November 30, 2010

Pizzicato - Bend, OR

Pizzicato has become my go-to pizza place when I don't feel like making it at home. They have a great variety of pizzas, the dough is perfectly crisp and chewy at the same time. Their Mu Shu seasonal pizza has a nice Asian flair with a touch of hoisin sauce and Willamette Valley grown mushrooms. I would also recommend their garlic cheese melted cheese on yeasty pizza dough and for $3.50 you can't go wrong.  For take-out ask that they only have bake it (both pizza and cheesy bread) so that you can finish at home and get that fresh out of the oven taste.

What pizzas have you tried here? Recommendations? Ones to avoid?  Share your thoughts!
Pizzicato on Urbanspoon

November 29, 2010

Bend Burger Company

I have been here multiple times and the food is always good - burgers, Philly sandwiches, piping hot fries with sauce and handmade vanilla shakes. Yum!  The burger patties are quite thin for the price so I usually end up getting a Philly since they are piled with meat. I am really on the fence about this one, good tasting food, but wish they would made the burger patties a bit thicker or reduce the price accordingly. If you try it, please share your thoughts and opinions.
Bend Burger Company on Urbanspoon

November 28, 2010

Letzer's Deli - Bend, OR

Huge sandwiches! Glad I didn't try to eat the entire thing myself...I wouldn't have been able to leave the couch for the rest of the day. Size aside, the sandwich I had was quite tasty - Pastrami, Corned Beef and Swiss. The meat was extremely fresh, tender, and thinly sliced (as it should be). It came on rye bread with a 1000 Island-style dressing. I would recommend asking for the bread to be toasted as by the time I got the sandwich home the bread was a bit soggy. The sandwich came with coleslaw or potato salad and pickles. I had the coleslaw; it was not as sweet as I prefer, but a nice compliment. The pickles were great - one slice dill, one slice fresh, and one wedge of green tomato. I would go back for just the pickles(!), though I am sure I wouldn't be able to resist their fresh pastrami and corned beef. Definitely worth a try, especially for the the east-coasters out here that are missing a taste of home.
Letzer's Deli on Urbanspoon

November 27, 2010

Thai Thai

We were excited to try Thai Thai as we hadn't heard much about it, other than a positive review in The Source Weekly. Though our experience was not bad, I was disappointed in the food. The Mussaman Curry was really mild in curry and coconut flavor and actually needed some salt.  The Drunken Noodles were tasty with a decent amount of veggies and chicken, but it was nothing special; conversely they had too much salt. Not as authentic as I was hoping, nor is it the best place in Bend for Thai food. 

Thai Thai Restaurant on Urbanspoon

November 26, 2010


Follow the link to a great recipe for snickerdoodles, one of my favorites. I find too many people call cinnamon-sugar cookies snickerdoodles, but these are the real deal. The recipe has been updated to use butter instead of the traditional shortening, though it leaves out the cream of tartar. I made the mistake of adding 2 tsp cream of tartar, which was way too much for this recipe. Maybe try 1/2-1 tsp or just leave it out all together.


November 24, 2010

Wasabi Flank Steak

Disappointing - there was hardly any heat or flavor to the meat. Maybe not dissolving the wasabi powder in so much water would help concentrate the flavor. I did not try the potatoes.

If you try it or have any tips for improvement please let me know.

November 23, 2010

Pancetta and Swiss Chard with Polenta

Great quick and light meal for a weeknight. Use soy bacon or similar for a delicious vegetarian option.

November 22, 2010

Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage

Appropriate for the fall season, this recipe by Rachel Ray is a real winner. I used cooked fresh pumpkin that I had frozen for use throughout the year.

Tips: I halved the recipe and further halved the amount of sausage called for. Makes it healthier and more budget friendly. You can also use whole wheat pasta and add some frozen spinach to further up the nutrient content.

November 21, 2010

Cocoa Brownies

These brownies (recipe by Alton Brown) though they had a nice chocolaty flavor, were "cakey" in texture. They also came out a bit dry. Not sure if its the altitude we are currently living at...any suggestions??

November 20, 2010

East African Braised Chicken

Great tasting, flavorful and easy chicken recipe. I served it over rice and also tried roasted potatoes; both worked nicely.


November 19, 2010

Pendleton and La Grande, Oregon

10 Depot in La Grande - I had been here before, but it has been a while. This time I ordered the Thai Salad with Chicken and peanut sauce dressing. I am sad to say that I was disappointed. There was nothing really Thai about the salad and the dressing was really lacking in flavor. The salad consisted of lettuce, bell peppers, carrots, celery, and onion with a grilled chicken breast on top. If I had just ordered a garden salad it would have been perfect. I will likely go back as there are few decent restaurants in La Grande, but I will be sure to orer something different.

Prodigal Son in Pendleton -  This is the newest brewery to come to Eastern Oregon. I was really bummed that they were out of their IPA as I was really looking forward to trying it, however I ended up with a really good rye beer instead. It was mildly hoppy, with a nice smooth taste of rye. One of the best rye beers I have tried (other than that by Terrepin Beer Co. in Athens, GA). I also tried their porter, which was fairly light and subtle in flavor.

The food selection is mostly typical bar food, with a few unique items, such as the Onion Tart that I ordered. It was definitely homemade, with a rich and creamy taste; served with a large salad of mixed greens. My companion also ordered a plate of onion rings, of which I partook in. Wow, I am not much for deep fried food, but the batter was perfectly seasoned and coated thick slices of fresh sweet onion. The batter was a bit thick for me, but the flavor was so good I was easily able to look past that. The biggest gripe I would have is that they served them with ketchup!  It just didn't do the rings justice.

Prodigal Son Brewery & Pub on Urbanspoon

Brother Jon's for Breakfast

Coinciding with football season, Brother Jon's is now offering breakfast on the weekends. I went there last weekend and had their biscuits and gravy with two eggs and fruit. While the biscuits were not the best I have had in town (I hate day old biscuits), they were still in my top 5 so far in Bend. The gravy was the traditional white gravy with sausage AND bacon; can't go wrong there. They had a nice range of menu offerings, but it is fairly limited. Brother Jon's Public House on Urbanspoon

November 7, 2010

Vegetable Strata

Adapted from a Real Simple recipe. Easy and healthy.

1 TBS olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 zucchini sliced into half-moons
1 portabello mushroom cap, sliced
4 cups fresh baby spinach
1 1/2 cup egg substitute (or 6 whole eggs)
2 cups milk
1/2 lb bread, such as French or sourdough, cut into 1 inch pieces (~6 cups)
1/2 lb grated cheese such as cheddar
Salt and pepper

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Oil an 8-inch square baking dish. Heat 1 TBS oil in a large skilled. Add onion and cook until tender (3-4 min). Add zucchini, mushroom, and spinach; cook until tender. Remove from the heat.

In a bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, 3/4 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Add the bread cheese and vegetable mixture and toss. Stir in fresh or dried herbs to taste, if desired (I suggest parsley, thyme, oregano). Pour into prepared pan. Bake until golden brown and set, 50-60 minutes.

Chicken Tagine with Rasins and Pistachios

Very good and easy weeknight meal. I used lemon zest instead of the preserved lemons since I couldn't find them as the grocery store.

November 5, 2010

Fresh Indulgence

Small bakery/eatery on SE 3rd in Bend. A place I drove many time without even realizing it was there. I stopped in the other day to get a bit of lunch to-go. Its quite small inside with only one table to dine-in at with office type storage along the wall (a bit strange, but not uninviting either). I ordered their Pesto Chicken sandwich on sourdough which was a decent value at $7 but it doesn't come with any sides. The pesto was made with hazelnuts and had a unique and nutty flavor. The bread was only mildly sour...I like the tangy San Fran style stuff...but it went well with the other ingredients. The sandwich also had a few pieces of fresh spinach and provolone cheese on it. Though it was good it was nothing special, in other words, it was something I could easily make at home. I might go back to try some of their bakery treats, but I am not running back for their sandwiches.