Tasty N Sons

Tasty n’ Sons

For a few years now, I’ve had a bucket list of Portland restaurants I’ve wanted to try. Some are out of my budget. Some are just impossible to get into–like Tasty n’ Sons. Michael and I have tried to go to this restaurant multiple times now and the wait was always too long. The “thing” to do in restaurant management here in Portland seems to be to have very small dining areas and accept NO reservations so that there’s always a line, thus creating demand and buzz. I find this pretentious and I’m rarely willing to wait over an hour for a seat to eat a meal.

Tasty n' Sons

Thursday night Michael’s father was visiting from Texas and the plan was to go to Meriwether’s–a tried and true favorite. The traffic was atrocious and we missed our reservation time trying to get from the airport to NW. I said screw it, let’s find anything. It was by change and luck that Tasty n’ Sons did NOT have a wait out the door!

Tasty n' Sons

Michael and his dad were parking the car and I dashed into the restaurant to get us on the list. Miraculously there were tables free! The server was reluctant to seat me since my “party” wasn’t with me (apparently they won’t seat people there unless everyone has arrived). I guaranteed they were right behind me (do I need to offer my first born son, too??) and she let me squat at a table til they arrived. I munched on the oddly salty and sweet roasted peanuts that were at the table. They were delicious.

Michael ordered us the dates wrapped in bacon and smothered with maple syrup. At first I scoffed at the appetizer because I’ve never had dates before and it honestly sounded like a train wreck of sweetness and crunch. But I trust Michael’s palette and knew he’d never order something that was grotesquely sweet. Three tiny dates arrived on a small plate like lumps of coal. I was still apprehensive but decided to give it a try.

Tasty n' Sons

The dates were wrapped in bacon and there was an almond wrapped inside of it. I took a bite and it was…squishy…The flavor was mild but the texture was what I cringed at until Michael instructed me to eat the whole thing in one bite. Much better decision. I popped the remainder in my mouth and it was an explosion of breakfast in my mouth. The combination of flavors of fruit, maple syrup, almonds and bacon tasted exactly like a waffle–or french toast. It was marvelous. In one bite I got to experience my favorite carby-breakfast treats. There’s no way I could ever eat more than one, maybe two, of these little suckers but it was enjoyable.

Tasty n' Sons

The next appetizer arrived on a mound of thin french fries: the “Pretty Damn Good Chicken Strips” and these were gosh darn golly gee pretty darn good. They weren’t drenched in grease like chicken strips tend to be and the garlic/ranch/aioli dipping sauce was addicting.

My entree was the polenta with peppers and sausage. The polenta tasted just like the cheesy grits I had in Texas. Cheesy grits and polenta need to be in every meal. 🙂 I loved the polenta! The sausage was really spicy with a hint of fennel.

Tasty n' Sons

I had a glass of wine that was a Sangiovese and Cabernet blend.  It was the kind of full-bodied red you want to sip slowly while you cut into a juicy steak smothered in onions and a bernaise sauce. Even though the wine was bold, it wasn’t overpowering like a lot of cabernet blends can be. I wouldn’t order this wine with something delicate like fish but it complimented my sausage and polenta entree nicely.

Tasty n' Sons

Michael got the “The Tasty Burger”–bacon and smoked bleu cheese with sweet pickles on it. I had one bite and enjoyed every smokey burst of flavor in it. Michael wasn’t blown away by the burger, though. He felt like it wasn’t as juicy as some of the other amazing burgers we’ve tried in our Quest.

I’d rate this restaurant at a solid A-. The service was awesome, despite the weirdness about getting a table, and the food was delicious. I’m a tad disappointed Michael didn’t think their burger was outstanding, so it’s not going on our Burger Quest list at this time.

QUESTION: Are restaurants difficult to get into in your town? How long are you willing to wait for a table?

Vacation Day Lunch – 5th Quadrant

Thursday I slept in late and enjoyed being lazy. Having an
extra vacation day off this week was sooo needed. I ate some
oatmeal and then went for a swim. I had the pool almost to myself
the whole time and had a great swim. I didn’t set out to accomplish
anything specific but I normally don’t wear my Heart Rate Monitor
in the pool and since I did I tended to be more preoccupied with
the data it told me than relaxing. Michael and I
decided to go out to lunch since we had the whole rest of the day
free of plans. I suggested we go to Tasty N Son’s
over in North Portland. It’s owned by the same people
that run Toro Bravo–two restaurants I’ve been dying to try. The
urgency to try Tasty N Son’s grew after I met Carbzilla back in
October
and she told me how amazing the food was. Imagine
my surprise when it was about noon on a Thursday and the place was
PACKED. Not even an empty seat at the bar. There was a 45 minute
wait at least. We decided to walk up the street and see what else
was available. Up the block was the
5th
Quadrant
–a pub owned by the Lompoc Brewery. We’re fans
of the Oaks Bottom Pub in Sellwood (also part of the brewery) so we
decided to eat lunch there. It was a typical Portland brew pub in
decor and menu. We were seated
immediately even though it was half full. I also noticed there was
an outdoor patio that will be nice in the summer time. Michael and
I talked about riding our bikes to the pub during the summer time.
Since it was a
vacation day and after 12:30 we started with beer. 😉 We both started with
the Fool’s Golden Ale and neither of us liked it. To me it tasted
like PBR (yuck) and to Michael it tasted like soap. Yuck. We
sampled two others and settled on the Condor Pale Ale. Much better.
For lunch I ordered
the BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich: Lean pork shoulder slowly braised in
Sockeye Stout, shredded then served on a toasted pub bun and topped
with BBQ sauce and homemade coleslaw. Michael had the
Italian Grinder, which was my second choice. It was grilled
capicola ham and salami with sautéed peppers & onions,
mozzarella, tomatoes and basil vinaigrette on a hoagie roll. I had
a bite of his sandwich and it was tasty. The cheese and ham combo
was stellar–no greasy and the ham wasn’t stringy or tough to chew
like it sometimes can get. Doesn’t that just
look amazing? NOM! Next time we go there I’m
definitely getting the Italian Grinder. My sandwich was flavorful
without being overly messy and sweet. Sometimes with pulled pork it
can have too much sauce (which is just a bunch of sugar, let’s be
honest). In fact, I bet I
could make my own pulled pork in the crockpot. Anyone have a good
recipe they can share? Michael and I
enjoyed a leisurely lunch at 5th Quadrant and chatted about various
things…Christmas, friends, friends with babies, dogs, food,
summer biking plans…you name it. We wrapped up our
conversation and headed back to our neck of the woods (basically
the entire opposite end of Portland from where we had lunch).
Michael had a chiropractic appointment to get to. Poor guy has been in
pain for 2 weeks now. He’s done the physical therapy stretches he
got from the doc, got a massage and now had 2 chiro appointments to
no avail. 🙁 Apparently he has a
“damaged ligament” in his back??? He told me that I said “huh?”
That’s such a vague term it doesn’t even sound real.
I had a “damaged ligament” in my right
ankle–it was called a torn ligament. And I had to have surgery to
repair it. It was an awful experience. So I’m wondering how he can
have a damaged ligament in his back, what that MEANS, and how the
hell do you fix it? While Michael was at the chiropractor I watched
“Four Christmases” with Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn. I
really liked the movie and it got me into the Christmas spirit!
Looking forward to the rest of the weekend.
QUESTION: Can anyone help Michael with his
ailment?