Sherman's Food Adventures: Dough Zone

Dough Zone

After returning from Vegas, I spent all of one day back home before heading down to Portland once again.  Yep, I was just there in November, but was so happy with the eats we had, I was itching to return.  So I took the fam this time and had some eats along the way that I didn't even take pictures of!  I know, the horror!  But once in Portland, I was staying in Downtown near the river.  Since I was pretty tired from driving, we ended up just walking 2 blocks to the nearby Dough Zone.  If this name seems familiar, yes, it is the same chain that started in Bellevue, WA!

One things for sure is that this location is nicest of bunch, being the former high-end location of Lucier.  We did endure a short wait as it was a Friday night.  Since the portions aren't big here, we went ahead and ordered many items including the Five Spice Beef Shank.  Sliced razor-thin, the meat was easy to eat and really tender.  Loved the gelatinous quality of the meat and also the impactful braising liquid that had a nice star anise hit.  The same sliced beef shank appeared in the Beef Pancake Roll, which made it good in that respect.  As for the green onion pancake portion, it was quite flaky and light despite looking thick.  Not sure if I enjoyed all that lettuce in the roll though.

We got the Sweet & Sour Cucumber just so we had some veggies (I know that is a stretch).  They were crunchy and marinated enough so there was a tang without being too acidic.  The spice was actually quite mild. up the ante with the veggies, we got the Kale with Sesame Dressing just for good measure.  This was actually the biggest portion of anything we had ordered.  A bit ironic, but welcomed nonetheless because it not only gave us more leafy greens, it was pretty delicious too.  In addition to the nuttiness of the sesame and the sweetness added to the dressing, we also got hits of garlic and the crunch from the peanuts.  Since the kale was lightly blanched, it was still crisp, but wilted enough so it was tender.

Off to the Xiao Long Bao, we had both the Berkshire-Duroc Pork Soup Dumplings as well as the Pork & Crab Soup Dumplings.  We universally liked the pork dumplings more than the one with crab.  We felt that the crab gave the dumplings too much brininess that obscured the natural sweetness of the fatty pork.  The pork filling was moist and tender while the soup was sweet.  I found the top twirl of the dumpling skin to be fairly firm, but the rest was thin and delicate.

We also got the Pan-Fried Berkshire-Duroc Pork Buns which were really good.  Often, the layer of bun can be overly thick and doughy, but this one had a thin bun that was fluffy and light.  The airiness of the bun allowed for the pork filling to be front and center.  Not unlike the XLBs, the filling was moist and juicy.  In fact, there was soup to be found, just like the XLBs.  To get all of the menu, we got the Pan-Fried Dumplings (Potstickers) for good measure.  These featured a medium-thick skin while the pork filling was pretty much on par with the other dumplings.  The bottom was fried up crispy with a noticeable skirt.

For our noodle selection, we ordered both the Dan Dan Mein and the Spicy Beef Noodle.  These bowls were quite small and not enough to share.  However, I really didn't want to share the dan dan noodles because they were really good.  The noodles were al dente and dressed with a nutty and spicy sauce.  As for the beef noodles, the soup was quite mild.  The noodles were chewy and the beef was tender, albeit in small pieces.

For myself, I wanted to try the Berkshire-Duroc Pork Wontons in Chili Sauce.  Well these were decent with tender wontons that were soaked in a mildly-spicy sauce that was smoky with elements of saltiness and vinegariness.  Overall, the food at Dough Zone was as expected (I've been to various locations many times).  Most dishes were decent and some were quite good.  However, the portions were rather small.  Loved the waterfront location for this one in Portland.

The Good:
- Decent eats
- Swank location
- Good XLBs

The Bad:
- Small portions


Search this Site