If you haven’t noticed by now, I am a proud carnivore. How can one live without meat? The juicey tenderness of a perfectly roasted chicken? The marbled succulence of a cut of rib eye steak? The hearty homey taste of your mom’s pork stew? I won’t even delve into seafood. It’s safe to say, I could NEVER live as a vegetarian. I probably would not date a vegetarian either. Sorry vegetarians, it’s nothing personal!
So as I was looking at Farm Cafe’s menu online, I noticed there were no meat dishes. Fish, shellfish, yes, but meat, no. I looked at the pictures on yelp and I saw pictures of chicken. I still don’t understand the deal with Farm Cafe, but I think they only do certain days with meat. While Dumpling Man welcomes vegan/vegetarian places with open, unprejudiced arms. I, on the other hand, look at those places with a disgruntled, dissatisfactory cold shoulder. But it’s Portland, and maybe I just need to embrace the Portland ways. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll be a crunchy granola tree hugger.
Clams & Mussels sauteed in golden ale, garlic, butter, red chilli flakes, served with grilled bread
I won’t say too much about this dish, except that it was solid. The seafood was fresh, the broth was delicious, the portion was generous.
Albacore tuna, olive tapenade, baguette
I guess I was imagining something else when we ordered this. I guess I was expecting raw tuna because thats what I think when I see albacore. Unfortunately this was more like the albacore out of the can. Cooked tuna. It certainly wasn’t as bad as the canned stuff of course, but it definitely had a fishy taste to it that I did not like. Plus I’m not a huge fan of olives. This dish was just ok for me.
Beets goat cheese, sea salt, chives
I totally have a new LOVE for beets. If you asked me 2 years ago if I ate beets, I would given you my “eww stinky” face. But if you asked me now, I’d be like “where? where? give me some!” I don’t understand how a root vegetable can be so juicy and tender, unlike potatoes and carrots. Anyways, these tasted so fresh, and I loved the sharp creaminess from the goat cheese with beautiful saltiness from the light sprinkle of sea salt. It was definitely a dish you eat slowly to savor all the flavors of farm fresh seasonal ingredients.
Herb Crusted Tofu with Mushroom Marsala breaded and herbed tofu cutlets with roasted garlic mashed potatoes and crimini mushroom marsala
We weren’t too hungry so we ordered one entree to share. I begrudgingly went along with the tofu dish. I will admit that I was surprised by the level of flavor in this dish. Everything illicited an “mmm” or a “not so bad” or a “hey this is pretty good” from me. The mashed potatoes were tasty but didn’t have that heavy creamy butter taste lingering in my mouth. I think what I must have been tasting was all the savory juices from the mushroom marsala seeping into the mash. It was such a wonderful combination of things that I love. Then came the tofu which were breaded and crisped very nicely. It was a firm tofu, so it was pretty meaty in texture. The breading was seasoned well. If anything the dish overall was a tad too salty but I am forgiving on that. I just ask for extra water.
I don’t know if I ended up liking Farm Cafe because I had such reservations going into it. In any case, I was pleasantly surprised by the how simple foods and ingredients can be made to taste so good. I would definitely recommend the beet dish and if you’re a vegetarian the tofu was excellent! Next time I’ll try something else, but will probably order the beets again. Oh I’ll have to mention my celebrity star sighting. I swear I thought I saw Adrien Grenier here, but I was like this is Portland, why would he be here of all places?? Later I find out that he was in fact in Portland. Is it still a celebrity sighting if in the moment you didn’t know it was a celebrity??
10 SE 7th Ave
Portland, OR 97214