Monday, February 18, 2013

PaaDee

6 SE 28th Avenue
Happy Hour: 5 - 6:30, daily


The Kerns neighborhood has always been one of my favorites for happy hour. For dinner, too. In fact, two of my top five happy hour spots are located within a block or two on 28th Avenue. And my favorite go-to special occasion spot is right there in the mix, as well. And now there's Paadee. Seriously, this neighborhood has it all. PaaDee is located on the ground floor of that new building on the southeast corner of 28th and Burnisde. It's small, with shared table seating in the front room and additional tables in a second room. Even with two rooms, it's bound to fill up night after night. And it's good. Very good.



PaaDee offers happy hour nightly when the restaurant opens again for the second shift (lunch is served from 11:30 - 3, daily). And according to the menu, you can always benefit from happy hour pricing if you choose to dine at the bar no matter what time of night. (But there are just a few spots, so maybe don't plan on it.)


The happy hour menu doesn't offer too many vegetarian options. Just one, really. And I can't even be sure that it is truly vegetarian since so many Thai dishes are made with fish sauce. It's a spicy dish, but ridiculously tasty. It comes with sauteed rice noodles, veggies, and a heap of bean sprouts. I was caught a bit off guard with just how spicy it was and was thankful that the server left a full bottle of water on the table. I'd eat it again. And again. I just needed fair warning, that's all. The menu suggested that it was made with a sweet chili sauce...but perhaps with a ratio of sweet to chili that I'm not as accustomed to.



Across the table was a plate of perfectly presented steak . It came with a basket of sticky rice and was served with pickled vegetables.


I didn't order The Waterfall but will forever remember to order it upon my return...even after just one sip. The description (which included both shochu and shrub) left me a little bit hesitant. So hesitant that I made the mistake of ordering the Tamarind Whiskey Sour. It was good. But it wasn't as good as The Waterfall. This drink was DELICIOUS. A word I overuse, I know. But it was. It was crisp and refreshing. It was perfect.


Now that I've had it once, I want to go back. Not just for The Waterfall. For dinner. This place had better stick around. And maybe open multiple locations. I'm a forever fan, that is for sure.

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

-b


PaaDee on Urbanspoon

Beulahland

118 NE 28th Avenue
Happy Hour: 4 - 7 PM, daily


Beulahland is very Portland. That's what I've decided. It's not The Pearl. It's not Mississippi Avenue. But it is Portland. Not everyone loves it--but those who do, really do. And it shows. They've got a following. Regulars. And then they have a few haters. Most places do.



This place is in the Kerns neighborhood, almost perfectly centered on the business strip of 28th avenue that now runs between Glisan and Ankeny. (I say now because it has grown a bit in the last couple of years and only just recently stretched all the way to Ankeny.) They serve breakfast (until one) daily and are open late, late, late. They have live DJs regularly and are a popular spot for sports-viewing. Plus, there is a mix of local art on the walls that changes now and then. And they've got happy hour. A super cheap happy hour.


We arrived when the sun was out (in February, I know!) but opted to sit inside. There was ample seating on this holiday weekend, but who knows how crowded it can get. (Luckily, it's a pretty well-rounded section of town...so, if they fill up, you can always head next door.)



I ordered a Kamikaze. I'd been sick for a week and thought, what better way to clear out the rest of my sinuses then with a super strong sipping-style beverage. I had mine served up. Maybe I don't really know much about kamikazes, but I've decided that they might be a good alternative to my usual vodka gimlets when the only lime in the house comes in a glass bottle (I've been opposed to the neon green sorts since the start.) My Kamikaze was cheap. Three dollars, cheap.


Across the table was La Revolution. It was my second choice...because anything made with muddled limes lands on my go-to list super quick-like. This one was a mix of tequila and came with a splash of cranberry juice. It looked lovely but I decided against taking a sip (with the cold and all).


With two other happy hour stops on our agenda, we opted to split a small snack. They offer three dollar happy nachos. We opted to add black beans, bringing the price up to $3.50. It was a small plate, but just as loaded as the larger versions that they are accustomed to creating on a fairly regular basis. I love a greasy treat now and then and these were spot on. I even had one or two jalapenos...which is so unlike me.


Although they've got a pretty nasty rap for poor service, I was pleased with all aspects of our visit. Our server was quick to take our order, answer the many questions we had ready, and brought the bill in a timely manner.

For serious cheap eats, Beulahland is definitely the place to go. Two cocktails and a small plate of nachos (with added black beans) came to a whopping $9.50.

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

-b

Beulahland on Urbanspoon

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Pacific Pie Company

1520 SE 7th Avenue
Happy Hour: 3 - 6PM, Monday through Friday


Pacific Pie Co. has been on the Happy Hour To Do list since the start of the school year. It's one of those places that only offers Happy Hour on weekdays, making it harder to get to. We made one attempt over Labor Day weekend, but they (like so many other places we were planning to hit that Monday) were closed. We finally made it back last Friday. It was an official "Payday Happy Hour" which meant that the whole staff was invited. With more people at the table, we were able to order more food from the menu and get a pretty good feel for the place.


I was one of the last to arrive, but our server was most definitely with it and checked in almost immediately. The discounted drink options listed beer, wine, and a cocktail of the day. Apparently they are in need of a reprint because there were no cocktails of the day available. I did convince our server to give me one of the DIY drinks at the discounted rate...but then opted for a full-priced beverage in the end anyway. I ordered the Tom Collins. It's not a go to anymore but still a favorite. I love, love, love almost anything with lemon and lime. This was bubbly and delicious. The straw was super cute but reminded me a bit of those recycled types that peel away a bit at a time leaving strange flavors in the mix.


Since this was to be my dinner, I selected the mini veggie pastie assortment AND a side of mac and cheese. The macaroni and cheese was creamy and cheesy at the bottom of the dish but had been baked a little too long leaving the top all dried out. This is something that I've learned over time about my own cooking. I love the cheese, I love the creaminess, and I even love the breadcrumbs (when presented at the right ratio)...but I do not love when it gets dried out. Timing is so important. So much so that if you are at risk to ruin it, you might as well skip the whole baking part and serve it straight from the pan.


The pasties (pronounced PAST-EES, not PASTE-EES) were served in a basket with a curry sauce. There were six total, two each of the three different fillings. I was impatient when they arrived at the table and took my first bite when they were still too hot. That, of course, made it nearly impossible to decipher the different flavors. In the end, I decided that I liked the spinach feta filling the best but that next time I would order the bigger version. These little guys were cute but made for a crust-heavy ratio. I love crust, but I wanted more from the middle.

Before heading out the door, I (and almost everyone else at the table) ordered something to go. I was tempted by the sweet options but only ordered what I had promised to pick up for my husband. By the time I placed my order, happy hour had passed and I was forced to order items at full price. For only ten dollars, though, I was able to get a pie and a side. He was eager to try the creamy chicken pot pie. I would be, too, if I ate chicken. It sounded to be the most comforting of all comfort foods. I selected the spicy kale salad as his side and was glad I did. It was on the daily board, though, so I'm not sure if I'll be lucky enough to find it again.


With prices as low as they are and food available to go in both refrigerator and freezer form, I need to remember this place on those nights when I'm too tired to cook. It's super convenient and each little pie is packed with good flavor. Yum. It's making me want more this very minute.

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

Total Tab: $27 for two pies, two sides, and two drinks


-b


Pacific Pie Company on Urbanspoon