Friday, May 13, 2011

Salvador Molly's

(Second Review -- May 2013)

Salvador Molly's in Portland, Oregon, is for the adventurous eater. The place is all about two things: international food and habanero fritters.

The rules of the habanero fritter challenge are simple: eat five habanero fritters with all the habanero salsa (not shown). If you complete the challenge, you will get your picture on their Wall of Flame. It may have been a 5-minute time limit when Adam Richman did the challenge, but I don't believe there is such a rule anymore.

Hundreds have already completed this challenge. Several, like myself, have done it more than once. I've done the challenge twice already. The first time, I completed it in about two minutes. The second time, it was about 90 seconds. My mouth burned pretty good from about the third fritter. The second time was harder than the first, for some reason. And both times, the aftermath was not pretty. I was feeling it for a good 24 hours afterward.

Now, onto some of their other dishes:

Their guacamole and chips are good, but nothing special, in my opinion.

Being from Hawaii, I was definitely more interested in trying their version of kalua pork (called Kalua Mojo Pork). Unfortunately, I did not care much for their preparation. Adding Cuban Garlic Mojo flavors or Tamarind BBQ flavors takes it too much out of the "kalua pork" realm. Kalua pork stands for Hawaiian flare and cuisine -- you want that simple taste of pork and Hawaiian sea salt to come through. When you deviate from that, it merely becomes another version of pulled pork. Furthermore, they may tend to overcook the pork on a flattop surface or pan too much for my liking.

On the other hand, the Pampas Chimichurri Steak was a big hit with me. The steak was perfect for me (cooked medium), and the chimichurri offered a nice complement of flavors. The garlic spinach, mashed potatoes, and beans helped reinforce the Latin/Argentinian cuisine.

Pele's Volcano is another dish using pulled pork and the tamarind BBQ sauce. This was much better than the Kalua Mojo Pork because the pork did not feel as overcooked. The flavors are decent, but again, the pork needs to be a lot juicier to make me salivate it and want more. I'm not a huge fries person, but the Hurricane garlic fries were not bad.

I'd remember this place more for the steak. Having done the habanero fritter challenge twice, I am not likely to do that again, either. Got other challenges to conquer!

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