The Night I Did Not Cook | Blogs

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The Night I Did Not Cook
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The Night I Did Not Cook

I am a self-proclaimed foodie.  I am a lover of good food; good food having the broadest of definitions from a simple burger, to a delightful beet risotto with the daintiest dabs of creamy goat cheese.  As I have mentioned, and will again, food makes me incredibly happy.  Making the perfect roasted chicken: soft and moist, the meat just falling off the bone, yet so flavorful you’re not sure if lemon and garlic were meant to taste that way; or mastering the most sinful cake or cookie – when the response of the eater is nothing more than a sigh, I know my work is done. 

Then there are the days like I have had lately where I just do not have the ambition to cook; and my soul, or stomach, is lacking and can only be satiated by the “right” food.  Sometimes, most time, I have no idea what that right food is until it happens.  It’s like when you’re in the most foul of foul moods, and it’s that one joke, that one moment that snaps you out of it and back into the person you usually are.  That’s my relationship with food.  I had this moment yesterday at Duckfat, located on the outskirts of downtown Portland.   My friend and I had just spent two hours at the Portland Museum of Art, and it was nearly 8:45pm when we walked into Duckfat.  I was sure the host was going to hate us for walking in so late, but the two who manned the floor could not have been lovelier to us.  After informing us that we wouldn’t have to wait long, the young woman (who sadly I have forgotten her name) let us chose where we would prefer to sit, and cleared that area immediately.  It was my friends’ first time there, and she was more than patient with us as we looked over their menu.  Though I have a bit of experience there, I always try to have a new thing once in a while, and my heart leapt a little as I saw the part on the menu that read ice-cream shakes.  I will tell you right now; I am not huge fan of Gelato Fiasco – I prefer Gorgeous Gelato, but that is a rant for another night.  Yet a shake with gelato and a swirl of sea salt caramel sounded phenomenal.  When I asked our hostess/waitress what she would recommend – she gave me the answer I wanted to hear, an honest one.  She wasn’t afraid to tell me what she really thought and as a consumer, I appreciate that.  I went with the vanilla, as recommended, and my pallet thanked me (and our waitress) endlessly for the choice.  The softness of the vanilla was enhanced with the tang of the salt, and the velvety nature of the caramel was so sinfully perfect, as an old friend once put it – I was in flavor country. 

My friend ordered the BGT (bacon, goat cheese and tomato) Panini, and I the meatloaf; as well as splitting an order of fries.  If it is possible to do so, our French fries were enhanced with their house aioli and Thai chili mayo for dipping.  Though the meatloaf was nothing extraordinary, the delightful tang of the somewhat pickled peppers that were paired within, made for the most wonderful combination.  I was a bit jealous of the BGT, as I do love a good dose of goat cheese; and the bacon – WOW was there bacon in that sandwich. For its size, they add just the right amount of, well everything.  And then there are the fries.  Fries made in (can you guess?) duck fat!  This is not for the faint of heart, they are rich, perfectly salted and inviting and worth every single calorie – and you should NEVER feel bad about this!  Their fries alone bring in customers from all over.  They are how fries should be: crispy, salted without taking it a step too far, yet the flavor of the potato can shine through, and the habitué cannot help from reaching for another fry, almost as if it were like breathing.  They pair perfectly with a good beer (which Duckfat ALSO has a decent selection available) as well as a good shake. 

The prices are not completely unreasonable when you think of the quality that goes into the product; for some, spending $5 to $6.50 on fries is a bit much, and for those people – I do understand, but I assure you, if you love food, it is worth every penny.  Many thanks to the staff at Duckfat who made for the perfect end to the week; the dedication to making fantastic meals each and every time, the commitment to service, retailers all over the state would do well to take example from these hardworking young men and women.  It was a pleasure to watch them all work, and I look forward to many other Friday nights spent there in the future!

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