Tag: SE Division

Restaurant Review: Bollywood Theater

Bollywood Theater, PDX // Serious Crust

Bollywood Theater, PDX // Serious Crust
Bollywood Theater, PDX // Serious Crust

If you live in Portland and you have not yet discovered the pure joy that is Bollywood Theater, you are missing out, my friend. Troy MacLarty opened the first location on NE Alberta (right next to Salt & Straw) a couple of years ago, and they expanded last year to another location on SE Division. It is seriously difficult not to order the whole menu full of very reasonably priced, fun, unique dishes that are packed with flavor.

Since I’m in SE fairly often these days, I decided to visit the new location for lunch one day with a coworker. The wonderful thing about Bollywood Theater (aside from the food – I’ll get to that) is that as soon as you walk into the building, you are inundated, just like you would be in India, but only about a fraction as much. There’s a lot to see – brightly colored walls, hanging photos, old light fixures. It’s perfectly kitschy and brings back memories of my trip to India 8 years ago. The new sprawling space on SE Division boasts lots of tables (compared to the NE Alberta location), and even a little market where you can buy ghee, cardamom pods, and various other Indian ingredients.

My coworker had never been before, and after glancing over the menu we decided to share the bhel puri and the kati roll with paneer. I also got a mango lassi – rich and creamy, perfect for washing down the spicy chutneys and dipping sauces. When the bhel puri arrived, it looked like a party on a plate, and offered everything you could want in a mouthful of food on a warm spring day: crunchy puffed rice and peanuts, juicy mangoes, filling potatoes, and incredibly flavorful chutneys with the perfect amount of heat.

The kati roll with paneer has been a favorite of mine at Bollywood Theater since they opened – almost like an Indian burrito, stuffed with the creamiest house-made paneer I’ve ever tasted. The paneer was accompanied by egg, onion, chutneys, and rolled (or stuffed, really) in paratha, an Indian flatbread. One kati roll is large, and I can only ever eat half of one by myself, so it was the perfect dish to share.

They have some more traditional fare – thali meals, pork vindaloo, and samosa, but I recommend trying some of the items you haven’t seen before. A few months ago I had some incredible roasted butternut squash, topped with spiced yogurt, pumpkin seeds, and spices. Next time I’m going to get the dahi papri chaat. With a menu this authentic and flavorful, I want to try every last dish on the menu.

Friday Finds 7:5:13

Jonah and I are in Chicago for the holiday weekend. Today we’re actually heading to Wisconsin, where Jonah’s playing drums (!!!) with his old Cajun band in a music festival. It should be pretty entertaining. Here’s the Friday finds for this week.

1. Salt & Straw

Salt & Straw // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
A flight of ice cream from Salt & Straw

The famous Portland ice creamery just opened a third location on SE Division, which is awesome and oh so dangerous.

2. Sour Plum Upside-Down Cake

Sour Plum Upside Down Cake from A Cozy Kitchen // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Sour Plum Upside Down Cake from A Cozy Kitchen

This sour plum upside down cake from A Cozy Kitchen sounds absolutely wonderful. And now that plums are coming into season, it is definitely on my list.

3. Roasted Tomatoes

Roasted Tomatoes // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Roasted Tomatoes

I am waiting patiently (or not… whatever…) to make some roasted tomatoes this summer. I had mostly forgotten about them until my dear friend Rosanne told me she was making some. Now they’re all I can think about.

4. Blackberry Mint Lime Fruit Leather

Blackberry Mint Lime Fruit Leathers from In Sock Monkey Slippers // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Blackberry Mint Lime Fruit Leathers from In Sock Monkey Slippers

Doesn’t that title just kill you? Blackberries, AND mint, AND lime? And if you take a look at the recipe over on In Monkey Sock Slippers, it looks pretty dang simple to make. The key is not forgetting about it in the oven after 6 hours.

Restaurant Review: Woodsman Tavern

Jonah and I had been wanting to go to the Woodsman Tavern for a while. When my dad and Darla came to town about a month ago, I was looking for places to eat, and saw that Woodsman Tavern has brunch. It’s a little out of town (east of 39th on about 50th and SE Division), so I figured it’d be a little less crazy than, say, Screen Door or Tasty n Sons. And it was. We still had to wait for a little bit, but there was no crazy line out the door or hour and a half wait. And the little wait there was was well worth it.

Brunch at the Woodsman Tavern

First, let me tell you about the decor. The whole restaurant is a beautiful dark wood, and the tables and chairs have a kind of industrial feel to them. The walls are covered with landscape paintings (many of them depicting the beautiful Mt. Hood). There are big windows along two walls, so the light was really natural and bright for brunch. It immediately felt homey but also chic.

The staff were all extremely friendly. Jonah and I waited at the bar, where we chatted with the bartender about their amazing vintage bitters bottles, our weekend thus far, and this cute puppy sitting outside. Our waitress was very sweet, and I was only mildly envious at how effortlessly she pulled off her white blond hair and bright red lipstick. She handled my dad’s sarcasm and schmoozing very well.

Brunch at the Woodsman Tavern

I decided to start the morning by indulging a bit and getting a mimosa, which the Woodsman does with grapefruit juice and some vanilla. It was a really nice simple twist on a classic. Dad and Jonah got the oven pancake with apricot preserves, ricotta, and pistachios. These pancakes were absolutely beautiful when they came to the table, big and light. And really tasty.

Brunch at the Woodsman Tavern

Darla and I both ordered with the potted egg with creamed greens, country ham (really more like prosciutto, which is my favorite), and a biscuit with apple butter. The egg and greens came in a little jar, with the biscuit and ham on the side. The egg was cooked perfectly atop the creamed greens (chard) and was all just really nice – it somehow was both light and comfort-food-esque at the same time. The biscuit was amazing: really flaky and crispy, and the apple butter was a lovely touch.

After brunch, we went to the little market they have next door. More of a specialty spot, they have a little produce cart outside, as well as some nice meats and cheeses inside (their breakfast sausage is really wonderful). The walls are covered with fancy oils, vinegars, sardines, salts… the list goes on and on. And in their little freezer they have containers of various stocks for sale as well as a small selection of Salt & Straw ice cream. The folks behind the counter were extremely nice and gave us tastes of various cheeses before we made our selection (to be used later for a midday snack). It was, overall, a lovely way to spend the morning.