The Roof

During a different trip to downtown St. Helens I wanted to try a restaurant that could offer me something no one else could. The Roof provides an excellent view of Sand Island and the St. Helens Waterfront. I wanted the view, but I also wanted a pint and good food.
Now, getting to the Roof isn’t like getting to most restaurants. You enter the building, get into the elevator (stairs are a no go for me), and transport to the fourth floor. When the elevator opens, you’re greeted by the staff and are immediately immersed in the restaurant.
The aromas of the fresh foods and the environment let you know some serious grubbing is going to happen. I ordered my sandwich on a bed of lettuce (commercial bread allergy) and a pint of Cavatacia Stout. Went outside sat down and just took in the amazing view and what life had to present at that moment. About two pulls into my stout my salad arrived. Opened that up and hot damn! The ingredients were nicely presented, and so full of vinegar, smokey, sweet aromas. Now, the salad had no dressing (remember, it was a sandwich), but it didn’t need a dressing as that would have ruined the flavors. The ham was sweet with a hint of applewood smoked, and that blended perfectly with the vinegary aspect of the pepperoncini. Take that bite, and fork another as your next bite contains dill pickle and tomato, and onion. Bite after bite this was perfectly balanced and so tasty. I paired the wrong Ale with this meal (I should have paired a Pale Ale with it) as the Black Barley of the Stout overpowered the subtle blended flavors of the salad that was identifying as a sandwich.
This place is so perfect for lunch or dinner, the view is a nice touch (be forewarned, it might be windy when you go, but, Oregonian up and enjoy it), but don’t let the atmosphere take away from the quality, taste, and freshness of their food.
**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

Plymouth Pub

When it comes to fish and chips in this area (North Oregon) we have several options. I prefer using the Oregon Rockfish when I cook fish and chips. Plymouth Pub in Olde Town St. Helens had some Halibut fish and chips on their menu, so I ventured out to give it a go. Sat down at a table to read the menu and Lacy (I never caught her last name) came over and asked if I wanted something to drink while I waited while my order was being cooked. I ordered the Crux Porter and the two-piece Halibut fish and chips.

Before I get to the food, let me inform you about the interior of the Pub. Clean, spacious, and welcoming. Absolutely spot on when making people relaxed for a meal or a pint. If I didn’t have an order to go, I could have easily kept Lacy busy bringing me pint after pint. My order arrived after about 10-15 minutes (wasn’t really keeping time, I was enjoying the ale and the environment) and smelt so damn fresh. Finished the ale, settled my tab, tipped Lacy, and out the door, I went to enjoy the food.

Got home, set up my lunch (gave Tracie Stevens McDaniel her French Dip from the Pub) to eat, and take notes. Opened the container and was immediately greeted with aesthetically pleasing aromas and presentation. The fish smelt like the fresh salty ocean, slight maltiness, and hint of oil. Navigate your eyes to the fries and you notice the generous amount you are given, the rough texture, and the slight aroma of freshly cooked potatoes. I didn’t use lemon, tartar, or any other flavor mask. Fish and chips shouldn’t need flavor maskers, the fish and potato flavors should be able to hold their own. I picked up the fish took a bite and was absolutely amazed at the firm yet flaky texture. The crispiness of the house batter that complimented the halibut, not overpower it. Remember, I bought fish, not breading/batter. The malt, salt, oil flavors all blended well with the flavor of the halibut. The fish was a flaky, firm, hint of sweetness perfection. Take a bite of the fries and you will immediately notice the crunchy outside, with a chewy inside. This was a perfect complement to the fish. I’ve had fish and chips all up and down Oregon coast, yes, even from the boat in the parking lot in Astoria, and I will tell you the fish and chips from the Pub are the best.
Since eating that meal I have found out they also offer breakfast, but I’ll have to save that for another time. Really glad I found a local place to get fish and chips of this quality.
**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

Dockside Steak & Pasta

Let us talk pasta shall we? I love making my own linguini, spaghetti, lasagna, ravioli, and agnolotti. But sometimes you just want to venture out and see what another chef has to offer. I found myself heading to a place that has been opened for fifteen years in the same location down on the waterfront by the old Boise veneer plant. I’m talking about Dockside Steak and Pasta. I reached out to them and we chatted (I believe her name is Tiffany, I also interacted with another manager, but I never caught her name) about the ingredients (not the amount) in their Alfredo sauce (Alfredo is my favorite of Italian sauces) as to make sure not to trigger my food allergies. I will say American Alfredo sauce is a simple sauce consisting of five ingredients (cream, butter, Parmesan, garlic, parsley). Italian Alfredo is even more simple (Parmesan, pasta water, butter), but you can’t go wrong with either in my opinion.

I ordered the Fettucini Alfredo with grilled chicken and was excited to try this dish. I got home, got a glass of water (I really wanted a glass of green apple forward Pinot Gris to blend with the Alfredo flavor) a fork, and sat down at the dinner table. Opening the container you are greeted with an aesthetic view of pasta, sauce, chicken, and parsley. I placed my nose down near the container as was rightfully greeted with butter, garlic, parmesan cheese, chicken, and a slight hint of olio (Olive Oil). Your mouth starts to water when all those aromas come together at once. Got my fork and twirled up some linguini and had a bite. Oh my goodness. The texture of the sauce and pasta were perfect for each other. The creamy, rich, thick sauce was held nicely by the linguini (I mean, try an American Alfredo sauce with Angel hair, or spaghetti, you will understand the importance of the linguini) and chicken. When you get a bit with the grilled chicken, pasta, and sauce you get a slight crispness to it, which was pleasant.

I want to talk about the flavor of this dish next. Each bite was buttery, and creamy with pronounced garlic and parsley. You get the flavor profile of the dairy ingredients to bite after bite after bite. I could not get enough of this dish. The pasta was cooked to perfection and added a nice touch of denseness to the dish. There was so much food in this order that it could easily feed two people. I found myself not being able to stop, and ate the whole dish by myself (had to loosen the belt on my pants afterward). I am glad I didn’t want to make pasta and alfredo sauce that night and tried the Dockside. Also, if you have a food allergy talk to them about it. They will work with you.

Now, due to the current COVID situation they are not doing dine-in, but don’t let that stop you from ordering online (which is easier than setting the clock on the VCR) picking up your dish and enjoying a great meal. Finally, I will say this. Pasta waits for no one. So if you set up a time to pick up your meal, show up about 5-10 minutes early.

**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

Hawaiin Plate

Well, the sun is shining, the wind is gently blowing, my coffee is hot, time for a review of another local independently owned small business in Columbia County. I made my way to the food carts located behind the bowling alley and visited a little cart called Hawaiian Plate – Hawaiian Food and Shave Ice. I inquired about the Kalua Pork (I’m a sucker for pork) before I ordered. I was wondering how it was cooked, the seasonings used, and what all to avoid any allergy issues. Well, the stars lined up again and I ordered a plate of the pork with rice (I opted out of the mac salad as I wasn’t sure if it had mayo or whatnot in it).

Got the dish home, got a glass of water, opened the container, and was politely greeted with subtle aromas of salt, smoke, pork, and grassy earth. Don’t know what grassy earth smells like, next time you cook white rice, before adding anything to it, smell it. Fresh rice smells just like that). The portion of rice and pork was plenty for two people to make a meal out of this or two meals for a single person. Grabbed my fork, and took a bite of the pork. It was moist, stringy (like good pork butt is when it’s done right), tender, and ever so soft when bitten into. The immediate salt and smoke flavor of that pork hit your tongue just right and made you want a little more on the next bite. Now, I will say, some can take the salt flavor or the pork as aggressive, possibly even too much salt. However, that’s not the case too me as you can cut the pork flavor with the flavor of the rice, or possibly the mac salad. Personally, I think fresh or grilled pineapple slice would take this dish to the next level, sweet, smokey, salty..yeah. Back to the pork. the flavor of the pork was medium smoke (they smoke their own pork there), saltiness and I cannot state how well those two flavors blend. I tried the rice just as it was, and the texture was perfectly sticky and firm. The flavor was simple (again, as rice should be) but straight forward. I added a few drops of Coconut Aminos to the rice, got some more pork, and truly enjoyed the flavor profile those three items gave me.

They did a really good take on a simple Hawaiin dish. I do have to tell you though, due to our current social situation with COVID, make sure you touch base with them to find out what their hours are, and when the pork will be ready. I do believe it is usually done around 3pm. I’m glad I found another place to get some Kalua Pork in Columbia County.

**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

Noi’s Thai Kitchen

After doing some research and communication I ventured out and tried a restaurant for the second time, but first time in their new location. I wanted Thai food again and I had to make sure not to instigate my food allergies, and I found a place in St. Helens that makes a dish that is 100% safe for my allergies.

Noi’s Thai Kitchen makes a dish called Chicken Larb (ground chicken in Thai Basil lime dressing, onion, carrot, cilantro, and mint, served with cucumber and lettuce). I tell you what this is some damn fine eating. I went to their location, walked in, and placed my order (minding the current COVID requirements), and was very excited to try this new dish (first time I have had Larb).

With each bite, you were given a salty, minty, earthy, sweet, tangy, with an array of vibrant greens, yellows, whites, off-white, and orange. The aroma was zesty from the onion, sweet from the cucumber and carrots, earthy from the lettuce, anise from the Thai Basil, minty, and grainy/grassy from the rice. So far, I have yet to take a bit, and I’m quite excited about my choice for lunch. I peel a piece of lettuce, tear a couple of mint leaves and place them into the lettuce, then scooped a spoonful of the Larb and placed it in the lettuce (think about making a taco at this point). Topped it off with a scoop of rice, folded the lettuce, and took my first bite. Holy cow, shut the front door. Had I not been sitting down, I would have crumpled at the knees. The textures kept my taste buds happy, my brain engaged. Crunchy from the carrots and onions, moist, fibrous from the lettuce, and each bite had an amazing snap from the fresh lettuce. First serving down, had to try another. Made it the same way as the first one, and again, the explosion of textures, but this time I was able to focus on the flavor. Tell you what, the flavor is not lacking in this dish. With each bite, you were given a salty, minty, earthy, sweet, tangy, and fresh flavor profile. Chewing the food, your taste buds experienced all the flavors, and the dish presented itself on all zones (tip, sides, mid, back) of your tongue. The dish can easily feed two people, I couldn’t stop eating it until I noticed I had consumed a dish meant for two. Had to loosen the notch on my belt if you know what I mean.

This was my first time having a Larb dish, and I could not have picked a better place for such an experience. Oh, where is Noi’s you ask? They are located in St. Helens, where Kuy’s used to be.

**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