Saturday, July 14, 2012


800 NW 6th Avenue
Happy Hour: 5:30 - 7 PM

Walking into Wilf's is like walking into history. My grandmother loves this place and I think it's only because it reminds her of how things used to be. They have huge red velvet armchairs with tall backs and wheels. The host who seats you will pull out your chair and push it back in, making sure to always treat the ladies in the most gentlemanly manner. And they make both Bananas Foster and Caesar Salad table-side.

I've been there many times before (usually for big family dinners when everyone's in town) but never for happy hour. Happy Hour takes place in the bar and runs from 5:30 until 7 PM. Since it's attached to the train station, there are usually a few random people waiting with their luggage. Other than that, though, it seems that the main crowd in the bar are all regulars. And they are only there early to get good seats for the live music that starts at 7. Perhaps it's because their happy hour isn't well-advertised (I couldn't find any information on their website and had to call) or maybe it's because the discounts require a pretty steep minimum drink purchase AND are limited to just five items.

We ordered drinks to start, giving us enough time to look over the food options. I had a vodka gimlet (which was a little stronger than I'm used to) and my fiance ordered a vodka martini (which is WAY stronger than I will ever be used to).

According to the menu, any food items printed in red are half-price during happy hour. That includes Caesar salad, French onion soup, calamari, a savory bread pudding, and the white bean dip. It does not include the thirteen dollar cheese plate or their famous Wilf's salad (which is ridiculously expensive but comes with Dungeness crab and bay shrimp). We ordered the bean dip.

We've had white bean dips at different restaurants across Portland and have even made our own version of it at home (now that I have a food processor, it's easy). The white bean dip at Wilf's needs a little more to it...or perhaps a thinner chip so that the flavors aren't so overpowered. I do like that the chips are house-made, though. That always adds a special touch.

Although I won't put Wilf's at the top of my list for happy hour, it will still be one of my favorite places for flaming desserts. I love the table-side treatment...and there are only so many places around Portland that still do that.

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


Wilf's Restaurant & Bar

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