May 2, 2009

Portland kicks ass. The mushrooms? Not so much.

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"Wait till you have kids. You have to get a babysitter at least once a month to get away." Large man drinking a beer and very loud, posturing on parenting. The ponytailed blonde next to him nodded, "At LEAST once a month. You won't have time for anything." Their friends, if they replied, were not heard.

Beer-drinking man continued to loudly express the difficulty of raising children, how much time they take up, how you don't get time for yourself, blah blah blah. Going on and on as they were made me think that they had one child, probably 3 or 4 months old. You know, like when you get something new and you just want to talk about it ALL the time and pretend like you are an expert in the subject matter because it's SO cool.

We were at the Casa del Matador on East Burnside (new location) last night, grabbing some dinner before meeting up with some friends. The atmosphere is cool - dark, red and black. Waitresses friendly and menu looked good enough. I ordered the mushrooms, cooked in chipotle butter, on the specials menu. Jen ordered the braised pork sandwich, which we decided to split.

The mushrooms arrived in a skillet (Why do restaurants serve things in skillets? Please stop. It is annoying and makes me think you are stealing recipes from either Chili's or Applebees) Whole mushrooms, though small, and three small pieces of charred bread. On each piece of bread, you could fit maybe two or three of these whole mushrooms. And you had to stuff it in your mouth fast before they rolled off.

The mushrooms were juicy, but flavorless and very, very hot (Hello! They were served in a skillet!). We used up all the bread and not eaten even half of the mushrooms within a few minutes. I asked for more, which they brought us, but charged us $1.50 for. That is kind of lame. Because you shouldn't serve a pan full of juicy mushrooms with three tiny pieces of bread. How are you going to sop up all the juices? With a spoon? We actually could have used more bread, but we chose to forego the juices and eat the mushrooms with a fork. I could taste the slightest hint of spiciness in the distance, but really, these mushrooms were so bland. Which is a shame. Because mushrooms are awesome if you showcase their beauty and flavor.

The pork sandwich was sweet and tender. I wanted it to be a bit saucier, but kicked up a bit with the peppers and the chipotle mayo served on the side, it was tasty. Fries were crispy and dipped in the mayo, I could eat a whole plate of them.

Jen saw the shirtless guy first. He was sauntering towards the door, carrying his shirt over his shoulder and a Budweiser in his hand. He wandered in. "Um sir, you can't have that in here." The waitress was trying to be firm. Shirtless man got right in her face, "Yes, I can, yes I can." The waitress backed away and the guy wandered over to a nearby table. "Portland kicks ass!" he yelled across the restaurant. Then he turned around and wandered out the door.

Yes, Portland kicks ass. Best people watching/eavesdropping anywhere. Awesome.

Casa del Matador on Urbanspoon


Karla said...

I love your people-watching stories! The best people-watching stories I have found are at the Grizzly hockey games here in SLC :)

hubby love said...

The wife & I used to visit a Matador in Seattle when we lived there. It wasn't all that charming, no matter how much we wanted it to be. waitresses with waaay too much perfume; music waaay too loud ("the owners like it that way", we had headaches and couldn't hear the waitress). In the end though, it left a good taste in our mouth. The happy hour was Full Sized menu items for $5. Our first time we didn't know and order 3 or 4 plates...ha ha ha. we were so full. try the soup or the chili. yum.