This week we visited the food cart Sunset Hut. It is located opposite Rennie’s Landing on Kincaid St. It right next to the building we work in. The cart serves up a couple of options, rice bowl, burrito, Mafé chicken (west african peanut stew over rice) and a daily special. Here is our review:
Chicken Burrito – Tyler Harding
I had actually ordered a rice bowl with chicken, but I wasn’t unhappy to be handed a chicken burrito in its stead. However, this burrito was oddly disappointing for me. Normally I feel that there’s very little that can go wrong with a chicken burrito, but I found very little to be appealing about this one. The ingredients all seemed to be of reasonably high quality, but everything tasted relatively bland.
This is a moment where my inadequacy as a food critic is apparent. I’ve never had West African food before, so I have no idea what it’s supposed to taste like. All I know is that this burrito didn’t agree with me (which is a rare thing), particularly the oversized wedges of tomato. It was, however, gigantic. Which, assuming you like the food, is praiseworthy.
Curry Goat – Daniel Mundra
I have only tried Sunset Hut one time before and I found the Mafé chicken to be decent. Today I went with the special. It has been a while since I have had goat meat. The dish was decent, the goat meat was tasty but I only a got a little bit meat and got too much rice. The curry was good and had a nice kick to it but again I was hoping to get little more. Overall the dish was not bad but it was expensive for the amount of food I got. I would probably stick to regular menu or burrito if you want more food.
Continuing with food carts, this week we visited Alexander’s Great Falafel located on the corner of 13th and Kincaid St. right next to the UO Duck Store. They menu is simple mostly consisting of falafels and a variety plate. Here is our review:
Variety plate – Tyler Harding
On this visit as well as every other time I’ve visited Alexander’s Great Falafel the food was wonderful. To be fair, I am ill-equipped to provide an expert review because it’s the only place I’ve ever had falafel. But given the wide praise received by this cart, I think it’s a safe bet that any falafel fan will be pleased.
I opted for the variety plate which I hadn’t tried yet. Don’t be fooled by the angle of the photo — this meal is substantial. In fact, it ended up being the only meal I ate that day. While the plate was quite tasty, I recommend sharing it with a friend unless you’re starving. Or a giant. Or a starving giant.
Deluxe falafel – Daniel Mundra
I have been to Alexander’s cart a couple of times and it has never disappointed. Simple cart with simple selections. I generally get the deluxe or large with spicy sauce over it. The spicy sauce is not very spicy but adds a nice flavor to it. I like that every food order comes with a glass of lemonade. Overall a satisfying meal.
I want to take back the falafel to my office and see how it is would taste with some sirarcha. I think it might taste great. Something to think about.
This week we shifted our focus to the awesome food carts around the University of Oregon. The first one on your list is Cart De Frisco located on the corner of 13th and Kincaid St on campus. They have a simple selection of dishes centered around the star of the dish, chicken. Here is a review of two of the dishes:
Chicken with noodles – Tyler Harding
I’m not sure how well the picture of my dish portrays the scale of this meal, but it was hearty to say the least. Had I not been so greedy I could have easily stretched it out into two meals, which would make the cost per meal attractive even to a broke college student.
I was extremely pleased with my chicken and noodles. There’s a wonderful variety of ingredients and textures at play, and the Frisco folks make their own sauces for a distinct flavor. I strongly recommend paying these folks a visit.
Chicken with rice – Daniel Mundra
Frisco cart is becoming one of my favorite carts on campus. It is a very a simple concept and very tasty. I like the chicken with rice because it reminds me dishes I used to love to eat when I lived in Singapore. The grilled chicken is cooked well and is generously doused in a combination of sauces one of which is a spicy sauce. Definitely go with the spicy sauce. It is not a firestorm but it add a good amount of spice to the dish making it very enjoyable.
Tasty Firestorm has returned. One of us went on a long vacation eating spicy food on another continent, but we’re back!
To start off again we decided to review Taylor’s Bar and Grill this week and see what spicy food they have. Taylor’s Bar and Grill is located opposite the UO Duck Store. Here is what they had to offer:
Inferno Burger – Tyler Harding
I asked our server if they had anything spicy besides hot wings and she offered their “inferno burger” which is not on their menu. So I can’t make any promises as to whether or not you could visit Taylor’s and also consume this tasty concoction.
The inferno burger was full of pepper jack cheese, jalapeños, deliciousness, and artery-clogging doom (the amount of grease that dripped from my burger was a little disconcerting). “Inferno” seems a bit of an exaggerated moniker to me, although if I rack my brain I can remember a time when jalapeños were an infernal assault on my taste buds.
In case there was any doubt, I wouldn’t recommend eating this burger on a regular basis. I’m not sure what the fat / calorie breakdown of this meal looks like, but I’m sure it’s horrifying. And delicious.
Taylor’s Wings – Daniel Mundra
After a long vacation eating different kinds of food I was craving some good old fashion american wings. I went with the buffalo sauce wings.
It was good and definitely fixed my craving. I have had similar wings at another location (some posts ago) but Taylor’s buffalo sauce had more kick to it. It might be because I haven’t had this kind of spice in a while but my lips were on fire at the end of this which is good sign in my book.
This week we decided to check out Caspian Mediterranean Cafe. It is located on 13th avenue next to Cafe Siena. They serve a variety of Mediterranean food as well as some American style food. They don’t have any particularly spicy dishes but Mediterranean food goes well with hot sauce so we thought we would check it out. Here is our review:
Ultimate Chicken Wrap – Tyler Harding
Anything that involves chicken and a tortilla has my complete and undivided attention. The chicken burrito tends to be my litmus test when evaluating a new eatery, so Caspian’s chicken wrap seemed like the way to go. For better or worse, I neglected to read the entire description of this wrap; evidently its “ultimate” nature includes french fries in the wrap itself. While I wouldn’t say that’s a bad thing, it definitely caught me by surprise.
Overall I was pleased with my wrap for the price. Although I don’t think I’ll go out of my way to get it again, Caspian seems to offer high quality food for a great price, so I’m hoping to explore their menu in the future.
Tofu Rice – Daniel Mundra
I have eaten a couple of times at Caspian and so far so good. Their dishes are quite big and for a reasonable price. Today I went with tofu rice. It was not bad. It had a decent flavor and it had very little spice to it. I added some Tapatio sauce towards the end to get some spice. Overall not bad and I liked it even more because it came with their tzatziki sauce.
This week we visited Cafe Seoul located next to Matthew Knight arena in the same building as Hiron’s. Their food selections seem comparable to Korea House in terms of both price and variety. Here’s our review of two of their dishes:
Beef Bulgogi – Tyler Harding
The beef bulgogi was one of their lunch specials for $6.50. I’m no expert on Korean cuisine, so I can’t really judge how this dish compared to what bulgogi “should” be, but I found it to be pretty ordinary. Not particularly interesting or flavorful, but not bad either. I did, however, drown my meal in the Sriracha they had on hand, which of course transformed it into something magical.
I enjoyed Cafe Seoul’s schtick. From the outside it looked like a sad hole-in-the-wall joint somehow wedged between Hiron’s and Subway (which is perhaps why I never ventured in), but the interior was surprisingly pleasant. The service was prompt, friendly, and felt genuine. I’ll definitely return to sample their other lunch specials.
Spicy Chicken – Daniel Mundra
Like the previous restaurant this is was my first visit to Cafe Seoul. I am not sure why I avoided all the Korean restaurants since I ate a decent amount when I lived in Singapore. Maybe I was just a lazy student who liked Carson a little too much. Anyway I will try to stop ignoring them from now on because they are some pretty decent ones around campus.
The spicy chicken was decent. This is a regular dish and it was pricey but the amount of food matched the price. As for the taste, I was expecting it to be a little bit more spicy. At the end I found my self reaching for some sriracha. Overall decent taste and a lot of food. I would definitely go back and try some of the bulgogi.
This week we went to Korea House Restaurant next to Tasty Thai on Hilyard St. They have good amount of Korean dishes with reasonably priced lunch specials. They had a handful of dishes that were labelled spicy, so naturally we chose from those.
Spicy Chicken – Tyler Harding
The regular entrées on the menu are pretty expensive compared to what I’d like to spend on lunch, but this dish didn’t leave me feeling slighted. The spice had some proper kick to it, the flavor was great, and the service was friendly.
I was initially drawn to Korea House’s bulgogi lunch special but I felt bound to my firestorm duties to select a dish explicitly labelled spicy. I’m looking forward to a return trip!
Spicy Squid – Daniel Mundra
I am a big fan of squid. I haven’t found many squid offerings from restaurants around campus so I was happy to find this.
It is my first visit to Korea House Restaurant, not sure why I avoided it in the past. Anyway I went with the spicy squid and it is a little pricey but it is a good amount of food with little sides. I liked this dish. The squid was well cooked and very tasty, and the dish had a nice kick of spice making it really enjoyable. The sides were decent. Overall a good dish and I will be going back for more.
Tasty Firestorm has returned! We took a break for holidays and whatnot but now it’s time to get back to work.
We decided to go to the Bridge Bar and Grill located across the street from the Matt Knight Arena. They serve mainly American food with a variety of different dishes. Here is our review:
Chicken Fajitas – Tyler Harding
I’m not sure that anything on The Bridge’s menu was actually labelled as spicy, so I figured I would give their fajitas a try (which of course go well with hot sauce).
The salsa they included was surprisingly good, and actually had a respectable zing to it. The fajitas themselves were excessively juicy which made it a bit tricky to not make a giant mess, but that’s okay in my book. They were pretty tasty — perhaps not quite tasty enough to warrant the price tag, but then again you have to pay a little extra if you want to dine somewhere with square plates.
Charbroiled Blackened Angus Tips – Daniel Mundra
I got this recommendation from our server when I asked for something spicy. It was a good recommendation.
I liked the meat, it was cooked nicely. I am not a big fan of blue cheese but it was a nice complement to the dish. I liked the sauce and the dish had a nice zing to it. Overall it was good.
This week we went to Cafe Ari Rang located next to Goodwill on East Broadway. They serve a mixture of Korean and Japanese food. They have reasonably priced bowls and lunch boxes with different selections of spicy meat and spicy tofu. Here is our review of two of their spicy dishes:
Spicy Chicken Bowl – Tyler Harding
Like most restaurants, it seems that Ari Rang’s “spicy” offerings won’t induce a sweating, milk-chugging fit, but there was a pleasant zing about their spicy chicken.
My spicy chicken bowl was simple, affordable, and tasty. The rice seemed a bit plain, but it wasn’t bad. Unfortunately I lack either a sophisticated palate and/or the culinary vocabulary to describe exactly how the rice was plain — perhaps it was lacking salty, buttery doom that I’ve come to expect. But paired with tasty chicken, the rice didn’t need to stand on its own so it was enjoyable regardless.
Ari Rang is one of those restaurants I somehow passed hundreds and hundreds of times without ever thinking to stop in. I’m glad that I finally did!
Spicy Pork Lunch Box – Daniel Mundra
Their lunch box is a pretty big meal. It comes with a side of salad, sushi, dumpling and tempura. I would definitely recommend their lunch box if you want a big variety meal.
The sides were decent, the sushi was okay but the tempura and salad were tasty. The main dish was good, it had a nice taste to it. The spice was enough to add a zing to the meat but it was not very spicy. This was my first time at Cafe Ari Rang and even though it looks a little like a hole in the wall place I would definitely go back for their food.
This week we went to a new Asian restaurant on campus called Cafe Carpe Diem. It is located on Alder street where Ron’s Island Grill was previously located. They serve a variety of rice and noodles dishes including a few items geared toward our local starving scholars. There are only a few spicy offerings on the menu — here is our review of them:
Spicy Chicken Teriyaki – Tyler Harding
I don’t know what kind of devilry is afoot in their kitchen, but my food was served to me within about 60 seconds of placing my order. That sort of speed makes me fear that there’s a huge pile of pre-cooked chicken under a heat lamp back there.
Despite my fears, the chicken wasn’t funky and actually tasted pretty good. The spice was quite mild but had a nice flavor to it. And like any Asian restaurant worth its salt, there was Sriracha available to heat things up a bit. The salad included with my dish was minimal but a welcome addition.
Spicy Yakisoba Combo – Daniel Mundra
I tried the cafe when it was fairly new and the food was good but I had to wait for it for 45 minutes. Looks like it is better now and we also went before the lunch rush at 12 pm which I recommend doing.
I went with the spicy Yakisoba combo and it was a pretty big dish which worked out great because I was starving. It had a very nice flavor with some mild spice. The dish came with beef, chicken and shrimp. I would compare it so the similar dish at the Jail but lighter and tastier. Overall very nice and tasty dish.