Alston Pub and Grub

Earlier this week we talked about places to get real hamburgers. St. Helens has several places. But the little known secret I’m telling you about most of you have driven by not knowing about it. Between Rainier and Clatskanie on HWY 30 there is a little pub just off the road. I’m talking about Alston Pub and Grub. Rueben the burger master makes a serious burger. I had a bacon cheeseburger, but I had to have the bun removed and replaced with lettuce (can’t eat commercial bread).
Good comfort food here. The fries were fresh, medium cut, the burger was done just right. It came to my table with a cold pint of Irish Death. It was right in all the bad ways a burger should be. Alston Pub and Grub, see ya soon!
**Disclaimer** I do not, have not, will not receive compensation for my reviews, good, bad, indifferent as they may be. This is a hobby of mine that like I to share with others. #thekilted1

Scappoose Bagel

As I have stated before I have unique food allergies that prohibit me from consuming processed food. With that being said, I discovered an excellent business in Scappoose who makes fresh, real bagels with real ingredients. I’m talking about Scappoose Bagel. I can have any bagel they make and not have to worry about my food allergy. Even better, I can purchase a baker’s dozen (my favorite are the Jalapeño bagels), take them home, and enjoy them for the week. There are no preservatives so while they may not last for 4 weeks or more on the counter, the softness, flavor, and support for a local independent business is well worth the short shelf life. I’m glad we have this place in our county, without them bagels would be off my list of food items! Thank you Scappoose Bagel!

**Disclaimer** I do not, have not, will not receive compensation for my reviews, good, bad, indifferent as they may be. This is a hobby of mine that like I to share with others. #thekilted1

Brown Butter Bakery

In an earlier review, I mentioned I was heading to the Oregon Coast to get some “Dungy’s” for a crab drop. I like my crab ran through hot butter (with a pinch of salt, garlic, and lemon in the butter). After a few run pieces of crab in the butter, I like to dip fresh bread in the same butter that the crab was dredged/soaked in.
Yesterday before leaving town I contacted Brown Butter Bakery to get some fresh bread for the crab drop. Guess what, they had it. I got two loaves of Challah bread (by the way, the small pockets of air in the bread soak up that lovely butter crab parts excellently). It was just a tad sweet which went perfect with salty, tangy butter. Prices were excellent on the loaves. Looking around, I found they make their own Cinnamon Rolls (I am not allowed to eat the Cinnamon Rolls as I believe the frosting is a cream cheese-based?). Purchased eight of those for the family to have for breakfast this morning (after everyone slept off their crab, steamer clam, oyster, challah bread coma’s from last night’s dinner) Those Cinnamon rolls are a meal by themselves.
People could only eat one at a sitting. They even do custom orders, you just have to get in touch with them so they can get the ingredients…that’s right, real ingredients, the way food is meant to be. This bakery does things the only way, from scratch.
**Disclaimer** I do not, have not, will not receive compensation for my reviews, good, bad, indifferent as they may be. This is a hobby of mine that like I to share with others. #thekilted1

Vinnie’s Chicago Sandwich Shop

I visited a longtime standing grinder shop here in St. Helens. Now, I remember way back in the day (1996 to be exact) when they opened up their shop on HWY 30 (what is now O’Nanny’s). The shop has moved since then, they are now located next to the Post Office here in St. Helens. Vinnies Chicago Sandwich Shop has always had good grinders in my opinion (I can’t speak for you, just me). Every time I go there I get The Capone. I am sure they make other grinders, I have never tried anything but The Capone. The Salami, ham, pepperoni, two kinds of cheese, pickles, bell peppers, and heated to bring the juice out of the Italian meats, and melts the cheese while crisping the bread. Shut the front door, Alice. I love the moisture in the grinder, the crunchy of the bread (I don’t eat the bread now, but I used too). I just found out they have soups (not always, you have like their page so you can get on their feed) and they may even be able to put the ingredients of your grinder in a salad if you are not able to eat bread (please confirm this with them. I just found this out when I ordered a grinder on a bed of lettuce). Their hours are midday, which works perfectly for lunch. So you may have to plan a little to make those hours. Been going here since 1996, and continue to go. Best grinders/subs in St. Helens I believe.**Disclaimer** I do not, have not, will not receive compensation for my reviews, good, bad, indifferent as they may be. This is a hobby of mine that like I to share with others. #thekilted1

Moondrops Bavarian Roasted Nuts

Last year I learned how to smoke my own Almonds. The ones you buy from the stores are covered in chemical dust that is meant to taste like smoke. Once you have had real smoked or roasted Almonds or Cashews, you won’t buy that crap in the stores. I was informed about a local company that roasts nuts Bavarian style.
So I reached out to Moondrops Bavarian Roasted Nuts and chatted about the ingredients, and what not used (again, food allergies). Visited their website and made a purchase (FYI, their website only accepts PayPal at this time, but I believe that they are rebuilding their site to accept debit/credit cards). Trusting what Mylissa Aberle told me about the Bavarian nut roasting techniques (I had no clue this was a thing) I purchased a small bag of each Cinnamon Cashews (Cinnamon, Sugar, Vanilla, Cashews), Cajun Almonds (Cajun Seasoning, Sugar, Vanilla, Almonds), Lemon Ginger Almonds (Lemon Extract, Ginger, Sugar, Vanilla, Almonds), and Cinnamon Almonds (Cinnamon, Sugar Vanilla, Almonds).
Anxiously I tried the Lemon Ginger Almonds. Poured a handful out of the bag and first look at the nuts you’ll notice the beige coating of ingredients on the nuts. Pop one in your mouth, and whamo! The flavors of lemon greet you followed by sugar and Ginger, with the snap and crunch of fresh Almonds. To be honest to me, they taste like Trix kids cereal, which isn’t a bad thing. The next bag to open was the Cinnamon Cashews. Poured out a handful of these and noticed the Cashews and pieces of Cashews are slightly light brown to dark brown in color (due to the amount of coating on the nut). Pop one in your mouth and the Cinnamon flavor is present, but not overwhelming (which is what I like). It blends well with the mild flavor of a Cashew, and the soft texture of a Cashew. The overall flavor is mild but refreshing. I can easily see myself putting these atop a dish of homemade ice cream. Onto the next nut, the Cinnamon Almonds. These look similar to the Cinnamon Cashews, but that’s where the buck stops. The Cinnamon flavor is slight, not overpowering, the nut is crunchy and fresh. I could eat these all day and be happy with each bite. The only thing I would change about these is a dash more Cinnamon as the Almond texture and flavor can handle that slight increase (but that’s just my take. The nuts are fine the way they are). The final bag to taste is my favorite. The Cajun Almonds. Pouring some of these out of the bag and you immediately smell the Cajun aromas. You see the spices on the nuts which are coated nicely with it. The spicy Cajun seasoning is just right, it adds a little heat to the palate, but not so much that you can’t taste the nut, the sugar, and peppers. Now, the hottest I like my food to go is around Jalapeno heat, some of you may think they are not hot enough. If that’s the case, talk it over with Mylissa. I can easily see myself adding these to several food dishes (Shrimp, grilled veggies, salads).
This business is located in Columbia City and can be found at the Portland Market. I am very glad I found them as their product is quite tasty and real! Moondrops Bavarian Roasted Nuts
**Disclaimer** I do not, have not, will not receive compensation for my reviews, good, bad, indifferent as they may be. This is a hobby of mine that like I to share with others. #thekilted1

Hacienda Las Juanitas

If you’re like me you are always on the quest to find the best taco. I’m not talking about Tex-Mex. I’m talking real authentic Mexican Taco. I may have found it. Last week I stopped by Hacienda Las Juanitas to grab a bite. I’ve eaten here before, but I ate crunchy tacos (again, my allergies). This time, I wanted the real McCoy, (threw my allergies to the wind which I paid for later that evening). I ordered enough tacos for my wife and I. I got some beef and some chicken tacos (plus the fajita plate for my neighbor). Now, if you know a thing or two about authentic Mexican food, the salsa is where the bragging rights are.
Got my tacos, headed home (the aroma on the drive home was pure torture as the spices filled the cab of my truck) delivered the fajitas to my neighbor (she is elderly, and doesn’t have personal transportation). First glance at the tacos and you notice the small size of them, with the minimal ingredients. Again, please understand what an authentic taco is. There was the meat (beautifully cooked), diced onion, and cilantro. All perfectly balanced, and full of aroma.
Now, I ate one of the beef tacos without lime or salsa to get a flavor of the ingredients. The taco was a bit dry (due to the corn tortilla) but still had flavor. The second taco was another beef and I added a squeeze of the fresh lime wedge that was served with my tacos. The taco flavor sprung up! The acid in the lime juice activated the seasonings on the beef and the flavor of the taco popped. I knew I went to the right place for tacos. But I still hadn’t tried a taco with salsa and lime juice. So, prepped another beef taco, squeezed the lime, and added the Avacado salsa (yes, you read that right).

Game changer. The salsa gave the taco moisture, a touch of heat, increased the flavor of the beef, a touch of richness, and blended nicely with the lime juice. The Avocado Salsa is absolutely excellent. Creamy, spicy, aesthetic pleasing, and full of flavor. So glad I had the tacos as these are absolutely delicious, freshly made, and perfect. Looking forward to going back again, but maybe I’ll stick with the crunchy tacos due to my allergies. Oh, and the chicken tacos I bought, not sure as I didn’t eat one of them while they were fresh. I do know the chicken was shredded and full of aroma. **Disclaimer** I do not, have not, will not receive compensation for my reviews, good, bad, indifferent as they may be. This is a hobby of mine that like I to share with others. #thekilted1

The Hollow Leg

Let’s talk Tamales. I love them. Put a little sour cream, and salsa on them and down the gullet. One problem that keeps me from eating them is when they are made with Crisco instead of lard. I’m not able to eat Crisco made products.
About a month ago Jennifer Uhl posted in this group that she makes Tomales, and was selling them. I messaged her, asked about the Crisco vs lard, asked about the seasoning that is used in the red pork, basically made sure these were from scratch, and real ingredients. I bought a dozen of red pork.
Got home and immediately plated them, dressed them (again, I like mine with a dab of sour cream and salsa) and sat down. The first one I ate had no dressings as I wanted to get a flavor profile. The tamale was moist, had excellent Masa to filling ratio. The pork was seasoned just right, a touch dry (but that’s ok honestly), shredded, and spicy. Homerun. She makes every tamale from scratch, and by hand (just ask her about how bad her arms hurt after she fills all the orders).
Fast forward to last week. Jennifer again posted she was taking tamale orders, I put another order for two dozen. These I wanted raw as I wanted to try and freeze what I wasn’t going to eat that night, and steam the ones I wanted for dinner. My order was made perfectly, my steaming technique, not so much (I have to work on that). Her tamales are pure, simple, tasty, and real.
Now, you just can’t drive up to a window and get these, you have to make contact with her and place an order, so keep that in mind. Anyway, I love these delicious tamales she makes and I’m looking forward to the next time. **Disclaimer** I do not, have not, will not receive compensation for my reviews, good, bad, indifferent as they may be. This is a hobby of mine that like I to share with others. #thekilted1

Hangry

Scappoose, you guys are hiding an amazing place to grab some grub. Located at Maloney’s Corner on West Lane Road is a little food cart tucked away just off the road. This is where you will find Hangry.
Biscuit and I pulled into the lot, parked and I ordered lunch for my wife and I. The menu is simple, yet diverse. I ordered the crispy chicken salad for myself (no dressing), and the Turkey, Swiss, bacon sandwich with grilled onions. Took about 8 minutes to get my food. Let’s wait a second before I describe the food. The location is perfect to grab a quick bite to eat as it is just off HWY 30, a smidge outside Scappoose, and a touch from the Airport. the parking lot is quite vast and has ample room for trucks (class 1-8), a drive-through (for those who called ahead, and those who want to order but don’t want to leave their rig). Just off to the side, tucked under some huge trees are a couple of picnic tables that are open to guests. I even had room and time to take Biscuit for a quick walk while I waited for my food.
Oh yeah, the food. Driving back home with lunch the aroma of the turkey sandwich was filling the cab of my truck (Besty) and making it difficult to not sneak a peek at that sandwich. When I got home, gave Tracie her sandwich, and I put some crumbled Gorgonzola on my salad and started to consume lunch.
Tell you what, the lettuce was crisp, the bacon was slightly warm, and the shredded cheese was a nice touch. The crispy chicken (chopped chicken strips) added a nice crunch to the salad. All the flavors blended well with the Gorgonzola, and for a salad, lunch was quite fulfilling. Looking back, I think I would have added some Kalamata olives to the salad for the extra “oh yeah”.
However, that sandwich aroma was still lingering in my mind. So, I reached out to Hangry via messenger and asked them about their bread. My food allergies again keep me from consuming all commercial bread except Naked bread by Franz. Well, I was able to work something out (seriously, contact them if you have food allergies. They are very accomodating). The next day, Biscuit, Betsy, and I headed back to Hangry to get one of those Turkey sandwiches. Tracie wanted another Turkey sandwich but with Tomatoes on it this time. I had the sandwiches, headed home, and anxiously unwrapped the sandwich.
Oh, the tangy aroma of the grilled onions, the pleasing aroma of warm turkey, the delicate aroma of melted swiss, and salty aroma of bacon. Oh yeah, this was going to be a delightful lunch. The first bite shut the front door. The flavors of the turkey, bacon, melted swiss, grilled onions, and grilled bread all worked well together. The bite was juicy, warm, tender, and so full of flavor. Bite after the bite the sandwich did not disappoint. The ingredients were plenty and located throughout the whole sandwich. This place is spot on when it comes to satisfying food, accommodation, and customization. Seriously, this place gets it. I am already planning another lunch (as they have more on the menu) later in the week. Tell you what, you want breakfast? Go here. They also have breakfast items that I’m sure will be quite satisfying. Really glad I found this place.
**Disclaimer** I do not, have not, will not receive compensation for my reviews, good, bad, indifferent as they may be. This is a hobby of mine that like I to share with others. #thekilted1

Dang’s Little Dragon

Last week I had a craving some Thai food, but I had to peruse the menu to make sure my food did not contain allergens. I went to this food cart located behind the bowling alley here in St. Helens. Dang’s Little Dragon has a menu that piqued my interest. I spoke to the two men who were working there, informed them of my allergy to the Fabaceae family, and proceeded to order.
After looking at the menu (which is displayed right on the outside of the food cart) I decided the Spicy Basil dish was what I desired. I got that dish made with Fish Sauce as to not trigger my allergy. I also added two Veggie Salad rolls (minus the peanut sauce) to my order. Sat back enjoyed some of the people watching as my food was being prepared. Five or so minutes later I had my lunch and the aroma of the food was teasing me.
Got home, opened the container and the plume of aromas surrounded my nose. The aroma consisted of spicy, earthy, fresh, sweet. I quickly grabbed my chopsticks and dug in. The first bite was a combination of spicy, peppery, salty, sweetness that was perfectly balanced. The fresh veggies crunched, the ground chicken was tender, mushrooms were cooked just right, the Basil added a little anise flavor, the onions added nice tang and crunch, finally the peppers (red and green) finished each bite with their texture and sweet flavor. Each bite was the same, and I was enjoying every single one of them. After consuming the Spicy Basil dish, I had leftover juice in the container, so I escorted the white rice from one side of my container into the sauce for a nice soaking bath.
While the rice bathed, I decided to eat a salad roll. I put a drizzle of Coco Aminos on the roll and took a bite. The roll had crunchy carrot and celery, soft rice vermicelli noodles (I believe that is what they were), and other ingredients that I forgot to write down as I was consuming it (I was busy enjoying the food). The rolls were done nicely, and hand made, I just wish my allergy would not prevent me from having these with the peanut sauce, but life goes on.
After I consumed the salad rolls my rice was done bathing, and the extra juice had been absorbed. I devoured the freshly flavored rice, and with a burp, the meal was gone, lunch was perfect, and I had a good sweat going due to the spice in the dish. Absolutely loved the fact that this food cart is openly willing to work with those of us who have food allergies. The chef was quick, precise, and makes a delicious meal at Dang’s Little Dragon.
**Disclaimer** I do not, have not, will not receive compensation for my reviews, good, bad, indifferent as they may be. This is a hobby of mine that like I to share with others. #thekilted1

Bamford Bakeshop

I went to the Farmer’s Market in Scappoose last week as I just wanted to see what I could find. But that is another story, as I have to tell the precursor. I pulled up to this little shop about a block off HWY 30 and noticed they were open, and I wanted to see what they had. Bamford Bakeshop only allows one customer in at a time, so when it was my turn, I went in.
Immediately I was greeted with a plethora of choices for baked goods. The aromas of the bakery are a pleasant greeting, noticing the menu on the wall, I ordered the San Antonio sandwich. When it arrived (as it had to be made, since this is real food) it looked appetizing. The San Antonio consisted of Avacado slices, salsa, bacon, red onion, ham, and cheese, all tucked nicely between a fresh-sliced Croissant. The first bite was creamy, buttery, salty, sweet, and with a subtle twang from the red onion. The Croissant was flaky, buttery, and so fresh that it made the sandwich, period. With each bite, you got a taste of the ripe, fresh avocado, and the texture of that paired so beautifully with the texture of the meats, cheese, and pastry. I also ordered a bacon, ham, pinwheel pastry. Oh man, this was just a delight with sweet flavor from the ham, peppery and salty flavor from the bacon and the crispy, fluffy, buttery flavors and textures of the pastry. It was absolutely fulfilling eating their baked goods. I also ordered a loaf of Jalapeno Cornbread that I froze as I want to save that for a soup (thinking a nice smoked wild hog and veggie soup).
The prices are excellent, the food is amazing, and Columbia County has another excellent spot to grab fresh baked goods. I’m already looking forward to heading back as I have to try another sandwich from the menu of Bamford Bakeshop
**Disclaimer** I do not, have not, will not receive compensation for my reviews, good, bad, indifferent as they may be. This is a hobby of mine that like I to share with others. #thekilted1