Posts Tagged ‘chicken’

I love Chinese food, however, until recently my husband has been reluctant to try anything outside of Panda Express.  He has lately been willing to try new things, however, so I took advantage of this and the fact that PF Chang’s offered a discount on Tax Day to visit this establishment – someplace I’ve been wanting to try for several years now…

Location:  Bridgeport Mall, 7463 SW Bridgeport Rd., Tigard, OR

Order:  My husband and I ordered a small plate of Egg Rolls ($4.95), Kung Pao Chicken ($13.95) and Pepper Steak ($13.95).  I also ordered a cup of Hot & Sour Soup ($3.25) and a pot of Tangerine White Tea.

What I Think:

We visited during the lunch hour, and while it was a little busy, we were seated pretty quickly and the food arrived to our table amazingly fast.  Everything arrived at pretty much the same time:  the soup, the appetizers and the entrees.

The tea was very good.  So good, in fact, that I’d love to know where they get their tea from … as I’d like to have the opportunity to contact them to review some of their teas for the SororiTea Sisters blog.  It was light, refreshing and delicious, with sweet, juicy tangerine flavor.  It was a really nice accompaniment to the meal.

Just as I often measure Mexican restaurants by the quality of their chili rellenos (and whether or not they offer horchata!) and I often measure Thai restaurants by the quality of their Pad Thai, I usually measure Chinese restaurants by the quality of their Hot & Sour Soup.  I love Hot & Sour soup, it is probably my favorite Chinese “dish” – but I’ve had some really bad Hot & Sour soup before, so it’s one of those things that I want to be right … and if it’s not, I probably won’t ever be back, nor will I have good things to say about the place.

Fortunately, PF Chang’s Hot & Sour soup is AWESOME.  There are lots of vegetables within their spicy, sour broth.  Lots of mushrooms (my favorite part!) and I was happy that the mushrooms had a good, meaty texture and did not feel slimy.  I would revisit PF Chang’s and be happy with just an order of soup.  Yes, it’s that good.

Since I ordered the soup for myself, I had ordered the egg rolls with the intention of letting my husband enjoy those, although, I did take a bite or two just to see how it tasted.  They were delightfully crispy, and the vegetables were tender-crisp on the inside.  Tasty.

The Kung Pao Chicken was good and had a spicy kick to it just like Kung Pao should.  However, I was a little surprised by this Kung Pao, it wasn’t quite what I was expecting.  The Kung Pao I’ve had in the past has been very much like a sauce-laden stir-fried dish with lots of chopped vegetables and chicken, and that’s the way I like it (and the way my husband loves it!)  However, this wasn’t at all like that.  There was very little sauce and very few vegetables in this dish.  It was tasty, the chicken was tender, but, it was just was not what we expected and a little disappointing, especially to my husband who loves Kung Pao Chicken.

The Pepper Steak was the star of the afternoon, as far as my husband was concerned (I think it was a tie between the soup and the Pepper Steak).  The sauce was delicious – a hint of spice to it, not overly spicy, but just enough to keep the palate happy.  The beef to pepper and onion ratio was good – that is to say, it wasn’t mostly vegetables with a few slices of beef.  There was plenty of tender beef and the vegetables were tender-crisp and tasted fresh.

My Final Thoughts:

Although we found the Kung Pao to be a little disappointing, I think that we were pleased enough with the Pepper Steak to make this a place we’d visit again.  Plus it gets bonus points for it’s location, as just across the way stands Sweetest Thing Cupcakes, and I’d love an excuse to go back there!

P.F. Chang's China Bistro on Urbanspoon

I’m a little behind on writing restaurant reviews, so I guess now is as good a time as any to start trying to catch up.  We (my husband and I) visited La Costita one afternoon a while ago, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  In fact, I think it’s been one of my husband’s favorite restaurant stops in a while! 

Order:  For an appetizer, we chose a plate of Chicken Taquitos ($6.99).  Even though we visited at lunchtime, I ordered off the dinner menu.  I chose the Chimichanga Jorocha ($14.59)

Location:  14626 SE Sunnyside Road in Clackamas, OR

What I Think:

My husband and I both enjoy Mexican food, so when the Living Social deal of the day offers savings for a local Mexican restaurant, I usually jump at that offer.  I mean, it’s a no-brainer, I know my husband and I will both love the food.  And it was one of those Living Social deals that lead us to visit La Costita in Clackamas, Oregon.

The decor is what I like to refer to as “Mexi-Casa” … which I actually probably shouldn’t call it because there actually is a restaurant that I used to frequent in California called Mexi-Casa, and I don’t want to infringe upon anyone.  So let me just say that it had a very standard yet festive Mexican type decor:  Brightly colored tiles, Hispanic artwork … you know what I’m talking about, right?

Right off the bat, I need to mention that although it does appear on the menu, there is no horchata!  Now, I am sure that this is no big deal to many of you out there, but it is to me, because no Mexican meal is totally complete without horchata, in my opinion.

My husband's Enchilada Combination Plate ($7.59)

The service at La Costita is really second to none.  I was astonished at how quickly we were taken to our seats, and how quickly we were brought water and warm chips and salsa.  Both were very fresh, and the salsa was spicy.  I loved that I could feel the snap of the fresh veggies in the salsa!  It tasted like it had just been made only moments before being brought to the table.

Our appetizer was brought out to our table, sizzling hot, within minutes of placing our order.  These chicken taquitos were so tasty.  They were made with flour tortillas which gave them a crisp, light texture on the outside, with tender, lightly spiced, juicy chicken inside.  Their Guacamole was not too heavy, and tasted more of avocado than of other ingredients.  YUM!

Before we had even finished our taquitos (there were three whole taquitos which were cut in half to make six half taquitos), our server had returned with our piping hot entries.  I could still hear my chimichanga sizzle as it was placed in front of me.  The chimichanga was filled with tiny, tender shrimp.  The crab meat was moist, although the tiny shreds gave it an almost canned quality.  My entree was delicious and I enjoyed it however, I did find myself wishing about halfway through that I had ordered something else.  The crab was a little disappointing.  It didn’t taste as fresh as it should have. It didn’t taste bad; but it just didn’t taste as good as I had anticipated.

However, the rest of the experience was top-notch, so I don’t feel the least bit of hesitation to recommend this restaurant to everyone reading this post.  It’s a great place to eat:  great service and good food!

My Final Thoughts:

While I wasn’t over-the-top thrilled with the crab meat in my chimichanga, and I was rather dismayed over the fact that there was no horchata, the rest of the food was more than satisfactory.  I didn’t leave feeling hungry or dissatisfied.  The service was fast and friendly, the food arrived super fast, and it was hot and tasty!   We will definitely visit La Costita again!

La Costita Mexican on Urbanspoon

il Piatto (or Il Piatto, or il piatto … I’m never sure about the whether or not I should capitalize with this restaurant…) is one of my favorite restaurants in Portland.  The food is delicious, but what inspires me most about this place is the surroundings – it is very free in spirit.  From the blue-green European plaster walls and the bold-colored curtains that lend a sense of privacy to each booth, to the antique collectables that line the high shelves throughout the restaurant and the crystal chandeliers that hang from the ceilings:  every decorative touch gives this restaurant a sense of artistic ambiance.  This place really appeals to the artist in me. It is the kind of place that – if I lived close enough – I’d want to visit daily just to sip on some tea and possibly sketch a while in an attempt to capture some of its charm.


Location:  2348 SE Ankeny in Portland, OR

Order:  Grilled Bruschetta ($9), Rabbit with Polenta ($25)

What I Think:

My husband and I went for lunch, but they allowed me to order from the dinner menu.  It had been years since I’ve had rabbit, and I was really looking forward to trying the rabbit dish at il Piatto.

We ordered the Bruschetta as an appetizer.  Two of the slices were topped with hummus while one was topped more traditionally (or at least, what I would consider to be traditional), with fresh tomatoes, onions and capers.  The fourth piece of grilled toast was topped with a bright green pesto.   My favorite of these was the toast topped with the fresh tomatoes, onions and capers.  The tomatoes tasted as if they were fresh from the garden:  sweet and juicy.

Panini con Pollo

My husband ordered the chicken panini ($9).  The chicken was grilled, and it was juicy and tender.  The portabello mushroom was delicious and meaty.  A tasty sandwich.

But the rabbit!  It was amazing!  My father raised rabbits when I was a teen, and so rabbit was something that we ate pretty often.  Since moving out and on … I think I’ve only had rabbit once.  And I’ve missed it.

The rabbit was perfectly cooked; it had been braised until it was so tender it fell right off the bone!  Based on my experience with eating rabbit in my youth, I would guess that this rabbit was a farm-raised rabbit.  Game rabbits tend to be much tougher and have a strong, wild taste to them.  This meat was sweet and succulent, although because it was cooked on the bone, it did still have a slightly wild taste.

Rabbit Simmered in Wine with Grilled Polenta and Spinach

The sauce that was served with the rabbit was a flavorful, savory sauce.  It had a tart flavor with just a hint of sweetness.  This was an excellent contrast to the sweetness of the meat, as well as the sweet, starchy taste of the polenta.  The polenta was grilled, giving it a crisp exterior with a creamy, soft interior.  A mound of steamed spinach rounded out the plate.  A nice texture to the spinach, not mushy or over-cooked.

My Final Thoughts: 

il Piatto is one of my favorite restaurants in the Portland area.  I love the atmosphere and I love the food.   If you’re in the Portland area, I recommend visiting.  Watch Living Social for deals!

Il Piatto on Urbanspoon