I started Portland with Burgerville, partially because I wanted a Colossal Cheeseburger (they aren’t really colossal) for the road, but mostly because I needed to use a bathroom and the Beaverton location is sort of on the way between downtown, where the Bolt Bus dropped me off from Seattle and my mom picked me up, and her place at the coast. I was chided for not getting the seasonal chocolate hazelnut shake and I still regret it. Burgerville spread rules so hard they’ve jarred it.
Posts from the ‘Beaverton’ Category
According to a survey of 1,000 consumers in Oregon and Washington by Foster Farms (a company that I always thought was like Perdue or Tyson, but apparently is more indie, or so they would have you believe) 92% think it’s important to buy food grown in the Pacific Northwest, 86% think they are unique and better than the rest of the country for this belief (ok, verbatim: “believe they differ from the rest of the nation”) and over 60% think the Northwest has fresher, more local food than anywhere else in the country.
I would be curious to see the percentage of Northwesterners who ever travel outside of their home states.
This is where I would logically link to the Portlandia bit about the couple who want to visit the farm where Colin, the chicken they are about to be served, was raised. We all know that is funny.
However, I’m also partial to this commercial where Jim Perdue speaks Bloomberg-esque Spanish (mine is no better, but I am not a wealthy man on TV trying to relate to the people). I mean, for purely poultry-related laughs, no Oregon connection necessary.
Yes, it's one of those suburban strip mall, big margarita joints. I don't
mind that type of food, in fact I crave it every now and then (luckily NYC
isn't so highbrow in the Tex-Mex department–there are plenty of
salt-on-the-rim, chips-and-salsa places to choose from). But Portland's west
suburbs actually have a Mexican population, hence "real" Mexican food. I saw
taco trucks in parking lots and read about tiny tacquerias in Hillsboro, my
It just wasn't right to be so close and not even get to try the regional
offerings. But my sister is vegetarian (they're fine people, but the worst
for food exploring) and I didn't have the urge to get my mom and husband in
the mood. Trekking out on my own wasn't really an option since I didn't have
a car or any solitary time to spare.
This was hardly a culinary getaway. I was there from NYC, my sister from
England on short notice to see our father who'd unexpectedly been put on
life support. Hardly festive and appetite inducing. And in a way La Fogata
was wholly appropriate. My dad was a most un-Mexican Mexican. He loved these
sorts of Gringo-filled combo platter restaurants. He didn't speak Spanish,
though he must've grown up on at least some traditional Mexican food. I'm
guessing he wanted to be more American and he did a pretty good job (he was
exactly like Hank Hill if he were Hispanic). I wouldn't mind being a little
less, but honestly I wouldn't argue with a scalding hot plate of oozing
refried beans with a thick skin of pepper jack cheese and a nice crisp
chimichanga, authentic or not.
La Fogata * 3905 SW 117th Ave., Beaverton, OR
Ah…sweet, sweet Izzy's. Yes, its primarily a pizza parlor, but
everyone knows its about the buffet. It has evolved over the years to
include a taco bar and oddball pizzas like mu shu pork. I tend to stick with
what I know and take the same approach as when I was a youngster. (Dont even
get me started on the thrill of my life when I got to meet Izzy Covalt in
person at the Izzys across the street from Gresham High School on the last
day of freshman year.)
Totally ignore the section with salad makings, fresh fruit and cottage
cheese and go straight for the meat and starches. I'm totally enamored with
that NW stalwart (I never knew it was regional till I moved away—same
goes for maple bars) the jo jo potato, which is no more than potato wedges
or circles that have been battered and deep-fried (delis serve them with a
side of ranch). I also get fried chicken and something with sticky bbq
sauce, either ribs or more chicken cooked in a different style. All the
sweet goo gets on your jo jos and its a match made in heaven. It's very
upsetting when there's a lull in the Hawaiian pizzas, this is rare delicacy
now that I live amidst serious pizza snobbery of the East Coast.
Dinner must be topped off by a stop at the soft serve sundae bar, and
don't stop there, there's fluffy pudding and whipped cream concoctions,
brownies, fudge lava cake, and plenty more. And all the soda you can drink
(which albeit, isnt much).
Izzy’s * 11900 SW Broadway St., Beaverton, OR
I love the name–how could you not? And no, not just because I have a fondness for Frank Whaley and his oeuvre. I would go regardless of what they served just to see what someplace called The Freshman might have to offer. Luckily, The Freshman is a shiny strip mall Chinese bakery, bubble tea, fast food joint near my moms mobile home park. Thats a genre I can appreciate, and I convinced my mom and sister to check it out with me for lunch. Loaded up with a seafood fishball noodle soup concoction, tapioca ball smoothie and something vegetarian for my sister, a porky noodley dish for my mom and lots of sweet filled buns to go, we did a pretty good job of ruining our appetites for Izzy's buffet later that night.
The Freshman * 16165 SW Regatta Ln., Beaverton, OR
Treasure Island has become a new Portland tradition. It used to be Rheinlander, but now that my parents are based on the west side all-you-can-eat Chinese trumps German gluttony. I was a little sad to note their 8:30 pm closing (so Portland, jeez) upon our close to 8 pm arrival. But in reality, it saved a lot of calories and unnecessary stomach stretchage. I tried to stay low key on the fried saucy general Tso type items and went wild with pickled vegetables, crispy bean curd and crunchy tendons that sit on the lonely side table with the white rice that no one touches.(10/11/04)
Well, East Buffet, it is not. But you have to take what you can get sometimes. I guess on weekends the place is a madhouse. Luckily, we went on a Monday. They do adequate versions of Chinese American standards like sesame chicken, sweet and sour, egg rolls. You know the drill. They also have a Mongolian grill area where they'll cook up meat and vegetables for you. I was most interested in the lonely little fold-up table against the wall, separate from the main buffet rows. That's where things like tripe, tendons, chile oil, tea eggs, kim chee, pickled cucumbers and the white rice were housed. I found it odd that the white rice was not in with the more mainstream offerings, but after a quick survey it became clear that fried rice is the starch of choice for this particular clientele. I asked my mom and her husband, the step-dude why they didn't eat white rice with their food and their logic was that it fills you up too fast. True, I suppose. But that was always my beef with the whole low-carb thing, how it made eating Asian food impossible since rice seems to be a requisite accompaniment. My new theory, though, is that the Atkin's diet is perfect for middle America because all they really want is the meat anyway. Anyway, Treasure Island was fun for an intrepid buffet aficionado like myself. (12/29/03)
Treasure Island Chinese Buffet * 15930 SW Regatta Ln., Beaverton, Oregon
Word to the wise: don't take your grandma out for Vietnamese food as a
Christmas present. I guess it was my own fault for basing my cuisine choice
on my own personal preferences, but I'd heard about this Pho Van in NW,
thought about paying a visit, then noticed they'd recently opened a
Beaverton location, which was ideal since that's where my mom lives. Instead
of buying presents I told my mom, step-dude and grandma I'd take them out to
eat. And why not take them someplace I'd wanted to go? I knew they weren't
anti-Vietnamese food because when my sister is in town they always go to
I ordered both spring and summer rolls and a filled crepe for everyone
to share. The fresh rolls seemed to scare everyone and the crepe was met
with serious suspicion. My grandma informed us she didn't like cilantro. Let
me guess, you don't like mint or bean sprouts either? Thankfully, cilantro
appeared to be the only stumbling block.
For myself I ordered the 1. pho with everything in it and was informed
by the waiter that it had tendon and tripe in it. Duh, that's what it said
on the menu. That's the weird thing I noticed about Portland is that they
assume you either don't know what you're ordering or won't like it if you
do. At Thanh Thao I overheard the waitress informing a table that ordered
something with taro in it, what taro was like you wouldn't possibly want.
The food was very good, and everyone was pleasantly surprised after I
forced them to at least taste everything. I must admit I lost my patience
with my grandma numerous times, but only after she set the tone by making a
big fuss about water dripping from a pipe (it's understandable to not want
to be dripped on, but it's not your business to jump up and yell at new
customers coming in and being seated near the leak), then getting overly
steamed about not receiving our pot of tea. Recalling that she'd gone on
some senior tour of China a few years back, I couldn't help but ask what she
ate while there. "Planet Hollywood and McDonalds" she proudly declared. I
nearly lost my shit and told her that she'd better be joking. She wasn't.
The crowning glory was when she started making a stink about not getting
fortune cookies. I mean, there's no reason for them in a Vietnamese
restaurant, or a Chinese one for that matter. I suppose the holidays are all
about family, and that's why I've managed to avoid a Portland Christmas for
the past six years.
PhoVan * 11651 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy.,