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lunch

Mexican Brunch – Cantina Los Caballitos

I’ve been to the Cantina a couple of times to drink, but never to eat. I had to come here for the sake of blogging, so we took in some brunch as well. Complimentary chips and salsa. The green salsa had a strange taste. Not bad, just strange. I couldn’t quite place my finger on what the strange taste was. The red one was just fine. Good chips too. Thin and crispy, not greasy.
H/A got the mexican style beef stew. Basically, it was like a mexican style chili with some stewed beef. Nothing thrilling, but if you like chili and mexican flavors, then why not!
H/A and J both got burritos, but you know what burritos wrapped in paper look like. They just look like a couple of white lumps. They both got beef burritos, and the steak in those was excellent! I got the chilaquiles. That’s the plate of mexican slop you see on that plate. It’s a huge ass plate too. It’s a tortilla casserole with guajillo sauce, queso anejo, sour cream, and in my case, chicken. It’s tasty, but it’s not much to look at. In fact, it looks kind of disgusting. Luckily, it tastes much better. The portion of this was gargantuan. I barely ate like 1/4 of this.

J also got a vegetarian hash with tofu and tempeh. The tempeh was kind of gross, but the tofu was fine, and the onions were delicious. But the fried eggs on top? Whoa, some of the best fried eggs I’ve ever had. Who knew? Service was ok. They play some good music there and have cool mexican movie posters. Everyone has tattoos. Their drinks are good and strong, and personally, I think the drinks are what make this place. The food is only so-so. If you want good mexican, go to a taqueria with a less hipster setting.
Cantina Los Caballitos on Urbanspoon

Papa Haydn Brunch – Portland

While the original brunch plan was for Simpatica, since we were staying in nob hill and already on 23rd street window shopping, we just ended up hopping into Papa Haydn. It had also been recommended to us the night before at Le Pigeon. Here’s something crazy about this place. Even if you order nothing, they give you a bunch of pastries right away – blueberry muffin, brioche roll, cheddar twist, espresso coffee cake. And damn it if every piece isn’t delicious.

The duck duck salad. A giant heaping of fancy greens, shredded duck, duck confit, and topped with an egg. A fancy salad. You can’t tell there’s any duck in this, but indeed, there is duck! And it’s delicious duck, to boot.

The stuffed toast… Custard dipped challah bread, stuffed with slice potatoes, caramelized onions, and I can’t even remember what else. All I remember is that it was tons of delicious food. And it comes with two fried eggs as well as a bit of salad. Whoo! The portion of this is ridiculous. This stuffed toast is so good, and a real good combination of savory being stuffed into something slightly sweet. But yeah, I left half of this on the plate just from size alone.

The service here was good, especially from our extremely pregnant and friendly server. She was so cool and helpful. And even if you don’t order food, let’s say you just order a coffee, you can still sit at a table, you still get all your free pastries, and you can take your time. This is a place I can definitely be a fan of!
Papa Haydn on Urbanspoon

Lunch In Olympia – Lemon Grass Restaurant

After flying into Seattle, I drove down to Portland, because well, I love Portland. Not being able to wait until Portland to eat, especially because my flight was awfully late, we stopped in Olympia for a bite to eat. I had done some research and that’s how we ended up at Lemon Grass. It’s an adorable and attractive place in a really nice area of Olympia. There was lots of hustle and bustle and restaurants and it was just plain adorable.

We got some tea, which came in this heavy cast iron pot. The place was tastefully decorated and had two main dining areas. One was almost full when we got there and we pretty much snagged the last booth before a rush came on. Once we left, they had opened up the other dining area.

The Hot and Spicy Noodles, with wide rice noodles, prawns, eggs, broccoli, onions, bell peppers, cabbage, green beans, water chestnuts, baby corn, bamboo shoots, and carrots in a special sweet sauce. You can add spice to any dish and you can decide on your own level of spice. This was like drunken noodles, except not as hot, but just as tasty. Really, every bit of this was perfect.

But really, this Mee Quang was even more perfect. Lemon Grass is a thai restaurant, but they had two vietnamese dishes at the end of the menu. The absolute last thing on the menu was this mee quang. I had no idea what this was, I had never heard of it before, but it sounded amazing. And am I damn glad that I ordered it, because it was amazing! It is a central vietnamese style noodle salad, with thinly sliced pork, chicken, and prawns served over a bed of wide and thick yellow rice noodles with lettuce, cucumber, bean sprouts, and fresh herbs. It was like a vermicelli bowl, only with thicker and heartier noodles, with a variety of meats, served warm, and with even more flavor than you could ever imagine. It was one of the best things I’ve eaten in awhile. My experience in vietnamese food is actually quite narrow… I’ve always focused on pho, vermicelli bowls, and rice plates. I think this mee quang shows just how little I’ve tasted of a cuisine with such depth and breadth. This place was great! And portion sizes are large, the prices are reasonable, and the service was good. Highly recommended if you are in the area!

Lemon Grass Restaurant
212 4th Ave W
Olympia, WA 98501
(360) 705-1832

Lemon Grass Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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