Dinner

Spork

We stopped here for lunch on the way to Steens Mountain. It’s located just outside of downtown Bend.  We didn’t know what to expect with this Mexican/Asian fusion order at the register place but the menu looked good and it had a good crowd.  It was by far our best find this year!  Lowell ordered the chilaquiles.  It was a mild dish but good, and they added a small pile of jalapeños in case you wanted to kick it up a notch.  Aidan got the shredded pork rice bowl, the pork was sweet and really well done, with the sauce I can’t describe that had peanuts and vegetables in it.  Dad got the cat fish tacos. Again, really good.  Dad is from the south and knows what fried catfish should taste like -the catfish was lightly fried in clean oil, lightly seasoned and perfectly cooked with a side of jalapeños in case you want to add some kick to it.  I got the Carnitas Sando which was a slow roasted pork sandwich with a fried egg, cabbage and other vegetables, cotija cheese and yucca chips and lots of amazing sauce.  Definitely not the low-fat option but it was amazing.  We SO need a Spork in Portland. We all agreed it would go over really well. Everyone there is really nice, the music is loud, but this helps drown the noise of the kids, and we were in and out of there really fast!  Love!!!

www.sporkbend.com

Double Happiness

We needed a place to stop for lunch on the way to Burns and we were burger and a hotdog’d out so we found ourselves at Double Happiness Chinese restaurant off Hwy 20 in Bend.  We were a little wary at first, but the food wasn’t half bad. It’s your standard run-of-the-mill Chinese restaurant. Lolo ordered “mothers chicken”. which he was very excited about.  Dad was disappointed with his Kung Pao shrimp: hardly any shrimp and way too much  zucchini.  The sweet and sour was ok, same with the chow mein.  The portions were WAY too big though.  The boys liked it and that’s all that mattered!

Park Kitchen

Ok, so it was mom and dad’s anniversary and we didn’t make any plans and then last minute decided we wanted to go out.  We took the dudes to one of our favorite dinner spots, Park Kitchen.  Aidan got the “House Squirt” and Lolo got a custom made limeaid from the bar.  We all decided we would do the Chef’s Tasting menu so we could be surprised.  First out were smoked prawns – two thumbs up from the dudes.  Second was the cod fritters, Lolo gave them two thumbs up, but Aidan said they tasted too much like potatoes and not enough like cod.  Then pork terrine sliders.  Big hit with the dudes.  Of course.  Lolo pointed out that they were better than mom’s pulled pork sliders.  Then the snap pea soup which was outstanding but apparently too green for the boys.  Did their one obligatory taste and that was it.  Beet salad with blood orange, pistachios and goat cheese – good, but not a hit with the dudes.  Then duck sausage with grits and broccolini.  Best dish EVER (according to Aidan and Lowell).  Finally, some beautiful cod and pork, but frankly, even though the two dishes were awesome we were all getting stuffed and so the excitement was fading.   Then desert.  Lolo loved the chocolate cake salted caramel hazelnut ice cream desert, and the rhubarb donuts were a hit with Aidan.  The sorrel panna cotta, well, it was very nice, but mom was the only one that ate it.  Really reasonable for 2.5 hours of amazing food and great service for $65/head!  Kid friendly?  Yes, but not in the kids menu run amuck kind of way.  You have to have kids that love food and can stay in their seats and keep the volume down, but if you do, this is the place!  They were so nice to the boys and treated them like little adults!  Oh, and if you like Moscow Mules they make a killer non-ginger beer version.  It’s all about the fresh ginger!

http://parkkitchen.com/

Conin

Conin RestaurantWe decided to take the dudes here after good things about it throughout the village. This location used to be our favorite Indian restaurant but it closed a few years back. Lolo really liked the salsa (it was pretty good). For an appetizer we shared tje “Molletes”, basically bread with mashed beans, cheese, and tomato – can’t go wrong there! Aidan and dad ordered the beef burrito, which they were both very impressed with. Mom ordered the beef chimichanga which was also very good. Lolo ordered the Enfrijoladas. He wasnt big on his because he was expecting an enchilada. They have a full bar, its kid friendly, and everyone there is super nice. Overall, the dudes gave it two thumbs up. Hopefully this restaurant makes it in the spot where restaurants go to die.

Casa Vaca Taqueria, Part II

So, the dudes have blogged about Casa Vaca before, but this was before they started serving brunch on the weekends.  Of course we had to try it!  Lowell got the eggs Benedict, which looked absolutely amazing – he even devoured the spinach! Mom got the breakfast enchiladas which were to die for, and dad got the huevos rancheros which were also amazing. But the winner was Aidan’s Tres Leches French toast. Oh. My. God. This one I made sure to try even though I was stuffed and it was the best thing ever created. It was decadent, delicious, all around perfect.  But adults beware, you may need to wear your stretchy pants to this one. Their mimosas are pretty darn good too!  Finally, as always, everyone there is super nice and it is so family friendly and easy to go with kids!!  We love Casa Vaca!!!  Their brunch menu is on their website.  http://www.casavacapdx.com/menu

Kris’ Fish (formerly known as the awesome neighborhood fish truck) does it again!

Ok, seriously folks.  This place is worse than a candy store.  We can’t ever get out with just what we came for.  The amazing fish and meat are enough, but then there’s the crab and salmon dips, the salsas, the zucchini relish, and cheese and salami, and that’s not everything.  But the other day we went in for some fish for dinner and Kris had Dover Sole stuffed with crab and artichoke.  Pre-made?  Just throw in the oven?  Nothing to do?  Kris suggested we slice the top and put a dollop of brie or some other creamy cheese.  Oh my god.  It was to die for.  The boys loved it and it took no effort on my part.  It was creamy and delicious and we sincerely hope Kris does this again.  We love you Kris!!!  Be sure and check out Kris’ Fish Facebook page and if you haven’t been there recently, her new digs.  No more truck!  It’s an actual structure!  Still at 35th and Multnomah!

 

Casa Vaca Taqueria 

We always do a little happy dance when a new restaurant opens up in the village.  As far as we are concerned there can never be enough good ones.  So we were very hopeful when the old Mexican joint closed (not so good) and a new one was to take its place.  Casa Vaca Taqueria was a wonderful surprise. The food was really good, it was very family-friendly and the family running it were really nice. It’s not your overly cheesy heavy Mexican, but it’s not quite as vegetable intensive as say, Cocina Verde.  Lolo ordered the nachos, can’t go wrong there. Aidan ordered a bacon blue and honey quesadilla. It could’ve been really bad or really good and it turned out to be really good although quite heavy and could have easily been dessert!  Mark got the open faced shrimp quesadilla and I got the shrimp tacos. No complaints all-around although the spicy shrimp wasn’t spicy. But we will forgive them that!  Added bonus – they make a kale side salad that even my boys liked!  They treated the dudes like little adults and it is now one of the dudes’ favorite restaurants in the Village.