Welcome to ColemanWatch, a weekly feature in which we parse the particularly florid stylings of the Portland Mercury's resident food critic, Patrick Alan Coleman. Seen a sentence we've missed? Log on to your bright, burning email screen, and wend a grandiloquent email our way.
This week, Coleman takes on cult favorite Montage, formally known as Le Bistro Montage, and practically known as "We could always just go to Montage..." For starters, Coleman makes it feel like we're practically tucked into the "hate" and "love"-jacketed waiters' armpits, writing all descriptive-y and jazz with the tin cans on the floor, wrinkled paper menus, and white linen tablecloths. For seconds, he mentions the macs. But for surprising--and really quite charming--thirds, Coleman turns the menu over and gives unexpected dishes like catfish hushpuppies, alligator bites, and green eggs and spam a shot.
And then he gets deep. And then he gets profound. And then, shock of all shocks, he gets profane.
It's the mélange every drunk would make if the spins didn't dampen their ability to wield a frying pan before passing out. Spam, eggs, pesto, and chicken gravy are wed into a mass of fatty goodness that rivals poutine in its ability to give sustenance, warmth, and some kind of anchor in times of inebriation. It is, in one word, delicious. And despite the whimsical "fuck you" attitude of the dish, it is also weirdly understated.Spinning drunks? Weird understatement? Whimsical fucks??
Back in the day, plausibly, and more please! And, bien sur, there is more:
It draws you in with its audacity, but manages to satisfy despite everything going on. It's comforting. It's strange. And it speaks to a certain Portland love of excess.Exactly.
·The Other Side [Portland Mercury]
·Nel Centro Cleaned Up, Coleman Also [Eater PDX]
·Cart Futures Uncertain, Coleman Restrained [Eater PDX]