Tag Archives: food

Dinner in Hollywood

We went to dinner with friends of ours last night. We ate at Chin’s, which I had wanted to try since we moved to Portland. Chin’s has been in the Hollywood neighborhood since 1949, and I have always thought its neon looked cool on a rainy winter night.

Last year, it was bought out by some sisters from the Shandong region. AJing has talked to them quite a bit and it is an interesting story. She told me that their food is traditional home style (i.e. what you would make at home rather than in a restaurant). It was very good, I definitely will go back, especially for the dumplings.

This dish, candied sweet potatoes, is a holiday dish, according to AJing. The sweet potatoes are cooked, then coated in sugar (simple syrup?) and brought out very hot. You eat them carefully right away or they get glued together by the sugar. You grab one, and all these sugar threads appear (you can see them in the picture above) so you dip the potato into the bowl of water. That makes the coating harden and snaps the sugar threads off. Fun to eat, and I wouldn’t have known how to do it unless AJing had ordered them and walked me through it.


Quick notes about recent things. It’s been spring here for a while, yay!

We had our first cookout:


We also took a sushi class given by our favorite fishmonger (Lyf at Flying Fish Company) taught by a sushi chef from my favorite place in Portland to get sushi (Bamboo Sushi). Really fun and my knife skills are much improved. And it turns out there is a limit to the amount of sushi I can eat.




Odd to eat

Spaghetti Pie

In researching what to do with leftover spaghetti noodles, I happened on a recipe that was called spaghetti pie. It is very strange sounding, but it ends up being good enough that more than once we’ve made noodles explicitly to make spaghetti pie (rather than just using leftovers).

My version of it has morphed a bit since the original recipe. My childhood self would probably be mortified, and definitely wouldn’t have eaten it. To me, the fried noodle part tastes like the best part of rice-a-roni. I use whatever leftovers and cheese I have on hand, so it’s a little different each time. We use whole wheat spaghetti noodles, although I’ve also done it with regular.

Spaghetti Pie

  • Cooked spaghetti noodles. I use last night’s leftovers.
  • Small amount of minced onion, maybe 1/4 cup or so.
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • Small amount of shredded or crumbled cheese. About 1/2 cup, more or less to taste. I often use cheddar.
  • 2-4 eggs, depending on amount of spaghetti and mood.
  • Chopped up bits of things you might want to use up: leftover asparagus from the night before, black olives, peppers, parsley, really anything is good in this.


  1. Heat skillet on medium-high for a few minutes. I use a cast-iron, which works perfectly.
  2. Using your hands, crack eggs over spaghetti noodles and mix well.
  3. Put half the spaghetti-egg mixture into the skillet, pressing it sort of flat.
  4. Cover skillet-spaghetti with rest of ingredients, cheese on top.
  5. Top with the rest of the spaghetti-egg mixture.
  6. Fry until the side on the skillet is nicely browned. If it’s undercooked, it’s fine, but boring. Flip spaghetti pie to brown the other side. I do this by putting a plate over the skillet, flipping it up onto the plate (over a cutting board). I find if anyone is watching me while I do this, it is really awkward with my 12″ cast-iron skillet. If no one is watching, it’s actually super easy.
  7. When both sides are neatly browned, put the pie on the cutting board and cut it into slices just like a pizza. Mmmm.

Weird, yes. Super yummy, also yes. Sometimes it’s my hangover food.

What’s the weirdest recipe you’ve recently found and enjoyed?

More Neighborhood Goodness

Filing this under Things-That-Really-Don’t-Need-To-Be-Walking-Distance-Thank-You:

Grain & Gristle is opening in the space left by the mercado next to Podnah’s. It’s a collaboration between the chef from Ned Ludd, a restaurant I’ve only heard great things about, and the owner of Upright Brewing, which producing very interesting and unusual beers. I’ve wanted to visit Upright at Left Bank, but their hours are extremely limited.

It looks like it’s going to be a great pub, and I’ve gone from being super worried about that corner (when the mercado went under and then Podnah’s announced it was leaving as well) to being really excited about it – Pok Pok is opening a restaurant in the Podnah’s space, and now this pub is going in here, and Tiga is a pretty nice place too.

Love my neighborhood.


Uh oh, now I’m in for it. The Bye and Bye is mentioned in this French travel article, I’m going to have to keep an eye out and see if the french speaking portion of the crowd increases. The article cracks me up too when it explains what a vegan is – it says something along the lines of “Not meat, not fish, not chicken, not milk…” and goes on incredulously for a while. Not even cheese!

Article is in French and there is a NSFW picture of Malice’s bottom so you’ve been warned about both. Portland, capitale de l’étrange

New band, new food to try

Having a fun weekend so far, despite an annoying head cold. I won tickets to see Al James from Dolorean at Mississippi Studios. We had planned to walk, but it was 95 and I was feeling miserable, so Brian was kind enough to drive. Meridian opened, and we really liked them. Can’t find any info yet out there, it’s a new project for the lead singer of Jackstraw but we want to see them again. Al James was fantastic as always. Each time I see him or Dolorean, I like them even more. I need to get their new album – the two I have on my phone are played frequently.

Yesterday I set a goal for us of walking across town to get dinner. We decided to check out Savoy Tavern in the Clinton neighborhood and set off. It’s about 3.5 miles from our house. It was too hot on the way there and I overheated (something I need to be better about not doing, I’ve had heat exhaustion a few times). The restaurant was great – we were there just in time for happy hour, and Tom Waits was playing when we walked into the bar.

Had to laugh though, of all the places in Portland I could have picked, I picked one with a Wisconsin theme. Needless to say, we ordered the fried cheese curds (as far as I know, the only ones in Portland). They were good, but not as good as the ones you get in a good dive bar setting in Madison. We’d get them again though for the novelty. Apparently Savoy Tavern’s Old Fashioned is pretty fantastic, and they serve Wisconsin cheddar instead of Tillamook (blasphemy!). Really liked the vibe there and definitely will head back to try a cocktail next time (and maybe sit outside if I haven’t walked there). Fun stuff.

We didn’t linger over dinner long enough so it was still pretty warm when we started walking back. Despite the big meal at Savoy Tavern, we decided to go for dessert at Pied Cow in hopes of the temperature cooling down. We sat out on the patio where I got an ill-fated gingerbread cake and Brian got the largest banana split I’ve ever seen. It was great to sit in the shade (I didn’t know they had a patio) and feel a nice breeze.

By the time we headed out from there, it had cooled off, but I was beginning a reaction to something in the gingerbread cake. My fingers swelled to the point that they looked like sausages! Thankfully, my breathing wasn’t affected so I was able to finish the walk home. Freaky though and I wish I knew what it was that caused the reaction. I make gingerbread cookies without any problems, but I wonder if they use a spice I don’t normally have and that’s what did it. Disappointing, the cake was really good!

Today is going to be pretty mellow, I’m still catching up on laundry from all the visitors we had so I’m going to work on that and study for the SCJA exam.