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#1 Cat Lancaster

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 07:40 PM

I went here a few times when I first moved to PDX simply because it was conveniently located to where I live, but I never really liked it that much, so I stopped going about two years ago. Then a few months ago, I popped in for dinner one night simply because I wasnít in the mood to walk any farther and ended up having a half way decent meal which kind of changed my mind about the place, but now after a few more meals I seem to be drifting back to my original feelings. I did notice that they had revamped the menu, changed the dťcor a little bit and made it a little more homier feeling which is nice.

Since this Ďre-introductioní Iíve eat here maybe five times now with some of my experiences being better than others. One day for lunch I ordered the soup and salad that turned out to be better then I anticipated. It came with vegetarian onion soup that I expected to be somewhere between awful to inedible and was pleasantly surprised. It doesnít come anywhere near the onion soup that I make and the absence of beef stock is extremely noticeable, but taken for what it is, it isnít bad. The crepes are fairly large portions for the price, although Iíll admit to not being wild about the buckwheat flour they use. But I think some of that is just because itís not what Iím use to, although some of it is definitely that I find the taste a little off.

The meal I had there yesterday though kind of sums up how I feel about them. It was acceptable considering the convenience on a crappy rainy day, but I donít think Iíd go there very much if it wasnít this close to where I live. The wine special was a nice Syrah that I really enjoyed, and the cheese plate that I started with was a nice portion for the price. Although I donít like it when the cheese comes straight from the walk-in, and the selection is about as standard as you can get Ė cheve, bleu & a brie.

For my main course I ordered the appetizer muscles which were definitely a full portion size for me. I had only nibbled on the cheese plate as I had already decided that I was going to take most of it home and eat it {at room temperature!} later in the week, but regardless the muscles were a large portion. Unfortunately not only were they over cooked, but the broth they were in was completely out of balance. The menu said that it was the standard white wine, tarragon and garlic broth finished with a touch of butter, but it was nothing of the sort. It was a butter sauce with a tad amount of garlic, no discernable wine flavoring and nary a fleck of tarragon in sight. Not that this is horrible as I LOVE butter, but it wasnít what I wanted and didnít add to the flavoring of the muscles. Although the fact that the little bivalves were over cooked was the worst part.

I should have had the guts to send it back, but for some reason I didnít. I think it was because the staff is actually so nice that I felt bad and just let it go. I did eat three quarters of the portion so it wasnít that they were completely inedible, but there was really nothing good about them.

Another prior lunch of quiche and a side salad was actually quite nice and a big part of the reason why Iíve continued to give them a chance. But Iím not sure if itís enough to sway me anymore. Weíll seeÖ

Cat
"travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness" ~ Mark Twain

"I'm not a picky eater, but I'm picky about what I eat." ~ Me

#2 dretceterini

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 07:57 PM

I went here a few times when I first moved to PDX simply because it was conveniently located to where I live, but I never really liked it that much, so I stopped going about two years ago. Then a few months ago, I popped in for dinner one night simply because I wasnít in the mood to walk any farther and ended up having a half way decent meal which kind of changed my mind about the place, but now after a few more meals I seem to be drifting back to my original feelings. I did notice that they had revamped the menu, changed the dťcor a little bit and made it a little more homier feeling which is nice.

Since this Ďre-introductioní Iíve eat here maybe five times now with some of my experiences being better than others. One day for lunch I ordered the soup and salad that turned out to be better then I anticipated. It came with vegetarian onion soup that I expected to be somewhere between awful to inedible and was pleasantly surprised. It doesnít come anywhere near the onion soup that I make and the absence of beef stock is extremely noticeable, but taken for what it is, it isnít bad. The crepes are fairly large portions for the price, although Iíll admit to not being wild about the buckwheat flour they use. But I think some of that is just because itís not what Iím use to, although some of it is definitely that I find the taste a little off.

The meal I had there yesterday though kind of sums up how I feel about them. It was acceptable considering the convenience on a crappy rainy day, but I donít think Iíd go there very much if it wasnít this close to where I live. The wine special was a nice Syrah that I really enjoyed, and the cheese plate that I started with was a nice portion for the price. Although I donít like it when the cheese comes straight from the walk-in, and the selection is about as standard as you can get Ė cheve, bleu & a brie.

For my main course I ordered the appetizer muscles which were definitely a full portion size for me. I had only nibbled on the cheese plate as I had already decided that I was going to take most of it home and eat it {at room temperature!} later in the week, but regardless the muscles were a large portion. Unfortunately not only were they over cooked, but the broth they were in was completely out of balance. The menu said that it was the standard white wine, tarragon and garlic broth finished with a touch of butter, but it was nothing of the sort. It was a butter sauce with a tad amount of garlic, no discernable wine flavoring and nary a fleck of tarragon in sight. Not that this is horrible as I LOVE butter, but it wasnít what I wanted and didnít add to the flavoring of the muscles. Although the fact that the little bivalves were over cooked was the worst part.

I should have had the guts to send it back, but for some reason I didnít. I think it was because the staff is actually so nice that I felt bad and just let it go. I did eat three quarters of the portion so it wasnít that they were completely inedible, but there was really nothing good about them.

Another prior lunch of quiche and a side salad was actually quite nice and a big part of the reason why Iíve continued to give them a chance. But Iím not sure if itís enough to sway me anymore. Weíll seeÖ

Cat


IMO, the food is mediocre and a bit overpriced for what you get...

#3 Amanda

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Posted 04 December 2007 - 07:07 AM

I've always enjoyed the place, myself. It's been a while since I went, though. The onion soup is indeed excellent and I've never been dissatisfied with the crepes. I think because I love that type of food every now and then and I'll take it how I can. I agree about the buckwheat. I wish they were just standard crepes like you get at Snow White House. Otherwise, no gripes from me.

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Amanda

#4 ASquared

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Posted 04 December 2007 - 07:21 AM

I went a couple weeks back for Brunch. The Buckwheat crepes just don't seem right, to thick and not light tasting like I would expect in a crepe. Mine had "spiral" cut ham which was cut in inappropriately big chunks with a lot of fat and gristle.

Don't really have any desire to return.

#5 Twitch

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 10:12 PM

I haven't been to Chez Machin in 3 years. I don't remember it being...memorable.

Buckwheat crepes (sometimes called galettes), however, are traditional and the norm in most creperies serving savory crepes. I like them significantly more than their bleached counterparts when well executed.

I was at Le Happy a couple of weeks ago for the goat cheese and onion. The thing was larded with cheese...no balance at all. I wish we had a good creperie in this town. I have yet to try Snow White but I doubt its what I'm looking for. I also need to try the place on Alberta, whatever its named these days.

#6 Mr Burnside

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 01:05 PM

hae been 4 times now over a period of nearly 2 years.

i really want to like this place, b/c it's close to me, nice atmosphere and the back patio is nice on a rainy sunday.

but take away all of that and the crepes are borderline garbage. i have had a good buckwheat crepe in my day, but it is so poorly executed here. i cannot really pinpoint it, but as someone said...too much buckwheat, not enough crepe.

service is slow, have to ask for more water 3 times in meal, have to ask for check, have to ask for more coffee...that type of thing. food takes too long regardless how many people are in restaurant.

the savory crepes are sooo poorly filled, i thought the first 3 times HAD to be a mistake. You really end up eating half the crepe like its a plain crunchy wafer...taste and texture is similar to a brown paper bag.

the french onion soup is pretty good for being vegetarian.

i hate to be so negative, but these are easily correctable things here.