Tag: Lunch

Restaurant Review: Maurice

Restaurant Review: Maurice // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Restaurant Review: Maurice // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Restaurant Review: Maurice // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Ever since I first read about Maurice, I had been wanting to go. A pastry luncheonette – doesn’t that sound like the sweetest place in the world?

The nice thing about Jonah working downtown is that sometimes we’ll meet for lunch, and I get to try places that I wouldn’t normally visit (southwest Portland is not a place I really frequent). So when we decided to do lunch last week, I asked if we could go to Maurice.

It’s a tiny little place, right near Powell’s and Thai Peacock. An all white interior makes for a cheery brightness, even on dreary days (which is was when we went). There is one larger table for maybe up to 6 people, a few booths for 2, and a counter along the kitchen. The place has a very European vibe, and the light and simple interior is refreshing to me.

We went on the later side, and they had run out of one of their lunch dishes. So we decided to go with the brioche tartine with melted cheese, rye seeds, served with mustard and carrots, and the lefse with salmon roe and gravlax. For dessert, I decided on a layered mousse cup (caramel and mocha flavors) with a kind of cookie crumble. While I did thoroughly enjoy the food, I must say I was slightly disappointed in the size of the dishes, particularly when you factor in the price ($8.00 for each dish, and $10.00 for the dessert, as it was a special that day). Or rather, the price of the dishes, when you factor in the size. I am not afraid to spend a bit of money on food, but I left feeling… well, hungry. The service was fantastic, the space was lovely, and the food was delicious, but my advice would be if you’re going to go (which I definitely think you should), just know that you’re either going to spend a bit to fill up, or you’re going just for a snack.

The Best Grilled Cheese

Grilled Cheese

Caramelized Onions for Grilled Cheese
Grilled Cheese assembly

When I was little, I called grilled cheese sandwiches “girl cheese” sandwiches. Makes sense, right? Boys had cooties and therefore shouldn’t be allowed to eat something as crispy and buttery with perfectly melted cheese. I thought it made perfect sense.

Last summer, my friend Corey worked at a food cart here in Portland called the Grilled Cheese Grill. If you haven’t heard of it, they have these really wonderful, creative, goofy grilled cheese sandwiches. My personal favorite is the jalapeno popper: roasted jalapenos, colby jack, cream cheese, and tortilla chips on sourdough.

Sometimes, when lunchtime rolls around in our apartment, I go hunting through our cabinets and fridge shelves and I am just so uninspired. But the other day, that was not the case. We had a fresh loaf of sourdough bread from New Seasons (usually we get whole wheat, but when I have my way, sourdough it is), and all I wanted was a grilled cheese. But I wanted to make it interesting, and the other thing I had been craving? Caramelized onions.

When I told Jonah of this amazing sandwich, he got jealous and made himself one for lunch the next day. The fever is catching…

Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onions

Makes one sandwich

Ingredients

Two slices of bread (preferably sourdough)
Cheddar cheese, sliced into thin pieces (we buy Tillamook sharp cheddar)
Parmesan cheese, sliced into thin pieces
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/4-1/2 tsp brown sugar
Salt

Instructions

The first step is to caramelize the onions. Throw your onion slices in a pan over medium-low heat. Cover and let them soften for a few minutes, then sprinkle the brown sugar and a pinch of salt over them and stir to coat evenly. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, allowing the onions to brown and soften all the way. After the onions are softened turn the heat up to medium-high and let them cook for another couple minutes, stirring. This will give them a nice sear on the edges.

While your onions are softening, butter the outsides of your sandwich bread (the side that will hit the pan). Thinly slice the cheddar cheese and put it on BOTH sides of the bread. This is key. Nothing is worse than making a grilled cheese with stuff other than cheese on it and then having the bread slide around because there’s no cheese sticking it in place. I’m serious. I put slices of parmesan on just one side so there wasn’t too much of it: parm is a strong cheese and you don’t want it to overpower anything.

When your onions are ready, lay them on the bed of cheese you have created for them. Put the two sides of the sandwich together, and throw it in the pan over medium heat. Cover it while it cooks (this makes the cheese melt quicker so that you don’t have to burn the bread while you’re waiting for the melting to occur). When the bread is golden brown, flip, and cook until the other side is golden brown too. Put on a plate, cut down the middle, and serve, warm and gooey and cheesy. Enjoy!