Tag Archives: croquettes

Slamming seven Spanish tapas @ Bar Chica

Now, we don’t always eat tapas on Triple B. I mean, why settle for a buncha small plates when you can have one really, really big plate, bro? But we’re hanging out at Bar Chica, this new funky tapas place on Portland, just south of King West, so we can’t just order one thing, or two things, or three things…we’re polishing off seven different tapas, son — and I’ll probably still have room for dessert. 😉

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Now, you don’t ride for free at this bread rodeo, but this toasted sourdough with tomato butter might actually be worth paying for, bro!

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Their vieras crudas (raw scallops) is a playful, mysterious little dish. For one thing, there’s a lot more melon than there is fish — the scallops are hidden at the bottom, so you gotta go diving for em. But hey, at least I ate a green thing today…

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Up next, we’ve got some culinary classic rock en español in Flavourtown, with these jamón croquetas. Only these aren’t your everyday croquettes, bro. Instead of putting the ham inside, it’s stuffed with cheese and truffles, and then there’s a slice of jamón on top…so it’s almost better if you don’t use a fork and knife, to get everything in one bite.

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Up next is another Spanish classic, patatas bravas. But unlike Bar Isabel, which gives you a whole plate of po-ta-toes, at Chica you only get two, and they’re done up all millefeuille style, so you can’t really eat a steak with these, bro…

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Speaking of steak, they do have ribeye on the menu, with blistered shishitos and plenty of Bearnaise on the side. You get maybe six pre-cut pieces of steak to an order — so maybe like eight ounces — but after all this other stuff, that’s OK with me.

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The next two dishes came out at the same time, which I think might be against the law in Tapastown. But anyways, on the left you’ve got grilled octopus with eggs (an off-menu, limited-time special) and on the right, smoked corn topped with corn foam. Man, I didn’t even know that corn foam was a thing. It tastes very…foamy?

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But after all that commotion back there, we’ve still got room for dessert. This ying yang pie is actually two tartas in one — on the left, a chocolate tart with hazelnut spread and brown butter ice cream, and on the right, apple tart with almond ice cream and caramel sauce. Dude, this dessert is as Spanish as tarta de manzana, hermana!!!!

These deep-fried lamb balls are magically delicious, bro!

Now, we’ve had a whole lotta lamb here on Triple B, so when I heard that Bar Koukla, this funky Greek tapas place in Little Portland, was serving up lamb three ways, you KNOW we had to check it out, bro! Man, this place is serving up lamb ribs, sweetbreads… and these round mounds of Flavourtown, lamb croquettes:

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No, we’re not scarfing sheep scrotum, son — these croquettes are stuffed with braised lamb and halloumi cheese, and served with a feta donkey sauce. They only come three to an order, but I could pound these balls all day, bro…

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…except then I wouldn’t have room for lamb ribs. Now, when I’ve had lamb ribs before, I was usually disappointed; either the portion was too small or they just weren’t meaty enough. But these might be some of the best lamb ribs I’ve ever had, nice and tender with a decent amount of meat. You do only get five bones to an order — but that’s OK as long as you’re eating at least two other things.

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And that brings us to some sweet, sweetbreads. We don’t know whether these were lamb or veal sweetbreads — you can’t really dust for sweetbreads, bro. But that’s some tasty thymus gland, son! The rest of the Triple B Krew was too scared to try ’em, but I’ve actually had sweetbreads a couple times before (last time, they were Kentucky fried), so I knew what I was getting into. And call me crazy, but these kinda taste like chicken karaage, or maybe kung pow chicken, minus the pow.

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Now, the last time I went to a Greek restaurant, they didn’t even have any Greek beer. But I guess Bar Koukla has a better beer guy, cuz they had a handful of Greek brews to choose from, including a couple I’d never even seen before. This Olympica Magna Pale Ale doesn’t really taste like an IPA — it’s got more of a malty finish — but it does go pretty good with lamb.

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Now I’ve had Volkan Blonde a couple times before, but this is the first time I’ve even seen Volkan Black. And you know what they say, once you go black…you’re gonna hafta wheel me outta here, bro! This dark lager almost tastes like a porter, but it’s got a hint of honey at the end, for a little kick of sweetness. Yo sweetness is my weakness, son!!!!!

 

 

 

 

Fried chicken and mushrooms and shrimp… Omai!!!

We’re no strangers to izakayas here on Triple B, and you can find these funky little Japanese joints all over this city! So, we’re hanging out at Omai, this cozy little spot in Baldwin Village, with just a handful of tables and a sushi counter. And while they do serve sushi here, you KNOW I’m heading straight for the fried section of the menu, bro!!!

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We’re starting off with some butternut squash croquettes, coming in hot from the fryer. Now, I’ve had a few croquettes in my time, but these might be the first ones that were stuffed with veggies, son! They also add in some Oka cheese, which makes ‘er nice ‘n creamy…

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Man, I don’t think I’ve had fried shrimp since that one time, at Red Lobster… But there’s nothing wrong with these Panko Fried Shrimp, with a chive donkey sauce and some pickled radishes on the side. I could all-you-can-eat these any day, bro!!!

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Dude, I’m totally trippin’ over these fried oyster mushrooms, son! Warm and delicious, with a shrimp-flavoured donkey sauce — I’d put that on a flip-flop!!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event: Japanese style chicken karaage, served at face-melting temperatures, with some gochujang and more donkey sauce on the side — dude, this is body by donkey sauce! I actually had to wait a bit for the chicken to cool down, but the wait was well worth it!!!

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Of course, nothing goes better with Japanese bar food than beer from Godspeed, our local Japanese-inspired craft brewery. This Yuzu Citrus Saison actually tastes more like a wheat beer than a sour, and is super-crushable at a shade over 4%. I definitely pounded more than one of these!!!!

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But even after all that deep-fried deliciousness, you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert, bro! The one dessert on the menu at Omai is a Basque Cheesecake, topped with pears, and infused with matcha. Not what I would expect to find at an izakaya…but it was still pretty tasty!