Sunday, September 29, 2013

White Owl Social Club

1305 SE 8th Avenue
Happy Hour: 3 - 6 PM and 11 PM - 1 AM, daily

It's obvious that summer is over. Not because it's raining. Not because I've gone from flip-flops to the real toes-covered, must-wear-with-socks shoes. Not even because I'm wearing long sleeves. It's obvious because I am over a month behind on posting happy hour reviews. One month. Almost two. I've even had to give up pulling out my camera in restaurants because of the backlog of reviews that I still need to do. September is one tough month. Now that I'm back in my classroom, and I know the names of my one hundred and sixty-one students, I'm ready to write again. And I'm starting with one that has the most fantastic stretch of outdoor seating that is probably all put away by now.

White Owl Social Club is housed in the location that used to be Plan B. I can't say for sure if there is any connection between the two (I had only been to Plan B once) but I do know that they too have live music, djs, and beer-themed festivities that will please all the matter what you think you're walking into.

The happy hour menu had a number of intriguing items listed with decent enough discounts, but it was the regular menu that made me want to return. Build Your Own S'mores--available in multiple sizes--comes with all the fixin's and a teeny tabletop campfire. I'd be ready to share that after enjoying their Potato Boots--served in three Portland appropriate varieties: Southeast Style, Gresham Style, and Distillery Row Style. All three can be can much of the regular dinner menu.

For happy hour, we stuck with the typical snackies. We had some chips and dips, a few hush puppies, and the olive plate. Of course, it's only a plate because they serve the little ramekin full of my favorite bright green Castelvetrano olives on a bed of chopped hazelnuts. Together they were super tasty, but not exactly easy to eat. Not with a fork. And not with my fingers. Really, they only method that worked was to dip the little olives into the mix...but then I wouldn't have had enough olives to finish the plate. Maybe those nuts were just for show.

The hush puppies were a little darker than I would have preferred but came with a sweet and peppery dipping sauce that almost made up for it. Not too hot. And not too sweet. Yum.

Served with tortilla chips and a few cucumber slices, this dip was more in between hummus and baba ganoush than the menu insisted. It had some extra veggies mixed in (making it an easy pick for me when first scanning the menu) but would have gone better with a fancier scoop. Something grilled, perhaps.

To sip alongside all of these snacks, I ordered the re-animator. It promises to bring anyone out of a brain drain, school-induced funk with Aviation gin, fresh lime, and dry cucumber soda. It was perfectly refreshing on a hot hot hot day but not nearly as cute when compared to the mixed drink served in the adorable owl cup. If only that cup was for keeps.

Food: Meets
Drinks: Meets
Service: Meets (but you will have to order at the bar to start)
Ambiance: Exceeds (in the sun, specifically)
Value: Meets


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Bon Appétit presents Feast Portland

I know what you should be doing this coming weekend: GOING TO FEAST! Presented by Bon Appétit, and sponsored by Whole Foods, Portland Monthly, and Alaska Airlines (to name a few), Feast Portland is a Celebration of Oregon Bounty--the Northwest's flagship food and drink festival--held at various locations in downtown Portland later this week, September 19th through the 22nd.

Feast is a four day celebration of local food, wine, and beer creativity and knowledge. It's a chance for you to learn about food, cooking, wine, beer, and also taste what Oregon has to offer. It is an opportunity for foodies to newbies to find out what Portland and Oregon have to offer in the food scene. It's also a chance to make a difference because all proceeds go to charities to help end childhood hunger in Oregon and the United States.


This will be my first time at Feast, and I can't wait to experience all the flavors of Oregon. I'm most excited about the Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting!  Pioneer Courthouse Square will be transformed into a tasting smorgasbord of food, wine, and beer. You pay a 60 dollar entry fee (that helps end childhood hunger) but stay all day and enjoy as much as you want of the socializing, food and drinks! You will have the chance to talk to award-winning Oregon chefs, winemakers, and brewers and taste all you want of their local creations.

Another great aspect of Feast is the Speaker Series. This is an opportunity to sit down and listen to experts on information about food and how it impacts us individually, culturally and socially. I really wanted to go to the talk on GMO's on Friday the 20th at the Portland Art Museum but I'll be teaching. I would love to hear from anyone who ends up going to this talk.

I love how there are so many aspects to FEAST. I can't go to them all--though I wish I could--but hope you will have the chance to attend some part of Portland Feast. And if not this year, keep it on your calendar for next year.

Look for our follow-up posts following all of the festivities.