I made a food pilgrimage to Portland this past Memorial Day weekend and thoroughly enjoyed all of the tasty offerings the city had to offer. The peak of deliciousness for me was our last day lunch at Pok Pok.
Dear Pok Pok, Let’s be best friends!
Walking up to Pok Pok you could be in Portland but you could also be at some roadside joint in Bangkok. There’s an overwhelming smell of fish sauce in the air, gaudy floral plastic tableclothes atop the tables, and plastic plates clattering. There’s a stern-and-knows-her-biznaz hostess that controls the overeager crowd. I knew right away this was my kind of place!
We ordered the famous fish sauce wings (oh wowsers so good), Burmese pork belly curry (tasty), half a roasted hen with dipping sauces (yum), and Vietnamese catfish (yay).
Behold the wings. Perfectly caramelized, salty, crispy, umami, spicy goodness. Finger lickin’ good for real.
I ordered this out of nostalgia. I’ve never seen this on a menu outside of Hanoi and my experience with this dish in Hanoi is one of those ‘remember forever’ meals. I literally squealed when I saw they offered it. The only thing missing was the side of fermented shrimp paste.
Catfish marinated in sour rice and turmeric, fried up and set atop a bed of vermicelli noodles. Mix it with fresh dill, green onion, and other herbs. Add peanuts. Add pineapple sauce. Be happy.
For dessert we had the requisite mango sticky rice but also ordered the coconut ice cream sandwich.
Sweet split roll, sticky rice, fresh coconut ice cream with jackfruit, chocolate sauce, peanuts. Gluttony. Worth every calorie.
Khob khun ka, Pok pok!
Pok Pok: 3226 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202