Posts Tagged ‘Barbeque’

picture from Petit Amuse. Click on the pic to go there.

Product Description:

Smoky BBQ flavor with sweet mango and a hint of lime makes this chip a little sweeter than most BBQ chips but more addictive. To add even more charm, the chips are in the shape of whale tails. And of course, we love that the company is active in marine conservation!

These chips are available from Petit Amuse.

Tea Suggestion:

With chips, I like a tall glass of iced tea!  And I’ve really been enjoying the cold-brewed green tea selections from Den’s Tea lately.  Right now, I’m sipping on a glass of Pear flavored iced tea from Den’s Tea, and it tastes awesome with it.  I think that if I had thought about it last night when I was preparing my iced tea for today, and had I realized I was going to go on a snack attack and try these chips, I probably would have tried the Mango flavored iced tea from Den’s… but I didn’t.  The pear goes nice with it though… pleasantly sweet, with just the right amount of green tea flavor.  Very refreshing and accents the fruity notes of these chips very well.

What I Think:

When I first got my Petit Amuse sample box, I found myself wondering what was with the name “Whale Tails”?  But, then again, what’s with the name Doritos, or Pringles, or any other brand name out there, right?  But now that I’ve opened the bag of these Hawaiian Barbeque Tortilla Chips from Whale Tails, I get it!  The chips are shaped like whale tails!  Neat!

Look! A Whale Tail!

And they taste good too!  I found the idea of barbeque flavor on a tortilla chip to be a little unusual, since most of the tortilla chips that I’ve tasted are usually nacho or salsa or ranch, and barbeque is usually just on potato chips, but this is no ordinary barbeque flavor.  It has a delightful fruity twist to it.  I can taste the lime and mango in there.  YUM!  It adds a delicious sweetness to the usually tangy barbeque sauce flavor, and the sweet yet savory toasted corn taste of the chip adds a very pleasing contrast to this sweet yet zesty barbeque flavor.

My only real complaint is that I tend to prefer a thinner chip.  These are thicker, more substantial, and I suspect that is necessary to maintain the shape.  But I think that the fact that these are organic and that the company is an active contributor to ocean conservation is enough to give me cause to forgo the thinner tortilla chip for these Whale Tails.  (Not to mention the amazing flavor!)  Also noteworthy is that these are gluten free, and while that is not something that is important to me personally, I know that it is to many out there.

My Final Thoughts:

I really like these a whole lot.  If I happen to see them in my local natural food stores (which is usually the only place I’ll find things like this locally), I’ll put a bag in my shopping cart.  I might even order some more from Petit Amuse at some point, I think that the flavor is so tasty that I’ll probably want  more of this in the future.

One guaranteed hit with my family is BBQ!  Everyone loves it.  For my husband’s birthday dinner, we went to Famous Dave’s this year (be sure to check their website and sign up for their P.I.G. email list, and they’ll send you a special coupon for your birthday!)

Baby Back-n-Meat BBQ Combo (with brisket, Wilbur Beans and Drunkin' Apples)

Order:  My husband wanted to try the Southside Rib Tips for an appetizer ($11.99) and as an entry, I chose the Baby Back-n-Meat BBQ Combo (Original Style, I chose Texas Beef Brisket to go along with my Baby Back Ribs:  $20.99).

Location:  9911 NE Cascades Parkway, Portland, OR

What I Think:

As I said in the introduction, barbeque is always a hit with my family.  It’s probably my youngest daughter’s favorite dinner, and it would probably rank in the top 5 for my husband, and the top 10 for me.  Of the few places that we’ve tried in the Portland area, my daughter’s favorite BBQ spot is Famous Dave’s.

Before our appetizer was brought to the table, our server brought a small bowl of salted potato chips to the table so that we could test out the rather impressive selection of barbeque sauces on the table:  Georgia Mustard (not your average mustard, this one was sweet with just a hint of sharpness from the mustard, and a tangy note from vinegar), Texas Pit (one of my favorites, this one had a nice balance between hot and sweet, with a nice tomato-y flavor), Sweet and Zesty (another favorite of mine, I actually mixed the Texas Pit & the Sweet and Zesty together for my brisket; this sauce had a delicious sweetness to it with a hint of citrus.  It goes light on the spice, but there is some spice to it that lingers in the aftertaste), Devil’s Spit (which, as implied by the name is quite spicy) as well as the classic Original Rich and Sassy.  Also on our table was Famous Dave’s newest sauce creation called Wilbur’s Revenge, which was (according to our server) is made with habanero peppers.  I was not feeling so adventurous as to try this one.

Our first visit to Famous Dave’s was shortly after this Portland location opened, and the appetizer we ordered was the Onion Strings.  These are yummy.  I was a little disappointed that we didn’t order them again this time … disappointed until the platter arrived at the table and I sunk my teeth into one of those amazing rib tips!  So good!  Succulent, juicy meat that’s been slow cooked so that it falls off the tip of the bone (which is actually more like cartilage than it is bone).  A good amount of char on the meat, but, it isn’t overdone.  So tender and good.  These came with a side of pickles and pickled red onion.  The pickled red onion makes a remarkable palate cleanser – not too spicy, not too sour, but just enough of a different flavor to enliven the palate after it becomes inundated with BBQ sauce.

My daughter consumed so much of the appetizer, she didn’t have room for her dinner when it arrived.  Seriously!  We had that packaged up (because hey, what’s better than going out for ribs for dinner?  Going out for ribs and having left overs for the next day.  Oh yeah!)

But, I still had some room for my dinner.  The brisket was amazing – so incredibly tender.  It melted in my mouth!  I shared some with my husband, and I think he was probably wishing he went with the combo instead of the Big Slab ($22.99)  The ribs were also quite tender, with a nice seasoning to them that was not too hot nor too sweet, and I found that these also reheated nicely since most of them ended up in the “doggy bag” for lunch the next day.

As side dishes, I chose the Wilbur Beans and the Drunkin’ Apples.  The beans were just alright … tasty, but not the best BBQ beans I’ve ever tasted or anything.  In fact, I think I’ve tasted better from a can.  The sauce could have been thicker, I think they needed to be simmered longer so that the sauce could reduce and thicken.  Not bad, but not great either.

But, I loved the apples.  So much so, that I found myself wishing I had ordered apples as both sides and foregone the Wilbur Beans.  These delicious, cooked until tender but not mushy apples were a little sweet warmly spiced from the cinnamon, which was sprinkled liberally over the apples.  I could also taste just a hint of almond flavor.   I liked how the sweetness of the apples complemented the the tangy barbeque sauce on the ribs and brisket.

My Final Thoughts:

I don’t know that I would say that Famous Dave’s is my favorite BBQ establishment in this area, but, I do know that it’s my daughter’s favorite restaurant, so I suspect that they haven’t seen the last of us at Famous Dave’s.  The food is delicious, though, and I especially loved the rib tips appetizer – so much so that I think I could have been happy ordering that as my entree.  Good food, lively atmosphere, and very friendly service.  Not much to complain about!

Famous Daves on Urbanspoon

I discovered the Pit Stop in Beaverton through Living Social, and to be honest, I don’t think I would have ever visited this establishment had it not been for Living Social.  It’s just not really my kind of place.  In a sports bar like this, I was a fish out of water.  What lead me to purchase the Living Social coupon was I thought it was a place my husband could appreciate because he does love sports.  Unfortunately, we chose to visit on a Sunday, and I was surrounded by football fanatics.  More than the food of this place, what surprised me the most about our time at the Pit Stop was the fact that there are people who are even more excitable than my husband while watching a football game (or in the case of the Pit Stop, all the football games at once).  

Thai Chicken Pizza

Location:  10245 SW Canyon Road, Portland, OR

Order:  For an appetizer, we shared an order of Pulled Pork Sliders and Fries ($8.99 for five sliders).  I chose the Thai Chicken Pizza ($9.99 for a 9″ pie).

What I Think:

We had ordered the sliders without the cole slaw topping, and I guess this was overlooked on the ticket, because our first order of sliders arrived at the table covered in cole slaw.  We sent this order back (my husband does NOT like cole slaw).  A replacement (without the slaw) arrived pretty quickly, and I really did enjoy these sliders. The pork was incredibly tender, and they were not slathered with any type of sauce.  Instead, they brought out two different sauces (one mild, one spicy) so that we could top the sliders ourselves.  Since pulled pork is often over-sauced, I liked that I could control the amount and the heat of my sauce (I found that a ratio of 2 parts mild sauce to 1 part spicy sauce was just about perfect).

The french fries were REALLY good.  They were coated in a batter before frying – somewhat reminiscent of a curly fry type batter.  Normally, I don’t really like the curly fry batter, it is often overly seasoned and takes away from the flavor of the potato.  But this batter was spot-on … it enhanced the crispiness of the french fry without overwhelming it.

Before we arrived at the Pit Stop, I did glance at the online menu, and I figured I’d probably order from their barbeque selections.  However, when we got there, my eye kept going back to the Thai Chicken Pizza.  And I’m glad I decided to order this pizza.  Yes, I am sure I would have loved the ribs, but, I really liked this pizza.  The dough itself was just kind of average.  Nothing really outstanding… in fact, it reminded me a bit of biscuit dough but didn’t rise like a biscuit would have.

But the toppings made it for me.  The peanut sauce was yummy, and together with the pineapple chunks it provided sweetness to the pie to contrast the spiciness of the pepper flakes.  The chicken was tender although it was a little on the dry side (since it was probably twice cooked:  once prior to baking the pizza, and then in the oven with the pizza).  But I was able to overlook this because it had a pleasing tender texture, and the flavor of the peanut sauce was so appealing. The sesame seeds added a nice crunchy and slightly nutty element to the pie.

As delicious as it was, I couldn’t finish the pizza in one sitting, but I was able to bring the rest home and the left overs were almost as good as the fresh baked pie.

My Final Thoughts:

While I probably won’t ever be back to the Pit Stop, I certainly did enjoy my visit.  Unfortunately, hanging out in a bar full of screaming sports fans and wannabe sports announcers just isn’t something that’s high on my list of things I want to do.  That being said, if you are a sports fan living in the Portland/Beaverton area, you should definitely stop by the Pit Stop.  I was pleased at how delicious the food was.  The service we received was also very good – our server was very busy so there was some wait time, but, this was more than made up for with personable service.

For the past few months, my husband and I have been driving past Goldie’s BBQ on an almost weekly basis.  It is very close to my daughter’s dance school.  As we’d drive by, we’d say something like “we really ought to try that place sometime…” Finally, we decided it was time!

photo from Goldies BBQ website

Location:  15640 NE 4th Plain Road in Vancouver, WA

Order:  we (my husband and I) ordered a couple of combination plates to share so that we could get a little bit of a bunch of what Goldie’s has to offer.  We ordered 1 Two Meat Combo Plate ($14.99) and 1 Three Meat Combo Plate ($16.99) to share between the two of us.

What I think:

The atmosphere at Goldie’s BBQ is pretty unremarkable:  not a lot of flash or flair, but, really, it doesn’t need it.  Here, the food does all the talking.  It doesn’t need a lot of fancy decor to spice things up – the spice is in the food!

You have the choice of two different sauces:  spicy or mild.  Actually, there is a third sauce – “mixed” – which I presume is a mixture of the first two.  I chose the mild sauce but asked for a side of the spicy sauce just to get a taste of what I might be missing.  I am glad that I chose the mild sauce!  The spicy sauce is just that.  SPICY!  The mild sauce is sweet with a little tangy kick but I would have liked just a little more spice.  I think next time I visit, I’ll have to try the mixed sauce … I’m thinking it will be the best of both worlds.

Also along with our combination plates, were were given the choice of four sides, and I chose one each of french fries, onion rings, sweet potato fries and baked beans.  The first three were pretty average.  They tasted like others I’ve had before.  They weren’t bad at all – they were very tasty – but, they weren’t going to bring me back for more.  The baked beans, on the other hand, well, they are quite good.  Sweet, brown-sugar-y goodness.  They taste to me like they had been simmering over low heat for a long time.

The meats I chose on our combination platters were baby back ribs, beef brisket (although, there was an error with our order and we received beef ribs instead), pulled pork, mild sausage and chicken drummettes.  Each combination plate also came with a slice of white bread.  The meats were placed upon the bread and then topped with sauce.  This bread sops up the sauce and drippings and becomes quite a treat itself!

My favorite is a toss-up between the pulled pork and the baby back ribs.  The pulled pork was melt-in-my-mouth tender.  The baby back ribs were also tender and they had the benefit of the sauce being caramelized on the meat, so I guess the ribs are the winner!  Overall, the only real disappointment (other than not getting a chance to try the brisket) was the chicken drummettes.  These were overcooked.  But, because the rest was so good, it’s hard to be too disappointed by the drummettes.

While I really enjoyed our meal from Goldie’s BBQ, the next time I visit, I will be armed with a little more knowledge:  Don’t order fries or onion rings, instead, get the beans and maybe the potato salad or coleslaw.  I also won’t be ordering the drummettes.  Instead, I’ll stick to the deliciously tender ribs and pulled pork … and maybe next time I’ll try the brisket!

My Final Thoughts:  

If you’re looking for good barbecue in the Portland area, you should definitely give Goldie’s BBQ a try.  I’m hooked!

Goldies Texas Style Barbeque on Urbanspoon