Following up his last published review of cart-to-mortar sandwich shop Shut Up & Eat, the Mercury's Chris Onstad heads to the West End to sample Rick Gencarelli's cart-to-mortar sandwich shop Lardo West, where "Gencarelli's ballsy and unapologetic food is, for the most part, a genuine pleasure."
Pork items take center stage in the review, including a pork belly banh mi has "the emotional presence of a half-pound burger"; the smoked coppa Cubano "eats cleanly," which seems to be an important requirement in the Onstad book. Ultimately: "Lardo is a solid destination for robust, satisfying food that makes no apologies." [Mercury]
Pascal Sauton's having a pretty good week. In addition to walking away with Portland's Hottest Chef 2013 title, the chef/owner of Milwaukie Kitchen & Wine garners a positive review from the Oregonian's David Sarasohn. Sarasohn seemingly feels the need to justify the casual spot's ambiance ("even though you're surrounded by XXX deli items" comes up more than once), but gives solid marks to the simple but flavorful food. Check the adjectives accompanying a "rich, succulent" roast pork, "impressively juicy" roasted chicken, a "striking" steak tartare, and a "lively (and muscular)" beef bourguignon shepherd's pie. The "B" grade is best summed up thusly: "Its dishes may be straightforward rather than subtle, but they're also skilled." Kind of like Sauton's Hot Chef photo. [OregonLive]
Get the goat. WWeek enthusiastically recommends NE 82nd Avenue's Simply Vietnamese, a three-month-old spot that "resembles a bizarro-world burger shop, with tables striped like barber poles." Skip the familiar-looking dishes in favor of the "specialty section," which features goat tenderloin and fish sauce wings dubbed among the best in the city: "The sour notes come through less than the sweetness and salt, leading to savory, kettle-corny junk food." [WW]
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