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#581 Amanda

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 08:44 AM

YUM! I hosted a dinner for six at Pok Pok a couple weeks ago and it was fantastic. They had an amazing drink special called a Mango Alexander. WOW, was that great! It had mango infused vodka and coconut milk. I couldn't get enough of those. If they were on their regular drink menu I would surely turn into a lush and have a bar stool with my name on it there. We also tried many, many things including a whole tilapia and some really spicy shrimp dish that some of us could handle and others couldn't. I'm glad to hear they will be open more. Besides the two of us, there is much love for Pok Pok in John's family circle, as well!

Best regards,

Amanda

#582 ExtraMSG

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 01:46 PM

http://tmagazine.blo...s-fed-fiddling/

I met a fellow James Beard Award loser, Andy Ricker, when he was in town for the annual award ceremony. He’s the guy behind a group of bars and restaurants in Portland, Ore., that includes Pok Pok, a Thai restaurant that’s a fixture on the PDX scene and tourists’ itineraries; it’s absolutely worth a visit.

He can’t go hyper-local at his restaurants and still make recognizable Thai food (there are no papayas growing Oregon, for example), but he does what he can with the local bounty. Right now, fiddleheads are flooding the farmers’ markets in Portland, and they’re an off-the-menu special at Ricker’s restaurants.


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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#583 ExtraMSG

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 09:22 PM

Had dinner at Pok Pok tonight. We ordered a lot between the two of us: kaeng hung lay (northern thai/burmese pork curry), hoi thawt (egg and mussel crepe), neua nam tok (flank steak salad), kai yang (grilled chicken), and something I hadn't had before, a jackfruit salad (can't remember the Thai name). Jackfruit salad wasn't pretty to look at, mostly just stewed gray jackfruit with cherry tomatoes, some dried chiles, and little sweet crunchy bits, that I think were ground pork. Not sure. I liked the dish, but I don't know if it will be a crowd pleaser. Young jackfruit is unique and unfamiliar. I love it, though. In this form, it was similar to young leaves of artichoke. Apparently I just missed their northern jackfruit curry, which is something I really liked in Chiang Mai. Mango could have been sweeter, but it was still a good dessert. All the other items were prepared well.
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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#584 jennifer

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 08:43 PM

Menu changes:

Menu change this week at Pok Pok: Yam Makheua Yao is back (smoky grilled eggplant salad) replacing Yam Wun Sen and Tam Banun; Khanom Jiin Naam Yaa ( rice vermicelli with krachai flavored, ground fresh fish coconut curry from southern Thailand) is taking the place of Khanom Jiin Kaeng Khiaw Waan Luuk Chin Plaa. Kaeng Om Neua replaced by Tom Saep Neua (hot and sour Isaan beef soup). Da Cham's Laap Suk Muang (Chiang Mai pork laap with offal, blood and lots of spices, recently served at the Cochon 555 event ) takes the place of the catfish Laap. Got that? Ok! Oh yeah: Phak Khanaa Naam Man Hoi (gailan steamed with oyster sauce and oyster mushrooms) with the option of adding Muu Krob (house made crispy pork belly) has bumped the Phat Phak Ruam Mit (stir fried mixed vegetables). Whew!



#585 ExtraMSG

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 01:47 PM

Pok Pok Noi
I am happy to announce that we have just signed a lease for the space that Podnah's Pit now occupies on NE Prescott and 15th. Once our buddy Rodney and his crew get their new space on NE Killingsworth built and they move out of the Prescott space, Pok Pok Noi will take the place of Podnah's.
Pok Pok Noi (Little Pok Pok) will be a mostly take-out joint with some outdoor and counter seating. On offer will be the original shack menu plus a few of the other favorites from the full Pok Pok menu, such as Neua Naam Tok, Muu Paa Kham Waan and Sii Khrong Muu Yaang. (Doing the full menu in this space would be logistically close to impossible, so sorry-- only the greatest hits!) There will be a full liquor license which will allow us to sell bottled beer to go, and our house made drinking vinegars will be featured both for on-premise consumption and to go. We plan on being open for lunch and dinner, 7 days a week.

Rodney thinks he will be moving sometime in November, and we hope to open before the new year. Having said that, construction schedules are notoriously unpredictable and neither we nor the landlord are going to try and push Podnah's out before they are ready to go (there must be brisket continuity!), so there is no official open date for Pok Pok Noi.
We are pretty excited about establishing a branch in NEPO, albeit an abbreviated version of Pok Pok, and look forward to joining the other businesses in the lower Prescott/Alberta area.

ok, best, andy


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

#586 bradluen

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 11:58 PM

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I had dinner here with a table of six on my first visit to Portland a couple of years ago. While we all enjoyed the meal, the half of us who ate at Lotus of Siam a couple of months before that thought we had a clearly better meal in Vegas (though Pok Pok and Lotus have very different approaches to northernish Thai). Finally returned for lunch last weekend, ordering the khanom jiin naam ngiaw (pictured), which I'd never seen on a menu before. Definitely my favourite vermicelli dish ever, and I'm having a hard time thinking of any more pleasurable wet noodle dish I've had -- maybe the pho ga at Turtle Tower in SF, but nah. Can't think of a dish I've enjoyed more at Lotus, either. Great ingredient quality -- the clinching pork blood cakes tasted fresher, whatever I mean by that, than any I've had before. And it wasn't even perfect! The noodles were slightly soggy, but I could hardly have cared less. My companion's khao phat puu (crab fried rice), meanwhile, was executed impeccably, and with plenty of fish sauce.

I expect to return for noodles often and dinner occasionally.

#587 HappyHourHero

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 07:50 PM

I ate at Lotus a few months ago for the first time and wasn't overly impressed. Maybe I ordered wrong as I was not very familiar with the menu, but I would certainly take Pok Pok over lotus any day of the week.

#588 Geuze

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 06:56 AM

My experience, which was repeated the next night, was going to Lotus and having them design a menu for you. The server asked how many courses and how many dishes per course. We simply handed back the menus and put our faith in the food gods.

What followed was one of the more amazing meals I have had. This was confirmed (in a way) by the fact that there was a table of 7-8 master sommeliers at a nearby table. In fact, my friend and I had troubles deciding what we wanted more the next night after our somm class was done. We eventually laughed at each other and decided to go back to Lotus. We had them design a meal for us the next night, too, asking for only one dish to be repeated.

Soft-shell crab salad, with julienned granny smiths, thai chilis, and a myriad of other wonderful flavors. I still long for that one...

That being said, 2Pok and Lotus are different enough to not need to compare. And far enough away from each other. I would have no trouble deciding between the two, were they in the same city. Mainly because I would simply skip to each on alternating nights, with a huge smile on my face.

#589 ExtraMSG

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 01:13 AM

http://pdx.eater.com...c-represent.php

Eater PDX HQ has been keeping this one on the DL for some time now, but with invitations officially sent to attendees of the Eater Awards 2010, we can make this one official: Pok Pok's Andy Ricker will be on-hand to represent Portland at the event, dishing out New York City's first taste of his famous Vietnamese chicken wings.


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

#590 ExtraMSG

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 08:04 PM

Via FD

Behind the scenes at Pok Pok on Serious Eats

As a former cook of the restaurant, I recently visited my old kitchen, which has changed dramatically since I left a little over a year ago.

In the ground floor space, many pots were bubbling away. Kaeng hung leh, the Burmese-influenced sweet northern Thai curry of pork shoulder and belly, cooked alongside peanut sauce and raspberry drinking vinegar. Each cook had plenty of counter space (not the case when I was there) and even better, they didn't have to fight with Iggy, the daytime hot line cook, for the only gas ranges. Carrying 20 quarts of hot liquid down steep backyard stairs was no longer a necessary hazard—everything could just go out the back garage door to the cooler.

Outside the kitchen on the other side of the bar, they have two "bia wun" or "jelly beer" machines. Two plastic barrels made to look like wood, with elephants carved into them, are attached to a base with a motor that makes them spin. Bottles of Singha beer get submerged into water, ice, and salt until they're frozen a few minutes later. Tap the bottom, open the top, insert extra long straw and voila "bia wun" or "jelly beer." The beer goes opaque and slushy, a 22-ounce bottle was great to pass around the shaded back patio.

The jelly beer machine is just one of the many items that chef Ricker has brought back with him from Thailand. He has also lugged back a bird rotisserie, multiple coconut presses, spices (Northern Laap spice and fermented bean discs were stacked to the ceiling) and chiles, and of course the recipes. I remember unloading the new rotisserie and coconut presses from the truck when I worked there. Oof!


I'll just repeat what I wrote on Serious Eats about Alex Yellan, the author of the piece, who is now cooking in NYC:

Alex is the sweater king! He was an early cook at Kenny & Zuke's and still fondly remembered by all who worked with him!


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

#591 waxfang

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 06:44 PM

Finally got to go last Friday...the wait wasn't bad at all, especially if you take advantage of Whiskey Soda Lounge.

The food...oh my, the food. I was expecting to be slightly let down due to the overwhelming hype. "It's probably good, but not THAT good. Nothing is THAT good. Besides, I'm not a huge Thai fan, and I hate standing in line to spend money."

I've had vastly more expensive meals, that might trump Pok Pok in the presentation department, but my appreciation was more from an admiration standpoint; they're not necessarily something I'd crave regularly. The drinks, everything my date and I ordered, the appetizers over at Whiskey Soda...all of it was mind-blowingly good. Wake-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night-craving it good. Wishing I had the extra money to start an expensive weekly Pok Pok habit good. Yes, the portions are a tad tiny [looking], which is the only reasonable gripe I could see someone leveling at the place, but we left absolutely stuffed (but still ready to go attack the town). Service was prompt and friendly, but I try to not be a pain in the ass unless something is really wrong.

I REALLY look forward to going back in a few weeks.

#592 sacman

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 12:07 AM

There are 30 pages of text on Pok Pok, and so far nobody has posted photos of a complete meal. A few pictures of solitary dishes here and there, but it was just a tease. I'd say Andy Ricker and Pok Pok are probably the single most famous restaurant in Portland, with the possible exception of Voodoo Doughnuts. Pok Pok has been the Oregonian's Restaurant of the Year no fewer than eight times, give or take. It's been lauded by many, many foodie publications. My fellow bandwidth hog and I have thrice - THRICE, I tell you - tried to visit this restaurant without success (but it wasn't ever Pok Pok's fault, it was just crappy circumstances).

She and I and a trio of friends made plans for the Last Restaurant Visit of the Year (2010 edition). We decided on Pok Pok for lunch on Dec. 31. Our expectations were running extremely high, probably unreasonably high. All of the food was good, but there was really only two things that were flat-out great. Here are the photos...

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Here's one of the great items: drinking vinegar. I ordered pomegranate. The (non-alcoholic) drink contains sparkling water with a shot of the vinegar at the bottom of the glass. You're meant to mix it yourself, although why the bartender doesn't do it for me is anybody's guess. But once it's mixed up, it's one of the most refreshing, delicious, flavorful soft drinks out there. Incredible.

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One of our dining companions was pretty young, so her mother ordered her some shrimp chips. I didn't ask, but I bet these were house-made. They were noticeably better than the chips out of a plastic bag. They had a melt-in-your-mouth quality that was great.

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Pretty sure this was the khao soi kai - a curry noodle soup. It was served with the condiment plate pictured above. It was fine.

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Here's some kai yaang, which is a roasted game hen. The menu lists it as having been stuffed with lemongrass, garlic, pepper and cilantro. It was quite delicious, but the subtleties of the Thai aromatics were completely lost, somehow. It just tasted like a very well prepared roasted chicken. The sauces were tasty.

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Here's phenomenal dish #2 - "Ike's Vietnamese fish sauce wings". We ordered them spicy. These are full-sized chicken wings, not the dinky ones you get in a typical hot wing order. And they were transcendent. Every superlative written about these wings is wrong. They're BETTER than that. I could eat three or four plates of these myself.

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This was pork belly over rice with greens - "khao muu daeng / muu krob". It was okay. In my life, I've had lots of pork belly dishes, and of those, about two or three have been phenomenal. There was once a Le Pigeon pork belly dish that caused time to stop outside my palate. This was merely good, not outrageous, which meant I was disappointed. I wanted some crispiness somewhere, and it wasn't there.
- I am an employee of a Portland-based firm that has business relationships with several local food-related businesses.

#593 sacman

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 12:07 AM

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We ended up getting the boat noodle dish with beef, the "kauytiaw reua". I thought this was good. It was more of a soup than anything else. The broth was dark and rich. There were only the two meatballs in the dish, but plenty of regular beef. The noodles were a little disappointing, being pretty much a glob of rice starch.

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"Phat si ew". There's a lot of space on the menu devoted to the Thai restaurant that originates this dish, and it's true, it's a good dish. But not soliloquy-good. It's noodles, pork, veggies, egg, and soy sauce. What am I missing?

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Desserts were uniformly good. This is the affogato, which is condensed milk ice cream drenched with a shot of coffee, served with Chinese donuts. It was creamy and laced with coffee flavor.

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Here's some condensed milk ice cream with chocolate syrup. Didn't taste this.

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This is "khao niaw sankhaya", durian edition. It's a durian custard with sweet sticky rice. The durian, to nearly quote Creed Bratton, is "very nutritious, but it smells like death." Truth: it wasn't that stinky, but it wasn't something I'd seek out again.

The space is nothing to write home about. The service was mostly accurate, although we were delivered an extra phat si ew, which was removed from our table after sitting there for a couple minutes. I believe it was actually served to another table, because the server reverified that we hadn't eaten from the plate. And they were slammed, but the servers had a decent attitude, so I'm in a forgiving mood.

This was a $150 meal. The fine print stipulates that an 18% tip is added to parties of 5 or more. We were a party of 4 adults and one really small child, but they whacked the automatic gratuity on anyhow. No problem - you want 18% instead of 25%? You got it.

No doubt we'll be back. I'll have some drinking vinegar, two plates of the wings, and I'll try a new dish.

-sacman
- I am an employee of a Portland-based firm that has business relationships with several local food-related businesses.

#594 Adam

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 12:38 AM

Great write-up, Sacman. God, I'd kill for a plate of those wings right now.

Just so you know, Pok Pok does have a phenomenal pork belly dish: it's the Kaeng Hung Leh (classic Northern Thai sweet pork belly and pork shoulder curry with ginger, palm sugar, tamarind, turmeric, Burmese curry powder and pickled garlic). It is out of this world and you absolutely must order it on your next visit. The curry "broth" is sublime, and the fat on the pork belly just melts in your mouth. Unbelievable dish.

As for drinking vinegars, I fully endorse the honey.

#595 polloelastico

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 08:27 AM

Great write-up, Sacman. God, I'd kill for a plate of those wings right now.

Just so you know, Pok Pok does have a phenomenal pork belly dish: it's the Kaeng Hung Leh (classic Northern Thai sweet pork belly and pork shoulder curry with ginger, palm sugar, tamarind, turmeric, Burmese curry powder and pickled garlic). It is out of this world and you absolutely must order it on your next visit. The curry "broth" is sublime, and the fat on the pork belly just melts in your mouth. Unbelievable dish.

As for drinking vinegars, I fully endorse the honey.

I second Adam's recommendation - last time I was there that pork belly dish was cooked in a clay pot, and the best part is almost not the dish itself, but the residual juices that I could endlessly eat with plain steam jasmine rice for breakfast.

Those shrimp chips are probably not house made, but simply fried in house to order - you can buy them at Asian markets. They are very small, thin, brittle and hard pieces of starch (probably about 1 inch in size) and once you drop them in hot oil they instantly puff up brilliantly into those airy chips.
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#596 Adam

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 10:37 AM


Great write-up, Sacman. God, I'd kill for a plate of those wings right now.

Just so you know, Pok Pok does have a phenomenal pork belly dish: it's the Kaeng Hung Leh (classic Northern Thai sweet pork belly and pork shoulder curry with ginger, palm sugar, tamarind, turmeric, Burmese curry powder and pickled garlic). It is out of this world and you absolutely must order it on your next visit. The curry "broth" is sublime, and the fat on the pork belly just melts in your mouth. Unbelievable dish.

As for drinking vinegars, I fully endorse the honey.

I second Adam's recommendation - last time I was there that pork belly dish was cooked in a clay pot, and the best part is almost not the dish itself, but the residual juices that I could endlessly eat with plain steam jasmine rice for breakfast.


Bang on. Those juices are incredible. I usually let them soak into sticky rice, but I'm sure they'd be great in jasmine rice as well.

#597 GlutenFreePDX

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 11:45 AM

If Pok Pok started using wheat-free Tamari in their Pok Pok Wings, I would marry them. And potentially, a bunch of us 'Glutards' could spend more at their glorious little restaurant! Just a thought....

-GlutenFreePDX.com

#598 polloelastico

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 12:12 PM

If Pok Pok started using wheat-free Tamari in their Pok Pok Wings, I would marry them. And potentially, a bunch of us 'Glutards' could spend more at their glorious little restaurant! Just a thought....

-GlutenFreePDX.com

I believe there is no soy sauce at all, just fish sauce.
“Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.” — George Carlin

#599 ExtraMSG

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 12:42 PM


If Pok Pok started using wheat-free Tamari in their Pok Pok Wings, I would marry them. And potentially, a bunch of us 'Glutards' could spend more at their glorious little restaurant! Just a thought....

-GlutenFreePDX.com

I believe there is no soy sauce at all, just fish sauce.


Confirmed:

http://www.foodandwi...-cocktails-2008

1. 1/2 cup Asian fish sauce
2. 1/2 cup superfine sugar
3. 4 garlic cloves, 2 crushed and 2 minced
4. 3 pounds chicken wings, split at the drumettes
5. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for frying
6. 1 cup cornstarch
7. 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
8. 1 tablespoon chopped mint


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

#600 WAfoodie

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 02:03 PM

I was watching a Diners, Drive-ins & Dives episode and Ricker explained that he used a "wing" dust of rice flour and tempura mix. I wonder if the tempura mix that was used was gluten free. There are probably enhancements to the recipe through the years.

The fish sauce wings are definitely worth ordering there. When making the Vietnamese caramel sauce wings, when I combine fish sauce and sugar, the pungent smell nearly drives everyone out of the house and the windows fly open. :rolleyes: