The Oregonian's Michael Russell awards Kelly Myers' Mexican spot Xico a "B" grade in this week's review, but admits that he's grading on a slight curve. "I'm still not sure what to make of Xico," he writes, noting wildly inconsistent experiences that "have ranged from disappointing to sublime." On the sublime side, a seafood pozole "dotted with green salsa like so many lilies in an Impressionist pond," so sublime that things get heady:
"This was the restaurant I had hoped for, inspired by Oaxaca not as a culinary touchstone (though the region is name-checked) but as a Mexico of the mind, a high-altitude home to landscape artists, fragrant chocolate and fabulous cactus gardens."
There's also a Subaru metaphor to describe a serviceable margarita. Ultimately, "though consistency is a problem, adventurous eaters will be rewarded." [OregonLive]
"I bought a chocolate doughnut from a well-known local shop to sample next to a Blue Star version. Blue Star's faintly yeasty dough showcased their rich Valrhona chocolate ganache without adding redundant sweetness; chewing it, I realized I might never have actually tasted the "chocolate" on a chocolate doughnut before."
Onstad's go-to offerings: the chocolate doughnut, a Meyer lemon and Key lime curd, and a PBJ-filled doughnut. The only downer was the famous fried-chicken topped doughnut: "I ended up feeling dispirited after three bites." [Mercury]
Meanwhile, WWeek's Matthew Korfhage gives good marks to SE Hawthorne's under-the-radar Bar Dobre, which "sports quite simply the best kielbasa plate I've had this side of Chicago." [WW]
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