Misadventures with Miso

Misadventures with Miso

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Things Get Sweet with Decadent Creations

I am not a morning person. Less so as time has it's effect on me. But once in a while there is something worth getting up for.

Local favorite bakery creations is one of them. Decadent Creations was going from weekend seller at Beaverton Farmers Market to having a micro-shop. Which is why there was this long line in Hillsboro, Oregon the other day. The woman in red way down there?

That's Mindy Simmons, baker and owner of Decadent Creations, who had just happily ran down the line giving high fives to everyone.

Because Mindy Simmons isn't just a great baker but a very creative one. Like making this giant sugar cookie ribbon to be cut for the store opening.

You might be asking what's a micro-shop? I'd say it's the next step up from a pop-up. In Decadent Creations case it's actually pretty clever because they opened inside Fancy That, a party supply store in Hillsboro. So now people can do one stop shopping for their parties. I agree that's pretty awesome.

After waiting in line outside I finally made it into the store. I was customer 50 so I was given the last gift bag. I didn't think I would get one so that was nice. Says something when this many people show up at 10:30 am for a small store opening.

The inside of Fancy That is pretty colorful. Not just party supplies but also gifts and more. I spied a number of boxes of Smith Tea. I should go back and get a box of Julie's Original Cake Mix right?

Getting closer to Decadent Creations. They are located in the back of the store where there is also an entrance from the parking lot. Really cute furnishings and fridge that match the color scheme of the store.

Mindy and her husband. Both were beaming as they helped all the customers. Business has picked up since Mindy's appearance and win on the show Chopped. Decadent Creations has been popular with locals for a while but now demand has helped them reach this goal of a shop open most days. They also do special orders and sell cookies, bars and breads online.

Getting closer and finally being able to see what's in the case. The goods are baked at Mindy's professional kitchen and brought in daily.

Besides all the lovely cakes there were mini cupcakes and tarts. But the real temptation for me were those rainbow rows of macarons.

To the side was a clever set-up of cookie jars where customers can serve themselves along with breads. Payment was at the Fancy That registers which helped speed things up.

I chose a piece of Salty Dog Cake which has toffee chunks and salted ganache drizzle. It's nice to find cakes that are a step above the usual. The flavors of this were great and I definitely want to try a Salty Dog Brownie next. That and more chocolate chip cookies because the one in the gift bag reminded me of home made way more than most and was great.

As for those macarons, yes I got one of each. What can I say, I like macarons a lot. The flavor range was good from usual ones like pistachio and peppermint to honey, carrot cake and lemon lavender. I'm still eating my way through them but so far my favorites have been hazelnut, lemon lavender and salted caramel which was the best salted caramel macaron I have eaten. The balance of salt to sweet was perfect and the caramel flavor did not overwhelm but was just right. The cookies were crisp and light on the outside and the centers chewy and creamy. Just like a macaron should be.

It's great there is another choice for a bakery in the area and it's nice to see good people doing well and their business growing. I definitely plan on stopping in again especially since it means I don't have to get up early to go to the farmers market.

Decadent Creations is located inside Fancy That at 1336 NE Orenco Station Pkwy, Hillsboro, OR 97124. There isn't a big sign outside for Decadent Creations so look for Fancy That. Fancy That's website with directions and hours is here which is the same for the micro-store Decadent Creations.

Decadent Creations website is here. Hours and location and dates at the Beaverton Farmers Market are also listed plus you can order items online or set up getting special orders.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Say Zeek's Cheese Grill

I've been hoping that with the increase in population out on the far West Side of Portland Metro that new and interesting food options would open up. Well Zeek's Cheese Grill isn't that new because they have a food cart at the Hillsdale Food Park at  6238 SW Capitol Hwy in Portland.

What is new is their micro-restaurant in Bethany Village. It was a little difficult to find since there wasn't an actual address on-line when I went looking for them. Their location along with Koi Fusion, Bowl & Berry, and Cackalack is in the middle of a complex of buildings housing shops and other services. I was successful and can say while their space is small with limited seating inside the large windows and open kitchen area make it feel bigger and there is seating outside.

This was my first time trying Zeek's Cheese Grill food. It looks like the micro restaurant has the same menu offering mac and cheese, soups, salads and of course grilled cheese sandwiches. I like that they have half size offerings which let me be able to try two different sandwiches. The first was the Supreme with Tillamook Cheddar, Provolone, Monterey Jack and Manchego cheese. The bread was fresh and not doughy or hard and there was a slight hint of saltiness on the outside while the cheese was nicely melted inside.

My second choice was the Ciao which I saved for later. Made with fresh mozzarella, basil, semi-dried tomatoes, balsamic reduction, black pepper, extra virgin olive oil and parmesan-crusted bread this bit of yumminess held up very well.

Even better was dipping it in the side of marinara sauce. A lot of times non-meat sandwiches end up a pile of vegetables that don't have much going for them. But the Ciao is definitely not an afterthought in the mostly meat based sandwich menu. Definitely pleasant and definitely one I would order again.

These new micro restaurants and other smaller dining places seem to be the new trend west of the Tualatin Mountains. It will be interesting to see if they take off since it's harder for food trucks to set up due to regulations. I know a lot of people are looking for interesting and creative prepared food in the area.

So here is the address for Zeek's Cheese Grill micro-restaurant:
4780 NW Bethany Blvd, Portland, Oregon
Which is just north of Washington County and the 26 Highway.
where they now have a map for the location.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

There was this Thing about Eggs and Rabbits

Back in the day of my ancestors. Having something to do with Spring. At least it means at this time of year I can count on a few things. Like the creativity of the Moonstruck chocolatiers making things like this stunning little egg on a nest.

Or if you like colorful egg shaped donuts from Sesame Donuts.

My favorite though comes from Moonstruck Chocolates in the shape of this little dark chocolate bunny. I'm glad they bring him back because he never lasts for long with me.