All posts by epicureancabbie

The Four Time Four Star Review continues…

Tonight, my fourth and fantastically fine time at Venezuelan inspired cuisine eatery Teote located in the lower inner South East Portland Hawthorne district was as ususal a delight. The gluten free selections are stellar, and far from vanilla, these savory spicey spit fire flavors are robust, peppery and designed to hit your palette with a powerful sweet savory finish. I usually order the El Diablo bowl to go with my hot buttery house made . El Diablo, the Latin Beauzalbaub in Spanish, is certainly a handsome The magical pork of local award winning rancher Carlton Farms goes into this maple sweet Venezuelan style bacony bits mixed with plaintains and rice. Its a hearty healthy and rib sticking dish that settles into the stomach creating a wide smile and satiated appetite for the eater.Be prepared for some downtime for digestion, as it is a heavy dish, but with this last bit of winter winding down, hopefully, a bit of bacon fat and pork greases is just what is needed to warm you through the night. Just under $7 for the bowl is one of the best deals for a quick bite with friends. The back porch of the place has a separate bar, as well as second story where Mezcal and specialty cocktail drinks are served. For gluten free folks, and those wanting quality locally grown fresh sustainable indgredients.

The Cena plate is another item that is a value, and huge quantity of meat for a party of three or more. I attempted to take out a cena plate with a hungry friend on a cold winters night a few months ago, and we both left with leftovers for days. The cena dinner for three priced at $38 includes a giant rack of lamb, a pork chop, a choice of diablo pork the delightful filling sweet meat of el diablo bowl, plaintains and a salad arepas, and choice of sides. The simple green salad is a mix of fresh local greens, and kale with a light vinagerette its a nice bit of ruffage and fiber to help digest that mighty fine swine of the diablo sweet meat.For my fourth and final time of the four time four star review this place gets an A minus. The atmosphere and space is flamboyant and fantastic, distinctly latin, azule, and and bright reds purples and vibrant tones. The upstairs is a well crafted mish mash of hardwood, and tapestry of stencil as well as acrylic art work resemebling dia de los muertos. So abeyance, menu, quality, consistency and great value are all a part of Teote. Check it out, for under $20 a person one can eat well.

Epicurean Cabbie 2.0 rebooted, and horn tooted for 2014!

The impetus for Epicurean cabbie was hatched after referring hundreds, possibly thousands of visiting bartenders, foodies, servers, international travelers on food pilgrimages while dining in Portland, Oregon. I have received countless affirmations and suggestions from people I have directed to the just the right place to eat to begin a blog and carve out a niche for myself as a roadside food critic. So my commentary and countless calories and quick cups of coffee, tasty tea, and and that is exactly what I am doing… Thanks for all the positive and proactive feedback from my friends, loyal customers and remarkable Rose city visitors, and weary travelers of the world.  Everyone has been really encouraging through the years, about time i got off my dimpled cabbie ass and did it. I have sent tens of thousands of fantastic folks to bars and given restaraunt recommendations galore. I have been playing around with notes, food reviews, memories noteworthy conversations with customers/passengers awesome people I have had the privilege and pleasure of driving in my radio cab for over six and half years now. So before we get into the food reviews, lets talk tasty beverages for 2014…

Lately my new beverage(s) of choice are less cafeinated and more creamy and nutty something sweet honey like savory and rich with protein and skin softening natural poly unsaturated fats, they do the brain and body good. Heart coffee roasters both the East and the West Side locations are serving up a sumptious silky smooth hazelnut milk its buttery mouth feel has notes of melted coconut vanilla ice cream without the chalkiness or agave aftertaste. Dates, honey and natural sweetners are used with these hearty Oregon grown hazelnuts harvested nearby. Its three dollars for a delcious glass of this ice cream sweet treat. Checkout the tasty hazelnut milk in a latte in one of their well crafted superb espressos.


The Portland juice press also makes a similar savory sweet concotion. The Juice press people have made a sixteen once blend of hazzelnut milk, sweetened with dates and contains 20 0nces of protein per serving, for $8 a bottle it should contain this more I believe, although somewhat pricey, its worth it if you enjoy a cinamon sweet after taste similar to a ginger gelatto in its finish. Hints of ginger are in this beverage as well, that aid digestion and have anti-inflammatory properties for tissue, nature’s ibuprofen without the liver and kidney damage. The choices of crazy juice medleys are mind bending at Porltand Juice press, I recommend stopping at one of their East or West Side locations.

Start your day with these dairy alternatives in your espresso or just plain and let me know what you think, I love them both..


Four Time/ Four Star Review of the fabulous some of the many outstanding eateries I love the most.

My Zero to Hero a initiation is just a few days late, well ok almost a week late, now a few weeks late who I am bullshitting?, The holiday hangover and recovery time was much needed for this weary creature of the night Epicurean cabbie food critic on wheels. Much like many late blooming qualities and talents in life I am what I call a PROfessionalCRAstinator and work better under pressure. So I am REposting my original concept of my creature of the night Epicurean cabbie blog I initially wrote last September.

I have crisscrossed Rose City’s restaurant landscape for 18 years, and paid close attention to not just fine dining, but cheap eats, taquerias, food carts, and bar gastropub cuisine as well. I pride myself, and certainly am in several ways a professional transporter as well as consultant at helping people find the ideal place to have a drink, a particular dish, or something custom tailored to there taste preferences. My ideas, and ever evolving themes for this site will start with this week, with places I call the four times over, four star review. I call it this because I have frequented these places at least four times or more, in some cases four dozen times or more, and I typically get four star quality, service, and the value, taste profile, and vibe of the place gets four stars for me, all bias and taste preferences aside, I critique these places more on overall experience I have had in the years eating there.

1. Ate oh Ate.  There are times over the last three or four years where I have frequented Ate Oh Ate four times a month or more, and without a doubt always gotten consistent quality teriyaki chicken steak, korean wings, and without a doubt the tastiest, freshest highest quality Hawaiian food in Portland. The savvy savory and simple yet genius culinary minds from both The Laurelhurst Market and Simpatica Dining Hall have bestowed on Portland as my go to consistently excellent lunch and dinner ( Sometimes between lunch and dinner I call this meal LINNER) spot in Laurelhurst area I believe.  Menu items to checkout, or that have made my personal greatest hits selection. THE GRILLED TERIYAKI CHICKEN, THE TOMBO POKE SALAD ( happy hour price applies between 4pm-6pm). THE TERIYAKI STEAK, and for a sweet treat dessert that is sinfully dense delightful and the perfect post meal spongey syrupy gluten free cake the MOCHI made in house. The Mochi is not a the ice cream morsels one finds on the dessert menu at Sushi places, but a buttery short break type cake, a traditional Hawaiian dessert it feels like an angel cake on the palette, but packs a much more dense buttery finish and a certainly solidifies in your stomach with a much heavier feel. The staff at Ate oh Ate, Will the Chef, Emily and Nick who work the counter, as well as others are always friendly personable and know my order before I even step up to the counter to place it. I love the buy 12 get one meal free punch card, I am sucker for this frequent flyer punch card gimmick. I have been addicted to going to Stumptown coffee for years, in part because of my ever growing collection of these blue bean cards.

2. Hokusei. A sensational sushi place, where the unparalleled quality in fish, the precision and presentation is superb, and the bartenders, servers and chefs always warmly welcoming, accommodating and take great pride in their product and informing the customer where the fish is sourced, how the nigiri and speciality rolls are prepared and what is in the cocktail one is quaffing. The karage friend chicken is so tender, crispy airy, salted and seasoned ideally and my absolute favorite way to eat fried chicken it can be ordered ahead of time gluten free, it is mostly breaded with a lighter more crispy less greasy textured rice flour. The backstory of this up and coming kickass lyzakaya Sushi house is fascinating to me. The chef originally worked for Nobu in Los Angeles, where celebrities, paparazzi and shameless star fuckers and gawkers go to get a glimpse of Hollywoods latest and greatest celebrity ten miles of train Wreck in progress or what I like to call the A list of movie stars who win the award for the prince and princess of narcism. So this chef and a local family collaborated and opened Hokusei (meaning Northwest in Japanese) over a year ago, and it has since generated quite a following of Portlanders, in fact, it won City Search’s Best new restaurant award last year. The Shinobi Roll, and Tazmanian Trout nigiri get my nomination and have earned the best request from the menu award. I am so fascinated and enthralled with the complex earthy smokey buttery and fresh flavor combinations of these items. One must taste the Tazmanian trout, the fist few times I had the pleasure of popping this sweat meat on my palette I professed it to be the tastiest FISH ON EARTH to my bartender buddy Brian who explained the intense and detail oriented process of how they prepare it to taste so ridiculously rich, smokey and superb, certainly the absolute best nigiri I have found in Portland, Oregon. The handcrafted cocktails designed by bartender Brian are in a class of their own, he has a fifteen plus year career of craft cocktail creation and always delivers a perfect cocktail to complement a dish, sushi, or dessert.  

Karage fried chicken at Hokusei.
Karage fried chicken at Hokusei.

 2013-08-01 17.58.042013-04-15 19.16.533. Mextiza

Owner Oswaldo Bibbiano is one of my favorite Restauranteur chefs in Portland, his original place Authentica is exceptional as well. I was introduced to Oswaldo’s cooking when I was at wedding of chef friend of mine five or six summers ago, and Tamales and Mexican foods where served at the reception. Soon afterward I began savoring and tasting the tacos at Authentica, soon I fell in love, and my insatiable hunger for tacaos was appeased every time I dined at his place. I have a fodness for the ceviche, the guacamole, and so many more menu items at Authentica. Mextiza is the next level of varying recipes of regions in Mexico. The pineapple rotisserie chicken is jaw dropping, drool inducing knock out punch for the fan of a sweet spicey savory roasted chicken dish unlike anything else I have discovered in Portland.The caramalized pineapple, green peppers and smokey sweet onions draped over a golden sweet savory juicy half chicken is a feast for one person and possibly capable of feeding two if portion is split with an appetizer. The Oaxaccan cheese or chips and guacamole, both done to perfection would be the starters I would pair with the rotisserie wonder. Any of the house made Oaxaccan chocolate or food on the dessert menu is certainly worth sampling as well, all made in house and all spectacular.

4. Accanto.

A more casual accessible, less expensive part of the legendary Genoa on SE 29th and Belmont in the laid back but dynamic district of Belmont is a noteworhty weekend brunch spot, without Portlandia style waits, hype, and every out of state and suburban food tourists clamouring at the doors before opening competing for seating. The ever evolving menu has featured some the best gnocchi I have had the pleasure of nibbling, as well the fish, pork, poultry always simple but elegant almost extravagant at a good value. I ate brunch their again this weekend, probably the fourth time in the last six months, and for a fourth time it was wonderful.  its essentially similar but the omelette du jour is always evolving, some better than others depending on seasonal change. The truffled patatoe omlette they serve occasionaly is otherwordly in its originality and richness. The lasagna on the happy hour menu at mere $7 from 5pm-6pm is one Garfield the cat would scarf and rate as possibly the best on earth, certainly Portland. I am supporting seasonal and staple menu items at Accanto, I have never had a bad dish there.  

These places are four of my absolute favorites, grab a seat plant your ass and feet and get a savory sweet treat at any of these places and find out yourself.

Epicurean Cabbie, alive, but barely after New Year’s Eve, Holiday hangover subsiding as cab riding customers.

So much like the toxic scattered bile most amateurs projectile ejected into toilet bowls the morning after New Years, I was feeling my writing and my thoughts were a scrambled mess just like contents of most porcelain alters of post new years inebriation. Epicurean Cabbie as a concept, a blog, and ungoing research into the dynamic, exquisite and exceptional reviews of foodie destination places in Rose City A.K.A> Portland, Oregon has been a three or fourth month dormant endeavor for me. I have collected notes, eaten countless places and spoke and marketed myself to countless customers and friends about my feedback and real reviews for real people, and practical as well as polished ideas about what is good, what is great, and what is especially exceptional. I have been a bar and restaurant afficionado in the fantastic Rose City since 1996, I fondly recall places like the Montage of yesteryear, BIMA, and Jazz de Opus when I arrived here. Back then I recall the Atwaters era, Zefiro, and Wildwood as a few of my favorites, now the list has infinitely expanded and both the well known once a week eateriers like Ate oh Ate, my favorite taquerias, or sushi at some of my regulars spots Hokusei, in weeks to come I will be reblogging, reposting, REgurgitating older reviews thoughts and making new forays into food dispensaries around Portland. My Januaury thus far turned into a June-UARY get away vacation for awhile at the beah, little to no internet access and I took a vacation from blogging. Back with a vengance, and zest to write of the many trips tours and excursions one may take in Portland to find the ultimate party for your palette. Thanks for patience as I am blog/tech challenged but finding way through the fog, whats tasty, not so tasty, where to go what to do and what not to do is an ever evolving task for me and my mission. Read and Eat away and tell me what you think…

Zero to Hero Rose City’s Epicurean Cabbie.

Zero to Hero Rose City's Epicurean Cabbie.

Ride along with Portland’s epicurean cabbie, a restless hungry soul compulsively sampling Rose City’s freshest eateries since 1996. Enjoy ancedotal hilarity about food freaky inebriates, food tourists, boozers, bartenders, chefs, sloppy funny tipsy servers and strippers. I have been a well trusted highly sought after consultant and guide for the stars of bars since 2008. I am the 21st century Travis Bickle and tour guide for your taste buds of the Pacific Northwest.

Food reviews of from this Cab driver roaming the Rose City seeking the tastiest cuisine.
“I’m Turning Japanese…I really think so… These photos capture the sensation of these superb speciality rolls, appetizers, and items imprinting my palette with unforgetable flavors.
Karage fried chicken at Hokusei.
Karage fried chicken at Hokusei.