Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Beijing House

(Also check out my Food Carts Portland write-up)

Beijing House is a Chinese food cart located near the corner of SW 9th and Alder in downtown Portland, Oregon. Run and her husband opened this cart at the beginning of February.

Spicy food is an awesome legal drug of sorts. The taste buds come alive (or incinerate upon the first few bites), and the endorphin rush that follows ensure that moment is embedded in your brain for a significant time. When Run mentioned I could get just about any dish on the menu as spicy as I wanted, I flashed a happy, yet sinister look that my stomach could only interpret as: "Oh f***...."

What to get? There are almost 30 menu items! Some are mere appetizers or sweet items, yet each look so tasty. This time, I wanted chicken. Kung Pao Chicken for $6.50.

More menu items!
As an aside, you have a choice of white rice or brown rice (no extra charge to get brown rice).

My food was cooked to order, and in a few minutes, a dark-red sea of chicken, peanuts, and dried red chiles (Thai chiles, perhaps?) awaited me. On my visit, a guy (likely there to fix or install some equipment in the cart) commented how spicy the dish looked and smelled. Admittedly, he said he can't tolerate spice. I took a good whiff of the chicken. Mmm...spice. (goes into trance)

Kung Pao Chicken with brown rice
(Beijing House)
Closeup shot of the Kung Pao Chicken
The diced chicken stayed moist. The dark red glaze coated each piece, delivering a satisfying, flavorful nudge to the palate. Even though it was requested extra spicy, eating the dried chiles would have been the only way to likely set my mouth ablaze. I gave my palate another shot at life by not eating those dried pods of doom. The peanuts gave that cool texture contrast, although I'm thinking to myself...that's a boatload of peanuts. Whatever, it's protein!

It's a respectable start for Beijing House. I wasn't completely blown away by the product, but it certainly warrants a return trip. Considering they had only been open a week and a half when I visited, I look forward to seeing the progress Run and her husband make over the coming weeks and months. 6.5/10

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