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

Horn of Africa
February 28, 2010, 6:22 pm
Filed under: African, Buffet, Northeast Portland

5237 Northeast M L King Boulevard, Portland, OR 97211

(503) 331-9844

BUFFET!! Yay!  When I was younger I would get so excited about buffets! Eating as much crappy food as I wanted!  Now, it’s not so appealing of course, due to all the processed, crappy food that is served.  BUT, then we found out about Horn Of Africa!  They serve traditional cuisines of Ethopia, Somalia, Djbouti and the Middle East.  They have a lunch buffet that is pretty Paleo perfect.  There was a coupon for Horn of Africa for dinner so we decided to check it out!

What we ordered:  Lukku (#9) – Garlick lemon chicken, Foon Sangaa Akawii (#10) – marinated prime-cut beef in African spices, Foon Huulaa Diimaa (#12) – boneless leg of lamb in Beri Beri Sauce, Bamia – Stewed okra and tomatoes with onions

How we ordered it:  No rice, no bread

What we got:

Lukku - Chicken

Foon Saanga Akawii - Beef

Bamia - Stewed okra

Foon Huulaa Diimaa- Boneless Lamb

Cost: Lukku – chicken – $9.95, Foon Sangaa Akawii – Beef – $9.95, Bamia – okra – $5.95, Foon Huulaa Diimaa – Lamb – $12.95

Quality: The food was all very tasty.  Different spices made all the dishes really flavorful and unique.  The beef dish, I was a little disappointed in. It tasted like there was a TON of butter in it.  I couldn’t figure out what it was, but it had that buttery after-taste.  The MEAT-O-METER couldn’t taste it, but I swear there was something butery in it….

The lamb was tasty.  I loved the okra!  The chicken was for sure my favorite.  It reminded me of tandoori chicken.  Moist and tasty!

Quantity: We got jacked.  I can see if you were eating rice or bread with these plates, they would be very filling!  But these plates alone should be enough to feed a couple of people, at least that’s what I think.  The lamb plate had bits of shredded lamb and some bigger chunks, but overall really not that much meat.  Loading up on bread and rice is not a trick we fall for here!


We had read all the yelp reviews about this place and were hesitant.  Though the reviews didn’t mention much about the food, just that the service was bad. So we went and ended up waiting a bit for our food.  They brought us free hummus and bread because of the wait.  That was so nice! Too bad it’s not Paleo.  They were really nice, it looks like they upped their quality of customer service!

Unfortunately, for dinner, we were disappointed at the quantity of meat that was served. On their website they say that everything is made onsite and authentic.  I don’t mind waiting for quality, I just wish they would have given a bit more in quantity.  $12.95 for the lamb was VERY disappointing.

However, for their lunch buffet, that’s a whole other story!  The lunch buffet is $8.95 and it is TOTALLY worth it!  Meat dishes galore, with greens and salad.   It’s awesome!  AND there’s an online coupon on their website! Get one buffet for $8.95 and get a second buffet for $5.95.   Or buy one dinner entree and get the second one 50% off.  That doesn’t make it too bad.  With the coupon it’s even better.  Either way you slice it, dinner was not great, lunch is Paleo-tastic!  Pics of the buffet coming soon!

Ohana Hawaiian Cafe
January 9, 2010, 2:12 pm
Filed under: Hawaiian, Northeast Portland | Tags: , , ,

(503) 335-5800‎

Since moving away from NoHo’s – the Southeast Hawaiian Restaurant, we haven’t had that much Hawaiian food lately.  Also continuing on our quest to find good Poki outside of Hawaii has been very hard to find.  Ah well, we’ll have to settle for what we can get  locally.

What we ordered: Large Kalua Pig Main Plate, Garlic Mahi Mahi Main Plate

How we ordered it: No rice, No Macaroni Salad,  Extra Salad please!

What we got:

Kalua Pig

Garlic Mahi Mahi

Let’s take a closer look at the fish.

Wow, very rare, moist and perfect!

Cost: Large Kalua Pig Plate – $10, Garlic Mahi Mahi – $12.  Add $.50 for substituting green salad.

Quality: The Kalua Pig was a bit salty, but overall very moist and well done.  The Mahi Mahi was Perfect!  That’s how fish should be made.  Melts in your mouth, on the very rare side, not fish smelling and definitely NOT DRY!

Quantity:  OK.  We were starving and after we ate this meal, we were still a bit hungry.


Even though it wasn’t an incredibly large quantity, the quality way exceeded our expectations.  Meat is fer sure their specialty and they do it very well.  The fact that eating Paleo here was so easy was awesome!  They are great and a sure bet.  They’ve also expanded to Milwaukee too!

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!


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!

Don Pancho Taqueria
September 30, 2009, 1:20 pm
Filed under: Mexican, Northeast Portland | Tags: ,

2000 NE Alberta St., Portland, Oregon 97211

The best places are usually the most unexpected.  When they are a local business sometimes the servers are a little bit more lenient about making substitutions.  

What we ordered:   Beef stew, Chicken plate and Steak Plate

How we ordered it:  We asked for no rice or beans.  So they actually deducted the price of a side of rice and beans from the price of the plate.  If only we could get that kind of service everywhere else…

What we got:  


Beef stew

Beef stew


Chicken plate

Chicken plate


Carnitas Plate

Steak Plate

Cost:  Given that they deducted the price for us because we asked for no rice and beans, the price was a lot lower than listed.  If I were more organized I would have written the prices down, but I didn’t.  But I do know that this place would be considered cheap in my book ~ $4/plate.

Quality:  We’re not sure about the origins of the meat.  It definitely tasted good, but we’re not really sure where it’s coming from.  The steak on the steak plate was a bit chewy and dry, but very flavorful.  The stew was for sure the best plate.  It had whole chunks of carrot and chayote, chunks of meat…tasty.

Quantity:  The stew is humungous.  If you move the bowl the soup will spill over everywhere!  Entrees were OK for the price, but the beef stew is the way to go.




Oh man, this place is great! Pretty bare to the bones hole in the wall place, but well worth it.

Meateats Update! – Cha Cha Cha (Broadway)
September 18, 2009, 10:30 am
Filed under: Mexican, Northeast Portland

Cha Cha Cha!

2635 NE Broadway St
Portland, OR 97232-1891

(503) 288-1045‎

We were notified by our fellow Meateats followers, Katie and Anton that Cha Cha Cha is serving a Summer Salad Bowl.  Unfortunately summer is almost over, so who knows how much longer they will serve this special dish!

What is it?  It is called the Summer Salad Bowl. Mixed salad greens, pico de gallo, guacamole, choice of meat, beans and tortilla strips on top.

How we ordered it:  No beans and no tortilla strips and no cheese.  Please add peppers and onions (veggies).

What we got:


Summer Salad Bowl

Summer Salad Bowl

Cost:  $6.95

Quality:  Meat is moist, not dry.  The meat comes from Carleton Farms!

Quantity:  Could have been a bit more meat, however the salad was huge!

MEAT-O-METER says to write to Cha Cha Cha by copy and pasting the following text and sending it to Cha Cha Cha HQ!!!!!

Dear Cha Cha Cha,

I am writing to you about the Summer Salad Bowl at your Broadway store. It is delicious, nutritious, and deserves a spot on your year round menu. You see, I go to this gym called CrossFit Portland and they tell me I should eat meat, veggies, and fat. It is difficult to go out to eat and follow this diet, until I found your Summer Salad Bowl!!!  Well, your Salad Bowl has all three food categories in perfect balance (a little more meat would be nice!) and it is the talk at the gym. Please keep it on your menu year round!


Do your part and help promote great Paleo meals at your favorite local restaurants! 

Elnetta’s Specialty Restaurant
September 2, 2009, 11:37 am
Filed under: American, Barbecue, Northeast Portland

Oh no!  Our rib restaurant alternate has shut down, unfortunately.  I’m glad we got a taste while it lasted!

3024 NE Alberta, Portland, OR, 97211

(503) 287-0766

Elnetta’s was a new restaurant posting on!  This restaurant is located in the old Vita Cafe building.  (Vita Cafe moved across the street).  We had to try this place, especially since their menu included ribs.  Having already found a favorite rib place, Podnah’s, we didn’t have very high expectations.  Having a coupon and the fact that this place was a family owned business, we figure it was worth a try.  Good thing we were pleasantly surprised…

What we ordered: Slab of St. Louis Ribs!

How we ordered it: Ribs with a side of Cabbage greens.

What we got:


Complementary homemade bean salsa w/ chips (non-paleo).



Side o' greens

Side o' greens

Don't forget the sauce!

Don't forget the sauce!

Cost: Slab of St. Louis Ribs – $16, Side of Cabbage Greens – $3.00

Quantity:  Elnetta’s rib amount comes very very close to Podnah’s.  Friends joined us for dinner later and ordered the same thing and their pate of ribs had a second tier!   Ah welll, not sure what happened there, but regardless, both serving sizes were plentiful!

Quality: Fantastic!  I’m not sure what the difference between St. Louis Ribs and Texas Ribs and the millions of other types of ribs out there, but these were some tasty pieces of meat!


IMG_0941We figure considering the amount of ribs you get at Podnah’s for $20, Elnetta’s comes very close.  This place is great, it’s unique, in a great location and great food.  We definitely highly recommend this place if Podnah’s runs out of ribs.  With the $25 coupon from, it’s even better.

Cha’Ba Thai
July 20, 2009, 12:26 pm
Filed under: Northeast Portland, Thai | Tags: , ,

They moved to:

3024 NE Alberta St., Portland, OR 97211

(971) 255-1082

This place had been recommended to me so many times that I am kicking myself for not coming here sooner!  I was thinking, “but how can one top Dang’s Thai Kitchen, or Thailand Restaurant?”  Well, the only way a Thai restaurant could top these two is if it were closer into the city.  Could this be the restaurant with all the traits we have ever wanted?

What we ordered: With any new Thai restaurant we had to order our staples:  Barbecue chicken, Larb, Tom Kha Soup.  Since we were eating with friends we went All Out.  We also ordered a “dry” curry – Hor Mok Talay and an entree named Chu Chee Shrimp.

How we orderd it: Everything was pretty much ordered as is.  We made sure they did not waste their food by bringing us any rice.  The waiter, of course, gave us a weird look and did a double take.  We’re pretty used to it by now.

What we got:

Tom Kha Soup

Tom Kha Soup



Hor Mok Talay

Hor Mok Talay - we dug in already before we could get a pic!

Chu Chee Shrimp

Chu Chee Shrimp

Cha' Ba Thai Barbecue Chicken

Cha' Ba Thai Barbecue Chicken

Cost: Tom Kha Soup – $8.50, Larb – $8.50, Hor Mok Talay – $13.50, Chu Chee Shrimp – $13.40, Cha’Ba Thai Barbecue Chicken – $9.00.  Pretty average for a Thai restaurant.

Quality: Everything was soooo tasty!  Hor Mak Talay had squid and shrimp and was a little bit spicy.  The “dry” curry implied that it was not super liquidy, like other curries you’re probably familiar with.  It was more of a paste like substance.  No matter! It was delicious!  Barbecue chicken wasn’t the best I’ve ever tasted, but still good nonetheless.

Quantity:  All this fed 4 people and then some.  We all probably could have afforded to eat a couple of spoonfuls less, but it was just too good to let go to waste.



The Thai restaurants keep getting better and better!

Cha’ba Thai has got one up on Dang’s Thai Kitchen because it’s closer into town!  Some of the dishes were unique to the restaurant and we had never seen them at other Thai restaurants, so that was welcome surprise.  If you think you can top this one, please let us know!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 32 other followers