September Tasting/Drinking Notes

Pastrami on Rye - Reuben, pastrami - This food cart at the 4th and College pod near Portland State serves up a pretty damn good sandwich. People claimed it was the best in Portland and while I agree it's pretty good, I still give that edge to Kenny and Zuke's. I will say, though, that these were half the price and more of a single serving, so it really depends on what you want. I really liked the marbled rye bread they offer though.

Gladstone Pizza and Coffee - Mocha, sausage and pepperoni - We've been meaning to try this pizza place for a while because foodies kept claiming it was as good as any of our favorites, like Nostrana, Ken's, Apizza Scholls, Dove Vivi, and Lovely's Fifty-Fifty. Well, they were wrong. It's not that this pizza is bad. It's not. It's likely better than some of the middle tier places and I'd put it in the same category as Pizzicato, Hot Lips, and Pizza Schmizza. However, their prices - it was $24 - put them in the top tier category, so that's what they get measured against. And it's just not as good. I didn't hate it or anything, it's just not anything special. Neither was the mocha.

Chinatown Restaurant - normy gai, #5, pork shew my - Wifey and I split all of these dishes and we really liked them all. Next time we'll try some of the seafood they are supposedly known for. Normy gai is sweet rice with chicken, sausage, BBQ pork, bamboos shoots, and mushrooms all wrapped up in a lotus leaf and this was very, very good. The shew my literally melted in your mouth. The #5 dinner combo contained fried shrimp, pork chow mein, sweet and sour chicken, pork fried rice, and a spring roll. I have no complaints...though next time we probably won't get a combo. Sadly, they were out of baked BBQ pork baos. Our waitress offered steamed instead, but it's not the same. Next time.

Addy's Sandwiches - duck confit and cranberry, turkey and brie - I've been to Addy's before so the fact these were outstanding wasn't a surprise. I wanted to try the duck because that confit wasn't anything I've had before, but the flavors were excellent. The turkey and brie was likewise well balanced. And her bread...it's very, very good. Of course it is - it comes from Little T.

Ziba's Pitas - meat burek - Once again Ziba's burek was awesome. I keep getting recommendations to try the spinach one or the cheese one, but it's almost impossible for me to order anything else because this is so good. Perhaps next time. Maybe.

September was also our month to go back to places, apparently. In separate posts, all with pictures, we returned to:


Adding this section new this month. Apparently we (well, mostly me) drank a decent amount. Oops. Some of these may have been from August too.

MandaRossa Nero d'Avola (red) - We found this wine at Taste Unique. Nero d'Avola is apparently a grape specific to Italy and this wine tasted very mature. That's a good thing. A medium level of tannins with red fruit and a taste of licorice if you really search for it.

Sokol Blosser Evolution (white) - We had never tried a Sokol Blosser wine before, but had been meaning too. Then this wine ended up being used on an episode of Top Chef (by Angelo), so we decided to give it a try. It's excellent. In fact, this might be our favorite wine we have ever tried - so much so we went out and bought two more bottles. Very crisp, you get flavors of citrus and supposedly pear, but we both really pulled peach out of it. Excellent wine.

Sokol Blosser Meditrina (red) - We ended up buying this one because it right next to Evolution at the store. Shrug. It's okay, but we like it better cold, which goes against all wine people will tell you. Why? Cold we can pull out the berry notes, but as it warms up it gets more and more tannic, in my mind, and pretty soon all I can taste is leather and alcohol. That's not good.

Conundrum (white) - We came across this wine online while researching Evolution. Supposedly, the claim was, if you like Conundrum you would like Evolution. Well, we liked Evolution so we figured we might like this. It wasn't bad, but it's not something I'm going to go out of my way to find again (like we did this time, finally finding it at Barbur World Foods). The flavors were okay, but it just didn't have the fruit-forwardness of the Evolution. And it's more expensive.

Full Sail Brewery - Old Boardhead 2010 - I picked up the 2010 version because I thoroughly enjoyed the 2009 version. Unfortunately, 2009 enjoyment did not predict 2010 enjoyment. This year's version was way, way too hpppy for me. Will I try again in 2011? Maybe.

Goose Island Brewing - Matilda - I've just about given up on any beer with fruity notes in it - see the next entry - but this one was very well balanced. the citrus notes were just barely there, but there was enough of malt and yeast flavors to not allow it to be overpowering. I'll try more from them.

Dogfish Head Brewery - Festina Peche - Hands down this was one of the worst specialty beers I've had. All I could taste was peach. Of course, I bought it because it promised some peach, but the peach overpowered everything else in the bottle. It ended up tasting like peach juice with all the elements of cheap beer. This was my first Dogfish beer and I will try others, but I'm going to keep an eye on the fruit content.

Laurelwood Brewery - Espresso Stout - I really enjoy Laurelwood's Porter - which they need to get in bottles rather than just being on tap - so I thought this might be good. It uses Portland Roasting beans in the brewing process. The results were, well, a tad too strong for my tastes. The coffee flavors weren't robust and fresh - it tasted like bad coffee.

Great Divide Brewing - Smoked Baltic Porter - I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from this. I mean, I like porter generally but hadn't had a Baltic one before and wasn't sure what to make of the smoked malt idea. Turns out it's fantastic. Absolutely one of the best beers I've had in a while, and one I'll be buying more of. Also, I'll probably try others from Great Divide. As a side note, I picked this up at John's Marketplace in Multnomah Village. I had never been there before and heard they had tons of specialty beers - and yes they do. Belmont Station is pretty nice too, but that's an extra 10 miles further for me from this place. Definitely worth a stop if you like beer - or wine, actually. They have a ton of that too.

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