Thursday, November 11, 2010

Le Bistro Montage

301 SE Morrison Street
Happy Hour at La Merde: 5 - 6 PM daily

Montage is known for staying open late. LATE late. Like 4 AM, late. It's one of those places that people know about before even visiting Portland. Like Voodoo Donuts and Powell's, it's on the list of places to go in our lovely little city. They have macaroni and cheese prepared in a multitude of ways, family style seating, servers and cooks screaming who knows what, and foil masterpieces if you don't finish your plate.

With Thursday being one of those strange mid-week holidays, I decided that Wednesday afternoon would be a perfect time to catch up with an old friend. It had been almost two years! We met at La Merde, which is attached to Montage and the only place to get their famous mac and cheese for just four bucks a plate.

Before deciding on the right mac and cheese, we selected drinks and placed an order for a plate of vegetable hush puppies. I'm glad they differentiate...since I've had near accidental meat-eating occurrences in the past few months. Hush puppies can be a dangerous food.

The hush puppies were a tasty treat but not as corn-mealy as I'm used to. They were chewy and had a bite to them (especially if you bit right into the over-sized jalapeno chunks). They came served with two dipping sauces. I stuck to the lighter colored of the two as it had a very complementary flavor. Still spicy, but enough creaminess to cut down on the heat.

To drink, I ordered the Quinn Sour. It was made with fresh squeezed citrus and a little Pimms. My friend (who, for the longest time, I've referred to as my "brother") ordered a Stinky Kitty. I might have forced him into it. I'm still not sure about the name. It was made of rum and sweet juices. Despite the frou frou look, he enjoyed every sip. Or so he said.

When it came time to order the mac and cheese, I went with the old. It's got great flavor and seems to be my favorite...despite all the other options. My "brother" opted for the spicy mac. He decided that it just wasn't cheesy enough to still hold the mac and cheese name. I suppose that's why the hybrid "spold" mac is available. It's got the spice and the cheese all mixed into one delicious bowl.

Service was pretty fantastic at La Merde. I was the first to walk in the place when they first opened at five. The tables filled pretty quickly. They've got board games and trivia ready to keep you entertained. And the pictures on the wall must rotate frequently as they were accompanied by price tags.

It was a great visit between old friends and a great meal. I know I'll be back someday...whether it be to the bar at La Merde or Montage for late night dining, I can't say. One thing for sure...I'll always finish my plate. Or maybe leave a little behind. I love the food. But that's not it. It's the enormous amount of foil used in those masterpieces. They are beautiful, yes. And they add to the event, of course. But I sat in the back once and saw the giant sheets of foil used for each design. It's such a waste. Seriously, finish your meal people.

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


Le Bistro Montage on Urbanspoon

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