Thursday, January 29, 2015

Portland Restaurant: Milk Glass Mrkt

What: Milk Glass Mrkt
Where: 2150 N. Killingsworth Street
When: Tuesday-Sunday 9am-7pm
Honeys Heart: The cuteness

Before I started my new job, Katie and I decided we needed to take advantage of the last few days of my flexible schedule with a lunch date at Milk Glass Mrkt.

Milk Glass Mrkt is half market, half cafe. The menu features breakfast, brunch, small plates, beer, wine and "cocktails".

Everything was so cute. Now I know how to use our empty Bulleit bottles.

It was the last day of work before our holiday breaks so a "cocktail lunch" was in order. We opted for the Cava Special Cocktail ($7) with cava and a touch of quince syrup.

The lunch menu isn't very extensive but even so, we were having a hard time deciding what to order so we agreed to split a sandwich and a salad.

Here's the Moroccan Salad ($8) with kale, carrots, and chickpeas in harissa vinaigrette. The flavors here were good, but those pieces of raw kale were really big and kind of difficult to cut/chew. We don't love salad enough to feel good about putting that much effort into eating it, so this dish left us feeling a bit meh.

We also ordered The Swell sandwich ($9) with a fried egg, proscuitto, roasted red peppers, provolone and fresh basil on ciabatta. This had a lot going on, both flavor-wise and mess-wise, but we both liked it better than the salad.

Our total bill came to $15.50 each, definitely a pricier lunch date for us (don't tell Adam and Doug!), especially when we weren't particularly overwhelmed by the food. However, the place is seriously so cute and those cava cocktails had produced a nice little midday buzz, so I don't think either of us really cared.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Thailand Trip 2014: Where to Drink in Bangkok

In my last two Thailand posts, I shared some general observations about visiting Thailand and documented the best things we ate. We also did a fair amount of imbibing throughout our honeymoon (duh, we were on vacation) but after we left Bangkok, our options were significantly more limited. That's why I'm going to share our favorite places to drink in Bangkok... and add that if you're anywhere else in Thailand, hope you like Chang!

Mikkeller Bangkok

Doug and I visited Mikkeller's San Francisco location last summer, so when Doug realized that they also have a location in Bangkok in addition to their flagship locations in Denmark, it was a given that we would visit. (I'll also again recommend that you read this NYT Magazine piece about the founder of Mikkeller and his twin brother who owns another of our favorite breweries, Evil Twin Brewing.)

Let me tell you, Mikkeller Bangkok is not easy to find. If it hadn't been for this guy's very helpful blog post, a readiness to walk down lots of dark residential alleys, and the promise of air conditioning on a 90°F night, we never would have found this place.

I can only imagine what it must be like to come to Mikkeller when you've been in Bangkok for longer than two days (like we had been). It was like a little slice of hipster USA.

There were 30 taps featuring house brews and guest taps and between the two of us, we ended up trying a good amount of their selection. Mikkeller brews just a handful of their own beers in Bangkok: a pilsner, a brown, a pale, and a wit. The best was their Sukhum' Wit. It was a good balance of sweet and light, perfect after our long, humid trek out to the tap room.

However, the best and most unique offering was from Danish brewery To Øl. The chalkboard in the bar called the beer "Split N' Lick" Oreo Imperial Stout and after a bit of research (yay wifi!), we concluded it was the Goliat Imperial Coffee Stout that was being poured through a randall of Oreos. This heavy dark beer exploded with sweet, chocolately coffee flavors and was so, so good. Any Portland breweries want to attempt to recreate this? Cuz we'll be there ASAP.

Khao San Road

A couple of years ago I had a gig writing hotel blurbs for Travel + Leisure. One of the cities I covered was Thailand (go figure) and I distinctly remember writing about a backpacker-friendly B&B in the Khao San district. I remember thinking that it sounded like a really cool area, if not a little sketchy. I don't know why then, when Doug and I were actually in Thailand, that it didn't come across my mind that we should check out Khao San Road until our last night in Bangkok.

I can't believe we almost missed this place! What started in the 80s as a street that housed a few cheap guesthouses for backpackers has turned into a bustling neighborhood with bars, cafes, massage parlors, and food and clothing stands every few feet- and lots of lots of tourists.

Khao San Road proper was just crazy- basically Thailand's version of the Las Vegas Strip with way less fancy hotels and and way more dive bars, some with signs like this:

We much preferred Soi Rambuttri, a horseshoe-shaped street that runs parallel to Khao San Road. It's a little quieter and has lots of bars with tables that face out to the street so you can enjoy your drinks while people-watching.

Soi Rambuttri is also where we found this fun little VW bus-turned-bar (apparently a popular thing to do in Thailand, as we would come to find out) which featured cheap cocktails and it's very own chihuahua.

Cheap Charlie's on Sukhumvit Soi 11

Soi 11 is like Khao San's much tamer, more refined little brother. The street is a favorite of expats with some tourists and locals thrown into the mix too and it's super easy to get to as it's just a block or so down from the Nana BTS stop.

There are lots of little bars and clubs nestled along the road but our hands-down favorite was Cheap Charlie's. Cheap Charlie's is a cozy little shack of a bar with a few bistro tables and stools scattered around its perimeter. It's been open for almost twenty years now and the drink prices certainly reflect its name. We're talking 60 baht ($1.80) for a Chang and 70 baht ($2.15) for a vodka soda.

Charlie's doesn't serve any food but there are lots of street food options on Soi 11, including stands selling delicious pork satay, boat noodles, and pad see ew. 

Octave Rooftop Lounge and Bar at Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit

Bangkok is known for its bevy of opulent rooftop bars whose prices tend to hoover more around US prices than Thai prices. We knew we wanted a fancy night out, but also didn't want to blow our whole daily budget on a round a drinks. 

After doing some research, I came across Octave Rooftop Lounge and Bar at Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit. With its great happy hour specials and panoramic views of the city, it seemed like the perfect choice.

Happy hour is from 5-7pm and includes 2-for-1 drinks. That meant that Doug and I had to get the same cocktail, but that was a small price to pay.

We started out with two Thai Mojitos (350 baht or $10.75) made with Thai rum, lime juice, mango, and Thai basil.

For our second round we tried the Shining Sun (375 baht or $11.50) made with pisco, tamarind, pomelo and lime shrub, mango, pineapple, and a dash of absinthe.

These were the best cocktails we had in Thailand and while they were definitely on the pricey side compared to most spots we had been frequenting, the views from the bar were worth it.

That's it for my Thailand recaps! Whether or not I actually get to one about Kuala Lumpur remains to be seen... but don't you want to know all about a Malaysian speakeasy, the most delicious iced coffee/tea hybrid, and Doug's near-death experience? Okay, fine. I'll work on it.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Cocktail Recipe: Lavender Bee's Knees

For the past couple of years, Kel and I have created a cocktail calendar to give to family and friends for Christmas. Except this year we didn't- probably partly because I was too lazy but mostly because I figured no one would notice if we didn't. Wrong about that one!

Due to popular demand (aka a handful of people asking if they had to buy their own calendars this year), Kel and I are once again planning to make calendars for Christmas. And we're being proactive by making one cocktail a month instead of waiting until November to make seven or so of them in one sitting (yes, we did that once). 

This month's cocktail: Lavender Bee Knees, recipe courtesy of Gastronomista. It's super simple to make and probably one of our favorite cocktails we've made ever... and that's saying a lot!

We're using it as our April cocktail, but I wouldn't wait until then to make it. 

Lavender Bee Knees
- 2 oz Aviation Gin
- 3/4 oz lemon juice
- 3/4 oz honey syrup (2 parts honey: 1part water)
- 3 drops Scrappy's Lavender Bitters
- dried lavender sprig for garnish

You can buy Scrappy's Bitters at several Portland retailers including the wonderful The Meadow on NW 23rd.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Portland Restaurant: All-Way

What: All-Way
Where: 615 SW Broadway Ave
When: Daily 11am - 11pm
Honeys Heart: All-Way Burger

Having grown up on an island north of Seattle, I don't have nostalgic feelings about In-N-Out Burger. But based on my handful of visits with Katie in California, it is definitely something I wish we had easier access to - but on the other hand, maybe I'm glad we don't! Luckily (for better and worse...), we have an awesome diner serving up "In-N-Out-esque" burgers daily.

Peter Bro of Broder has taken over the former Red Coach space (which it occupied for 55 years), leaving the pleather red booths and old time-y feel, to serve quarter-pound patties on homemade buns with special sauce, housemade pickles, butter lettuce, and cheese. Tomatoes are served seasonally and bacon can be added for $2.

 Though we were originally pining for a milkshake, they aren't currently on the menu (though they did say they could make a chocolate or vanilla shake) and instead opted for some cocktails made with All-Way's housemade soda. Such a good decision! We got the bourbon with ginger soda and gin with lavender soda ($5 each). I want that lavender soda for sipping on the deck this summer!

Burger options include the All-Way which starts with one patty and can be sized all the way up to a 4 Way. The menu also features fried chicken, fish, veggie burgers, salads, and more. 

I went for the All-Way ($4.50) with onion rings ($3). The onion rings were extra crispy, but I did steal quite a few of Adam's shoe string fries. The two of us probably could have shared one side instead of getting both! 

Adam chose the 2 Way ($5.25) with a double patty and cheese. Definitely a little more filling if you don't think a quarter pound will cut it, but with the fries ($3.50) it seemed like plenty to me! 

Everything was awesome and it definitely satisfies a burger craving. Even though the prices are already reasonable, the happy hour is from 3-6pm and definitely worth checking out. With the purchase of a drink- which are only $5, the HH menu includes $1.50 fries and onion rings, $5 chicken wings, and $1 off all burgers and sandwiches. Yes please!