Mad Girl Eats Pine State Biscuits, Portland

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Pine State Biscuits, 2204 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR.

Biscuits, who doesn’t love a warm, fluffy, piece of heaven?! I heard the name of this place and I didn’t need to know more, they had me at Biscuits. I arrived around 9:45 a.m. on a Friday, to a line out the door to the corner. The line moved swiftly and found myself at the counter to order within 10-15 minutes.

I order The Reggie, a biscuit sandwich with fried chicken, bacon, cheese, and yummy thick gravy. Because I can’t find good pimento cheese just anywhere, I opted for a side biscuit and pimento cheese to round out my order. In full need of a cuppa joe, they gave me a mug as coffee is self-serve. I liked that idea, because I could refill when I needed….not when someone got around to me. In the morning, that means life or death to some. Me.

The place was packed and had a constant flow of new arrivals. When one space emptied, immediately it was filled. I found a seat at the counter that surrounds the grill area. It was entertaining to watch the precision of the staff getting orders out as rapid as possible. No slouching staff here!  Ooh…my order was up, and conveniently grabbed from across the bar.

It all looked incredible. ..and I was starving. First up, the biscuit and pimento cheese. The biscuit was perfection, the pimento cheese was one of the best I’ve ever had. Creamy, sharp, flavorful. Happy. The Reggie was a sight to behold. What could go wrong with fried chicken, bacon, cheese and gravy??? Absolutely freakin nothing! Ohh man, the flavors together were of course phenomenal, but that topping of gravy put it over the edge. If I had one regret, I wish I would have ordered an extra side of gravy. I like my biscuits wet, I’m just that kind of girl 😉

Get here if you’re in Portland. Cool place, good menu and prices, fab food, nice and hardworking staff. It’s a winner.

Hours: Mon-Wed: 7am-3pm, Thurs: 7am-11pm, Fri-Sat: 7am-1am, Sun: 7am-11pm

Free on-street parking in nice neighborhood setting. Usual lines, limited seating indoors and out but table turnover is fairly quick. Bus your own table.  Enjoy!

As seen on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, Food Paradise, Unique Eats.

http://pinestatebiscuits.com

4.5 out of 5 biscuit-loving thumbs up!

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Mad Girl Eats Crisp, Chicago

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Crisp, 2940 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL.

It is all about the chicken, ‘Bad-ass bird’ to be exact. Korean style, crispy, unbelievable, chicken. Throw in some Korean sauce, it is killer chicken.

I heard great things about this superbly fried chicken that needed to be investigated upon my next trip to Chicago. Fast forward to driving thru downtown Chicago in the summer and weaving my way to the cool neighborhood of Lakeview, just north of downtown’s epic center.

Crisp’s menu is more extensive than just a chicken, but I wanted to keep it simple and straightforward. I ordered the Seoul Sassy half chicken. A slight sweetness in the sauce but with fine ingredients of ginger, soy, garlic, and other “secret” spices. It hardly took any time at all to get my order, I went and sat at one of their communal picnic tables and prepared for greatness.

Once the box opened ( I was at first going to take out then decided to stay and eat), the aroma of the sauce was intoxicating and what I saw was….food porn. Boom shacka lacka. OMG from the first bite to the last. Crispy delectable outer, with a moist and luscious inner. Seoul Sassy sauce is extraordinary. None of the spices overpower the others, just a freaking perfect blend of huge flavor. Messy, sticky goodness.

If I wasn’t hitting the road directly after my Crisp experience, I would have ordered more. I’ll be back Crisp, next visit to try a Buddha Bowl, or maybe a Korean Burrito. Either way, can’t go wrong.

A parking lot on the corner. You will pay for parking, but convience and easy of in and out is worth it…and it is Chicago. They offer delivery to a specific area, look at their website for particulars.

http://crisponline.com

Hours: Mon-Sun 11:30am to 9pm

As seen on the Cooking Channel, Unique Eats.

5 out of 5 sassy saucy smackaroos.

Mad Girl Eats XOCO in Chicago

XOCO, 446 Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654 .

Chef Rick Bayless, winner of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, knows Mexican flavors like no other..as seen on Unique Eats. His fast service restaurant XOCO, is first-rate food at a nice price and perfect for lunch. On a cold, Chicago Windy City day, nothing warms the cockles like his caldos (meal in a bowl) creations. wpid-20120724_163134_wm.jpgThe Pork Belly Vermicelli is what I keep coming back for. Crispy pork belly, oodles of noodles, mushrooms, zucchini, avocados, salsa negra and a broth that has a bold rich flavor that can’t be ignored. It is addictive. From the first spoonful, you feel satisfied, relaxed, warmed, and ready to shout “Fantastico”! $12.00 for these huge dinner bowls of happiness. Score.

http://rickbayless.com

Tip: XOCO is located on the corner of Clark St. and Illinois, next to Chef Rick’s other great restaurants. Enter XOCO on the Illinois street side. Closed Sundays and Mondays. Don’t be afraid of a line, they move pretty quick. Seating is available indoors, tables are very very close to each other. Cozy 😉

4 0ut of 5 simmering sensations.

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