Saturday, April 30, 2022

I'm Back and Eating Wings & Fries from Prime Tap House


I realize I said goodbye to my food blog at the beginning of the year. I didn't know how to write about food while on a low sodium/salt diet. I'm done with the low sodium thing. I've always taken pleasure from food; I looked forward to it. For the last three plus months I’ve eaten food to stay alive. I’m sick of it! There’s already so much I can’t do. I need something I can take pleasure in. I'm going to eat food that makes me happy. If it costs me 5 years off my life, so be it! On My Plate is back baby! (I'm not sure why I just channeled Dick Vitale, but OK.)

| Subject: 6 Boneless Wings & Sidewinder Fries from Prime Tap House | | Date: 04/12/2022 | Photographers: Bonnie Kiester & James Kiester | | Permissions: Photo taken for this blog |
| Subject: My Grubhub receipt for food from Prime Tap House | | Date: 04/12/2022 | Photographers: Bonnie Kiester & James Kiester | | Permissions: Photo taken for this blog |

Just like everybody else, I am thrilled the pandemic is nearing an end.  While the last few years have been catastrophic health-wise, I did learn how to explore food delivery services (Grubhub, Doordash, etc...) to find new things to eat.  The moment I decided to scrap the low sodium fiasco, I logged on to Grubhub to look for something yummy.

 I knew I wanted bar food, but I didn't want to fall back on my bar food go-tos such as Buffalo Wild Wings, Applebee's, or Red Robin.  I wanted to try somewhere new, just because I'd been so culinarily bored for so long.  Plus, now that we find ourselves on the tail end of the Covid-19 nightmare, local eateries need our support, so the epicurean landscape doesn't become monopolized solely by chain restaurants.

I'd surfed the Grubhub for about an hour, rejecting places for various reasons (price, bad photography, etc...) and I was getting pretty hungry.  In fact, I was minutes away from settling for Taco Bell when I came across Grubhub's listing for Prime Tap House, physically located at1896 NE 106th Ave., in Hillsboro, Oregon.

It's a wing spot, offering deep fried wings flavored with a variety of sauces and dry rubs, a few sides, soft drinks, and a few *Shoyu Chicken meals.  Prime also offers a vegetarian "wing" made with cauliflower.   I can’t say why I decided to order from Prime Tap House, except that it offered deep fried bar food (wings, fries, tots, etc...) done with an Asian flare.

On the Tap House's own website, one will find complete descriptions of their sauces and dry rubs.  Yet, Grubhub  only supplies customers with the names of each of the flavorings.  Some of the flavorings' names are self-explanatory.  Chili Mango Dry Rub obviously offers a sweet fruity heat, while Killer Bee Sauce hints at being some kind of spicy honey-based sauce.  Yet, names such as K-Pop Sauce, Dong's Sauce, and Bangkok Wings left me in the dark. 

I ordered 6 Boneless Wings with their Dragon Dust Dry Rub, for $9.00, the Sidewinder Fries with Chili Mango Dry Rub, for $6.00, and some complimentary ranch dip.

The wings were fried golden & crispy on the outside, while the meat remained juicy.  I was savvy enough to know that something called "Dragon Dust" would be bringing the heat, and I was right.  These wings turned my cheeks red and made my nose run.  Underneath the heat, I could taste a savory foundation.

Sidewinder Fries are French fried potatoes cut into twisted wedges, about half the size of a typical jojo, seasoned with the diner's dry rub of choice.  I chose the Chili Mango Dry Rub.   Sporting a golden yellow complexion, the potatoes were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.  The rub gave the fries half the spicy heat of the wings along with a sweet tartness reminiscent of, yes, mangos.

After months of bland boring food, this meal was exactly what I needed to reenergize my palate.  My only complaint is the aforementioned deficit with the Grubhub version of their menu.  The food itself was superb, earning it 9 out of 10 stars.

 *Shoyu Chicken is a Japanese style of chicken made using shoyu soy sauce mixed with brown sugar, ginger and lots of garlic.

Friday, February 4, 2022

Goodbye, Farewell and Amen

I am not a professional chef, nor have I been classically trained in the field of cuisine. I AM, however, a writer and a well-read food & wine enthusiast, who lives to eat and knows what he likes. In this blog, you'll read my views on cheese, wine, restaurants, cooking, food trends, and more.

| Subject: A lonely kitchen |
| Permissions: License use Creative Commons Zero |
I first wrote those words back in 2008.  You'll find the oldest entry is from 2011, but that’s because in 2017 I deleted the first three years of subpar entries which were written before I'd found my food-voice. 

Nevertheless, I did find it.  Since then, I've posted 82 restaurant reviews, 67 recipes, and over 200 other pieces on cheese, wine, beer, food history, healthy eating, and other culinary topics. 

Some of my favorite entries were:
I have more favorites, of course, but these are good sample of the ones I'm proud of. 

* I release a heavy sigh and casually sit myself upon the abandoned prep island. * My doctor has put me on a low salt diet.  As a result, I can't eat most, if any, restaurant food; certainly not any restaurant food I could get excited about.  The same can be said for recipes. 

Sure, OK, I could become the blogger who finds low sodium treasures in America's restaurants and converts classic recipes into their low sodium doppelgängers, but I'd be writing about shadows of the places and foods which I actually cared about. 

No, I think it's best to "walk" away from food blogging and devote my time & energy to my other two blogs, Blogito Ergo Sum and Musings From The Christian Left.

If you close your eyes, and listen, you can almost hear crickets chirping as this place gathers dust.  Well... I can.

Through early morning fog I see
Visions of the things to be
The pains that are withheld for me
I realise and I can see

That closing blogs is painless
It brings on many changes
I can take or leave it if I please

That game of life is hard to play
I'm gonna lose it anyway
The losing card, I'll some day lay
So this is all I have to say

That closing blogs is painless
It brings on many changes
I can take or leave it if I please

The sword of time will pierce our skin
It doesn't hurt when it begins
But as it works its way on in
The pain grows stronger, watch it grin

That closing blogs is painless
It brings on many changes
And I can take or leave it if I please

A brave man once requested me
To answer questions that are key
Is it to be or not to be
And I replied, "Oh, why ask me?"

That closing blogs is painless
It brings on many changes
I can take or leave it if I please

That closing blogs is painless
It brings on many changes
And you can do the same thing if you please

^ The theme from M*A*S*H reworded by me.

Monday, November 8, 2021

I'm Eating A Diablo Dog And Taking A Break

I’m taking a break from food writing. I still love food, don't think otherwise. I'm simply having trouble being inspired by it at the moment.
| Subject: The Diablo Dog |
| Date: 09/22/2021 |
| Photographers: Shelby Hester & James Kiester |
| Permissions: Photo taken for this blog |

About six weeks ago I was going to review the Diablo Dog (An all-beef hot dog wrapped in bacon and deep fried, chili, shredded cheese, mustard, jalapenos and diced onions) from Joe’s Burgers (14623 SW Teal BLVD).  It was a really good chili dog; spicy, salty, tart from the mustard, with a crisp wiener which was longer than the bun.  With everything going on, I couldn't really taste the bacon, but…, OK.  It was a really good chili dog.

I began writing the review six times, and couldn't muster the energy to type the thing.  It wasn't happening.  I think I’ve had so many political & spiritual thoughts lately that I'm having trouble focusing on food.  Besides, I can't get motivated to write another Thanksgiving piece recommending Gewurztraminer as a pairing for turkey.  It's not in me this year.

For the rest of 2021, I’m going to focus on my other two blogs, Blogito Ergo Sum and Musings From The Christian Left.  Don't worry, I’ll revive this blog in early 2022 to steer readers toward more goodies and away from epicurean pitfalls.  In the meantime, eat something extra rich & yummy for the holidays!  🍷🥩

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Man Vs. Fries


I'm one unlucky foodie.  OK, we all suffered the closure of bars and restaurants together.  As soon as the epicurean world reopened though, my wheelchair went kaput.  Yes ladies and gentlemen, I'm still stuck.  Yet, let it be known that I'm also a determined foodie.  With a long to explore, and no particular cuisine in mind, I logged onto Grubhub for the purpose of ordering from somewhere I've never ordered from before. 

I surfed until I came across a place called Man vs Fries, which physically exists at 12975 SW Canyon Rd. in Beaverton, Oregon.  I think it first caught my eye because it's an obvious tip of the hat to Adam Richman's old show, Man vs. Food.  

| Subject: The NorCal Burrito | 
| Date: 09/07/2021 | Photographers: Bonnie Kiester & James Kiester | 
| Permissions: Photo taken for this blog |
Once I got beyond the name, I took a good look at the menu.  As the name implies, Man vs. Fries is the purveyor of over-the-top French-fry-centric dishes.  Their offerings include; 
  • CBR Fries (chicken, bacon, ranch, cheese, and guacamole loaded onto seasoned shoestring fries for $17.95),
  • SoCal Burrito (hella meat, flamin' hot cheetos, straight-cut fries, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, secret sauce wrapped in a flour tortilla with a side of queso for $16.95),
  • NorCal Asada Fries (French fries, drizzled with cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and secret sauce for $16.95).
Not wanting flaming hot anything in my food (maybe 30 years ago, but not today), I settled on the NorCal Burrito, which consists of chopped carne asada (beef) or pollo asado (chicken), straight-cut fries, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and a spicy secret sauce wrapped in a huge flour tortilla, supposedly, with a side of queso for $15.95.

First things first, this isn't some snack burrito from a dollar value menu.  This is the price of a meal, but for that price one receives a burrito the size of a Nerf football containing enough food for two people, or one person with a hefty appetite.  Of course, I have a sneaky suspicion this dish has been designed to be consumed after someone has smoked a bowl, in which case the eater/toker could probably finish it by themselves. 

 went with the beef option,  This bad mamma jamma was loaded with seasoned fries, carna asada, and melted cheese.  Carna asada is steak which has been marinated in lime juice and seasonings, grilled, and then cut into thin strips.  The strips of seasoned steak had been cooked until they were crisp with a bit of char.  The slight bitterness of the char worked well with the savory fries, tangy sour cream & guacamole, chewy cheese, and spicy secret sauce to deliver a series of balanced delicious bites of food.  I was really in Heaven when I got the occasional bite of nothing but chewy gooey cheese (you know how much I like my cheese 🧀😀🧀).

I will say, I was a bit irked that I didn't get my side of queso, which would have added a layer of salty heat to each bite.  All things considered though, the NorCal Burrito deserves 8 out of 10 stars.

Interesting Side Note:
It wasn't until I began writing this review that I realized Man Vs. Fries is a national chain, rather than a solo mom & pop.  What's really interesting though, is that the location I ordered from appears nowhere on the list of restaurants on the chain's website