Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Portland Restaurant and Happy Hour: Double Dragon Revisited

What: Double Dragon
Where: 1235 SE Belmont
Happy Hour: Weekdays 3-6pm, Everyday 10pm-Midnight 
Honeys Heart: Miso Disco Fries

Last week, Kel and I were invited to a tasting and Hot Toddy demonstration at Double Dragon. You might remember that Kel and Adam went there for dinner recently and tried the Banh Mi Burger, house chips, and Curried Coconut Ramen. Their meal looked delicious so I was happy to get to try some of Double Dragon's Vietnamese fusion cuisine for myself!

Over blogger small talk (How often do you post? How long have you been blogging? How come we've never seen you at one of these before?*), we sampled a number of dishes. My top three favorites were the Szechuan Burger ($9) with bacon and szechuan peppercorn relish, Miso Disco Fries ($7) with miso bacon gravy and queso fresco, and Kimchi & Bacon-Braised Collard Greens ($3).

Happy to see the burger and the fries are part of the happy hour menu!:

The evening also included a cocktail tasting and demonstration. We tried Double Dragon's Hot Toddy two ways- hot and cold. I was a little skeptical of how the drink would work cold, but with its added absinthe wash, it was really tasty. 

Unfortunately we had to leave before the demonstration (the Blazers were honoring the Winterhawks so you know, #rosebudproblems) but I'm sure it was lots of fun. Looking forward to reading about it on other blogs :)   

Thanks so much to Double Dragon for hosting us! 

*Our loyal readers (hi Mom!) already know the answers to these bloggery questions, but for the newbies:
  • How often do you post? Whenever we damn well feel like it
  • How long have you been blogging? Since 2008, 5 whole years. Yeesh! 
  • How come we've never seen you at one of these blogger events before? What can we say? Sometimes it takes time for genius to be recognized...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Portland Ice Cream Parlor: Fifty Licks

What: Fifty Licks
Where: 2021 SE Clinton St
When: Sun-Thurs 3-10pm, Fri-Sat noon-11pm
Honey's Heart: Sorbet Cocktails (and Chad)

Katie and I are always flattered when someone wants us to come try their restaurant, bar, or in this case, versatile cocktail-serving ice cream parlor, so when we were invited to come sample Fifty Licks' dessert cocktails (available for $2 off during happy hour- 4-6pm) we jumped at the chance.

Fifty Licks opened its brick and mortar just a couple months ago and so far we are digging what we see. Offering innovative ice creams and sorbets, unique toppings, and our favorite, cocktails, Fifty Licks is essentially an ice cream parlor designed for grown ups. Love it!

We sat down with Chad, the creator, owner, and flavor developer, to try Fifty Licks' four sorbet cocktails while learning more about his vision.

Chad divulged that he has two main goals in mind when creating a new ice cream: The first is, if it's a classic, it must be the very best version of that classic. That's why you won't find a chocolate ice cream on his menu (at least not yet, anyway). As he explained, all the fat in ice cream dulls down the rich flavor of chocolate. So, instead of ice cream, Chad makes a chocolate sorbet as there's no cream to dumb down the flavor. Other classic flavor options include Stumptown Coffee, Tahitian Vanilla, and Blood Orange Creamsicle.

Chad's second goal is that if he's creating a new flavor, it must be utterly delicious in every way, so no novelty flavors for him (looking at you Salt & Straw turkey ice cream). Some of Chad's unique but very tasty creations include Jasmine Tea with Apricot, Toasted Milk, and Passionfruit with Schuan Peppercorns.

Fifty Licks' cocktails came about from Chad's desire to provide a place for people to go after dinner if they just don't feel like going to a bar. Fifty Licks is a great alternative if you want dessert, a drink, or both.

I have to admit, Katie and I were anticipating overly-sweet cocktails, which we are not a fan of. Instead, we tasted four perfectly balanced craft cocktails that would be delicious even without their complementary sorbets- though the combination of cocktail and sorbet was so out-of-this-world that I don't know why you would ever want to separate them.

Here's what we tried: 

Furacao- Passionfruit with Sichuan Pepper sorbet, Madeira, Brryh, bitters

Velvet Shiso- Coconut Lemon Saffron sorbet, plum wine, bubbly, fresh shiso

Nordic Palmer- Frozen Lemonade, iced tea sparkling mead, lemon peal 

Bitter Rose- Grapefruit Rosewater sorbet, Cocchi American Rosa, orange bitters

It's hard to choose a favorite because they were all so good, but we both loved how refreshing the Nordic Palmer was and Furacao really did have a great balance of sweet and bitter.

During our sampling, we also had the opportunity to try a bunch of ice creams and sorbets on their own. One stand-out was Cherry Bourbon (sorry kids, this one is only for adults...) which Katie immediately called it out as Adam's potential favorite. Adam does have a sweet tooth (and a bourbon tooth too) and upon visiting later that week and getting this in the waffle cone, Adam felt confident in stating that it was likely the best waffle cone and ice cream experience he's ever had. I can attest to this as he stated it no less than 6 times while we were there.

We also got to try Chad's Cuban Coffee. It was so good that we both drank two cups... and were up late into the night thanks to our mid-evening caffeine boost. It was worth it though!

The flavors at Fifty Licks are constantly changing and sometimes a flavor doesn't make it up to the board, so don't be shy to ask if your favorite isn't listed.

Plus, Chad just released three amazing-sounding fall flavors: Sweet Potato Toasted Marshmallow, Autumn Harvest (roasted butternut squash with a baked savory-spiced apple ribbon), and Cranberry Cherry Sorbet. Be sure to like Fifty Licks on Facebook so you can stay updated about all the new flavors.

P.S. A huge thanks to Chad for sharing his story and his creations with us. We had so much fun chatting with you!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

HHH's Favorite Drinking Games

Kel and I are big on drinking games. I mean, not that we need an excuse to drink, but they are a great way to get a room warmed up.

We have our favorites from college that we still play occasionally- King's Cup, Asshole, and Hot or Cold- but within the last year or so, we've been introduced to a few new games that have quickly become part of our party repertoire.

Let's learn about them, shall we?

Kai Bai Bo!

Dana and Eric learned this one while they were teaching in Seoul a few years ago. We played it for the first time at Sushi/Sake Bomb/Christmas Sweater night last year and it was so much fun.

- Chopsticks
- Drinks

Where to Play: 
At home

How it Works:
1) Players stand around a table with drinks in front of them.
2) Together everyone chants "Kai Bai Bo!" (or "Rock Paper Scissors!" if you want to do it the boring English way).
3) On "Bo!", everyone points their chopstick at someone else.
4) The person who is "it" shouts a number. Something between 1 and 10 is preferable.
5) Follow the path of the pointed chopsticks from the person who is "it", counting to the number.
6) The person you land on has to drink and now they are "it."


Bonus: You kinda feel like Harry Potter with all that chopstick pointing. I loved it. (Obvs).

Kill Your Friends

This game comes from Lauren (read about her recent trip to Portland on her blog here) and it's pretty simple. It's best played in a crowded bar with friends who like to have a good time and who aren't going to be nincompoops (not that you would have friends like that anyway...).

- Money
- Drinks
- Strangers

Where to Play: 
At a bar 

How it Works:
1) If you buy someone a drink, you get to choose how they "die."
2) The more public, potentially embarrassing, and creative their "death" the better.
3) The drinker must act out their "death" before they can drink their drink.
4) If you bought multiple people drinks, feel free to combine their "deaths." It's more fun that way. 

Confused? Here are some example "deaths" from a recent game played at Rontoms (their patio is the perfect "death" stage, btw).

Doug starts to get sick and slowly turns into a zombie like on The Walking Dead. He tries to attack everyone at the table until Lauren finally shoots him in the head.

Katie and Kelly start lancing from opposite ends of the bar. They run towards each other. Katie knocks Kelly from her horse and Kelly dies, but not before tripping Katie, causing her to fall as well. 

Lauren is wandering all over the bar, holding up her phone trying to get service. Right in the middle of the bar, she is electrocuted by a lightning bolt and dies.

The Game from Pumpkin Beer Night 

So this one definitely needs a new name (can you guess where it was made up?) but we'll get to that eventually. This game is best with a group that holds their liquor well because there are shots involved. We did shots of SinFire (less syrup-y than fireball but still very festive, you should try it) on Pumpkin Beer Night and half shots of tequila at Rontoms.

- Drinks
- Shots
- Cards

Where to Play: 
At home or at a bar  

How it Works: 
1) The dealer places a card face up in the middle of the table.

2) The person to the dealer's left must guess if the next card will be higher or lower. What happens next is based on the card and their guess:
- If they're right, no one drinks
- If they're wrong, they must drink
- If it's the same card, they must pick someone to "Rock, Paper, Scissors" with. The loser drinks.
- If it's a face card, they get to choose someone to drink (in addition to drinking themselves, if they were wrong).
- If it's an ace, they must take a shot.
3) Play continues around the circle until until the deck is finished. 

This game is really just the best when combined with Kill Your Friends because somebody's got to be buying all those shots and the deaths provide a nice break from all the drinking. Fun!

ALSO: Kel and I love to have a good time but we ALWAYS take a cab or walk home after we've been drinking, especially if we've been playing these games, and you should too. K, bye!