Friday, August 13, 2010

Pastini - Bend, Oregon

375 SW Powerhouse Drive
Happy Hour: 3:30 - 5:30 PM
Note: Although there are many locations in Portland, happy hour is only available in Bend.

With all of the Pastini locations in Portland (I know I've been to at least three) I'm kinda surprised that the only one offering happy hour is in BEND. Such a drive just to enjoy cheap eats and discounted drinks. Really, I'm here for a conference and plan to fit in as many happy hours as possible. We're done each day just in time to get out and enjoy the restaurants of I figure I might as well enjoy them at a discounted price. Tonight, though, we picked a place with a familiar name and a familiar feel. Honestly, if the Deschutes River wasn't right outside the restaurant doors, I wouldn't have known that I was out of the Portland Metro area.

I did a little research (using Urbanspoon, of course) and have found very few well-publicized happy hour spots. It's a bit disappointing, in my opinion. I'm hoping that they just aren't that good at updating their websites, etc. I'll make the most of what I've found, though. We'll be here through the us plenty of time to explore the city. I'm sure that we'll run into more happy hour places between now and then.

Pastini is one of those places that I've been dining at for years. Honestly, years. I remember when I first found Pastini on Broadway. I used to escape work at the Lloyd Center for a cheap (but, fancy) lunch. I would have gone for happy hour forever ago...if only it was offered. Instead, I take advantage of the great prices available for lunch and dinner. My favorite is the Rigatoni Zuccati. It's got great flavor but isn't too heavy. And it heats up well the next day, too.

In Bend, Pastini offers happy hour from 3:30 until 5:30. It's a pretty extensive menu with prices ranging from $2.50 to $5.50. After a four-hour drive, we decided to make this happy hour dinner. And it wasn't hard to do at all.

We started with a plate of baked polenta and two glasses of wine. Pastini offers discounts on food and drinks and we both decided to go with a glass of red wine (a trend most likely started by the stop at the Maragas Winery on our drive here). The polenta was served over a marinara with big tomato chunks and sliced kalamata olives. There was a sprinkling of parmesean baked on the top of the polenta cakes but it was the ricotta baked into them that made them have such a great texture.

After a satisfying starter, we moved on to the smaller version of a green salad. For only $2.50, it was a remarkable deal. I know it's only lettuce and a few slices of cucumber and radish...but, in comparison to other places, it was a great deal. The viniagrette was a bit heavy, though. I would have preferred it on the side to maintain more control of just how much dressing was on each bite.

Baked polenta cakes, a green salad AND a plate of pasta made this happy hour more like dinner than any other I've had before. (Now, I know I've made this comment before...but seriously, this was a substantial amount of food.) I ordered the Ziti Vegetariano. The pasta was served with slices of zucchini and yellow squash and was smothered with tomatoes and olive oil. It was a very simple dish but held a lot of flavor. It was fresh and most definitely pleasing.

There were a few cocktails that I could have selected to go with my meal at Pastini. For $4.50, I felt that a glass of red wine would be most fitting. We stayed long enough that I also ordered a glass of the wine of the month. It wasn't discounted (partly because it was well past happy hour) but also because it was already considered a special.

Our waitress was quick to check in and came back frequently during the meal. She was also happy to take away a plate of macaroni and cheese that hadn't quite come together as it should have and remove it from the bill. Who knew that macaroni and cheese (at a restaurant) could ever be anything other than perfect. It's an obvious comfort food...but didn't quite meet that need here tonight.

I'm not sure that the many Pastinis in Portland will ever offer happy hour...but if you are ever in Bend (for a conference or for fun) I suggest you take advantage of the fantastically priced meals. Seriously, I've never had so much food for such a small price.

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


Pastini Pastaria

1 comment:

  1. Apparently they DO advertise their happy hours (in a pretty organized fashion). They just don't use Urbanspoon as faithfully as most Portland restaurants.

    If you are looking for great happy hours in Bend, check out this website.