If you come to Portland Oregon and your not sure where to go or what to do then head over to Zeus Cafe in the Crystal Hotel. Ask for Billy, the bar manager. He will have suggestions on everything from where to eat, drink or stay, to who you can bring your car to if it breaks down while in town (that was not us he was giving info to the gentleman at the table behind us)
First on his list was, of course, McMenamins Zeus Cafe where we had breakfast. If you love a place that serves more then the traditional bacon and eggs then you will love Zeus Cafe. We had a spinach, shiitake mushroom Benedict served with homemade lamb sausage, the sauce was delicious and the lamb perfectly cooked. Since our visit to Portland was a search for the perfect dark beer, we tried the Black Widow Porter. Brewed annually for an October 15th release. It was wonderful. Perfect anytime, even breakfast.
He next directed us to Ringlers Pub around the corner.This place was also part of McMenamins and had been built during Prohibition as a dance hall. McMenamins is known for finding historic old buildings in the area and restoring them while keeping their old charm. At Ringlers we found a stout called Terminator Stout, not too bad. We also killed some time playing shuffle board. I always beat Don at shuffle board.
We then ventured on to Fathead, 10 Barrel, Deschutes breweries and Baileys Tap Room, all okay but had none of the local charm we were seeking.
We arrived at Rogue Brewery in time for a late lunch, this place had charm, fun bartenders and patrons and a delicious Hazelnut Coctabulous Beer, there we ate fried cheese curds, meatballs and beer chowder. All delicious.
Stuffed and in need of a long walk after our early pub crawl so we explored the rainy streets of Portland, there are more restaurants and pubs in the area then we could have ever tried. We walked through Pioneer Square (aka Portlands Living Room) and down the beautiful waterfront.
That evening we had dinner at Don & Louis Oyster Bar where Holly the bartender not only mixes great drinks but makes all the customers feel like they are old friends. Their smoked Salmon Fry was delicious, I am not usually a fried food fan but this was by far the exception, this was not the typical fried fish where there is more batter then fish, the salmon was moist and flavorful. I also tried the raw oysters they were fresh and needed nothing on them. Portland was a great train stop on our West Coast Visit, I look forward to another trip so I can check out more of the great sites, restaurants and beers.
Portland Oregon Places to see
Embassy Suites – Great Hotel located walking distance to the Waterfront and several places to eat, drink or play. If your staying there ask to borrow the book on the history of the hotel, formerly called the Multnomah Hotel, in its day is was known as The Grand Lady of Fourth Avenue. Comfortable, and quiet, and the staff is wonderful and helpful.
Powell Book Store – takes up an entire city block and has 4 stories of books and every kind of book paraphernalia you can dream of.
Baileys – They serve only beer and have lots of unique tastes such as Th Bruery Autumn Maple Syrup with Yams, trendy and modern it has inside and outside seething.
Fat Head Brewery – Modern, beer brewed on site check out the Fat Head Taps, we tried The Blueberry Honey Ale it had a fresh light blueberry flavor, they also serve food.
10 Barrel Brewery – Very commercial and trendy we mixed a Nitro Pumpkin Porter and the Pumpkin Milk stout for a delicious creamy flavor, they had a full food menu also, but we did not eat.
Shanghai – Fun place that you climb down to the cellar, ok beer selection and good street tacos, you can play pool or pinball.
Deschutes – Was a busy place nothing special, the Flanders Black ale had a sweet almost pungent flavor, great beer nuts.