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


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