Tag Archives: event

Shanghai Phomission #1: Aniseed

A few weeks ago a brilliant plan was launched on twitter to search Shanghai high and low for the best Pho available. While it may seem silly for a guy like me, so fresh to the city, to search for a non-native food, but I was simply following around friends on an adventure. A fun adventure.

Our first trip was to Aniseed, a restaurant near Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s campus toward the edge of Xujiahui and Gubei. Girlie and I had ventured to Aniseed the week before and found it delightful, though no one in our party had ordered Pho.

Our first crew of tweeps was @chabuduo, @lovince, @sdweathers, @jason_sch and lil ole me. I’d continue to identify them by twitter name but I think it looks funny when I sprinkle ‘at’ signs all over otherwise easy-to-read prose.  Then again, I’ll just drop the at signs.

Chabuduo thought ahead and made up scoring sheets.  We had a grand time knocking back the TsingTao and realizing that, rather shockingly, though we all wanted to discover great pho, only one of us had actually been to Viet Nam.

On both of my visits to Aniseed, the owner was there, shepherding people through their meals with a smile and bilingual advice on the menu, though she did recommend essentially everything.

As this was our first go around, I’m not going to build big tables and run stats on the surveys, but here are the ‘overall results’:

Broth Overall: 4.75

Noodles Overall: 5.4

Chil(l)i Overall: 4.7

Service: 8.6

Though I was a rather forgiving grader that night, upon reflection I was not at all impressed with the broth, which lacked any real character to differentiate it from standard white bone beefstock, nor did I find the plate of addons–chil(l)i, basil, beansprouts and lime–of particularly compelling quality, and they didn’t give us any cilantro.

Nevertheless, with enough poking and prodding at the staff, we got enough extra herbs and chil(l)ies to make a tasty bowl of Pho, and they kept the beer flowing.  Witness:

That’s a bowl of Pho I prettied up for the camera.  I don’t expect to meet well presented pho, but it doesn’t take much work.  Here’s Chabuduo’s chil(l)i infested broth.

Thanks to Chabuduo for taking the photos and everyone for coming!

189 Guangyuan Xi Lu,
near Yishan Bei Lu

Heat and Noise: Shelling in the Year of the Ox

thanks to a href=There’s a saying in Mandarin that truly encapsulates Chinese New Year: Heat and Noise (熱鬧 – rè nao).  A Mandarin speaker will translate this as liveliness or excitement, but the literal translation is more fun and more elucidating to me.  My introduction to Chinese New Year was via Reading Rainbow and Sesame Street so many years ago, with all the fireworks and celebration, but as seems to be the theme of our experience here, whoa, this is out of control.   For our first CNY we hosted our first visitors and ended up suffering a special brand of PTSD.

Continue reading Heat and Noise: Shelling in the Year of the Ox

House Spirits Booze Bazaar

The booze cruise continues around our Distillers Alley in Central South East industrial Portland.  First Artisan Spirits threw a shindig, then New Deal threw a hell of a party, now House Spirits is hosting many local and regional boozeries for the House Spirits Hoiday Booze Bazaar. Details from Portland food and drink:

3rd Annual Holiday Booze Bazaar

Saturday, December 13th, 2008, 1pm-5pm

2025 SE 7th ave. Portland, OR

Free to the public, 21 and over
Hosted by House Spirits Distillery
Makers of Aviation Gin, Medoyeff Vodka & Krogstad Aquavit

2008 Vendors:

Sub Rosa Spirits (makers of the great Tarragon Vodka and Saffron Vodka)

Ransom Spirits (outstandingly crafted local grappas and port)

Absinthe Marteau (locally-made super yummy Green Fairy)

Imbibe Magazine (Portland published go-to for all things drinkable)

Joyas de Panama Cigars (importer of delicious, organic and sustainable Panamanian cigars)

Xocolatl de Davíd (2 words: BACON CARAMELS!)

Fraga Farm Goat Cheese (wonderful artisan cheese from Sweet Home, ORE.)

Oregon Cheese Guild (they’re over a dozen Oregon cheesemakers strong!)

This event marks the long awaited release of the APOTHECARY line, to be sold exclusively in our on-premise store. The APOTHECARY line will consist of small batch, limited quantity liquors and liqueurs that come in handy 375ml bottles. We have a few items to be released, one being OREGON OUZO, that we’ll be tasting at the event. The Booze Bazaar will also herald the opening of the store on Saturdays from 12/13/08 forward, hours TBA.

The address is: 2025 SE 7th ave.
Portland, OR

I’ll be heading over to look for Christmas gifts and a lil somethin’ somethin’ to keep me warm in this frigid weather.  See you there!  If you’re going to be there hit me up on twitter or look for the snappily dressed hipster.  I’ll be standing on the other side of the room from him.

New Deal Open House

I’m an idiot.  I apologize.  the Open house is for New Deal distillery.

November 15th, 2008: Distillers’ Row Open House

Join New Deal Distillery and Oregon Bounty to discover the innerworkings of Portland’s first vodka distillery and learn more about craft-distilling in Oregon. We’ll have distillery tours, treats from Meat Cheese Bread and Saint Cupcake, and, of course, spirits sampling.

The Open House is this Saturday from 1 to 5 PM at their distillery. Catering is from their (and my) friend John from Meat Cheese Bread (covered previously here). I’m planning on attending, and will follow up with pictures taken by someone else, as is my way. It should be a good time.

House Spirits
2025 SE 7th Ave
Portland, OR 97214

It seems that this is the season for distillery open houses — we checked out the Artisan Spirits open house two weekends ago — and I, for one am looking forward to the House Spirits party as well. The House Spirits guys may not have started the boutique distillery movement here in Portland — that honor must belong to Clear Creek Distillery— but they were the first of the new generation of distillers to roll up their sleeves and make some seriously tasty booze that has spread all around the northwest. They make the Medoyeff Vodka, as well as the Krogstad Aquavit. I’m a huge fan of the Aviation Gin especially, they unveiled their new absinthe last weekend, and have whisk(e)y aging.

Election Night Parties!

Portland likes its lefty politics, beer, and parties. Therefore, this Election Night will cause some heavy drinking, though I think I speak for most every sane person on the planet when I say it better be in celebration, not bitter disappointment and sadness.

All of the events I could find, in no particular order, after the jump:

Continue reading Election Night Parties!