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.

The Hairy Lobster

Well, despite the “silly name” according to the dudes (and we had our reservations too), the dudes were impressed with the food at the most recent restaurant to make its home in the building by Jamison Square where restaurants seem to come to die.  Started with the lobster Cubano. Who would’ve thought that lobster and pork with the spicy a aioli  would work but it was one of the boys favorites.  So much going on but it was outstanding.  It was Lowell’s favorite, along with the clam flatbread (meh, but this is about them right?). Aidan’s favorite was the manchego schnitzel – of course it was –  a block of deep fried cheese topped with tomatoes.  Who doesn’t like fried cheese???.  But of course being the health conscious one, Lolo said that there was “too much cheese” (as if there is such a thing!) The fried shrimp was just fried shrimp.  The lamb was loved by all.  But the hit by far was the Strawberry Financier.  That dessert almost caused a brawl.  I’m not even sure what was all in it. There was a little caramelized topping like you would have went to crème brûlée, with various strawberry sorbets or ice creams and butter sugar ice cream but it was truly amazing!  Great location, the boys want to go back and play at Jamison Square and then have dessert.  Hopefully it survives.  Two thumbs up from Aidan and Lowell. (and the wind up chicken you that comes with the bill was an added bonus)

Killer Burger

Well, because of poor planning on our part and nowhere else to go for dinner, we (gasp) took the dudes to Killer Burger. Lolo loved it, much to our surprise considering how frequently he shuns meat.  However, he said he did not like their fries and the music was too loud.  Although he ate almost the whole thing, Aidan said he wasn’t crazy about it.  It was too messy he said.  He also said it was too small (we got the boys the smaller “girlie” burgers) . It was clear that Lolo was really into it.  It was great people watching for the boys, the TV was on so they got to see some sports and commercials, but will we go back again anytime soon?   Probably not.  We of course loved ours, but we should have gotten the girlie burgers too.  I can’t move right now.

Broder Soder

   
   
This place is the best thing to happen to Southwest Portland in a decade.  Amazing food that you probably haven’t had before, wonderful staff, kid friendly but relaxing for the grown ups too, and for us Southwest Portlanders, we now don’t have to cross a river to enjoy it!  Aidan got the “hot dog” – the true name is more than my brain can handle (Tunnbrodsrulle).  OH MY LORD!  It was basically a hot dog in a wrap filled with a shrimp salad and a potato pancake, and yes, not only did it work but it was delicious!!  (Aidan’s pick). Lolo got the crepe, which is more his style and which he thoroughly enjoyed, dad got the Smorrbrod (sandwich trio), which he said were very good as long as you are willing to expand your horizons a bit.  Not flavors we are used to.  I tried to get everyone to share some cream herring salad with me, but I was all alone on that one.  It was a giant hit!  We actually went there awhile back but mom’s been behind, but now has to update the dudes’ blog because we are due to go again!!  

Tastebud

We, along with most of Multnomah Village have been waiting for this for a long time. They opened last week and today we finally  got to try Tastebud.  We got there at 5:15 and they called us when our table was ready, about 40 minutes later.  So worth the wait!  If you are with kids, the best place to be is all the way in the back where the kids can watch the woodfired oven and all the action. Our kids loved it!  The dudes gave us the play-by-play of everything that came out of that oven.  Lowell’s favorite where the oven braised clams with bacon and lemon wine sauce.  Aidan’s favorite was the lamb sausage and jalapeño pizza, but with the jalapeño taken off.  Both dudes loved the bruschetta with butternut squash and rabbit confit.  Dessert was of course a no-brainer.  We were lucky we got there when we did, as we were leaving at around 7:00 they were quoting a 60 to 75 minute wait.  We are thrilled to have them, and we will be back. The boys were so excited. It’s not just the food, but it’s all the people watching and being able to watch that oven if you get that right table!

 .

Smallwares

Aidan:  “it was super good. The chicken pot pie sticky bun was super good.”  Lowell’s  favorite was the smoked potatoes with horseradish and egg.  They both loved the Ramen, but many of the dishes were just different enough that they weren’t quite sure what to make of them. Even their homemade root beer threw the dudes for a loop (cloves maybe?).  But this is what made mom and dad love it.  We’ve had our fair share of Carlton farms pork and all the other stuff on every other Portland menu- this was a wonderfully unique dinner.  Mom and dad will be back, and hopefully Aidan and Lowell will soon!

  

  

  

  

Blackbird Wine Shop and Atomic Cheese

Aidan: 

It’s good and the cheese is really good
The blue cheese was Aidans favorite although it was actually yellow in color.  Lowell:  I would go back for the cheese.  But seriously, this place is awesome. They don’t mind kids in there, they are very friendly and you can hang out with your kids and share a cheese plate or meat plate and have a glass of wine. We will definitely be back!  

 
 

Troutini

This is the first review where mom and dad did not help in the review.

Lowell says it was great and he would go back there.  “i’m telling you, it’s way far out”. (From Aidan) The corn chowder and french fries were really good.  The crab melt was really good but without the cheese or the tomato. Just the crab and bread.  Lowell:  their lemonade is better than dad’s because the lady said it was made with fresh lemons.

From mom and dad:  Not cheap, great Martinis and service, and you can safely eat in Troutdale.  It was dead on a Thursday at lunch which allowed the dudes to goof off more than we would normally allow.   And who knew that fries dipped in corn chowder would be such a big hit!

    
    
 

Hunan Pearl

Every once in awhile the dudes surprise us.  We went here for lunch and mom and dad were less than impressed, but the dudes loved it!  Lolo loved the egg flower soup and his sweet and sour shrimp.  Aidan loved everything except the egg flower soup, and they both loved the deep fried appetizers.   The staff was wonderful and the service was great, but until Aidan and Lowell are old enough to drive, they won’t be going back. 

   

Oak & Olive

Well, we finally have a new restaurant in Hillsdale.  We got there at 5:00 and by the time we got our first dish it was packed.  VERY kid friendly, wide open layout, and they really love olive oil (the shirts the dudes wore are ruined). It’s busy, full of kids – definitely not the place to go for your romantic dinner, but the dudes loved it and the food was pretty good.  Lolo got the green olive pizza, which was a hit, and Aidan got the smoked salmon ravioli, also a hit.  The Muffaletta was “too spicy” for them, but we picked up the slack.  You order at the counter and then sit, but everything went smoothly.  Overall quite pleased.  The dudes will be back!