Monday, July 30, 2012

OregonMania II: Quick Reflection

So another OregonMania is in the books. Naader Reda came up for a weekend of eating, and again, it was a real treat to watch such epic food destruction. While I'm pretty sure I learned my lesson on not delving too far into the quantity food challenge category, I learned I can speed-eat a huge doughnut and entertain a small crowd. Score a small victory for this spicy panda.

I'll post a three-part recap (one post per day) about OregonMania II sometime next month. Also look for a couple more food reviews to come out over the next couple of weeks.

EDIT @ 1:30 p.m.: Big thanks to Michael Russell for giving Naader and I a huge shoutout in the Oregonian! Linking to my blog was a bonus. Naader did the work, while I mostly stood back and enjoyed the food gluttony -- or looked like a fool trying. Frankly, I really should stick to my spicy strengths. I have no problem giving Naader all the capacity challenges.

My OregonMania II recap will be a three-part series (one blog post covering each day). Look for it on this blog August 20-22!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Reduced Posting; OregonMania II

I'll be taking a brief hiatus again from my blog posting. Recently, I came down with a horrible stomach flu that left me mostly bedridden for two days. I'm much better now, but the illness left me in a significantly weakened state. Needless to say, I've also been unable to get to the gym.

While I still have plans to continue my blog and eat great food with my friends, I will likely make future blog posts more a weekly endeavor for the foreseeable future (OregonMania II being the exception, see below). In a way, this should be a good thing. There will be no pressure to deliver daily postings, and I'm sure my body will thank me (I think it already has been).

In the meantime, I've still been jotting down great places to check out. Luckily, a number of food businesses open during the summer, especially those lovable Portland food carts. I've already spotted a few places I want to check out.

In related news, I look forward to meeting up with Naader Reda during his second OregonMania romp, which begins today and goes through Sunday (7/29). Like the first OregonMania, I plan to cover each day in separate blog posts -- all filled with new food challenges. Unfortunately, this time, I likely will not be participating in any food stunts due to my recent stomach flu. Look for these blog posts sometime in early August.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mariscos Playa Azul

Mariscos Playa Azul is a Mexican food cart located on Silverton Road in Salem, Oregon. Taco carts in Salem largely come and go, and Mariscos is currently one of a handful of taco trucks scattered throughout Oregon's capital. From what I discovered, it also went by the name "El Pollo Feliz" at one time or another.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

IKE Box (Part 2)

(Original Review -- January 2012)

I returned to IKE Box in late July after discovering they now served coffee from Sisters Coffee Company. As one might guess, it's locally made in Sisters, Oregon (Deschutes County). Plus, my sweet tooth came back and I wanted a snack. Sounds about right.

Monday, July 23, 2012


Fishbox is a food cart located at the Good Food Here pod (SE 43rd and Belmont) in Portland, Oregon. Dustin and Angie are the owners here. Food Carts Portland mentions that this cart has been Dustin's idea for nearly 10 years.

(Picture from Food Carts Portland)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

OregonMania II

Next weekend (July 27-29), OregonMania II commences. My good friend Naader Reda returns for more food glory, and he has especially been working very hard to get local TV, newspaper, and radio coverage for his food stunts. It should be an incredible three days.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Rose's Ice Cream

Rose's Ice Cream, located on NE 42nd Ave. in Portland, Oregon, has been around since 1950 (save for a few years in the 90s when the place briefly closed). While the place purportedly is known for their milkshakes, I came to this place for some ice cream.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Broken Bread

(UPDATE 5/28/13: A few months ago, Broken Bread moved their location to downtown Salem, on High St. A May 18 blog post mentions that the restaurant is for sale.)

Broken Bread is located on Edgewater St. NW in Salem, Oregon. I had this place on my list for a while, and on a sunny day in mid-July, I felt it was the right time to check it out.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

La Perla Tapatia (Part 2)

(Original Review -- September 2011)

I returned to La Perla Tapatia on July 12 to take on their largely unadvertised 20-taco challenge. I wasn't totally fond of the experience last fall, but since then, I found out that a new management team runs La Perla. So naturally, I figured, why the heck not? Was the panda able to pull it off?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Court St. Dairy Lunch (Part 2)

(Original Review -- May 2011)

I figured that my previous visit to Court St. Dairy Lunch was nowhere close to the best they can give me. And since I'm really more of a breakfast person, I wanted to get a dang good breakfast item from them. I stopped by on a Monday after a much-needed haircut. I hoped to receive a nice, filling meal.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Casa de Tamales

Casa de Tamales (a.k.a. Canby Asapragus Farm) is a food booth located at the Wednesday and Saturday Markets in Salem, Oregon. They are otherwise located on SE Main St. in Milwaukie, Oregon, and are known for their huge omelets and delicious tamales!

Monday, July 16, 2012

What's the Scoop?

What's the Scoop? is an ice cream scoop shop located on N Williams Ave. in Portland, Oregon. Brian and Jodie Ostrovsky head this family-run establishment, which opened on June 30.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Istanbul Delight

(UPDATE 4/6/13: Istanbul Delight has moved to A la Carts Pavilion near SE 50th and Division.)

(UPDATE 11/8/12: Food Carts Portland reports that Istanbul Delight has closed for winter, but should be back in the spring.)

Istanbul Delight is a food cart located at the North Station food pod (N Killingsworth & Greeley) in Portland, Oregon. Basically, more Mediterranean-style flare for a panda that enjoys such cuisine!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Two Tarts Bakery

Two Tarts Bakery is located near the corner of NW 23rd and NW Kearney St. (Alphabet District) in Portland, Oregon. While on a sugary bender in the Rose City, I stopped by to keep my jittery high going.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Alotto Gelato

Alotto Gelato is located near the corner of NW 23rd and Lovejoy in Portland, Oregon. This family-owned establishment opened in 2003, offering a rotating selection of gelato and sorbetto flavors.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Juicing Natural

Juicing Natural is a booth that can be found at the Wednesday and Saturday markets in Salem, Oregon. If you're seeking a healthy option in the sea of all my ridiculous food noshing, you've found the right posting!

Busy on a sunny day!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Myriad Cake Design

Myriad Cake Design is located on Liberty St. SE in Salem, Oregon. While they mainly do cakes for weddings and other special occasions, Marion can also be found selling cake truffles and ice cream sandwiches at the Wednesday and Saturday Markets in Salem. I decided to drop by at the Wednesday market to try this place out.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

San Diego Taco Company (Part 2)

(NOTE: I just learned in late February 2013 that San Diego Taco Company in Salem has closed. Really gonna miss eating a habanero burrito. At least I re-uploaded the habanero burrito video below, so I'll have nice memories of it.)

(Original Review -- January 2012)

On the night of June 27, one of my friends from law school told me that San Diego Taco Company in Salem had a 2-pound habanero burrito challenge. The next day, even though I hadn't gotten to the gym (a rest day for me), I was hellbent on taking this challenge down.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Heathman Restaurant

Heathman Restaurant, adjacent to the Heathman Hotel, is located on SW Broadway in downtown Portland, Oregon. I had heard some positive remarks about this place, so I popped in during Happy Hour, which runs daily from 2 p.m. until closing.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Rock House Grill (Part 2)

(UPDATE 4/14/13: More updated pictures added below!)

(UPDATE 10/14/12: Updated the post below to reflect a quantity food challenge Jimmy offers at Rock House Grill! Details below!)

(Original Review -- October 2011)

I returned to The Rock House Grill in early July, as I knew the (potentially) mammoth portions I'd receive here would satisfy my gluttonous appetite. It's still at the same corner of the Cartlandia food pod, next to "Ramy's Lamb Shack" and "Cake on a Hot Tin Roof."

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Local Girls (Part 2)

(NOTE: As of August 1, 2013, Local Girls is now at the Carts on Foster pod. SE 52nd and Foster.)

(Original Review -- October 2011)

After my visit last October, I knew I would come back to Local Girls to try their shave ice. I just wanted to patiently wait until Mother Nature blessed Oregon with better weather. After a winter hiatus, Local Girls reopened in April, and the summer sun finally showed itself in early July. Emily was running the cart solo on the day I arrived.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Namu (Part 2)

(Original Review -- August 2011)

I returned to Namu in early July, deciding to give their cart another shot. I wasn't very fond of the pulled pork plate last summer, but I vowed to put all that aside and start a clean slate this time. I hoped they would come through.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

J Mo's Sandwich Shack

(UPDATE #2: J Mo's is now at the Carts on Foster pod as of August 1, 2013.)

(UPDATE: New menu and food photos added below! Those were taken in February and July 2013, respectively!)

J Mo's Sandwich Shack is located at the Cartlandia food pod in Portland, Oregon. Jason "Mo" Moreno is the owner here. He's been cooking since he was 15, and really developed an immense passion for it. After selling insurance for a while, Mo finally decided to open up his food cart in mid-June.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Penna Gourmet Foods (promotional ad)

(DISCLAIMER: This sponsorship is brought to you by Penna Gourmet Foods, who we have partnered with for this promotion.)

Penna Gourmet Foods, a family-owned farm based in Orland, CA, is a grower, packer, and processor of gourmet olives. They have an amazing gourmet olives product line for the people that love to can their own products, as Penna provides fresh olives for such an endeavor.

Penna's official website,, even shares recipes if going the home-curing technique route. Techniques include the Mediterranean Partida style and the Lye Process.

Since 1979, Penna's canned olive processing takes old techniques and assures its safety through modern microbiology.

Weather permitting, Penna Gourmet Foods Fresh Olives will be available starting around mid-September. Check them out on Facebook and order your olives ASAP!

Penna Gourmet Foods
Fresh and gourmet cured olives, gift baskets, olive oil and more!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Egg Carton (Part 2)

(Original Review -- June 2012)

On June 23, I returned to The Egg Carton, basically because Sarah and Tim are masters at luring me to eat a gluttonous breakfast. Granted, I'd do it anyway, but when you basically make a near-3-pound "dessert" for a breakfast item, I had to somehow turn it into an unofficial food challenge.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Break Point Coffee Company

Break Point Coffee Company is located at the corner of Commercial St. SE and Owens St. in Salem, Oregon. After hearing and reading several positive reviews on this place, I decided to check it out late last month for lunch.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


7/9/12 ALERT: Nosh has closed its doors. Basically, an ugly series of events unfolded over the last 72 hours. On July 6, Willamette Burger Company employees protested in front of Nosh, claiming they hadn't received their last paychecks. WBC had closed a few days prior. It's likely that any money that should have gone to employees either went missing or was used to fund Nosh's opening. There's a rumor (likely from a former employee) that the business was renamed Nosh to avoid legal troubles. There are Statesman Journal articles regarding the protest on July 6 and Nosh's closing on July 9. Truly a sad end to a respected business.

Nosh is a restaurant located near the corner of High St. NE and Chemeketa St. NE in downtown Salem, Oregon. It's in the same place where Willamette Noodle Company once stood. Same owners, new name, new menu. Nosh opened its doors on June 19, a Tuesday. I came by with a good friend a few days later to check it out.