Mini-post: Pix Patisserie

We've covered Pix before. They are a blog favorite. Go there now.

Last night we made another stop there in celebration of a variety of birthdays. My wife's birthday last weekend, my friend Phil's birthday on Monday, and my own yesterday.

As usual, Pix is great. We went to the location on Williams and Failing in North Portland. Compared to the Division location, this one is better for seating and service. At my last visit, the Division location had a sit-down bar and a smattering of small tables, but it was essentially counter-service for dessert; the North Portland location has a large number of tables attended to by wait-staff that bring you menus, take your orders, etc.

I was stuffed with sushi and, as such, really didn't plan on getting anything. I was able to walk by the dessert case without changing that plan.

At the table, though, I looked over the menu (here's one from MenuPix which appears to be not-quite-complete) out of curiosity and was sucked in by the Pix Float. Chocolate stout beer with house-made mocha ice cream.

Awesome. Buy one.

(Oh - wife had the Amelie and was quite satisfied. If you want something solid, not a bad choice, though I'd opt for the Queen of Sheba Truffle Cake).


The joy, and the curse, of sushi is in its goodness. Not just in the yummo-factor, but the good-for-you-ness of it.

This was the very discussion I had with my cohorts last night as we ate a tasty birthday dinner at Yuki, on the corner of NE 14th and Broadway.

For me, the comment had double-meaning. I've embarked on a thinness initiative, as I'm going to a tropical locale in May, and I know for a fact that I have absolutely no self-control where sushi is involved, so gluttony was a foregone conclusion.

But I also knew I was planning a write-up, and with the variety of a sushi joint combined with the volume of items ordered combined with how sushi's always served on a giant platter that makes it difficult to differentiate what you're looking at or biting into, an item-specific post became a lost cause quickly.

The two large Kirins didn't help the cause.

So, for a general review of Yuki that's sadly lacking in food specific details...

Yuki is not the best sushi place in town. If I wasn't using a gift certificate to subsidize a large portion of my meal, I'd probably choose Yoko's or Masu for birthday sushi. That said, the food at Yuki is good, the fish is of fine quality, and they cover all of the basics ably. I find the food part of the experience superior to several places, including Koji's and Kappaya, though my socks weren't blown off by any means. But there are definitely better places to go (Meeka is my other top choice at this point...).

The menu is ample. Thanks to a new site I'm growing increasingly enamored with, MenuPix, here's a link to photos of their menu (so that I don't have to provide you the mostly-useless low-res shot I took with my cell phone).

The atmosphere is a mixed bag. The space is cramped, which can be a love-it-or-hate-it thing depending on what you're looking for. The tightness is appropriately countered by low lighting that accentuates the brightly-lit food prep area, staffed by uniformed and busy susharistas. Toward the back of the joint is a hall cluttered with boxes and high chairs that is readily visible from much of the restaurant and which detracts from the ambience. Probably due to a lack of storage space, this isn't a deal-breaker by any means but eliminates this place as an option for romantic dates.

Service isn't super here. Our waitress was very nice, but appeared either a bit too busy or a bit too disorganized, so that we were often needing water or beverage. One of our platters was delivered without ginger or wasabi, and it took several minutes to get the attention of the waitress to get the problem solved. Service is a big thing to this blog, so Yuki gets dinged here.

Presentation was fine. Nicely-arranged platters that were appealing to the eye. They made a ton of sushi look manageable, which was nice. I've seen better, I've seen worse.

Value was alright. There were six adults who ran up a $180 tab between food and drink. I think $30 a head for too-much-sushi is very fair.

Overall, Yuki is a solid sushi joint with a large and varied menu that's a decent price. The atmosphere is okay for friends hanging out, but not ideal for a date. The service is courteous but needs improvement. You can do better (and, if you're looking for sushi, I'd encourage you to go to Yoko's or Masu first), but you can do worse.



Ask and ye shall receive!

Friend o' the blog Mak is now going to write for us. She herself is an accomplished owner of several defunct blogs and is a resident haunter of all sorts of food locations. Certainly she'll be able to add to our list of good lunch haunts, since she's inspired several of our prior posts.

We're happy to welcome her and look forward to seeing her stuff!

New Stuff SOON!

According to Blogger, it's been just shy of 3 months since we added a post to this space. Both JLowe and I have been in a budgetary swoon which, hopefully, will ease shortly.

Reader Mak, a close friend of the blog, asks in a wall post on my Facebook "are you guys gonna update your site or what?! I have new carts you should try."

Glad you mentioned that, Mak. As it happens, we were just talking about this sort of thing today over coffee at our favorite haunt (City Coffee on 4th and Salmon, where your humble bloggers get very special treatment). You see, we recently were notified that we're slated to be featured on a site called "Where the Locals Eat." According to the e-mail I received from them, we've been selected as one of "The Best Food Blogs in America" (clearly they're standards are low) and have been granted a spot in their locals section for The Best of Portland Food Blogs (you can find us here).

Of course, this shames us into wanting to do more writing. And, coincidentally, we have stuff to write about as tonight is Mrs. JLowe's birthday (dinner at Torro Bravo) and tomorrow is mine (dinner at Yuki Sushi).

So, new material coming, keep your eyes open, etc. We're always open to suggestions for places to review. We're also willing to come review your place in exchange for a free meal (note: we'll tell people the meal was free, and we'll be brutally honest. And we'll tip the waitstaff on what we would've spent).

And, hey, Mak, wanna come write for us?