The Dough Jones

unnamed-5

Portland’s Doughnut stock is up up up! PDX should really stand for “Portland Doughnut eXchange” ‘cause when it comes to doughnuts, they’ve got plenty to choose from. For this week’s post, I went on an unofficial Doughnut Diet, and devoured way too many to count. Here’s how each donuttery’s stock stacks against the rest. (And just in case you’re wondering, that was 4-6 doughnuts a day within a 5-day period.) Oh my.

unnamed-4Blue Star
Stock up on:
+Meyer Lemon + Key Lime Curd
A whole brioche-style doughnut, filled with a smooth tangy key lime curd and dusted with powdered sugar. (It gets messy, so make sure you’ve got napkins handy.)
+Blueberry Bourbon Basil
A soft, fluffy, brioche-style doughnut with a purple-hued glaze and a hint of basil extract in the dough.
Why? Two words: Brioche, baby. Soft, buttery and sweet. Blue Star truly has some tasty combinations– Crème brûlée? Dulce de leche? Vahlrona Chocolate Crunch?

unnamed-6Voodoo
Stock up on:
+See my Portland Guide post HERE where I first publicly account my love for these devilish beings.
+Lemon Chiffon Crueler
The softest bites you’ll ever have. Like chewing into a pillow of lemon-y air. And those marshmallows, tho!
+Old Dirty Bastard
Chocolate frosting, Oreo cookie bites, and peanut butter. ‘Nuff said.
Why? Voodoo has done for doughnuts what Candace Nelson (of Sprinkles fame) did for cupcakes and what Roy Choi did with Korean barbecue-style tacos—niche branding. Brilliant.

unnamed-1Pip’s Original Doughnuts
Stock up on:
+Nutella + Sea Salt
+Candied Maple + Bacon
Why? Super fresh and crispy (they’re fried to order) cake bite-sized doughnuts. Like elevated Donettes, but better. Like WAYYYY better. Plus, they’ve got the BEST house-made chai lattes.

unnamed-2Tonalli’s Donuts & Cream
Stock up on:
+Blueberry Old-Fashioned
I’m going to be bold and say that this was hands down the best old-fashioned I’ve ever had. With those little blueberry bits mixed into the dough–I wish I ordered more.
+Bavarian Cream
Yeast-raised whole doughnut with chocolate glaze and a smooth creamy filling.
Why? HUGE selection of varieties and flavors to choose from. Still fully stocked well after 3 p.m.

unnamed-3Coco Donuts
Stock up on:
+Lavender
Cake-style doughnut with a refreshing lavender- flavored glaze
+Glazed yeast-raised
A perfectly executed take on a classic.
Why? They’ve got the classics down pat, and then some.

Do Fries Come With That Steak?

lomolede

I love Peruvian food. Like, I loooooooove it. A lot.

Peruvian cuisine is special in that it celebrates a vast cultural mélange–lending itself to Inkan, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, African, and Italian influences. The food is as deeply rooted in tradition as it is culturally rich.

I was first introduced to Peruvian cuisine 7 years ago through my friend Yolie, when I was living in Los Angeles. She took me to this little South Bay gem heralded by all the in-the-know locals–a family-owned Peruvian chain called El Pollo Inka. 

And let me tell you, I still have cravings for their Pollo a la Brasa and Aguadito soup with extra aji verde. But my love…<raises both arms into the air> my LOVE, is for their famous, Lomo Saltado (stir-fried beef).

<Arms are still in the air> I can’t even begin to express how much I miss those tender chunks of wok-fried steak, crispy French fries with tomatoes, sweet red onions, fresh herbs, aji amarillo and soy sauce atop a bed of steamed rice. My body craves it like how I imagine a heroin addict yearns for another high–ploddingly reaching for the syringe:

“Just one more. One more hit is all it will take,” I can hear the addict saying.

But Lomo Saltado is a healthy addiction that I can speak openly about without reservations. It is the one dish I will always order at every Peruvian restaurant I encounter in my travels. San Francisco-based restaurant, Limón, has an exceptional take.

Lomo Saltado is a Chifa dish–the name for Peruvian-Chinese cuisine. Chifa comes from the Mandarin word, chī fàn, which means “to eat” or some will argue, specifically “to eat rice.” The dish is a perfect example of old- and new-world fusion.

As with most traditional dishes, recipes differ ever so slightly, depending on the kitchen. This recipe is an amalgam of the three very different versions I cited above.

lomo2

lomoplate

Lomo Saltado
Yields 2-4 servings

FOR THE MARINADE

INGREDIENTS
1 pound sirloin steak, cut into medium-sized strips
2 each garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (apple cider vinegar works, too)
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

METHOD
Place all items in a medium-sized bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until ready to cook.

lomomarinade

FOR THE STIR-FRY

INGREDIENTS
2 large Russet potatoes, washed + peeled, cut into matchsticks
vegetable oil, for frying
1 medium red onion, cut into thick wedges
2 Roma tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 amarillo chile, deseeded and julienned*
(*Cook’s note: aji amarillos are often hard to find. If that’s the case for you, substitute for 1 serrano chile)
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
4 cups steamed rice

METHOD
Fill a deep, heavy-bottomed pan (or deep-fryer) halfway with oil. Heat to 300 degrees. Fry potatoes for about 10 minutes or until softened. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and place onto a plate with paper towel to drain excess oil.

Crank up the heat to about 375 degrees. Return the fries to the fryer and cook for an additional 5 minutes and golden brown. Remove from the oil and drain, keeping them in a warm place while you do the stir-fry.

Heat a deep cast-iron skillet or wok over medium-high heat with a tablespoon of oil. Drain the meat from the marinade (keep the marinade!) and when the oil is hot, add the meat. Use a wooden spoon to quickly sear the meat. Lower to medium heat, add the onion, stir-frying for about 2 minutes. Then add the tomato and chile. Cook for 1 minute. Then pour over the marinade. Allow the meat and vegetables to fully cook. Turn off the heat and add the reserved French fries to coat. Sprinkle with the cilantro and stir. Pour over the steamed rice and serve.

lomofries

lomo3

A Love Letter of Sorts

pdxlede

Sooooo, I tried. I really, really tried. But as much as I tried not to, falling in love with Portland was inevitable. And now I can’t help but think about it. I know it’s already far too late for me to avoid the Jane Austen-iness of my words, but please allow me to put it out there right now: Portland, you have enamored me, mind, body and soul.

Here’s why:

  1. You’re well groomed. I love the rain.
  2. You’re a cheap date. You had me at “no sales tax.”
  3. You’re an excellent host. Between the endless supply of bars on every corner (most serving a slew of local brews), but you know good food. And you really know how to cook it, too.
  4. You care about the “big issues.” You’re all about sourcing local, organic, and sustainable produce. And I really like that about you. You’re also big on public transportation. Another major plus in my book.
  5. You have this elusive mystery about you. (Oregon has the 9 Wonders of the World, right?)
  6. But you’re also a bit naughty. Naked Bike Ride, anyone?
  7. And super sexy. I mean, have you looked at yourself lately?

I really can go on and on about how great this city is, but I’m almost positive this open love letter to the City of Roses has you also convinced.

When you just want to kick back and enjoy a couple of really good beers and “scenery”
Basecamp Brewery
WHY TRY: I am convinced I saw my future husband here. We exchanged nonstop glances from across the room as we sat in our communal tables while we simultaneously drank our respective beers. And right before I finally decided that I had mustered up enough chutzpah to get up and talk to him–he had been talking to his friends(?) a pregnant woman and her husband(?!?) at the time–he got up and left on his bike. One of those pedi-cab drivers. So Mr. Soulful Eyes with the bike, dark hair, beard and tattoos–this is my personal “Missed Connections” shout-out to you. Hiya.

When you’re ready for one of the best burritos you’ll ever have
Koi Fusion 
MUST TRY: The Bulgogi Beef Burrito with errythang. Let’s just say that not only was my  stomach filled, but my soul, itself, was satisfyingly full.

basecamp

 

When you’re craving a good burger and an equally amazing beer
Slow Bar
MUST TRY: Local brews abound. My personal fave was the Boneyard

slowbar

When breakfast and dessert have a meet-cute
Voodoo Doughnut 
MUST TRY: Lemon chiffon crueller; bacon maple bar; Old Dirty Bastard (key ingredients are chocolate, Oreos and peanut butter. I’m just sayin’.)

voodoo1voodoo2

When the weather is perfection, and you wanna get high
Noble Rot
WHY TRY? Spectacular rooftop patio views.

When a burger just won’t do
Pine State Biscuits 
MUST TRY: The Chicken Club (House-made biscuit sandwich with fried chicken, bacon, iceberg lettuce and tomato with house-made blue cheese or ranch dressing.)

pinest1 pinest2

When you want a great piece of meat
Ox Restaurant
MUST TRY: It’s an Argentine-inspired steakhouse, so meat is a must. It’s fancy but completely unpretentious at the same time. And order a bottle of Malbec. You know what they say, “When in Argentina…”

ox

When Brunch calls
Cafe Broder
WHY TRY: Swedish-style eats with a cozy sensibility. And the square-shaped cast-iron skillets are just darling.

broder

When you could use a good distraction and a good drink to match
Roadside Attraction
WHY TRY: This place is so eclectic, the decor is super rad, I’ve never been to a place quite like it.

phonto

xoxo kelly rae