Review: Pine Shed Ribs

16 September 2017

Ugh…a hangover from hell thanks to yesterday’s unpleasantness. I tried to get a bit extra rest as today’s agenda is very thin. Made a few stops en route back to Portland, and of course got stuck in traffic in the middle of nowhere on I-5…do people know how to drive in the Pacific Northwest? THEY CANNOT MERGE.

Frustrated as heck I decided to just blow off any efforts at finding a new place for dinner. The place I had booked, which I shall not name, had offended me pretty badly when I looked at their Instagram feed. I’m sorry, there is no business posting anything that has a hammer and sickle on it, and my ethics and beliefs are far more valuable than any meal. So I cancelled the booking.

With traffic going up I-5 looking so bad I decided to go to another BBQ place to get some take-away, instead of the place I was originally looking at (Podnah’s). I hopped off the snail-pace “freeway” and drove up Lake Oswego, also managing to visit the grave of the great Linus Pauling, recipient of 2 Nobel prizes. Then I got to my destination, Pine Shed Ribs.

Seemingly in the middle of nowhere in the southern wealthy suburb of Lake Oswego, the aroma was tantalising. Luckily I got there after the lunch rush and took an order to go while enjoying a local cider…and listening on the convo of the entitled locals rushing in trying to dress down despite driving their Escalades…such poseurs…so typical of the region.

I’m sorry, there’s nothing progressive or liberal about the Pacific Northwest when you dig deeper. At the end it’s still about the wealthy running shop, despite their “caring” side — but they’ll only do it if there’s attention. When ego trumps real goodwill… And the underlying racism is far worse here than elsewhere. And the idiotic driving! Sorry, bad time for a rant…

I took my food and jumped into my car, blasting music so I can drown out all the voices that have been driving me mad from the locals… Used mostly local roads to bypass I-5 and fought my way north back to my hotel near the Washington border. Opened up my food and I smiled…

B

These small beef ribs were good, with wonderful aroma that quickly filled the room. Maybe a little on the dry side, but they were good. Then I opened the pork ribs…

p

Oh my these were fantastic, some of the best ribs I’ve had this year — and I’ve had a lot. Excellent stuff from a little place in the burbs.

I kept myself locked in my room all evening, finishing off these bones of joy, but mostly too mentally tired from going out for anything else. Oregon has drained me of energy and patience, and I really cannot wait to head to Alaska tomorrow morning — my 50th state.

Anyone reading this blog managed to do all 50 states?

Pine Shed Ribs
17730 Pilkington Road
Lake Oswego, Oregon

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Review: St Jack

14 September 2017

I left Utah early in the morning, a little sad I didn’t have more time to enjoy this beautiful state. I really got to enjoy this place. Nevertheless I landed in a hazy Portland later in the morning. Though the smoke from the horrible wildfires did not appear dense in and west of the city, it was everpresent each breath you take. I felt it almost immediately…

So going hiking in Columbia City was probably not a great idea, but some wonderful views of the region from a small cemetery on the plateau. I hiked up there not just for the view, but there’s a bit of Hawai’ian history buried there that I wanted to see. I headed down and fought my way through Portland’s ugly traffic — exacerbated by some horrific civil planning…

Who in the world designed the road system in this city?

Unfortunately I had a bit of a trying and long afternoon, and I desperately needed a good dinner. PDX has a huge reputation in the food world, and I always take that with a bit of caution, as hype has a way of hyping itself… Tonight’s destination has been one of the more hyped places, St Jack.

I got there after finding a parking space a few blocks away — never an easy thing to do in this town. I happily took a seat at the kitchen counter so got to see the kitchen work. I ordered a cocktail, looked through the menu, and made my order. I chilled out until the starter arrived…

01-tripe_edited

Tablier de sapeur — fried breaded tripe. Not had this Lyonnais treat in ages. Not bad, though the gribiche sauce was way too heavy (tasted more like Filet-o-fish tartar…) and took away from the delicate flavour of the tripe. otherwise not bad. Then next up the proper starter, sardines.

02-sardines

These were the day’s special and they were pretty good, albeit way overseasoned. The saltiness really took something away, almost to the point that I needed 2 drinks to get these 2 fish down… Good quality, but just too salty…

I had another drink to deal with the salinity and then the main course arrived — the lamb.

03-lamb

Now this was fabulous, wonderful quality meat and cooked to just the right temperature. Lovely, rich flavour, again a lamb that’s sourced right — that tasted like lamb, like at Pallet in Salt Lake City the other night. An excellent dish!

I chilled out a little with one more drink as I ordered a simple dessert of sorbet.

04-apricot sorbet_edited

This evening’s choice was apricot. The flavour was not bad, but the texture was all over the place. There were parts that were frozen solid, some parts tasted mushy, and there was a lot of stray flavourless ice everywhere — including a huge piece in the middle of one of these scoops. Poorly made to be honest…

And service, which has been good up to this point, totally collapsed for some reason at this stage. So I didn’t bother with a last drink and just drained my coffee and headed out.

Overall not bad, but still think it’s a little overhyped. Too many inconsistencies to make this a great dinner, despite the awesome lamb, but I can see why this place is popular with locals and visitors. I hiked back to my car and drove on back to my hotel next to the Washington border…

St Jack
1610 Northwest 23rd Avenue
Portland, Oregon