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Thursday, 22 July
Bastas Trattoria

410 NW 21st Ave. (via d-dish)
Arancini
Bistecca di Manzo alla Griglia
Basilico e Mozzarella
Cost: about $40

Oh, but this was goodgoodgoodgoodgood. Wonderful food and great vegetarian options make this a keeper.

Arancini is a "saffron rice fritter stuffed with a ragout of zucchini and eggplant with fresh mozzarella". This is now tied for favorite appetizer with Porto Terra's stuffed artichoke hearts. It is a delicately crispy Sno-Ball of mellow rice, filled with a creamy blend of savory veggies. Foodgasm Central.

My steak (boy, I order that a lot) was excellent. Just the barest bit unmoist. It was even the correct temperature, despite being delivered. It came with tasty sauteed spinach, and heavenly mashed potatoes.

Bills' Basilico e Mozzarella was also delicious. A simple blend of penne tossed with tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, and garlic, it was skillfully prepared, each flavor cooperating perfectly.

While it won't replace Porto Terra as our favorite, Bastas will probably be our first choice for Italian from Delivered Dish.

Friday, 16 July
Bento 14

I'm off to Webvisions today, where I am unlikely to encounter a refrigerator, so today's bento is just for the Spousal Unit.

On the bottom are beans (More beans! Woo!), and leftover Veggie-san roll from Dragonfish. On the top is a salad made from zucchini, tomato, and orange pepper, with a dollop of olive paste on top. In the little compartments are potato salad (More potato salad! Woo!), and a spoonful or two of raspberry jam. Which is about the only way I can get my SU to eat fruit.

Thursday, 15 July
Dragonfish

909 SW Park Ave (via D-dish)
Miso Soup
Veggie Yakisoba
Japanese Whiskey Bar Steak
Veggie-san Roll
Chocolate Banana Cream Pie
Cost: About $40

I'd heard from a friend that Dragonfish had veggie rolls, so we decided to give them a try. Turned out they only have one kind of veggie roll, but they did have other vegetarian options for the SU.

He was greatly pleased with his miso soup, and the Veggie-san roll was yummy. Sadly, the Veggie Yakisoba was absolutely rotten with ginger--and no mention of this on the menu. It was too much for Bill.

My steak was a temp too high--but that's to be expected with delivery. I always order the temperature I like the first time, and if it's overcooked, I'll move down a temp next time. It was quite tasty, and as promised, the dipping sauce was delicious. Also good was the spinach sautee on the side--though I gave it to Bill to make up for the yakisoba. Today's news had me drowning in Weltschmertz and I was full after a few bites of meat, anyway.

Disappointment in the state of the world notwithstanding, there is always room for dessert. The Chocolate Banana Cream Pie was served with chocolate and caramel sauces, milk chocolate ice cream, and scattered berries. I was surprised they sent the ice cream to be delivered, as it was half-melted. No matter--all the better for dipping pie in it! The dessert made the meal. It was just fantabulous. Rich, with a variety of textures from crunchy to creamy, a bitey delight. I saved half of it for later.

Despite the yakisoba, I'm not willing to write off Dragonfish; especially since the rest of the meal was so good. I'd really like to go there in person and give them a try. Ideally, I'd like to drop in for lunch and try a bento box.

Wednesday, 14 July
Bento 13

I had most of the top part ready, and was just going to fill it in with orange bell pepper, but when I sliced off a side, I saw that it was heart-shaped. Who can resist a heart filled with potato salad?

Other than that, today's bento is same-old, same old, but with some pretty basil on the beans.

Tuesday, 13 July
Bento 12

Mostly the same stuff as yesterday, with the exception of peas and carrots. See how cleverly I've bent the carrot sticks around the cupcake?

*pats self on back*

Monday, 12 July
Bento 11

Well that's a mighty disappointing picture. Ah well, sealed up and stuffed in backpacks now.

What you see through the blur are nori rolls with celery and sauteed zucchini, beans, potato salad, half a cupcake, and a tortilla roll--mine with cream cheese and veggies and SU's with olive salad.

Mmmmm.

Saturday, 10 July
Romano's Macaroni Grill

300 SW Yamhill St.
Stuffed Portabello
Capellini Pomodoro
Tuscan Rib-eye (I think)

It's been about a month since we went to Romano's, and I keep forgetting to write about it. Normally, we'd just go again so I could have a fresher impression. This is not an option. Not that it matters--I remember the experience (with the exception of what, exactly, I ate) quite well.

The Spousal Unit was miserable. His allergies were acting up, and he was sneezing his poor beleaguered brains out as we bussed to the restaurant. We were looking forward to a clean, air-conditioned atmosphere where he could recover. Unfortunatly, Romano's is rather like being at a barbeque. The entire restaurant was filled with a smokey haze from the grill. Whether this is ambiance or design flaw, I do not know; I only know that it was extremely unpleasant.

Our server, bless her heart, was very concerned about my suffering spouse, and did her best. For the exceedingly overbearing service, I blame neither her, nor any of the other staff. It's clear they are trained by the chain to interrupt your meal every few minutes and ask: "Is it great!? Do you love it!?" (No, I'm not kidding--it's unbelievable.)

The meal was exactly what one would expect from a national chain--straight middlin'. Nothing wrong with it, but nothing exceptional. I enjoyed the stuffed portabello very much. Bill's pomodoro was edible, but nothing like he's used to (from Porto Terra), and my steak (I'm pretty sure I had one--ah, fickle memory), was adequate. Nothing that would inspire us to again brave the (bbq) pit and the friendlylum.

I do feel for the waitstaff there. We tipped well and fled.

Thursday, 08 July
Keeping Greens

Redfox has some most excellent tips on prepping greens for storage. I'd been doing the salad thing since I saw it on Alton Brown (though alas, no room here for a salad spinner), but the parboiling is new to me. It sounds like a splended idea.

Wednesday, 07 July
Welcome Willy Week!

Hello to anyone who has wandered over from Willamette Week.

Yes, I used my real name for the article--that's a pseudonym you see at the bottom of the entry. Oh no! There goes my anonymity! Don't stalk me, k? Well, unless it's a stalk of celery with peanut butter.

| Cat Connor | 07 Jul, 2004