Monday, November 04, 2013

Fifty Licks

2021 SE Clinton Street
Happy Hour: 4 - 6 PM, daily

I have been craving Cuban Coffee for the last 28 hours. It's amazing what two tiny ounces of sugary bliss can do. Sugary and strong, the few sips I had most definitely woke up my palette to the need for MORE.

We were invited to sample the new cocktails available at Fifty Licks. They are offering happy hour daily from four to six with a two dollar discount on all cocktails. It makes sense that we, three happy hour foodbloggers, would be asked to come in to sample their discounted menu offerings. Was it the cocktail that makes me want more? Yes. But the Cuban Coffee makes me want more NOW. Right NOW.

The owner of Fifty Licks and man to take it from one cart to a brick-and-mortar-plus establishment, Chad Draizin, moved to Portland from Miami and brought with him the tradition that is the Cuban Coffee. Sure, the beans probably have something to do with it. And the sugar, that's important too. But what made it so special (so memorable, and so make-me-want-to-go-back-for-more) was the process. The teeny-tiny cups might have something to do with the overall good, good, goodness of it as well. (Having so little might just have made me savor it that much more.) To make the caffeinated delight, Chad poured a very small amount of the freshly brewed coffee over sugar and whisked like there was no tomorrow until it was smooth and frothy and creamy and probably what the cookie recipe is asking me to do if only I was more patient when they suggest that I "cream" the sugar and butter. Then in went the rest of the coffee just prior to being served in those oh-so-dainty ceramic cups.

The coffee was only the beginning. Everything I tasted was amazing. And the concept one that will please so many, I am sure. You see, this ice cream shop isn't just about ice cream. The time and energy and obvious passion that went into the ice cream means that the flavors are near perfect, the consistency what I'm sure so many places are trying for, and the toppings as clever and adventurous as you can imagine (potato chips and bee pollen). But the creativity and attention to customer satisfaction make this establishment really stand out.

Customers are satisfied when EVERYONE is happy. Kids and adults, alike. Chad Draizin has created a menu that gives the kids a sweet treat while at the same time allowing adults to appreciate the ice cream in a more mature manner. (And I'm not talking about beer floats or a high priced boozy creamsicle...these are craft cocktails to the nth degree.) It's an ingenious maneuver and one that is already catching on. We witnessed it while we were there. Three families, kids at one table, adults at the other. Everyone had what they wanted and everyone had the space and the company to enjoy their time together.

I'm excited about returning. (Fearful, too, because I could easily consume more than my fair share of the delicious flavors.) I can't wait to enjoy another sip of Cuban Coffee and I look forward to sharing the concept of dessert cocktails with others. Repeatedly. Like, maybe every week.

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


Fifty Licks on Urbanspoon

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