Thursday, July 19, 2012

Quick Hits: Retrolicious and Pah Dee

If you somehow miss the bright pink food truck with its flock of pink flamingos, look for the Jetsons vintage t-shirt and the beaming smile on the face of Kimmie, the owner and head Retro-teer of the Retrolicious food cart.

A friend and I stopped in at lunchtime and I was instantly hypnotized by the description of their version of the Cubano sandwich called Damn That Castro. They give it the panini treatment, that is, pressed and grilled,  yet it was still a substantial hunk of a sando, with big slabs of fall-apart tender pork, pickled onions, aioli and just the right amount of melted, gooey cheese.

The potato salad on the side was of the vinaigrette-dressing style rather than a mayo-egg version, and quite nice. Word has it their crispy chicken and mac'n'cheese is awesome, too…and with a BLT, meatloaf, grilled cheese and chicken-and-waffles, this place looks like a hit.

Details: Retrolicious, 1930 NE Everett in the Green Castle cart pod. 541-409-9271.

* * *

Ever since my brother moved his wine shop, Vino, to the perennially hip-and-happening food mecca that is 28th Avenue, I've been watching the corner of 28th and Burnside transform from depressingly dingy to downright dazzling. And with the addition of Pah Dee Thai in the spot formerly occupied by the scary darkness of Hungry Tiger Chinese, the transformation is complete.

On a recent summer afternoon the sliding windows were open and tables were dotting the sidewalk, making the walls almost disappear and allowing the breeze to cool the intimate yet comfortable interior.

A friend and I opted to share a couple of plates, and we were knocked out by the lemongrass shrimp salad. A base of romaine lettuce has enough structure to stand up nicely to a scattering of cilantro topped with sautéed tail-on shrimp and lemongrass in a warm fish sauce-inspired dressing. So fresh and full of the deep umami-ness that can prove dangerously addictive, the memory of this dish will have me coming back again, and soon.

Details: Pah Dee, 6 SE 28th Ave. 503-360-1453.


pdxknitterati/MicheleLB said...

What? No Hungry Tiger returning to the fold? (Family friends from way, way back...)

Kathleen Bauer said...

I think Hungry Tiger has relocated to a space on SE 12th near the intersection with Sandy…haven't been in yet.