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The Appealing Expatriate; 'Genuine' Eats at Dar Salam

Photo of Expatriate courtesy Avila/EPDX

The Oregonian's Michael Russell gets cozy in the "four-star opium den" Expatriate, the multicultural bar from Kyle Webster and chef Naomi Pomeroy. Russell tracks down many of the bar's aesthetic flourishes to some of Portland's now-folded Chinese restaurants; after the mini-history lesson, Russell notes the resulting space contains the "nostalgic appeal of a vintage cookbook."

But the food and drink live squarely in the present: The aged-rum "Shanghai" cocktail provides a "a high-wire act"; Pomeroy's take on shrimp toast deemed "decadent"; while a simple butter and onion sandwich is "unreasonably delicious." Elsewhere, Pomeroy's crab rangoon is considered "delightful," making up for a few missteps where flavors overpower each other or semantics get in the way. Ultimately the spot earns a "B+" — after one visit, Russell argues, "you might walk away thinking Pomeroy is Portland's new queen of comfort food." [OregonLive]

The Mercury's Chris Onstad is similarly charmed by a room in his review of NE Alberta's Dar Salam, where diners "feel at home" in the "remarkably comfortable" space. Most of the Middle Eastern menu gets props, but standouts appears to be the vegetarian dishes: ful mudamas is described as "addictive," a simple green salad "invigorating," and an eggplant stew "deep and rewarding." Generously portioned schwarma dishes "eat best as rice plates" but can tend toward the "monotonous" in texture and flavor.

Ultimately, the shortcomings — like odd timing issues — almost contribute to the "genuine" feel of the dining experience. Says Onstad of one timing misstep that saw dessert arriving first: "That would be bizarre anywhere else, but relaxed into a pillow-lined bench in the warm, amber glow of the charmingly cluttered room, I'm inclined to take it in stride." [Mercury]
· All Previous Weeks in Review [Eater PDX]


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