Far as Khan, that wasn't biryani, but frontier rice in which cooked rice is mixed with the other ingredients and finished on the grill.
Perhaps they have something else on the menu they call biryani, but it's still a biryani.
Have some time to kill before second dinner, so I'll do a quick recap.
Met Jazzfood and G Wiv for lunch at Honey 1. (Well, I actually met Jazzfood at Andy's, but the line was long and he was double-parked so we just took a look.) Got a tour of the aquarium and the fire behind the smoke, then got a pile of food: pulled pork, emphasis on the fatty, crusty bits, rib tips, ribs, hot links, and chicken wings. I've eaten a lot of great BBQ and this is among the better places I've been, for sure. Better than most of the places I've gone in KC or Memphis, and I've only been to recommended places. Better than a lot of places in Texas as well. (Which on average among recommended places has better Q than the other two, I would say.)
Ribs and tips had a nice bark. It's not my favorite kind of bark like you get in Memphis from the dry rubs, it's just seared meat. But it's still a selling point. And more importantly, the meat below the bark was ultra-succulent, tender but not mushy, and the fat was just at the melting point with even the cartilage bits edibile. I'm not sure if he's salting his ribs (or his pork butts/shoulders), but I think they could use some seasoning of at least salt, maybe salt, pepper, and a little sugar. But I like the simple approach he's taking.
Pulled pork had a great crusty bark and the meat was tender and the fat like softened butter. I think the meat is a little dry for my taste and could either use to be tossed with a light vinegar sauce to get the juices in the mouth flowing or could be fattier.
The best item, imo, was the hot links. Hot links are one of my favorite things and these were perfect. The grind was moderately course, but not loose. They were meaty, very smokey, and had a latent burn in the back of the throat. Really, really nice. As good as any I've ever had. If it were me, I might make them a little fattier, but they weren't dry. But I don't want greasy hot links like I've had at Luling City Market where a river of oil spews out as you bite through.
Chicken wings were crisp, juicy, and tender. They could have used some seasoning, but that's a minor point. I can add salt. Nice breading -- not thick like CFS, but not as thin as traditional cast iron southern fried chicken where it's mostly a dusting of flour.
I don't like the sauce much at all, but I'm not much of a person for sauce anyway. But I think it's much too ketchupy. I'd rather have Stubbs or another quality commercial brand.
Great place, though. Definitely a step up from my last trip to Lem's, though I enjoyed Lem's as well. This place would be really good in any city in the country. Even in the country of Texas.
After that, my wife met up with us and we headed over to Taqueria Puebla (Cemitas Puebla, now) to get something for her. We got a taco arabe, taco oriental, and a milanesa cemita. (And an horchata.) I was a bit disappointed with the taco arabe because the tortilla was more like a flour tortilla than a pita. In Puebla they're somewhere between the two. I talked to the guy about it and he said he just hasn't been able to get anything close enough locally and they're too perishible to get from Puebla. I suggested he find a tortilleria making flour tortillas, give them a recipe, and tell them what thickness to make them. I imagine a lot are using sheeters. Meat inside it and the oriental was very good, though -- crusted, slightly limey, juicy. Like the grilled onions and the chipotle sauce. The cemita was very tasty as well. Good oaxacan cheese, drier and tangier than most. The milanesa was tender and crisp. They get really good chipotles for that sandwich, too.
Jazzfood took us back to the loop where we did an architectural boat tour. Afterwards we checked out the Chagall mosaic and then took the blue line up to Grand and walked over to Coal Fire. (It's a looooong "five" blocks.)
Not many tables filled when we got there at 5:30 or so. Maybe two? Oven was about 700 on the floor and 900 on the ceiling. Talked to them about their process.
We ordered a margherita. I wish I could have ordered a white pie as well, but we didn't have stomach space, for sure, and no one to give it to. Just too wasteful even for me. I'd say it took about 5 minutes to cook. They put down sauce, then slices of mozz, then sprinkle pecorino. Basil goes on after cooking.
It came out with nice charred bits around the outside. Pulling a slice away revealed, however, that it was probably a little underdone on the bottom. It was neither crisp enough or speckled enough. I'd like to see the oven closer to 800. However, they said that they have a hard time with sausage pizzas when the oven is that hot.
The crust has a bready flavor, but it's a little bland, imo. (Note that I'm an extremely picky pizza eater, though, and crust is the most important aspect to me.) I'd like a little more salt and some more tang. They do a simple dough recipe -- just flour, water, yeast, and salt. They retard it for 24 hours. I'd like to see them use a starter or poolish to get some more flavor. It lacked some complexity that it could use. I also think it could have more structure and chew.
Sauce is simple and nice, probably primarily unsimmered pureed canned tomatoes and salt. It has a nice bright tomatoey-ness. The cheese is pleasant, though I've certainly had better mozz. Places like Patsy's and Grimaldi's in NY use a wonderfully milky cheese. This was good, though. I also happen to be a DiFara's loyalist and tend to like more cheese and more types of cheese. I really like that they put the basil on after, though. I think it's ridiculous that so many good places put basil on before cooking. It loses all its aroma and a lot of its flavor.
This is good pizza. I imagine it will get better, too. They haven't even been open a week and they're putting out very nice pies. I think in the Portland Metro we have four places putting out pies that are equal or better of the same style (more or less, those being Apizza Scholls, Nostrana, Ken's Artisan Pizza, and Apizza Stayton), but I think Apizza Scholls is as good as any pizza I've ever had anywhere and a couple of the others are damn good, too. So that's no put down.
Next stop: Moto.