January 11, 2009

RiRa and LaRoux Kitchen Snow Day

The city of Portland woke up this morning to a foot of snow! And after a long night out, my partner-in-eating and I decided to go down to the pub for lunch.

As we tromped down to Ri Ra Irish Pub in the snow, I mentioned to M. that I wasn't expecting too much from this place. When he asked why, I replied, 'Because there really only is room for one fake Irish pub in your heart!' And my heart already belongs to Bull Feeney's. But I'll save that for another day.

So on top of that one strike, I had just eaten really good pub food at Gritty's, the local brewpub. So when I saw the ruben sandwich on the menu at Ri Ra, I was reminded of the absolutely delicious one I'd had at Gritty's last week. Hoping for a repeat performance, I went with the Reuben again. Now all you Reuben purists, brace yourselves because... I can't stand sauerkraut. There, I've said it. But I love me a corned beef and swiss sandwich on grilled rye with coleslaw and Thousand Island. Call it what you will- I call it a Reuben.

Ri Ra's version of the Reuben comes with sauerkraut and Marie Rose sauce (fancy name for ketchup and mayo), but of course I asked them to hold the 'kraut. The trouble came when I tried to order a side of slaw and the oh-so-nice bartender informed me that they don't have coleslaw. ...Wha? M. ordered the fish 'n' chips - another dish that needs coleslaw! So right there, you have two dishes on the menu that would warrant stocking coleslaw.

So while you might chose Ri Ra as your favorite fake Irish pub (and you could still visit when you travel, as there's also one in Bethesda, Maryland; Atlantic City; Indiana; Burlington, VT...), keep in mind that there's only one Bull Feeney's and only one Jeff the bartender.

Ri Ra Irish Restaurant Pub on Urbanspoon

So to warm ourselves up before the snowy walk home, we stopped in LaRoux Kitchen store on Commercial Street. This place has everything you need in the kitchen and then some. I love admiring all the unique chocolates they stock (my favorite is the milk chocolate bar with bacon bits in it!) and I am intrigued by the additions of lavender, pink peppercorns, curry... sounds romantic.

Here you can see the chocolate truffle disply by the checkout, and also just how crammed full of awesome stuff this store is! Even if you aren't a chef or a foodie, you can still spend hours in this place perusing all the gagets and delightful foodstuffs.

So we left today with this little treasure...

I think its the perfect camping utensil! Made of bamboo, although they have a stainless steel option, this little guy seems like it would be the most efficient and lightweight addition to your mess kit. I'll let you know how it works out.