Saturday, August 28, 2010

Lotus Cardroom and Cafe

932 SW 3rd Avenue
Happy Hour: Monday - Saturday, 3 - 7 PM (discounts on food and drinks)
Monday - Saturday, 9 - close (discounts on food only)

We spent the early part of our afternoon on the Portland Spirit for the Friday Early Escape Cruise. It was a beautiful trip and well worth the discounted price of the tickets we bought earlier in the summer through a Living Social deal. After the two-hour ride, though, we were quite hungry. The boat docked at the Salmon Street Fountain along the waterfront and we quickly made our way to the Lotus for happy hour.

The Lotus offers happy hour discounts twice a day, Monday through Saturday. The drink specials are, however, only available during the afternoon. The discounted drinks don't include any type of fancy cocktails but do include great deals. I ordered my usual gin and tonic (with extra lime) for just three dollars. (I also ordered a second one later on. It's a great discount!)

The food menu has plenty to choose from for a vegetarian. Healthy options are harder to find, but I'm okay going the fried route now and then. We ordered five things in total (four that I could pick from) and shared them between the three of us.

My first bite was one of the nachos. It was a smaller plate of nachos but came with enough cheese-laden chips to make everyone happy. (I'm always afraid to order nachos out as they so often only have any of the good stuff across the top layer. These were not like that.) The multi-colored chips were covered with refried beans, jalapenos (which most of us picked right off), black olives, cheese, salsa and sour cream. They were a bit messy, but worth the need for an extra napkin.

The wedge salad (with the bacon on the side) was covered in a blue cheese dressing that could have been of a higher quality. The blue cheese crumbles were great and helped to alleviate the tang from the dressing. They had tossed on some red onion (which I could handle because it was such a small amount) and some grape tomatoes (which I could have eaten more of--I'm not sure why restaurants are so stingy with tomatoes). The bacon on the side made my boyfriend happy as he could then use it to top off his sliders, making them a little bit more than the typical teeny tiny hamburger.

Those teeny tiny hamburgers were awfully cute this time. I love that they are showing up on so many menus across town. (They really do remind me a lot of the movie Batteries Not Included. So cute!) They make for the perfect little bite. Both meaters said that they enjoyed them. (They also both added a little bacon and, I think, some blue cheese from the extras left from the wedge salad making them taste that much better.)

The quesadilla was probably my favorite choice of the afternoon. It was filled with black beans, jalapenos (which were chopped up enough that I didn't have to pick them out), green onions, ranchero sauce (I don't know what that is, but I think it's what made it so tasty), olives, cheddar and pepperjack cheese. The quesadilla was cut into four triangles, arranged nicely on a rectangular plate and drizzled with chipotle sour cream. It had a good flavor, not too much spice (at all) and was more filling than most of the other food items we'd selected.

It was the spinach artichoke dip that I didn't try more than two small bites of. I've had a lot of spinach dips while blogging, most of them mixed with artichoke hearts and most of them served warm. Some are amazing (like last week at the Tin Shed or during our first summer at Sapphire hotel) and some are just so so. This dip was something that I couldn't even help to finish. It had a funny tang. I've noticed something similar at a few other places. It's something I can't quite place. Here, though, it was so strong that I couldn't eat another bite. I'm pretty sure that the others were in agreement as it was the only thing left on the table by the end of happy hour.

Service at the Lotus was great. We were able to find a table out on the sidewalk and stayed even though the temperature has dropped recently and the wind had picked up. The server was quick to greet us and returned plenty of times to see what else we might need. I think that she was covering the majority of the outdoor seating, making her busy but totally efficient.

Food: Meets
Drinks: Meets
Service: Meets
Ambiance: Meets
Value: Exceeds


Lotus Cardroom & Cafe

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