Thursday, November 20, 2008

You Won't Rue This Decision

Tagging along. It's somehow been happening a lot lately. Like my trip to Boise. Or to the spa at Bonneville. And tonight I was invited to accompany a friend to a Slow Food panel on the people who grow, harvest and produce our food. And I love it!

So when my friend, neighbor and author of The Farm to Table Cookbook: The Art of Eating Locally, Ivy Manning, asked if I'd be interested in going to Roux to try out their new lunch menu, it was a no-brainer. A couple of years ago I'd heard about the great lunches they were serving, but by the time I got around to trying it, they'd decided close down their lunch service. Fine.

And how is it now that they've come to their senses and reopened at mid-day? Rest assured, it's all good news. We sampled a fair amount of the menu, considering it was lunch, starting with hushpuppies (crunchy on the outside, creamy in the middle) and the soft shell crab (okay but nothing to write home about). The spinach and fried oyster salad (above left) was terrific with hefty chunks of pork belly, a chopped boiled egg and a creamy remoulade dressing, the oysters briny fresh and crunchy.

Ivy chose the bourbon-glazed meatloaf (right), a big slab of spicy Creole "Chaurice" sausage mixed with ground sirloin sitting on top of spinach whipped potatoes and topped with frizzled onions and an incredible bourbon glaze. I opted for the classic po'boy (top), this one a combination of crisply fried shrimp and oysters with slices of house-made pickles that gave it a nice tang. The bun was a little too white bread-y and light for me and, in my opinion, it would have been better with a ciabatta-style roll, but I'm sure that wouldn't be traditional.

Not cheap but definitely in the moderate range, most lunches and salads are $10 to $12 and the portions are good-sized. And if you can, when you go don't miss the opportunity to ask a friend to tag along.

Details: Roux, 1700 N Killingsworth. Phone 503-285-1200.

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