Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sapphire Hotel

A second, but similar, perspective.

With the temperature in Portland hitting the upper eighties, I was eager to sit outside at the Sapphire Hotel. I was a little worried to see that all (two) outdoor tables were already taken before opening for happy hour at four, but soon realized that these patrons were merely spilling over from the coffee shop next door. They quickly got up, offering empty tables to those of us waiting, as the sandwich board sign directing all to "eat ~ drink ~ kiss" at the Sapphire Hotel signified that the waitstaff and chef were ready to please. And that they did.

I was beyond impressed with the work of the server that day. She was friendly, attentive, and answered all of my questions. (I tend to ask quite a few...causing some to believe that I might just be a little high maintenance when it comes to dining out.) Starting as only a table of three and growing to nine (plus a baby, makes ten), she was able to accommodate all of our needs, and did so without showing any signs of irritation as she started from scratch with each new customer's arrival.

As a vegetarian, my choices are always limited. On Sapphire Hotel's dinner menu there really isn't much to choose from...but with happy hour, that's not the case. The pita pizza, which changes daily depending on the chef's creativity, always seems to be covered with an unusual mix of meat-free toppings. As that is what I ordered on my last visit, I chose to go with the artichoke dip for my afternoon meal. As you can easily see in the picture, it is literally covered in cheese. Not the healthiest of choices, I decided that I'd better order one of the two salads listed on the menu as well. It was ALSO covered with cheese. For some, this might be an issue. I, however, devoured both items (sharing the artichoke dip with those seated on my end of the table--prompting them to request a second order for when mine emptied).

To complement the warm summer day (and to save a few dollars by selecting the drink special - listed at five dollars with promises to change daily) I ordered the Gin & Ginger Lime Rickey. It was beyond refreshing. I was, however, urged to drink it slowly as the fresh ginger was testing me with each sip. Ginger is a flavor that I enjoy in small amounts and I am learning to appreciate more and more with each new experience.

Food: Meets
Drinks: Meets
Service: Meets
Ambiance: Exceeds (indoors or out)
Value: Meets