Saturday, July 24, 2010

Siam Society - CLOSED

2703 NE Alberta St
Happy Hour: All. The. Time. (Seriously! You just have to sit in the bar or on the patio.)

I've seen happy hour Sundays. Even Happy Hour Mondays. Before today, though, I had never been to a restaurant in the Portland area that serves happy hour priced food and drinks all day, every day. It's fantastic. And, the patio out back is enclosed and super relaxing on a Friday afternoon.

We arrived to Siam Society just as the place was starting to fill up. We were probably one of three tables to start. Odds like that usually make for pretty good service. By the time we left, it was packed. We decided the patio was the place to be on this sunny afternoon. It was a bit breezy at first, but with the menus anchored, it turned out to be the best place to be. The patio was already set for one large party but had tables in and out of the shade all around it. I'm finding more and more enclosed patios around Portland and I love it. Gone are the days when you have to sit street-side to enjoy the sunny outdoors while enjoying a refreshing beverage.

We started with drink orders and then spent our time perusing the menu. It's worth a look at both sides (happy hour and not) as the appetizer prices are fairly similar and provide you with a little more variety. Not that the happy hour menu doesn't offer variety as is. They have a wide range of flavors (for both the meat and non-meat eaters) with a good range of prices as well. We ended up ordering from both menus, for drinks and food alike.

I started with a Caipirinha. It's a drink I remember trying for the first time at Andina last summer. Why haven't I ordered more since? (Probably because I can't pronounce it.) This time, it was garnished with a piece of sugar cane. I also had the ginger-infused cosmopolitan. The ginger was definitely there but not too strong and mixed well with the sweetness of the cranberry juice and triple sec. The specialty cocktails are not discounted during happy hour and--at eight dollars each--can quickly add up. There are, however, discounts on well drinks and wine.

For dinner, we shared a number of plates. We started with an order of Tofu Fries, the Thai Street Wrap and--from the regular menu--the salad rolls. The Tofu Fries were a big hit. (Which is pretty huge coming from the two meaters at the table!) It was the total combination that made them such a success. They were marinated and tossed with fresh mint, fried to the perfect texture (and chewiness), and served with a sauce so good that it led to frequent double dipping. The Thai Street Wrap was similar to the breakfast burrito I make at home but with an added punch of spice. Even the cabbage served on the side had a layer of spice to it. The salad rolls were perfectly presented, served with a side of peanut sauce, and held together quite well. Unlike the last place I had salad rolls, these were quite tasty.

There was also a plate of potstickers on the table that I didn't bite into (obviously). Stuffed with chicken and veggies, they seemed to be well-liked as they were dipped and devoured quite quickly.

After spotting the many plates being delivered to the tables surrounding ours, we decided on one last thing before leaving. The sweet potato fries at the Siam Society are unlike any I've had before. They are most definitely the tempura version of a fry but with a crispy salted finish. These fries were not on the happy hour menu (other than an optional accompaniment when ordering a burger) but well worth the six-dollar price tag.

Food: Meets
Drinks: Meets
Service: Meets
Ambiance: Meets
Value: Meets (especially when ordering the happy hour discounted drinks)


Siam Society