Monday, February 18, 2013

Grüner Restaurant & Kask

Gruner Restaurant is one of those places that can consistently makes the "top places to dine" or "best chef of the year" headlines and I have always been curious to find out why. Chef Chris Israel's creative, Alpine (German-inspired) menu is filled with unique ingredients and I never knew what to make of them, until now. This restaurant is nothing shy of delicious and the perfect place for a birthday party of 10. We were not disappointed. 
All of our dishes were beautifully presented and extremely flavorful. We started with their signature beet-pickled deviled eggs and they were wonderful. The boys went for the man meal, by ordering the "choucroute garnie" which was pretty much pork...four different ways. The gnocchi and salads were popular with the ladies but I went for a buckwheat pasta dish with butternut squash, ham, chives and a cream sauce. The only mistake I made all night was sharing my dessert. The raspberry-filled donuts are not worth sharing...they are worth gobbling up all to yourself. 

Also, don't miss Kask, their cocktail counterpart. It is right around the corner from Gruner and worth taking a peak. You will find creative cocktails for all palettes, including whiskey followed with a swallow of their house made pickle juice. Yup...pickle juice. 

So, if you are feeling like some Alpine cuisine, but don't have the budget to fly overseas for a quick schnitzel, take a trip to Gruner in Southwest Portland. 

527 SW12th Ave
Portland, Oregon

open mon - fri 11:30-2pm | mon - sat 5pm | closed sundays 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Almond Vanilla French Toast

I am trying this new thing...cutting out dairy. Not completely because that would be impossible, but I am experimenting to see how it will make me feel over time. So, now I have almond vanilla milk in my fridge which is what lead me to Almond Vanilla French Toast. Yummy. This is a very simple recipe and it can be doubled or tripled with ease.

3 large slices of sourdough bread (any bread will do, this is just what I had on hand)
2 eggs
1/4 cup almond vanilla milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter
handful of sliced almonds

Mix the cinnamon, brown sugar and almonds together in a shallow dish and set aside.

Make an egg wash in a bowl with the eggs, almond vanilla milk and the vanilla extract. Slice large pieces of bread in half.

Place a skillet on the stove at low-medium heat and melt the butter. Dip each slice of bread in the egg wash and then cover with the cinnamon/sugar/almond mixture. Place on the skillet with the melted butter, cook until one side is golden brown and then flip to cook the other side.

Top with some sliced almonds and maybe some powdered sugar too...enjoy.

Serves two.