Tag: Vietnamese

Restaurant Review: Fish Sauce Happy Hour

Fish Sauce in Portland | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Fish Sauce in Portland | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Fish Sauce in Portland | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

This week, Jonah and I were itching for happy hour. The sun was shining, and we both had finished up a day’s work by 5 o’clock. Because we both have a passion for any kind of Asian food, we decided to go to Fish Sauce, a little Vietnamese restaurant on a quiet corner in NW Portland. We had been once before a long time ago, and quite enjoyed ourselves. So I met Jonah there, and was pleasantly surprised to find that they have a lovely patio where we could sit outside.

Fish Sauce in Portland | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Fish Sauce in Portland | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Fish Sauce in Portland | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

First we ordered drinks: Jonah started with an IPA, while I went the cocktail route with the Bangkok Dangerous, made with rye, thai tea, lemon, and demerera sugar. Because we were so hungry, we immediately ordered the crispy pork roll, which was fairly standard Vietnamese fare.

After that we ordered some grilled mussels, topped with coconut milk, toasted coconut, and peanuts, which were pretty unique and very good. We also ordered the grilled romaine with dressing and grilled tofu. I liked this dish – it was crunchy and refreshing – but I do wish there had been a little more dressing. Next up were some fantastic chicken wings (which were eaten so quickly that I couldn’t nab a picture). They were crispy and not drenched in sauce, while still being a little bit sticky and sweet.

After those small plates, we were still a little hungry so we decided to order the Bún, a big bowl of vermicelli noodles with lettuce, cucumber, pickled daikon and carrots, mint, topped with a crispy roll, grilled shrimp, grilled beef, and of course there was a little bowl of sauce to pour over the whole dish. This dish was light, sweet, crunchy, and fresh, and is one of our favorite things to order since our trip to Vietnam last year.

The service at Fish Sauce was extremely friendly, and I love both the patio and the long communal table inside. This place feels like a great combination of a neighborhood spot, a best kept secret, and a tasty hip Portland restaurant.

Weekend Finds 4:20:14

I know it’s not technically the weekend anymore, but this weekend was busy and I got distracted… So I’m giving you weekend finds on Monday. So maybe you can still pretend it’s the weekend.

1. Asian flavors

Sesame Noodle Salad from Love & Lemons // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
I love all of the colors in this noodle salad from Love and Lemons.

I thought what would happen is that I’d come back from Vietnam and be a little tired of Asian flavors for a while. Turns out the opposite is true. All I want is Asian food, preferably Vietnamese, but Japanese and maybe even Thai will also do. (I leave out Chinese food because DAMN is it hard to find good Chinese food in Portland. Don’t even get me started.) So this noodle salad recipe will be making an appearance soon, as will, hopefully, the Bun Cha that we learned to make in Hanoi.

2. Soy and Garlic Marinated Pork

Marinated Grilled Pork // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Our grilled pork looked even better than this. I swear.

Yesterday, the weather was decent enough that we got too excited and grilled a whole meal. There was corn and Japanese eggplant, and there was also this marinated pork. I wish I could tell you what was so magical about it (maybe it had something to do with the fact that Jonah brushed the meat with the marinade every time he flipped it), but I’m not totally sure. Either way, you should fire up your grill and make it sooner rather than later.

3. Broccoli Rabe Crostini

Broccoli Rabe Crostini from Honestly YUM // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Crostini topped with burrata, prosciutto, and broccoli rabe.

In another edition of stuff I ate this week: I got excited and bought broccoli rabe (raab) at the market last week, and when I found this recipe, I knew this is what I’d be using it for. Our grocery store didn’t have burrata, so we used good old mozzarella, and it was awesome.

4. Cardamom Short Bread

The Sugar Cube (photo from Portland Monthly) // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
I couldn’t find a picture of the actual cardamom shortbread, but here is a picture of the pastry case at Sugar Cube, just to tickle your tastebuds. Also, mastermind Kir Jensen on the right. (credit: Portland Monthly)

Easter was a thing this weekend, and while I didn’t really celebrate (unless band practice counts), my roommate Carmelle had her family in town, and made a sampling of beautiful desserts, including this cardamom short bread from the Sugar Cube cookbook. Now, you know I love the Sugar Cube – in face I may have a mild addiction – but even if I hadn’t already fallen in love with Kir Jensen, this short bread would’ve done it to me. It was light and flaky and beautifully flavored. Yum.

5. Honey Barbecued Chicken

Honey Barbecued Chicken from Use Real Butter // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
I love how many spices and flavors there are in this honey barbecued chicken recipe from Use Real Butter.

Apparently this week all I can think about is what I want to eat, or have eaten that I want to eat again. Since firing up the grill this past weekend, I’m on the lookout for delicious BBQ meals. This honey barbecued chicken looks pretttty flavorful and tasty, what with 24 hours marinating in that rub and then adding a glaze on top.

A Vietnam Teaser

A Taste of Vietnam // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

A Taste of Vietnam // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
A Taste of Vietnam // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

I’m coming back, I swear!

I know it may seem like I’ve been gone forever (though it’s really only been two weeks), but I am currently sitting in the airport in Soeul, South Korea, waiting to board a flight to Tokyo and then a flight home to the beautiful and much missed city of Portland, OR. I will write a more in depth post about our trip around northern Vietnam at a later date when laundry has been done, photos have been uploaded, and jet lag has been conquered, but in the mean time I wanted to give you a little preview of some tasty moments from the trip. Enjoy!

All over Vietnam, we saw women selling little plastic bags of sliced fruit – usually green mango, pineapple, or something else slightly more mysterious – and on the 6 hour train ride from Hanoi to Lao Cai (from where you take an hour bus to get to Sapa), I was craving some fruit. This bag of green mango came with a little pouch of what we figured was MSG to sprinkle on top, and cost a whopping fifty cents. I loved the sour fruitiness of the green mango. It was a perfect snack.

When we arrived in Cat Ba Town, we were slightly underwhelmed at the options for food. We ate our first dinner at Bamboo Café, and what with the town being on an island, and looking out over the water, Jonah decided to order crab with tamarind sauce. The crab was relatively small, and we had to do a lot of work for not a lot of reward in terms of cracking the shell and digging out meat. But the meat in the tart, jammy tamarind sauce was delicious, and as we sat finishing our Bia Hanoi, we picked the tamarind seeds out of the sauce and peeled the rest of the fruit off of them. I have a new resolve to use tamarind more often.

Vietnamese milk coffee is basically very strong coffee, almost espresso, with a nice layer of sweetened condensed milk at the bottom that you stir in before drinking. You can order it hot (it’ll come with the little filter sitting atop your cup, the coffee still dripping through) or iced. We found ourselves having afternoon coffee nearly every day. It was not only delicious, but it gave us a moment to sit down amidst the hubbub and look around us to really enjoy the fact that we were nearly halfway around the world from home. The photo above was taken at my favorite café, which we visited twice: Café Pho Co. You go through a silk shop down a long skinny hallway to get to it, order off a menu at the bottom of the stairs, and then climb up about 4 flights to a open air rooftop overlooking Hoan Kiem Lake and a busy intersection.