For the Carnivorous Foodie in all of us….by Jessica Chang


Lucky Strike Happy Hour
February 25, 2014, 11:03 am
Filed under: Chinese, Happy Hour, Southeast Portland | Tags: , , , ,

3862 Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard Portland, OR 97214

luckystrikepdx.com

(503) 206-8292

Meateats UPDATE!!
We are still fans of Lucky Strike. It’s a hipster version of a Chinese restaurant with great food! We recently went there for Happy Hour and to our surprise, food portions were just a large as the dinner portions! Happy hour is from 4-6 EVERYDAY. We paid abut $10 per person (including a drink! Whaaaat?) and we had to be rolled out because we were so stuffed! Go check it out!

Our new favorites on the menu are Cumin Beef, Dry Cooked Black Bean Green Beans and for the people that are 100% Paleo – 50% of the time, we get the seafood pancake, huge…

*************
We were on our way to a favorite restaurant of ours called ARISTA. Then we find out that it closed! Up popped in Lucky Strike. A bit disappointed, but excited to try a new restaurant! We heard that Lucky Strike was good and also that they were super spicy. Given the cool name, out interests were peaked.

What we ordered: Chicken on Fire, Chives with Egg, Twice Cooked Pork, Kung Pao Chicken

How we ordered it: As is. No rice.

What we got:

Chicken on Fire!

Chives stir-fried with Egg

Twice Cooked Pork

Kung Pao Chicken

Cost: Hot Pepper Chicken Bath – $10, Kung Pao Chicken – $9, Twice Cooked Pork – $10, Chive Stir-fried with Egg – $7.

Quality: So on their menu they state that all their meat is from local farms. They write which meat is from what farm, it’s so Portland! A Chinese restaurant that serves real authentic Chinese food and is concerned about where their meat comes from. Hmm, could this place be the best of both worlds?

Quantity: This was not too bad. The fact that most authentic Chinese restaurants would charge between $10 and $18 for major entrees, this really wasn’t that bad.

MEAT-O-METER says!

 

This was after I dared him to eat one red pepper. OK, so some people’s palettes can handle really spicy food, but geez, they are some special people. You can get other entrees that are not spicy and somewhat Paleo, but they are limited to the Chives with eggs and the baby bok choy. If you are looking for a solid cheat, go for the Seafood Pancake. (so good) Otherwise, it was pretty easy to order Paleo here, everything can be ordered as is. If you love spicy food and don’t need rice to help alleviate the painful temperature in your mouth then this is the place for you!

 

 




Lucky Strike
November 19, 2013, 12:56 pm
Filed under: Chinese, Southeast Portland | Tags: , , ,

3862 Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard Portland, OR 97214

luckystrikepdx.com

(503) 206-8292

We were on our way to a favorite restaurant of ours called ARISTA.  Then we find out that it closed!  Up popped in Lucky Strike.  A bit disappointed, but excited to try a new restaurant!  We heard that Lucky Strike was good and also that they were super spicy.  Given the cool name, out interests were peaked.

What we ordered: Chicken on Fire, Chives with Egg, Twice Cooked Pork, Kung Pao Chicken

How we ordered it: As is.  No rice.

What we got:

Chicken on Fire!

Chives stir-fried with Egg

Twice Cooked Pork

Kung Pao Chicken

Cost: Hot Pepper Chicken Bath – $10, Kung Pao Chicken – $9, Twice Cooked Pork – $10, Chive Stir-fried with Egg – $7.

Quality: So on their menu they state that all their meat is from local farms.  They write which meat is from what farm, it’s so Portland!  A Chinese restaurant that serves real authentic Chinese food and is concerned about where their meat comes from.  Hmm, could this place be the best of both worlds?

Quantity: This was not too bad.   The fact that most authentic Chinese restaurants would charge between $10 and $18 for major entrees, this really wasn’t that bad.

MEAT-O-METER says!

 

This was after I dared him to eat one red pepper.  OK, so some people’s palettes can handle really spicy food, but geez, they are some special people.  You can get other entrees that are not spicy and somewhat Paleo, but they are limited to the Chives with eggs and the baby bok choy.  If you are looking for a solid cheat, go for the Seafood Pancake. (so good)  Otherwise, it was pretty easy to order Paleo here, everything can be ordered as is.  If you love spicy food and don’t need rice to help alleviate the painful temperature in your mouth then this is the place for you!

 

 




Taste of Sichuan
October 18, 2011, 12:32 pm
Filed under: Chinese, Northwest Portland | Tags: , , , ,

16261 NW Cornell Rd, Beaverton, OR 97006
(503) 629-7001
tasteofsichuan.com

The Meat-O-Meter is from China.  He has been on a seemingly never-ending quest to find food that will take him back to his childhood in Hei Fei Lu, Shanghai.

There are a number of authentic Chinese restaurants on 82nd. But the ones we frequent are all Hong Kong style, which is different than Northern China or Sichuan cuisine.

So we haven’t felt that any restaurant has earned an “OMG, this place is LEGIT, for REALS, YO!!” label  (Asian-Fast-and-Furious-speak ) …until the Taste of Sichuan!  Taste of Sichuan brought back all of the Meat-O-Meter’s childhood memories and he was simply giddy.  (I know it’s hard to imagine, but with like most foodies after having found a great restaurant, there was noticeable change in outlook in life :D)

Upon the recommendation from Matt U. from CFP, we ventured all the way out to Beaverton for the possibility to get some LEGIT Chinese food.  What sold us was the fact that they have two sections to their menu.  The first section contains the typical Chinese American foods you see at any Westernized Chinese restaurant, but the next section is called “The Wild Side”.  Please read the excerpt on their menu that explains this title here.

It was like they wrote it directly for us!  They knew exactly what we were looking for!  We were pretty blown away…hence our 20 minute trek out to the burbs.

What we ordered:  5 Flavored Smoked Beef, The Great Fire Pot Debate – Beef Brisket, and Dry Cooked String Beans.

How we ordered it:  As is – it’s Chinese food so I guarantee there is some  soy sauce and sugar used in the cooking process.  I’ll offer some substitution suggestions below.  I just need to note also that some dishes are made with MSG and our waiter told us that you can request for NO MSG when you odrer!

Just be warned that when you see Sichuan, you should equate that with SPICY! Some of the dishes may be ordered mild, but probably not most of them.

What we got:

Five Flavored Beef (served cold)

The Great Fire Pot Debate – Beef Brisket

Dry Cooked String Bean

Cost:  Five Flavored Beef – $6.95, The Great Fire Pot Debate – Beef Brisket – $12.95, Dry Cooked String Bean – $8.95

Quality:    It’s hard to express in words the quality of the food here.  With every bite you get a warm fuzzy sensation that is China-rrific.  We will come back here repeatedly until we have tried every item on the menu.  Eating at another restaurant would just seem wasteful when we know there’s amazing Chinese food waiting for us to order here!  (So if you’re looking for us, this is probably where we will be for the next couple of weeks.)

The spiciness in the 5 Flavored Beef isn’t too overwhelming.  It doesn’t set your mouth on fire when you take your first bite.  You can taste the awesome complex flavor before the spiciness kicks in, which makes this dish a bit easier to eat for me than the similar sliced beef shank dish at Lucky Strike.

The String Beans were perfectly cooked.  With this type of dish, it is made with black bean and soy sauce.  You could probably ask them to make a garlic sauce, or order the bok choy or any other green vegetable with garlic sauce and that would be more paleo friendly.  When we go back again, we will do this and let you know how it turns out!

Quantity:   The best buck-for-meat from what we ordered was the Five Flavored Beef. It’s made from thinly sliced beef shank and  just one of numerous other meat appetizers that surely are meat heavy as well.  The beef brisket was a pretty good size, considering the size of the serving “pan”.

Like most other Chinese restaurants it had a similarly tendon-y texture to it, which really makes this dish LEGIT and awesome!  This is the Meat-O-Meter’s favorite types of meat.  For me, I can only eat so much of the “chewy meats” and sometimes I just want some good ol’ muscle meat and this brisket dish had a really great balance of the two textures.

MEAT-O-METER says!

We were really impressed!  If you had told us that there would be great authentic Chinese food in the suburbs we would have never believed you.  This restaurant was really clean, the service was uber professional, everything was in English AND Chinese in and out of the menu.  Taste of Sichuan is definitely less hipster than the Lucky Strike, but nice and clean like a decent restaurant should be.  It was almost a bit surreal.

For the few that are reading that are non-paleo ( all one of you ;)), here’s an extra gem we found:

OK, so there is a non-paleo item that we ordered and it is too good to not mention.  Since visiting China last year, we are on the hunt for some dumplings.  Not just any dumplings, but the dumplings that are called, “Xiao Long Bao”; which literally means “Little Dragon Buns”.

These dumplings are a pork and green onion mixture wrapped in a flour dough and then steamed, but the MOST important is the juice that is inside.  Usually you have to eat them with a spoon because there’s so much meat juice/fat inside.  Sometimes the juice is from the dab of duck fat that they put in the dumpling right before they wrap and steam it.

These dumplings are impossible to find in Portland. When we saw this on Taste of Sichuan’s Specials Menu we were in disbelief!  So we had to order them and they ended up tasting so much like the ones we had in China!  They are only served on Fri, Sat and Sun night during dinner.  Probably because they are only good if they are made fresh.

These dumplings pretty much solidified the authenticity of this restaurant.

Back to Paleo speak:

So if you are feeling adventurous, you can order from The Wild Side menu.  Grab a bunch of friends and go experience something new and try it out! I will try to post additional dishes that would be good to order so that the not-so-adventurous types can be forewarned.

Of course you can always stick to the “Normal Menu”, which I’m sure are all just as good, but that would be boring and predictable and probably would not optimize the adventure that could be when headed out to Beaverton :)  Taste of Sichuan, oh how we heart you!



Sungari’s DragonWell Asian Bistro
January 16, 2011, 9:24 pm
Filed under: Chinese, Southwest Portland | Tags: , , ,

101 SW Yamhill, Portland, OR 97204

www.dragonwellbistro.com

(503) 224-0800

The words Bistro and Asian should never be used together.  We had a restaurant.com coupon and we thought these guys would get Chinese food right.  Their website looks pretty cool, the inside looks nice and Zen like, so we thought the food couldn’t have been that bad.  They might have a chance. When we sat down at our table there was a postcard that said, “Best Chinese restaurant for 10 years”.  This sentence was incorrect in every way.  Literally and grammatically.

What we ordered: Beef with Green Beans, Crispy Prawns with Mandarin Sauce, Fried Eggplant in Gon-Bon Sauce.

How we ordered it:  It read like it was good on the menu and so we ordered it all as is.

What we got:

Fried Eggplant with breading??????

Beef with Green Beans

Crispy Prawns

Cost: Beef with Green Beans – $12.95, Fried Eggplant – $9.50, Crispy Prawns – $17.95.

Quality: Terrible.

Quantity: We got sooooooo jacked.  That’s 8 prawns for $17.95!!!!!!  Where do I begin. Can you guess what the next picture is going to look like?

MEAT-O-METER says!

Yes, he's stabbing the fried eggplant with his fork.

Yikes that is not a happy camper.  I know cuz i heard it the whole way home. (love you, honey!)   Words just can’t explain our disappointment.  Our server said the eggplant was lightly breaded. Whaaaaaa?  Would you like some eggplant with your breading?  To be fair, we were thinking was this our mistake?   Should the word fried always be interpreted as having breading on it, especially when ordering Chinese food?  OK, so maybe lesson learned, we should always ask if it’s breaded……….really? That’s a load of hooha.

I’ll say it…..WTF?   $18 for some prawns.  As my mother would say in Korean:   AYEESH!!!  Ay-goh meh!!!!!  (translation:  expression in total disgust, then OMG!)

If you see the words Asian and Bistro together, tread lightly.



Lucky Strike
August 14, 2010, 10:17 pm
Filed under: Chinese, Southeast Portland | Tags: , ,

Review coming soon! Sorry all for the delay in posts.  After a 3 week vaca in China and then I recently got my computer and camera stolen!

(I curse the day those evil people were born!)

So no camera yet, I’m working on it.  However, we did just eat at a great restaurant on 39th and Hawthorne called Lucky Strike.

This will be my first review back after our 3 month meateats hiatus!

Thanks everyone for still coming back!  Hopefully within the week I’ll be able to get my reviews and the Meat-O-Meter back up and running again!

Cheers!

J



Shen Zhen Chinese Restaurant
January 4, 2010, 1:29 pm
Filed under: Chinese, Northeast Portland

707 Northeast 82nd Avenue, Portland, OR

(503) 261-1689

With the disappointment of Golden Coin closing, we haven’t found another LEGIT Chinese Restaurant.  With the help of Yelp, Shenzhen seemed worth trying out.  We did circle around the parking lot a couple times, partly because there were no spaces left, but exclaiming our hesitancy the whole time.

It was a gamble, but when we walked in and all the specials that were posted on the wall were written in Chinese, we were a little bit more optimistic.

What we ordered: Appetizers – Pig ears, 5 Spiced beef.  Entree – Beef in a Bucket (With a name like that, how could you not!)

How we ordered it:  As-is. No Rice.

What we got:

The menu: Another sign of a good Chinese restaurant...

Sliced Pig ears

5 spiced beef

5 Spiced Beef - Spicy w/ so much awesome flavor

Beef in a Bucket (really.)

Eating the Beef in a Bucket

Cost:  Beef in a Bucket – $9.95, Pig Ears – $2.50, 5 Spiced Beef – $4.50

Quality:  As the Meat-O-Meter would say, “It’s pretty legit”.

Quantity:  The “Beef in a Bucket” lasted us another day.   It was craziness!

MEAT-O-METER says!

Look there’s still leftover.  We were stuffed!  This restaurant is the real deal.   AND they’re open until MIDNIGHT EVERYDAY!  Woohoo! So next time you pick up friends or family from the airport and it’s after 9 pm and you need to go eat somewhere….GO HERE!

More photos of the 2nd and 3rd time we went back:

Lamb for the Hot Pot!

Hot Pot Setup

We got the seafood Hot Pot.  It was the best meal to end the year!  I think it’s a chinese tradition to eat it on New Year’s Eve, but not sure….If you haven’t gone here yet, for the love of the Paleo gods, GO!



Chen’s Good Taste Restaurant
December 3, 2009, 4:16 pm
Filed under: Chinese, Northwest Portland | Tags: , , ,

18 NW 4th Ave, Portland, Oregon 97209

I really believe that cleanliness of the interior of a restaurant affects a restaurant experience.  It’s odd because I would go to a Mexican taco stand and have no problems there.  Maybe because this restaurant is in downtown Portland and I would expect a little bit of a cleaner atmosphere, but I think the cleanliness really did affect our visit this time.  Call me a hypocrite, but I could not get over it.

It was very promising walking in; tiny, hole in the wall, cooked duck hanging out in the window, about half of the room was filled w/ other Asians.  It looked a bit dirty, but it felt a bit dirty too.

What we ordered:  Beef Brisket Hot Pot, Tripe Hot Pot, Garlic Bok Choy.

How we ordered it:  Hold the rice!

What we got:  

Beef Brisket Hot Pot

 

Tripe Hot Pot

 

Garlic Bok Choy

 

Cost:  Each Hot Pot dish was about $9.95, Bok Choy – $7.95

Quality:  I have no idea where this meat came from.  In general, it tasted the way we would have expected.  Personally, both meats were a bit too chewy for me.  Not for the light stomached.  Nothin’ special. 

Quantity:  There was plenty to go around and then some.  

MEAT-O-METER SAYS!

BTW, that is the largest indoor bamboo plant that I’ve ever seen!  

Maybe it was the dim lighting or the hygenically (is this a word?) odd event that we witnessed in the kitchen, which I will not go into detail here.  Go at your own risk.  Yelp reviews were generally positive, which I was surprised.  But heck this restaurant has been there a long time and it sort of has a bit of a legacy, so maybe it’s reputation precedes itself to others.  Go forth at your own risk!




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