Posts Tagged ‘Vancouver’

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

Sometimes, you just want a burger, you know?  And this was one of those times.  We discovered Burger Bungalow shortly after it opened on NE 28th Street in Vancouver after stopping by the grocery store that’s situated on the same corner.  And this place was truly a great discovery!

The "Hall of Famer" Burger with Chips

Location:  11215 NE 28th Street, Suite 1 in Vancouver, WA

Order:  I ordered the Bleu Fungii with french fries while my husband ordered the “Hall of Famer” with chips.

What I Think:

The first time I stopped in at Burger Bungalow, we didn’t order.  I just picked up a to-go menu and left.  To tell the truth, I was a little intimidated by the menu.  It seemed a little too pricey for a burger.  However, our curiosity finally got the best of us, and we decided to give them a try.

And while the prices are a considerably higher for a burger than you’d pay at a fast-food joint (the least expensive burger on the menu is the Sourdough Burger at $8.49), these are certainly no fast-food burgers.  They aren’t even in the same league.  Burger Bungalow doesn’t even belong in the same sentence as “fast food.”  And if it eases the conscience at all, the price does include a fountain drink and a side order of fries (or their homemade, crinkle cut chips).

One thing that makes Burger Bungalow different from the “other guys” is that their beef is “Oregon Country” grass-fed beef raised by local farmers.  These patties are “Organic – Hormone & Antibiotic Free all beef 1/3 lb. burger patties.”  And this really makes all the difference in the world!  And while I realize there are those who may be skeptical, once you taste these burgers, you will be a believer.

Bleu Fungii Burger with French Fries

The Bleu Fungii burger ($8.99) that I ordered is topped with a mushroom blend that has been sautéed in garlic butter, Bleu cheese and Swiss cheese.  The bun is freshly toasted.  The mushrooms were thickly cut and not those thin slivers of mushrooms that end up mushy and slimy after being sautéed.  The thicker cut also results in a tender, meaty flavor and texture.  I couldn’t taste much of the garlic on these, but, the mushrooms tasted so good that I didn’t really need to taste the garlic.

The Swiss Cheese was a little overpowered by the pungent flavor of the Bleu cheese.  Again, I’m not complaining, because I ordered this burger because of the Bleu cheese, and had I given it much thought when I was ordering I would have probably requested to have the Swiss cheese omitted.  Not because I dislike Swiss cheese – I love it! – however, when it comes to burgers, I don’t really like them to be smothered with cheese.  I want to taste that beef!

And this beef tastes incredible!  The burger was well-done and I guess if I were to complain about anything, I guess I would have preferred the burger to have been cooked medium.  But in this day and age, I can understand why they choose to cook their burgers well-done.  And even cooked well-done, these burgers are very juicy and flavorful.

The french fries are thick cut and perfectly cooked.  Golden brown and lightly salted, these fries have a fluffy interior with a slightly crisp exterior.  But what really makes the fries special here is the Bungalow Sauce!  Be sure to ask for a side of it for french fry dipping!  This is a mayonnaise based sauce, and I don’t know what else is added to the mayo, but I think it’s a combination of ketchup and mustard.  It’s probably a very simple recipe – but it’s done right!

I also managed to wrangle a bite of the “Hall of Famer” burger ($8.59) from my husband, and this is a tasty burger as well.  Much more of the “classic” kind of burger that’s been topped with the Bungalow Sauce, lettuce, tomato and onion.  What makes this burger noteworthy is that the meat has been filled with cheddar cheese, so every bite is cheesy deliciousness.  However, I preferred my Bleu Fungii – I’m just that kind of girl!

My husband ordered the chips instead of the french fries, and these are cooked in-house and cooked fresh-t0-order.  They are lightly salted and peppered, and I love the crunch that these chips deliver.  Next time, I’m going to have to remember to order these instead of the fries!

My Final Thoughts:

Having lived in this area for about ten years now, I can say that I’ve tried a lot of different burger restaurants in this area, but, Burger Bungalow is definitely the BEST burger in Vancouver, Washington. (Although, when in Portland, you gotta hand it to Little Big Burger)

Burger Bungalow on Urbanspoon

This cupcake is much prettier than it appears in this picture. My camera could not capture the irridescent glittery sparkle! It looks like it was sprinkled with fairy dust!

I am not on a gluten-free or otherwise restricted diet, but, I am curious about how gluten-free tastes.  Having heard so much about gluten-free products (most of it negative), I decided to find out for myself.  Lingonberries Market is a store that specializes in gluten-free and other allergy-friendly products, including these cupcakes.

Where to Buy:  Lingonberries Market in Vancouver, WA

About Fairycakes:

I couldn’t find any information about them online, this is straight from the cupcake packaging:

Fairycakes; 10364 NE Sacramento Street; Portland, OR, 97220; (503) 931-3898

About this cupcake:

Gluten-Free Cherry Chip Cupcake with Almond Frosting and Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling (hey, I said it was gluten free, not fat-free!)

What I think:

To be honest, I’m a little out of the know when it comes to gluten.  About all I do know is what little I’ve picked up from watching Alton Brown on the Food Network.  So from what limited knowledge that I do have about gluten, these cakes cannot be made with a typical wheat flour, and a quick glance at the ingredients tells me that is correct.

But, I would not have guessed it if I had not purchased this package myself from Lingonberries Market (package of 2 cupcakes, price $4.00).  They look just like a regular cupcake – they’re so pretty and sparkly!  No kid I know is going to feel like they’re on a special, restricted diet with this cupcake in front of them… they’re just going to feel special.

And they taste like a regular cupcake!  These are not quite as fluffy and light as the cupcakes I might make myself using wheat flour.  Yes, they are a little more dense in texture, but, it isn’t TOO dense.  The cake is moist and flavorful.  It’s made with real cherries too, not some artificially flavored chip.

The chocolate cream cheese filling is smooth, rich and creamy.  The frosting has a pleasing texture.  It doesn’t feel grainy against the tooth nor does it taste (or feel) too sweet.

I like that I can taste and easily recognize each flavor within this cupcake.  The cherries are very evident as I actually got a rather large bit of cherry!  YUM!  The chocolate was very satisfying to this chocoholic, and the almond flavor in the frosting added a nice dimension of flavor to the confection.  Overall, the cupcake tastes fresh and quite simply, it’s delicious!

My Final Thoughts:

To be honest, if I didn’t know it was gluten-free because I bought it from a gluten-free specialty shop and because it says so on the package – I would not have known.  These taste fantastic!