Mad Hungry with Lucinda Scala Quinn

Pok Pok Portland

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Lunch at Pok Pok Thai restaurant in Portland is without a doubt the most real and exciting Thai food I've eaten in America. Each dish had a completely different flavor (not just more or less salty, sweet or spicy--most often the case in Thai resto's). For the curry noodle dish--the coconut milk is fresh, handmade (grated, steeped and squeezed). The rice noodles, handmade, tender yet chewy and each one as long as a yard stick.

The jackfruit salad is served with sticky rice in a little basket--the salad eaten by patting out a little pancake of rice and using it to scoop the salad up. And the chicken wings? Well--these are just something to behold: spicy, salty, slightly but not too much sweet at all--mad, mad crunchy and even down to the wing tip which I like to chew all the way down as far as possible. The table water, infused with pandana leaves tastes slightly of toasted jasmine rice-a little nutty, a little sweet. Seriously folks, a meal this perfectly good only happens to me once and a while eating out. The lingering aftertaste--clean and preservative free only serves to make my mouth continue to water for more. My dining companion is first born son Calder who finagled another little trip out of me. But since his help over the long 25 city MH book tour made it all possible for me to stay sane--he earned it, methinks. Besides it's too much more fun anyway. And just as a bonus for him, a crazy basketball fan-- the entire Phoenix Suns basketball team is staying in our hotel as they're in town to play the Trailblazers in the play-offs. And, these are seriously large and formidably impressive athletes---chilling at breakfast, in the gym, in the lobby, getting on and off the team bus and I'm sure THEY are mad, mad hungry men--I wish I brought a few books with me. On the matter of books--tonight are the cookbook awards and it's just great to be a part of them!

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