When I first moved to Seattle almost six years ago, I wanted a way to stay in touch with friends and relatives by starting a blog. Boy, was that a lot of work! I’m going to try again, and will commit to starting nice and easy, like posting once a week. How’s that for commitment?
I want to start by sharing a new find in Portland. A couple of weeks ago, my family and BFF spent the weekend in Portland and ate lunch at Pok Pok, Andy Ricker’s place. I first heard of this thai restaurant from a magazine article and I was intrigued that the owner started by selling barbequed hens from a grill in his front yard, and that he turned his garage into a dining area, and that he’s traveled to Thailand more times than all of my phalanges and to make things more interesting, he is a white boy!
It was Sunday at 2 pm, and we waited 45 minutes for a table. The wait time flew by, and we were seated outside with comfy chairs, under an awning with a hard-working overhead heater. We were served water infused in pandan leaves, wow! Pandan is a tropical edible plant with a grassy-coconuty taste. My mom makes a pandan fruit salad, I’m not sure what’s in it but the taste and smell is reminiscent of my childhood. Anyway, drinking that pandan water, I was looking forward to other culinary surprises.
We ordered many dishes, and a couple of stand-out dishes like the eggplant salad. It’s a roasted, peeled eggplant served with chopped boiled eggs, shallots and fried garlic. The sauce was the best part: thai chiles, lime, fish sauce, and palm sugar. Unfortunately, we ate it too fast so there’s no evidence, ie, no pic.
We also liked the vietnamese fish sauce chicken wings. Okay, okay, so it was deep-fried what’s not to like, you say. The flavors were deep and complex, garlicky to boot. It was hard to eat just one.
Other highlights include three different kinds of rice to order, coconut, sticky or jasmine. The grilled giant gulf prawns were delicious although it was a difficult to peel, and the flank steak salad with ice powder had an incredible sauce with chiles, lemongrass, cilantro and mint. Overall, this restaurant had a unique menu and flavors I’ve never experienced which made the visit that much more desirable and exciting. And to think I wasted all that time standing in line at Voodoo Doughnuts when I could’ve been at PokPok instead but I’m pretty sure that there will be a next time!