drank):

Run Castro Run at Double Dragon
Miso Disco Fries at Double Dragon

Double Dragon

While Mac and Jonah both got the IPA on tap, I decided to try the Run Castro Run, a cocktail with tequila, pineapple, jalapeno agave, egg white, and angostura bitters. It was creamy (thanks egg white) and light, and perfect for a sunny day. We also were gifted an unclaimed cocktail, Double Dragon’s punch, which consisted of gin, lemongrass, ginger, and champagne. It was also really light and refreshing, perfect for a sunny day.

We had a little basket of the miso disco fries, Double Dragon’s take on the every popular poutine. Crispy, perfectly cooked fries, drenched in a miso sausage gravy, and topped with melty queso fresco. These were a really good start, and a more unique version of poutine (which you’ll find on a lot of happy hour menus in Portland) than I’ve had before.

Probably my favorite thing we ate was the rice cakes and Chinese sausage. I don’t know what they did to this dish, but it was awesome. I am a really big fan of this kind of rice cake, and I haven’t found it a lot in Portland. But rather than just being a little chewy, they must have pan fried these, so the edges got a little crispy, which was awesome. And the combination of that with the sliced sausage (which also seemed pan fried and had nice crispy edges) made for a really delicious dish. More bar snack than entree, it’s definitely something I’ll be returning for.

Overall, the food was really good, and the cocktails were really refreshing and light. I will definitely be hitting this place up for a post-work drink and bite. I recommend you do the same.

Restaurant Review: Besaw’s (for dinner!)

About a month ago, Jonah and I were contacted by a local PR company to join them for dinner at a restaurant that’s a client of theirs, Besaw’s. Now, if you know anything about Portland, you know it’s a brunch city. Everyone goes to brunch, the lines are hours long, and brunch places are known for just that, BRUNCH. Besaw’s is one of these places. It’s known for its amazing brunch. The one time I tried to go, it was an hour and a half wait, and I was on a schedule, so I couldn’t stay. But if a place has an hour and a half wait, and people are WAITING, you bet your bottom it’s good.

The lovely dining room at Besaw's, feeling cozy and warm.

When I had long ago looked at the brunch menu, I had also glanced at the dinner menu, and let me tell you, it looked good. So I was pretty excited to have an excuse to drive across town (read: 20 minutes in Portland rush hour, really not so bad) to eat there. Now, I’m going to start with the end of our meal, because the owner, Cana Flug joined us before dessert and told us about how she came to own Besaw’s and the history of the place, and it’s quite cool. The restaurant has been around since 1903, when it was opened by loggers George Besaw and Medric Liberty as a beer hall. When the prohibition rolled around, Besaw became the sole owner and started serving food. Fast forward about 80 years, to when Cana started frequenting Besaw’s (it became a favorite spot and she lived nearby) and became friends with the owners. When they were ready to sell, they asked her if she wanted the place and, at the ripe age of 25, she said yes. Can you imagine owning a restaurant at age 25? I certainly cannot. The restaurant is sweet in the evening – nice lighting, and a very cozy and homey feeling. That, plus the fact that we were sitting with all these awesome, food-loving, powerful women, made the whole evening so comfortable and fun, filled with lots of stories and laughs.

On to the food: we started with cocktails and appetizers, specifically the Besaw’s Board (the house charcuterie board), fried pickles with a spicy aioli dipping sauce, and roasted mushrooms over polenta with marsala sauce. I shared these starters with Brooke, one of the publicists from Little Green Pickle, as well as Rebekah and Bee, two other food bloggers. My favorite of the starters was the mushrooms with polenta – so flavorful and the polenta was perfectly creamy. Yum.

Jannie holds a light while the photo shoot occurs, and Cana (owner of Besaw's) looks on and laughs.

We ordered our entrees while we waited for the rest of our party (Carrie and Jannie, the founders of Little Green Pickle). Our table quickly filled as the plates came out: Mac and Cheese, Fried Chicken over a Cheddar-Chive Waffle, Baked Fish (I think it was trout), Meatloaf, and the Elk Burger with an egg over easy on top. Carrie and Jannie arrived, and then came my favorite part of the evening. As a food blogger, I am constantly taking pictures of my food, which I think can be odd or annoying to the people around me. But surrounded by other food bloggers and lovers, everyone, and I mean EVERYONE at the table, whipped out their cellphones and started taking pictures of the dishes. Jannie even used her flash as a light to shine on the dishes in the dimly lit restaurant. It must have been a scene to the diners around us, but I thought it was hilarious.

Besaw's meatloaf with bacon, pan sauce, and roasted veggies.Besaw's takes on chicken and waffles: crispy fried chicken with a cheddar-chive waffle on the side. And syrup. Don't forget the syrup.

All of the food was really lovely, and it was definitely comfort food. But you know how comfort food can be really filling and heavy and make you feel like “oh, I should not have eaten all of that” afterwards? This did not feel like that. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t light, but it was really enjoyable to eat. The flavors were so homey and full without being overwhelming. My favorite dish, the meatloaf, was a surprise to me. I never liked meatloaf growing up, and if it’s on a menu, I never ever order it. But this meatloaf was so good. It had some bacon on it (let’s face it, bacon never hurts) and was served over roasted veggies (which are a serious weakness for me) and drizzled with some pan sauce. Oh gosh it was so good. I could have eaten that whole plate by my lonesome if I hadn’t been sharing with 6 other people. Also, the fried chicken was delicious – not too heavy and so crispy.

Besaw's Butterscotch pudding (in a cute little jar) served with molasses cookies and seasonal bread pudding (this one had lots of rosemary and was very fragrant).

After dinner, Cana sat down with us and talked to us about the history of the restaurant and her food and philosphy. She is extremely cool. I hope, should you decide to eat here (which you totally should) that you bump into her. She is enthusiastic, sweet, and very bright. After telling us her story, I heard perhaps my favorite words of the night when, after we had all been poring over the dessert menu, Cana told our waitress, “Just bring us one of everything.” Um, yes please. Again, the table was filled with plates of chocolate cake, bread pudding, apple betty, a chocolate chip skillet cookie (with a scoop of salted caramel ice cream), and my personal favorite, butterscotch pudding. Again, I was surprised by what ended up being my favorite dish – I am not usually a fan of butterscotch and I do not usually order pudding, but here I was wishing I had a jar of the stuff to myself. The butterscotch was perfectly subtle, and the pudding itself was so rich and creamy. A close second was the chocolate chip skillet cookie, which was perfectly crispy and crunchy on the edges and chewy in the center, balanced by the cool ice cream.

Overall, I could not have been more pleased with the meal. The service was lovely, company was fun, and the food made me feel like someone’s grandmother was cooking me dinner. Because the food was so homey, I immediately felt comfortable in this setting and with these new friends. I am of the belief that food should bring people together, bond them, and give them a shared, pleasurable experience.