Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Land of Beer and Honey

I've been absent lately, I know. I've been busy, and I have been cooking! But oft forgetting to take pictures. But I also spent a few days in my favorite city, our smaller, cooler neighbor to the south: Portland, OR. Portland has the most breweries of any city in the world! And to those that know me, it should come as no surprise that I love Portland, in good part because of the beer.

We did a lot of walking, drinking and eating, a lot of great food, and a lot of great meals. This time we were most excited for Deschutes - overall, my husband's favorite brewery. While the new-ish place in the Pearl District in Portland is a little cavernous and impersonal, overall, it did not disappoint, and their XPA on tap is quite possibly the best Deschutes brew I've ever had. A very hoppy pale ale, a baby IPA, whatever you want to call it, it was crisp, refreshing, and very well executed Northwest style ale. We came here twice, and left with Deschutes gear as well (we're beer nerds, what can we say?)

We also made a couple stops at Bailey's taproom - a newer taproom, from what we can tell, that has a good foundation - good beer list, good location, good layout - but sadly suffered from lackluster and inattentive service. However, because of the close proximity to our hotel, the sofas with games, and the very well thought out beer menu, we made our way back despite service hiccups.

Among our other stops were a few old favorites - Higgins bar for their small but excellent beer selection, and very delicious open-face house-cured pastrami sandwich with wonderful house-cured pickles and mustard. Henry's 12th street tavern - also cavernous, but a mind-boggling beer selection, and consistently good food - this time, perfectly light and crispy halibut in their fish & chips. Bridgeport brewery, which has solid beers, a bakery, and good food. Silk by Pho Van, where I had an earthy, sweet, delicious duck and yam curry, and fresh and tasty (but very weak) cocktails.

Some new stops: Ten-01 - famed to have the best happy hour in town. Their $5 chorizo burger in the bar was too much - too heavy, too spicy - but their truffle fries are wonderful and crisp, and their cocktails are meticulously created and absolutely top notch. Stumptown Coffee - even though we have one in Seattle, I swear the one in PDX was better.

PDX - I'll be back soon!

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