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Showcase Foods (from the Asian Station food cart owners)


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#1 jennifer

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 09:56 AM

Showcase Foods

8220 S.E. Harrison St. #230

Portland, OR 97216 

(503) 200-7539

 

http://showcasefoodspdx.com/

 

Located next to My Brother's Crawfish

 

Mon-Tues: Closed
Wed - Sat: 11:00am - 7:00pm
Sun: 12:00pm - 6:00pm

 

Has anyone tried this place yet?  I just read about it in the O.  They're serving Hong Kong snack foods like bubble waffles, pan fried pork buns & Chinese style jerky.

 

They've been open since November.  They're bringing back their XLB in a couple of months, they're working on training the staff.

 

I would happily make this drive for their XLB.  

 

Here's the article:  http://www.oregonliv..._medium=twitter

 

Here's the menu:  http://showcasefoodspdx.com/menu.html

 

Edit: There's a video on Yelp that explains more of the style of food they're making, and shows some of the neat machines they have, the bubble waffle maker, crepe/dumpling setup and so on.  They say they're recreating street food & Hawker cafe dishes from HK, Taiwan, Beijing.  The crepe & chicken wings look really good.  http://www.yelp.com/...:Showcase Foods  



#2 Jill-O

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 10:02 AM

I recently noticed a sign (hard to read speeding by on SE 82nd, I think it says "Bubble Waffles") at the sidewalk on 82nd. I wondered what it was...


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#3 polloelastico

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 10:10 AM

Macau pork chop sandwich. XO sauce noodles. Excellent.


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#4 Neven

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 09:06 AM

Went on Saturday with a bunch of friends, got almost everything they had on the menu that day. (They didn't have everything their online menu lists.)

 

Malaysian wings:

 

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I think Malaysian wings are usually done with turmeric, galangal, shallot and garlic, and these had that vibe. They were quite rich and perfectly crispy. Would eat again any time.

 

Pan-fried pork buns:

 

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These were good. Maybe a bit doughy, and could've been fried more. The filling was juicy and tasty.

 

Jian bing, savory crepe:

 

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A nice mix of soft and crunchy, good sauces on the side. I only had a few bites of it, but I imagine it would make a nice light breakfast.

 

Macanese pork chop bun and tornado fries:

 

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The pork chop was really good. I think I liked the meat better than Ping's version of this (which I loved). Ping had a better bun (softer and creamier) but this one wasn't bad either. They served hoisin on the side, which a little of went a long way; not that the tender, salty chop needed it.

 

Tornado fries always look cooler than they taste, in my opinion, and these were no exception. A fun kid snack, but nothing I'll get up in the morning for.

 

Hong Kong french toast:

 

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That's Japanese-style sandwich bread stuffed with peanut butter and topped with sweetened condensed milk and syrup. Several people declared it the best french toast they'd had in town. It's kind of over the top, but presumably that's what you're after when you order french toast. A winner.

 

They also brought out a complimentary plate of Filipino pancit noodles:

 

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They didn't look exciting to me, but they tasted very good. Lots of textural interplay between the different noodles and veggies, pretty solid chicken pieces, nicely sauced. 

 

Things I didn't get pictures of:

 

Bubble waffles: like edible bubble wrap. Moderately sweet/perfumey, served fresh.

 

Ukoy, prawn & potato fritter: we got a bunch of orders of these; some came out perfectly crispy, a few were a bit soggy (though not oily). The crispy ones were very good.

 

We somehow forgot to order the thing they seem most proud of, the pork jerky. Next time.

 

The space is small but nice, very bright. Looks like a bubble-tea shop, or a campus coffee shop. The owners were super nice. While not every dish was stellar, at these prices and this menu, I'll definitely go back.



#5 friedalighthouse

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 02:53 PM

I stopped in for lunch today before 12:30 (hooray for spring break). They were slammed, all tables full except for the counter against the wall. The nice young man said they were running late. Long story short, I waited a very long time; they're not ready for all the publicity they've received. But the nice young man was apologetic and gave me a lumpia to make up for it (it was good). Anyway, I got the biang biang noodles, which I loved. Great combination of soft-crunchy-salty-green, very satisfying. I'd get it again. Also got some things to bring home: pan-fried dumplings (little bit burned on the bottom, but nice taste) and the Malaysian wings (had a bite when they were warm--good crunch). Two guys eating there shared lots of dishes and spoke knowledgeably about food (was it any of you out there?). So--I think the food is great, and I hope they find their way to coping with their crowds. I'll go back soon, but not at a rush time, not for a while anyway.



#6 Neven

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 03:37 PM

So--I think the food is great, and I hope they find their way to coping with their crowds. I'll go back soon, but not at a rush time, not for a while anyway.

 

I didn't want to mention this for fear of turning people off, but when we went, they were also unprepared for the crowd. They were apologetic about it, and I didn't mind, but yeah, it's something for them to figure out. They said business had been slow in their first two months, so I understand it. Man, I never want to have to calculate stuff like this: do you throw out tons of food, or do you have customers waiting forever. Kudos to all you crazy people who actually run restaurants :)



#7 ExtraMSG

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 10:39 PM

The best thing is to reduce seating so that you can only seat what you can handle effectively, but yeah, it ain't easy. Two years after being open I would still get asked at K&Z whether we had run out of pastrami even though we hadn't run out of pastrami since the first couple weeks we were open.  These guys will get so many people who never return because customers will assume it will always be like this.  I was going to go here until I found out they were reviewed.  Now I'm only going to go if I can get there right after open.


The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

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#8 jennifer

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 10:52 AM

Also, they've got a Yelp "Groupon" type deal going, so that may be adding to their crowds.



#9 ExtraMSG

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 09:41 PM

Went the other day and just as I showed up Jill-O and Sue had ordered.  They invited me to partake, so I ordered some food as well, and we got a pretty good cross-section of the menu.  Though just getting the Combo #3 alone will do that.

 

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Bubble waffle, served in a paper bag for some unknown reason -- I'm guessing tradition -- was okay.  This was the plain version and I think one with chocolate chips or some other flavoring would help it for me, but I barely like normal waffles.  There was a nice custardy aspect to the bubbles.  We took some syrup from the French toast to augment it, which helped.

 

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The French toast, on the other hand, was frickin' phenomenal. If someone wants to open a kick-ass breakfast place likely to get Salt & Straw or Pine State hot, I recommend stuffed French toast.  Imagine nutella-stuffed French toast, PB&J-stuffed, butter-braised fennel and leek, chorizo, camembert, pear and bacon.... Endless possibilities.

 

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This was peanut butter and it was oozing from the center.  No complaints.

 

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I agree, the tornado fries are better in pics than in reality.  I think if they were crisp, they could be great, but they aren't. 

 

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The sent us out some of the jerky, both sweet and spicy.  The spicy isn't very spicy, unless you're Cantonese, I suspect.  Jill described them as Chinese sausage in strip-form.  I think that's a good way to put it.  They were sweet, salty, tender and good.

 

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The pork chop was a surprise. 

 

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It was surprisingly tender and surprisingly flavorful.  It tasted to me like it had been marinated in something a little sweet and salty (probably soy, sugar, ginger base?)  The pieces of fat -- and there wasn't all that much -- were especially good.  Not sure the tradition of just putting the pork chop on a bare piece of bread is the greatest and I think this is one tradition that could benefit from some augmenting with a nice sauce, but it's good nonetheless.

 

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Most of the Combo #3 came on one plate: fries fish curry balls, fries siu mai, sweet potato and shrimp pancakes, lumpia, Malay chicken wings.  All of them were tasty, though none were ridiculously good.  One issue, I think, is that the little sauces come on the side in to-go cups and it's not clear what goes with what, etc.  Maybe that wouldn't be a problem for someone familiar with the traditions, but then again, it seems like a mish-mash of traditions on one plate.  The curry balls were flavorful, perhaps a little denser than I like without any real texture, but tasty enough.  Siu mai as well (though not dense, more creamy).  I don't like sweet potato, but the pancakes seemed pretty well-made and in-balance, but not crisp.  The lumpia were well-seasoned, crisp, and un-greasy -- a good version.  The Malay wings were tender, juicy, and crisp, though I would have liked to have known which sauce was for them.  All solid items.

 

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The biggest surprise for me, though, and perhaps the best dish of them all, was the Shanghai stir-fry.  The pork was tender and flavorful, like the better Chinese or Thai places in town, where the meat still has some thickness to it, yet it quite tender.  The white ovals were slices of rice noodle.  They were fantastic -- fresh tasting, nice chew, soaking up the sweet and salty sauce.  Just really good.  Then a little crunch from veggies and lightly charred onions.  Good dish.

 

They could desperately use some more seating here and it seems like a horribly inefficient use of space (though it's a small space to begin with), but I wish them well.  It's a fun and interesting addition to the food scene in Portland -- one I suspect will be largely ignored by non-Asians and anyone living west of 39th, much like Mojo Crepes.


The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole & Kenny & Zuke's

#10 ooray

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 09:01 PM

Went here tonight with a friend.  We were the only customers from around 6-7:30.  They were super nice.  Made me want to come back.

 

Agree with everything here.  Cucumber salad was great, with chili oil and szechwan peppercorns. 

 

Loved the Biang Biang noodles, handmade noodles with a really tasty XO sauce.  Had the dried seafood taste (scallops and shrimp) that I loved with a touch of chili.  Noodles were not chewy, but toothsome.  Definitely a good bowl of noodles.



#11 friedalighthouse

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 10:17 AM

I think it's calmed down at Showcase. I went Saturday about 12:15 with a friend, and we were the second customers. Others did trickle in afterwards, though. I didn't get anything new, but I loved the Malaysian wings and the biang biang noodles all over again. This time they gave a scissors to cut the very large noodles, which was nice. My friend got the pancit noodles, which she liked, and I had a taste of. So I would say the coast is clear to come in during lunchtime (or at least it was this week!).



#12 FoodKid

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 01:07 PM

The XO sauce on the biang biang noodles is pretty great. That said, they need better to-go containers, or at least ones that have a coating that keeps the noodles from adhering to the interior. If you leave the noodles in the box too long, they stick to the sides and get matted with paper fibers.



#13 FoodKid

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 04:22 PM

Showcase is now offering several different French toast sundaes. The one I had was called The Elvis. It's the regular peanut butter stuffed toast and it came topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, slices of banana, lightly candied strips of bacon, mini peanut butter cups, and a butterscotch drizzle. It was a bit much for one person to eat, and the peanut butter cups felt unnecessary. And while it may be over the top, I thought it was delicious. The bacon was particularly good. $7



#14 Neven

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 05:10 PM

I went last Saturday for lunch—it was dead empty. 

 

I got the rice cakes, and I agree with Nick: they taste better than you'd expect. Addictively chewy and bouncy, with great pork and just enough funk from the cabbage. 

 

They brought me one of their new sundaes FoodKid mentioned, for free (!) I barely have a sweet tooth at all, but this was a damn good piece overloaded dessert. Their peanut-butter french toast is solid.

 

I want more places like this: hyper-casual, serving interesting food that's not necessarily rooted in trends or fusion stuff. Y'all should go!



#15 ExtraMSG

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 07:50 PM

"Not necessarily rooted in trends or fusion stuff"?  You mean in hipster Portland trends, me thinks. :shifty:  I agree with the rest, though.


The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

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#16 Neven

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 12:21 PM

I forgot I'd taken a picture of the sundae. For size reference, that sandwich is about 2" tall:

 

 

Attachment-1-3.jpeg



#17 Jill-O

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 01:13 PM

I won a free one on FB, and I am looking forward to trying it!  I got my sights set on the Elvis!


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#18 nate

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 11:21 AM

I really want to try this place, but whenever I try to go, it's been closed. First time was my fault for not checking the hours, but tried to go Saturday at 1pm and there was nobody home, despite the hours clearly displayed on the door, suggesting they should be open. No sign with any explanation either. Damn, I really want to try this place...



#19 FoodKid

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 08:46 PM

I haven't had any trouble with them being unexpectedly closed. Bummer that it happened to you, since their food is quite tasty. That said, they've extended their posted hours. New hours are as follows:
 

Tues-Thurs: 11 am to 9 pm

Fri-Sat: 11 am to 10 pm

Sun: 12 pm to 7 pm



#20 Jill-O

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 08:15 AM

We were there last Sat. around 5/5:30 for an early dinner. Love the toothsome rice noodle with pork dish and we also had sweet potato and shrimp pancakes (and these were better than the first time, they were thin and very crispy and addictive).

 

We were going to get french toast ice cream sundaes, but were treated to a dish of their new mango puree/tapioca pudding with pomelo grapefruit flesh on top. It was a really nice and light and tangy dessert - highly recommended.

 

Sue had their milk tea (served hot or cold, she got it cold) and really liked it. It's not as sweet as Thai iced tea, nor did it seem as strongly brewed, I don't like sweetened coffee or tea, so it wasn't my thing, but the taste of the tea itself in there was very nice, it had an interesting flavor. I asked about it, and in broken English (the owner was in back, and she speaks perfect English, but English is a second langage for some of the folks working the front) I was told that it is a special tea, a special blend of black and red teas.

 

It's good that they have expanded their hours, I hope they also expand their menu a bit - I'd like to see more Hong Kong specialties like chicken feet (though Ocean City does a great job with those), five layer pork, rice and sausage dishes (though we make that at home in the rice cooker - so easy cheap and good), pork cake/patty...


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