2008/05/20

Genie's Cafe

Portland happens to be a big weekend brunch city (at least in the SE area), and there are very few places as popular as Genie's Cafe. If you don't get here before 10am, you can pretty much count on an hour wait to get in, and for good reason. Genie's has a wide range of breakfasty deliciousness including omelettes, scrambles, more traditional egg, bacon and pancake combinations, potatoes (roasted or o'brien), and they also have some more lunchy stuff, sandwiches, a burger, etc. They use mostly local, organic ingredients, will substitute tofu for eggs for no extra charge, make amazing combinations of flavors and serve Stumptown coffee (both american coffee and espresso drinks). They also have a full bar, so if you're craving a mimosa to go along with your bright summer morning, or a bloody mary for that drizzly fall morning, you can have one. We've never had a bad experience here, the food is always incredible, the only negative would be having to either get up early or wait a long time, but you know, if you're up on a Saturday and have nothing to do for the day, it doesn't really matter if you have to wait, right? Try it out, you'll love it.

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Genie's Cafe

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Genie's Cafe
1101 SE Division ST
Portland, OR 97202
Phone: 503-445-9777


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2008/05/02

Nuestra Cocina

We've been to this place three times now, and every time it has been fantastic. Nuestra Cocina (Our Kitchen) is a small Mexican food place that serves authentic country cuisine from Mexico, and they do it well. We went last night, and here's what we had:

Drink - Pitcher of Sangria
Appetizer - Grilled Mexican white prawns marinated in tamarind
Dave - Braised Cattail Creek lamb shank, chiles & spices in a rich tomato broth
Trina - Chile marinated grilled pork chops, whipped potatoes & Guajillo mole
Dessert - We each had an empanada with lemon custard inside, with caramel sauce and whipped cream.

Everything was absolutely delicious. The lamb was maybe the most well-cooked, flavorful lamb I've ever had. I basically picked up the bone and the meat all just fell off on its own. The seasoning on the prawns was amazing, and the potatoes and mole with the pork chops were extraordinary. The sangria was perfectly mixed, with flavors of red wine, brandy, vanilla and spices, nothing overpowering, but well complemented. The empanadas were a perfect way to end the meal, not too big (after a large meal), and delicious.

The atmosphere is pretty cozy, the building itself has a definite southwestern feel to it. During the summer, they have a covered patio that will shade you from the sun, and let you sip your sangria with a cool breeze in your hair. The service is extremely friendly and helpful, and the overall experience is really good.

It's a bit more on the spendy side, with entrees ranging between $12-$18, and appetizers between $5-$8 - but not extravagantly expensive, and a good value if you consider the amount and the quality of the food you get. Well worthwhile for a nice night out.

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The front door and sign:
Nuestra Cocina

The patio area:
Nuestra Cocina

The sign, looking through the patio:
Nuestra Cocina

Closeup of the sign:
Nuestra Cocina

The lamb shank:
Nuestra Cocina

The pork chops:
Nuestra Cocina

The main dining area:
Nuestra Cocina

Empanadas... mmmm:
Nuestra Cocina

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Nuestra Cocina
2135 SE Division St.
Portland, OR 97202
503-232-2135
http://www.nuestra-cocina.com/
info@nuestra-cocina.com


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