Archive for the ‘Eat & Drink’ Category

Calexico & Bar Avignon

Had very fine salami, cheese, hot pepper & tomato plates at Bar Avignon on Division. Then off to see Calexico at the Crystal Ballroom, a Arizona-based Yo Lo Tango style band. I’m a sucker for live trumpets! And many parking spaces near the venue, which just rocks.

Avast!

So for those of you who didn’t know… or didn’t remember, Friday was International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Oddly enough, the boyo and I had learned at Guardian Games the night before where he learned how to play a large scale game of the Pirates Constructable Strategy Game that the Portland Pirate Festival was this weekend.

So we went to check it out today. I like to think of it as… the Ren Faire for pirates… with all sorts of pirate gear, pirate people, and yes… even pirate bands! If you’re going to go, take some cash! There are beautiful hand made things like clothing, pouches, and even leather tankards! Seriously, I could have spent a good amount of money. ANNDDD what’s a pirate festival without beer? The good people of Rogue Brewery were there providing good eats and great beer, as usual. If you stick around/ get there at the right time, you can even see a battle involving canons and a pirate ship.

Seriously, it’s at Cathedral Park, which is the perfect setting for this festival, and it’s on tomorrow from 10am to 6pm. Tickets are $15 at the gate and $8 for kids, with those 2 and under in for free. Yes, there’s a TON of stuff for kids to do and even a puppet show (which the boyo and I had to stop and watch).

So if you can, go! Take the kids, take yourself, just GO… and have a great time pretending to be a pirate. I DO warn you, though, there are a lot of neat things to buy there, so either be prepared to go and spend, or lock up your ATM card and go just to drool.

I’d go again but I’m trying NOT to buy a new coat, leather pouch and other odds and ends….

Beer Connoisseurs – Not Beer Snobs.. Michelob Tasting 9/17

Belmont Station (4500 SE Stark St) is one of my very favorite spots for beer in Portland. It’s a great store and pub where the focus is on great tasting and unique beers.  In a move that shows the absolute difference between being a beer connoisseur and beer snob Belmont Station is having a Michelob Brewing Tasting on Wednesday September 17th from 6-8pm.

Here’s their blurb which speaks volumes:

We try real hard not to have an attitude. Sometimes it still creeps in, like when they told us the new line of Michelob beers are vastly improved and truly delicious. So we said bring it on. Let the people taste them. Here’s your chance to taste Michelob Porter, Pale Ale, Dunkelweisse, Amber Bock, Pumpkin Spice & maybe more. And take home 6 packs on sale.

Tastings are Free and open to all over 21.


Enjoy a Michelada before summer goes away

On a recent trip to Texas, I was educated in the ways of the Michelada. It’s served at most authentic Mexican food joints and my, is it awesome. The Michelada is basically beer poured over a mix that similar to a bloody mary, and the rim of the glass can be salted or unsalted. Please don’t confuse this with “red beer”, a Mid-west concoction of beer and tomato juice that is absolutely vile. The Michelada, done properly, is spicy, tasty, and quite refreshing. Perfect on a warm, summer day. We’ve got a few left, so you should get one. You can get them at La Calaca Comelona on Belmont, but I’m not sure where else. Any pointers?

Beer Slumming

We are truly blessed in Portland. We have over two dozen craft breweries that call our city home. At a moment’s notice, we can enjoy beer from the likes of Roots Organic, HUB, Hair of the Dog, the Old Lompoc, and many, many others. But even the most obnoxious beer snob is caught drinking a PBR from time to time. When you’re camping, out fishing, or just trying to stay cool on a day like today, sometimes a cheaply made American lager is just what the doctor ordered.

I’ve never been much of a Pabst fan. I can drink it when I have to, but it’s rarely my first choice, even when beer slumming. On tap it has a strange aspirin-y taste that kinda gnarlifies it. Out of the can it’s slightly, uh, oily. If I’m going cheap, I prefer cans of Orangeboom, found at Trader Joe’s – although a recent price increase has almost made them not worth the bother. There’s always “Old German”, an east coast cheapie that can be found at Belmont Station. It’s inexpensive, and completely suitable for your beer slumming needs. If you’re not in the neighborhood, there’s always Miller High Life – “the champagne of beers” (just don’t try to make a mimosa out of it). I was also a big fan of Blitz, until the brand was discontinued after the Weinhard sale. And one can never forget the cheap bubbly wonders of Oly and Hamm’s, readily available at your local mini-mart.

So, what’s your favorite?

Green Dragon Growing

Hooray!

I love a good patio, and I love that more and more of my favorite places have them. I am NOT a fan of places that have a few tables on the sidewalk and try to call it a patio. I want a dedicated space where buses and cars aren’t whizzing by a foot from where I sit. And now one of the best beer bars in town has that.

Hooray!

Portland is a top-walker, but you still can’t take your beer with you…

I’m back! From a hopefully short-lived extremely busy time at both work and home and everywhere in between. And yes, I have some new exciting information for you. This will likely not be a surprise to most anyone, but Portland has come in as number 10 on Walk Score’s top 10 most walkable cities, with the Pearl, Old Town/Chinatown, and Downtown all being our most walkable neighborhoods. Looking through the other cities, all of the “most walkable neighborhoods” are in downtown areas, which seems to be a “well, duh,” statement to me, since, well… duh. Of course the more urban areas tend to be more “walkable” with the increase in amenities in a small area. Anyhow, iff you haven’t checked out your neighborhood’s Walk Score, fill in your address and compare against your friends’ neighborhoods. My own Center comes in with a score of 80 (with my more immediate area coming in with a 71/100 – very walkable, though for some reason the map does not see some amenities near my place, like the QFC on Burnside, but denotes some businesses incorrectly, like Commercial Refrigeration on Glisan as a restaurant). And in fact, I do tend to walk to a number of places in my ‘hood often. This is a fantastic tool for checking out other possible neighborhoods for relocation (also points out how many bars there are, whether that’s a good or bad thing is up to you).

Speaking of bars, the boyfriend and I will be hitting up the Brewers’ Fest tomorrow at opening time. As these type of things tend to grow exponentially each year, I’m excited about trying all of the tasty wares, but I’m not too excited about the possible hours of waiting in line. If things look too bad, we may just head to Belmont Station to attend the tapping there of some kegs not featured at the OBF. Have I mentioned that I’ve been here now a year? My Portlandversary was on 7/15, and I can’t think of another place (within reason) I would rather be. ^_^

Meetup Tonight at Plan B

Don’t forget – well be drinking tasty beverages and having a good time socializing tonight at Plan B on SE 8th & Main.

Come on by anytime after 5pm – we’ll snag a table on the patio and save a spot for you!!

Sour Beers – Who Knew!?

So the International Brewfest this past weekend was again a great success. I have a feeling they may soon outgrow that location if the popularity continues to increase the way it seems to.

I discovered a new favorite style of beer though – something I’d seen in bottles at John’s Market or Belmont Station, but had never tried. Sour beers. They are fantastic! Not at all hoppy, quite dry, and yes – a bit sour or tart. There were several on tap at the PIB including my two favorites – Cuvee du Jongleur from Cascade Brewing – part of Raccoon Lodge, and surprisingly, La Folie from the usually passable but not extraordinary, New Belgium.

There was an ad in the program guide about a ‘Pucker Fest’ at Belmont Station – and I see that there are several sours on tap in their Biercafe currently. I know Portland is the land over uber-hoppy beers, but if you haven’t given sour beers a try before – I highly recommend going and trying them out.

I’d actually also really recommend them to anyone who is a wine drinker trying to work their way into beer. I’m no expert at either – but like cider or lambics – sours seem to be a bridge between the two.

Oh… and apparently gnomes like beer too!
Gnomes Like Beer

Would you like nutritional information with that?

According to the folks over at KGW, there is currently a proposal requiring chain restaurants to include nutritional information on the menu.

I’ve got a couple of problems with this.

First of all, nutritional information is already available for just about any chain restaurant I can think of (warning – here be PDF’s). Why, in a matter of seconds I can wow you with numbers. A mondo chicken burrito at Taco Del Mar has 615 calories and 32 grams of fat, while a mondo pork burrito only has 24. A Whopper with cheese at BK has 47 grams of fat (but only 30 if you skip the mayo), and a large fries packs an additional 500 calories and 28 grams of fat. You can read all about it here. A Tillamook Cheeseburger at Burgerville will net you an incredibly tasty 630 calories and 40 grams of fat. Throw in a large order of fries and you’re looking at 400 additional calories and another 22 grams of fat. Oh sure, you could go healthy and get a chicken salad at Baja Fresh, so long as you skip the dressing. Or perhaps a Subway sandwich (34 grams of fat in a foot-long cold cut combo, but only 9 in a turkey, so long as you’re careful with the condiments).

And if you don’t have web access, most fast food joints have this information posted on a nice big board at your local location. The word is out on nutritional information, and it’s not hard to find.

My second problem is – what constitutes a chain, and why are mom and pops exempt? Fire on the Mountain has two locations – are they a chain now? And why is it important that a consumer have nutritional information listed on the menu at Rock Bottom (a chain), but not Urban Hopworks (not a chain)? Is their health less valuable at one place than the other?

Finally, this. I know when I go out to eat that I often make bad nutritional choices. I know that order of Carne Asada chips at Muchas Gracias is not exactly healthy. But sometimes, that’s kind of the point. If I’ve had a crappy day, sometimes an order of corn chips served with beef, sour cream, cheese, and a number of other bad things is just the remedy I’m looking for. I know where to find nutritional info on this stuff if I want it. I don’t necessarily need it waved in my face every time I want to order it – trust me, I’m hip to the fact that it’s bad for me.

And speaking of the mighty MG, word is that a new outlet has opened on 707 NE Weidler. Go there, eat a burrito, and fight the power!

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