Sunday, September 19, 2010


2229 SE Hawthorne Avenue
Happy Hour: Daily, 3:30 - 7 and 9 - 11; ALL DAY Sunday

According to my boyfriend, I HAVE been to Imbibe before. I don't remember the layout of the restaurant. I don't remember the food choices. I don't even remember the colorful ribbon laced around each menu that waits on every tabletop. I do remember walking by it, though. I actually remember walking by quite a few times as I've spent a few nights playing pool with friends at the Hawthorne Hideaway next door. I'm convinced we walked by, checked the window, and ended up sharing a salad and a few slices of pizza at Hot Lips. I could be wrong. But I don't think so.

Hawthorne is covered with restaurants and shops. And if you're willing to walk, you can get to quite a few places without having to deal with parking. On Hawthorne, that's probably everyone's biggest complaint. That, and the narrow streets. Oh, and the fact that there ARE going to be people in every crosswalk as you make your way down the street. Most of the shops seem to be located between 30th and 39th. Restaurants, too. But that doesn't mean you won't have options on either end of the Southeast stretch. There's plenty to choose from.

On Sunday, we chose Imbibe because they are one of those FABULOUS places that offer happy hour prices ALL DAY on Sundays. It's perfect and I really do think that all restaurants should do it. I found great prices on a long list of food choices and enjoyed a tasty drink, too.

Imbibe has one of those tiered menus that my co-blogger absolutely loves. Prices range from $2.95 to $4.95 but most of the veggie options are on the lower end. Drinks aren't discounted but aren't nearly as pricey as some other places around Portland. Mine was just seven dollars and, with all the fresh ingredients, was well worth the price.

I started with the tofu tacos. Yes, I know, tofu tacos. I had never had one until just a couple of weeks ago and now I'm finding them on menus all around town. I've been a vegetarian since I was twelve...but until this last month, I hadn't ever heard of such a thing. Growing up, I would fill my tacos with potatoes to give them a little more substance. And now, I opt for burritos and fajitas instead. These tacos had great flavor but the texture wasn't exactly to my liking. I preferred the crunchy ones I had recently. Crunchy tofu AND crunchy tortillas. These were just too soft. And too chewy.

The stuffed tomatoes were beyond adorable on arrival. The flavor was fantastic. A bit strong to finish them on my own, but still tasty. According to the menu, the two romas were stuffed with chopped kalamatas, artichoke hearts and cheese. I'm guessing it was cream cheese based on the consistency. They were served on a plate that had been drizzled with a balsamic vinegar reduction. They were a bit salty...but that's always to be expected with kalamata olives.

The macaroni and cheese was probably the most impressive thing at our table. The cheese combination was perfect. There was Parmesan sprinkled on top...but it was the smoked mozzarella that must have brought the flavors so close to perfection. Yum! Capital YUM!

I ordered the Imbibe Rita to go along with the tacos. I figured it was the perfect combo. In the end, it went with everything. They're made fresh with muddled citrus. There are plenty of other options on the menu if you're not into tequila. My boyfriend had the Jenny Mae, a mix of Jameson, ginger ale and fresh ginger. It was so good, I even liked it.

Our server came to apologize once for the wait as they were short one employee. One might not sound like much, but that only left two on the floor. The apology, however, was completely unnecessary. This place is efficient! The food came out fast, as did the bill.

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


Imbibe Restaurant & Lounge on Urbanspoon


  1. Great review! Imbibe was one of my favorite bars to go to on a Saturday night when I lived near there. They usually had good music playing. The drinks were good. I had no idea happy hour was all day Sundays! Cool!

  2. Oh, this makes me hungry. I want to go here!