Triangle Trip

Tag: restaurant review

Portland Steakhouse Recommendations

by on May.03, 2009, under Business Meals

Portland, Oregon is known for its Pinot Noir, fancy restaurants – steakhouses in particular. Yes. Believe it or not, there are several great steakhouses in the Pacific Northwest where they are known for fish. During my time in Oregon, I had the opportunity to dine at some of the best steakhouses in Portand. Below is a review of the top 3 steakhouses in Portland:

1.  RingSide Steakhouse – Ringside is a family owned and operated restaurant with locations downtown and Glendoveer. The place is a bit west of the center of town. You will get great steak and a wide variety of meats at RingSide. RingSide also has special sauces to go with each steak. Be sure to get the steak with the peppercorn sauce. RingSide also offers a great selection of Portland Pinots and California Cabs. This is a great place to dine like a local!

2.  Jake’s Grill – Jake’s is part of McCormick & Schmick’s restaurant chain but it certainly does not feel like one when you are inside restaurant. Jake’s has the classic American grill look and feel with a very local Pacific Northwest atmosphere. Best dish at Jake’s is the shrimp cocktail appetizer. The jumbo shrimp is fresh and awesome. My personal favorite steak at Jake’s is the New York. Jake’s also offer a wide selection of scotches – they are so so when it comes to wine selection. You will also find nice cigars and see people smoking outside before 9PM. Portland allows smoking after 9PM.

3. El Gaucho – El Gaucho is a Pacific Northwest steakhouse with restaurants in Oregon and Washington. El Gaucho offers live Latin guitar as a part of your dining experience. In addition to the standard USDA steaks,  El Gaucho als offers “carved table side” and “flaming swords.” The “carved table side” is a selection of meats cut at your table. The “flaming swords” are kabobs which is also served at your table. El Gaucho also has a cigar room where you can dine and enjoy a fine cigar before, during and after dinner.

If you are not ready to try the local joints, go to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse for a consistent steak. Portland’s Ruth’s did some experimentation with the menu when we were there. We did not like the experiments and the chef was very accommodating and still offer me my personal favorite: two petite filets with shrimp. It was a good experience overall.

Honorable Mentioned: Shula’s Steakhouse – which was located inside the Marriott on Broadway but recently closed. Shula’s was a great place to catch Monday Night Football. I was said to hear that they have closed down. I believe it’s a restaurant called Mez which is very lamed compared to Shula’s Steakhouse.

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Where to eat in New York City’s Chinatown

by on Apr.25, 2009, under Business Meals, Vacation

As a follow up to my NYC Guide post, below is a list of Chinese restaurants in New York’s Chinatown I highly recommend to tourists and locals. I am actually a frequent customer at most of the restaurants I list below. Not only are these Chinese restaurants good, they are also very cheap. Before you go into any of these Chinese restaurants (or any for that matter), make sure you have cash with you as most Chinatown businesses only accept cash.

1.  New Wonton Garden – It used to be the best wonton in the world… but quality has gone down due to new ownership. However, this is still the best wonton noodle shop in the US. I am a huge fan of wonton noodle soup and Wonton Garden in NYC has the best soup in the nation. Wonton Garden is located on Mott Street between Canal and Bayard. Each bowl of wonton noodle soup or any other dumpling with soup will cost you under US$6.

2.  Big Wong King or Big Wing Wong – Both places offer cheap Cantonese style food. You can get BBQ pork, duck and other traditional Cantonese dishes in any of these restaurants. These two restaurants are probably the cheapest on the list. You can get a wonton noodle soup or roast pork with rice for under US$4. Big Wong King is located across the street from Wonton Garden and Big Wing Wong is located on Mott between Canal and Hester.

3.  Joe’s Shanghai – There are three Joe’s Shanghai locations (NYC Chinatown, Uptown and Flushing). The Joe’s Shanghai in Chinatown is by far the best. Joe’s Shanghai offer the best Shanghai soup dumpling in the world. I am not joking or exaggerating here. I have tried the best Shanghai soup dumpling deemed by local Shanghainese pundits, and Joe’s Shanghai soup dumplings was much better. For a tray of soup dumplings, it would cost you no more than US$6. Joe’s Shanghai offers many other Shanghainese dishes which are authentic. Go early in the afternoon or late in the afternoon to avoid the long lines. Joe’s Shanghai in Chinatown is located on Pell Street between Mott and Bowery.

4.  Hop Lee – Located on 16 Mott Street near Chatham Square. Hop Lee is more of a casual dining place with traditional Chinese food. Like most traditional restaurants, food is served family style. I always order the Cantonese style lobster dish which I highly recommend for my readers. Hop Lee also offers fresh seafood and vegetable dishes. Go there for dining and you will not be disappointed. Your meal should not run you US$50 for two people and I will guarantee you will be full.

5.  Golden Unicorn – This place is usually packed on weekends and most tourists know about it. Despite the fact that it is touristy, I still highly recommend this restaurant. I believe Golden Unicorn serves great dim sum for breakfast and has a good menu for fine dining in the evenings. Golden Unicorn is also cleaner than other dim sum restaurants in New York’s Chinatown.

Hope y’all enjoyed this post and visit my NYC Chinatown favorites. Leave me a feedback after you have tried these places.

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Local Sushi Restaurant Recommendations at Union Square, San Francisco

by on Apr.14, 2009, under Business Meals, Vacation

I highly recommend two sushi restaurants in San Francisco’s Union Square area.  No big fancy, upscale restaurants where they overcharge for mediocre sushi.  In fact these two places are relatively close to each other in Nob Hill (a few blocks from Union Square).  I am a frequent visitor of these places when I want quality and fresh nigiri or sashimi.

1) Ryoko’s Japanese Restaurant – This place is hard to see, with two doors which immediately leads down stairs to the restaurant.  Ryoko’s is located on Taylor near Post. Portions isn’t very large, but the sushi quality is great.  First good sign upon entering is Japanese people run this Ryoko’s.  They know what they are talking about when they make suggestions about sushi.  They always have sushi and sashimi specials which they import in from Japan.

The fish at Ryoko’s is great. I don’t know if its just the freshness or quality, or the way the chefs cut the fish.  It just melts in your mouth.  Albacore and Himachi are my favorite which I always get, but if they have toro available, I’m going to get it.  And if you bring your non raw fish eating friends, don’t worry the rolls here are excellent as well.  Ryoko’s have a a lot of different rolls, and my personal favorite is the spider roll.  The crab is fried to perfection and not mushy like other places.

Ryoko’s menu is quite extensive, from appetizers and salads to entres, sashimi and rolls, modern and traditional.  We always get the salmon rice balls, delicious!

On weekend nights, Ryoko’s have a DJ who plays music, so the place will loud. Don’t expect fine dining, but more of a hip and trendy sushi restaurant. The downside is this place only opens for dinner, but the upside it opens until 2am.  Late night eaters, and party goers, come eat at Ryoko’s before you go out.

2. Sakana – Sakana is a small casual restaurant.  I come here to eat with my roommates, or friends when we want to relax.  The fish quality here is amazing, and the selection of sushi is outstanding.  Alongside Sakana’s menu, they have a specials of all sorts of weird things I never see in normal sushi restaurants.

When I come to Sakana, I come for the sushi, no rolls, no noodles, no teriyaki.  This place is for some high quality and variety of sushi.  When I have a sushi craving, I come here, and my stomach is completely satisified.

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