Sunday, July 05, 2009

Madena of the Pearl

I am of the opinion that it is important, wherever one should live, to have a go-to spot that is good, affordable and accessible. During moments of hunger-induced crankiness or Monday-bred mental exhaustion, said spot quickly provides nourishment without forcing you to actually have to think.

When we lived in Portland, Madena of the Pearl was indeed my no-brainer spot. A hop, skip and a jump from our digs, we ventured to this cozy restaurant at least twice a week for lunch or dinner. Weather permitting, we favored sitting at one of their outdoor tables, though settling into one of the handful of indoor booths was not without its benefits, as it meant we could thumb through the house coffee table book on Lebanon. Pita bread and a mini history lesson.

Hummus: Garbanzo bean dip with Tahini sauce, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic - $5.25

Creamy, tangy and perfectly smooth. This Hummus has set the bar so high that I have a hard time eating it anywhere else. Even Hummus enjoyed authentically in the Middle East didn't come close.

Coco Chicken: Marinated chicken breast in herbs, spices and garlic. Topped with coco curry sauce - $7.50 for lunch portion (shown) which includes two sides of Hummus and/or Baba Ghanoush.

The only chicken I go out of my way to eat, this spicy, sweet dish somehow manages to complement every season (or at least every Pacific Northwest season).

- K

Madena of the Pearl

432 NW 11th Ave.
Portland, OR 97209


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