Posts Tagged ‘Dining’

OK… I’m a little behind on my restaurant reviews.  Fortunately I do take notes … these aren’t based on my memory!  My memory just isn’t that good!  I do remember though that on the day we visited this restaurant for lunch it was a dreadfully HOT day.  I think we both just wanted to get out of the house, and out of the heat, which is what brought us to Ducktales Kitchen in Vancouver.   And the fact that we had a LivingSocial voucher was certainly another incentive…

Location:  612 N. Devine Road, Vancouver, Washington

Order:  I ordered the special of the day which was an Artichoke and Feta Cheese Ravioli with chicken and pesto sauce.  The special came with a choice of soup or salad – I chose the Caesar Salad.

What I Think:

The atmosphere at Ducktales Kitchen in Vancouver, Washington is very comfortable, very homey.  From the artwork from local artists hanging on the wall to the friendly waitstaff that treats you more like family than like patrons, it is a very warm and inviting kind of place.

The service is pretty quick, too.  My salad seemed to arrive almost immediately after placing the order.  The salad was composed of very fresh, crisp romaine, Parmesan shreds, croutons and dressing.  The lettuce was ice cold, and this was especially refreshing on such a hot day.  But … there was just too much dressing!  Had I known that the Caesar salad would be so drenched in dressing, I would have preferred the soup (although, it might have been too hot to really enjoy the soup!) or the house salad with dressing on the side.  It was still a tasty salad, but, there was just way too much dressing.  The croutons on the salad were a little “off” too, they tasted stale and they were kind of chewy.  I appreciated the freshness and chilly temperature of the romaine lettuce, but the rest of the salad was kind of disappointing.

Fortunately, the ravioli made up for whatever the salad was lacking.  When the plate was first brought out, I noted that the pasta sauce was a little soupy, but it was incredibly flavorful.  So flavorful, in fact, I was kind of wishing I had a soup spoon to dish out the sauce and eat it by itself!  By the time I was about halfway finished with my dish, the sauce had thickened up nicely, though.  The chicken was very tender, and the ravioli was delicious, filled with lots of tangy feta cheese.  There wasn’t much artichoke in these pillows of pasta, but, I like feta cheese, so I couldn’t really find a whole lot of fault with them, except that I did notice that the pasta of the ravioli was just a little bit chewy.  Other than that, though, everything about this dish, from the sweet, juicy tomatoes and olives to the juicy chicken and flavorful sauce was really, really enjoyable.

My husband ordered a burger, and he really enjoyed it.  At the time of our visit, Ducktales was in a competition with one of the local radio stations where patrons would vote on their favorite burger, and Ducktales was in the top three.  We helped out by texting in a few votes, and in return we got a free dessert!

For dessert, we chose the berry cobbler, and it was so yummy.  Filled with marionberries, this dessert tasted like something that would have come out of my gramma’s kitchen.

My Final Thoughts:

I think that the dessert exemplifies what I really liked best about Ducktales Kitchen.  The food may not have been perfect, but it was really good.  It tasted like it was made with love and care … just like gramma would have made.  It tastes like a good, home cooked meal that I didn’t have to cook, and I really like that!

Ducktales on Urbanspoon

As I’ve mentioned before, I love Thai food.  I don’t know that its my favorite ethnic cuisine, but, it certainly ranks within the top three.  And that love for Thai food revolves pretty much around one dish:  Pad Thai.  I’ve tried a few other Thai dishes that I really enjoyed, mostly noodle dishes with a gravy, but, it’s been years since that time and I really do not recall what they were called.  I’ve tried to find those on Thai restaurant menus to no avail, as nothing really seams familiar.  That being said, I still prefer Pad Thai to those other dishes.  However, I did want to expand my experience of Thai cuisine so with the gentle urging of my husband, I did just that with this visit to Kesone Thai Lao Bistro, another Living Social restaurant find . . .

Pad Thai with Chicken

Location:  2600 NE Sandy Boulevard in Portland, Oregon

Order:  for an appetizer, my husband and I shared an order of Crispy Spring Rolls.  My husband ordered the Pad Thai with Chicken ($7.50) while I tried the Pad King with Chicken ($7.50).  And of course, I had to have a Thai Iced Tea!

What I Think: 

This small restaurant was empty when we arrived (with the exception of one guest who was waiting for a to-go order), then again, we arrived just before they close for the afternoon (they close between the hours of 3 pm and 4 pm to prepare for their dinner service).  Had I read their website a bit more carefully I would have noticed this and been a bit more observant to their closing time.

The decor of the restaurant is nothing fancy but the tables were clean and I felt at ease with my surroundings.  The service was fast (which probably had something to do with the fact that we were the only guests to be served).  I was very pleased by the size of the Thai Iced Tea – it was quite large!  Unfortunately, the tea tasted slightly watered down.  The black tea had notes of bitterness to it, which suggested that perhaps the tea had been steeped too long.  It was still drinkable, but, not the most enjoyable Thai Iced Tea I’ve had.

Spring Rolls

Our Spring Rolls arrived at the same time our entrees arrived.  In most cases, I prefer my appetizer to arrive a little before the entrees, however, the food arrived so quickly that it wasn’t as though we were waiting for either dish.  The Spring Rolls were a little dark in color (looking as though they might have been cooked just a bit too long), but they didn’t taste burnt.  They were crispy and delicious.  I especially enjoyed the sauce which was pungent with garlic with a nice balance of sweet and sour.

My husband and I shared our entrees.  The Pad Thai was ordered with a heat level of 2 – 3 (the server asked on a scale of 1 – 5 how spicy he would like it to be), and in my opinion, it was a pleasant amount of heat, although my husband said he would have liked it a tad spicier, and next time he will probably order it at a level 3 – 4 instead.  The chicken was tender, and I enjoyed the ratio of noodle to sauce.  The sauce did not taste too fishy nor smell too fishy, which made me happy.  It was certainly a tasty Pad Thai, and while it isn’t my favorite Pad Thai of Portland, it was my husband’s favorite of the ones we have tried thus far.

Pad King with Chicken

The Pad King was a bit of an adventure for me, as I had not tried it before.  The onions were nicely caramelized and the rice was cooked perfectly.  The sauce of this dish was very flavorful; however, it had a flavor that I think would have been more complementary to beef rather than chicken, as it had a very substantial, almost beefy sort of flavor to it.  The sauce seemed to overwhelm the chicken, and if I were to order this dish sometime in the future I would definitely order it as a beef dish, and that is how I’d recommend ordering it.

My favorite part of this dish were the mushrooms, which lent a nice texture and delicious flavor to the dish and it is because of their somewhat woody flavor that I suspect beef would have been a better meat choice for this dish (tofu would also make a nice choice).  The green beans had a slightly rubbery texture, and I didn’t find this to be too appealing.  Overall, I found the dish to be agreeable, but I think I would have been happier if I had chosen the Pad Thai.

My Final Thoughts:

While I wasn’t totally pleased with my Pad King, I am happy that I was willing to step outside of my comfort zone and try something a little different.  The flavors were definitely there in each of these dishes, and overall, I enjoyed my visit to Kesone Thai Lao Bistro, and we will no doubt be returning at some point.  Mostly, I was just happy to be eating Thai food again!

Kesone Thai Lao Bistro on Urbanspoon