Just couple blocks from my work in downtown, Portland Mongolian Grill & Hot Pot is my go to place for spicy oriental noodles exactly that way I want. It’s a oriental buffet place near the water park which is great for any meal for any casual occasions.
From wide variety of fresh vegetables and proteins, the customers will fill up their bowls with items of their choices, pour all sorts of different flavors (like hot oil, garlic/ginger water, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and etc) on the ingredients and take it to the grilling area. The very friendly attendees will dump the whole bowl on the hot grill and cook it to perfection within few minutes. You can come back as many times as you want and fill your bowl and take it to the grilling station.
If you are there for the first time, my suggestion is that don’t fill up your bowls with too much noodles or other stuff. Try and see which sauce or flavored liquid you like and how much of it you like on top of your food. Since the cook won’t add anything to your food, it kind of depends on you how you are flavoring your dish. It may taste very bland for the first time if you don’t add enough herbs and sauces.
There are also soup and plain rice that comes with the buffet price. I have never tried it but Portland Mongolian Grill & Hot Pot also has hot pot items where you can cook your own items on your table in hot broth.
I love this place for any quick lunch while I am at work (or get a take out box) or bring my kids for an informal dinner. If you have never tried a Mongolian grill place, this will be a very nice to start with.
It is that time of the year for the ugly sweater contest and cookie exchange at my job. I am not a baker and didn’t even have time to bake last night. Therefore, the hunting for a cookie place begins. A block away from my work on the 2nd Street in Portland Downtown, there is a bread and bakery place, called Great Harvest Bread Co. It’s time to put them to test (muhahaha).
This is a little corner bakery shop with few other locations in Oregon, including one in Clackamas, Oregon. As soon as you enter the shop, you see all sorts of different breads and cookies being displayed. It looked like couple of their specialties are fresh milled and grind wheat bread and fresh challah bread. YUMMM. FYI, I’ve made challah bread before…my kids loved it. But then again, who doesn’t like freshly made warm bread right out of the oven???
I was in there for some holiday cookies and from many options, I picked 1 ½ dozens of eggnog snickerdoodles. They also had oatmeal, chocolate mint, and tons of other cookies in the selections. But remember, these are jumbo sized cookies…bigger the better.
If you are not up for breads or cookies, maybe try one of their sandwiches, which would be my next adventure in this restaurant. There are only few high chairs to really sit down and have a meal. Most of the customers were there to buy different breads or grab a to-go cookie. But yeh, I would go back there to get some sandwich breads next time and try the chocolate mint cookies, because you can never go wrong with chocolate and mint together.