Our visit to the Northwest Public House offered some very interesting surprises. The Northwest Public House is just off of 23rd Street (one of my favorite streets in Portland), and it is a house that’s been turned into a restaurant/pub with a very home-y kind of feel to it. Another Living Social opportunity to sample the cuisine of Portland…
Location: 2327 NW Kearney Blvd, Portland, OR
Order: I ordered the Chicken Roulade (small plate) and the Baby Chef Mac (small plate), while my husband ordered the Prosciutto Wrapped Scallops (that was the first big surprise of the evening … the second was that he really liked it!)
What I think:
When we first entered through the front door, I was shocked at how cozy this place was. It was almost too cozy. It felt a little crowded to me, and if our Living Social voucher wasn’t just about to expire, I would have suggested coming back on another evening. However, it was a “now or never” kind of predicament with the voucher on the verge of expiring, so we were seated near the bar, which appeared to be the only available table in the place. (I learned later that there was also a dining room upstairs, and there is also outdoor seating, although with it being January when we dined at this establishment, outside didn’t seem like the optimal place to dine)
Since our visit, it would seem that they’ve changed the menu just a bit, as I no longer see the Chicken Roulade on the menu, which is just as well, as it was my least favorite item ordered for the evening. Also no longer on the menu are the Prosciutto Wrapped Scallops, which is kind of shame, because my husband devoured this entree, which was complete with a side of brown rice and topped with a delicious sweet-and-spicy mango salsa and steamed vegetables.
This is a dish that I would have never guessed that my husband would order, I figured he’d probably order a burger. But it was a wonderful surprise for him to order this, I like to think that my journey as a novice food critic is having a positive effect on him as he is becoming more adventurous and trying new things.
My husband was good enough to share with me a couple of bites of his entree. The scallops were perfectly cooked and were very tender. The veggies were delicious – especially the mushrooms. I also really enjoyed the mango salsa, which really elevated the flavor of the overall dish.
As I mentioned before, I was not as impressed with my Chicken Roulade. It was a chicken breast that had been pounded thin, and then wrapped with goat cheese, peppers, and arugula, cooked through and then sliced very thin. Three slices, topped with lemon basil cream sauce, were put on the plate along with a serving of sweet potato mash. The sweet potato mash was delicious, as was the cream sauce. The chicken, however, was overcooked. The filling was tasty but there really wasn’t much too it, and it did little to disguise the fact that the chicken was dry and flavorless. The only thing that saved these overcooked discs from being completely inedible was the lemon basil cream sauce, which was incredible.
Fortunately, I also had a small plate of Chef Mac & Cheese to help satisfy my hunger. Really, I would have been happy with just a large plate of the Mac & Cheese rather than ordering the two smaller plates. Seriously, I wanted to crawl into this bowl of Mac & Cheese … it was absolutely the best Macaroni and Cheese I had ever eaten in my life. The blend of cheeses (aged cheddar and smoked gouda) and the garlic cream sauce combine to make an incredibly rich, flavorful, creamy delight that elevated this comfort food to new heights.
For dessert (which was my third and final surprise for the evening!) we shared a bowl of Kahlua Krème Brûlée. I absolutely love Crème Brûlée, it is my favorite dessert, so this was a big treat for me. There was not a lot of Kahlua flavor to this dessert, but there was a LOT of burnt sugar on top – which is my favorite part of the dessert, so I left quite content.
My Final Thoughts:
Despite my misgivings about the Chicken Roulade, this is a place I’d be very happy to visit again, if for no other reason than to enjoy the most delicious Macaroni & Cheese in Portland. (If you think you’ve tried better Macaroni & Cheese in Portland, please comment on this post and let me know where I can try it!) This is comfort food at its finest!