Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Beech Street Parlor

412 NE Beech Street
Happy Hour: 5 - 9 PM, Monday through Saturday

Some restaurants are so hard to find. Seriously, I didn't even know that this one existed. It's off of a main street, they weren't listed on Urbanspoon, and the dot on goolemaps is so faint that I barely noticed it. I've even searched that same neighborhood multiple times...but never on foot. And that's what it took to find Beech Street Parlor.

Beech Street Parlor is located just north of MLK and Fremont. It's a very traffic-heavy intersection, but without turning the corner onto Beech and noticing that sign out front you'd probably never even know it was there. The Parlor is in a beautiful old house that has been renovated and restored to house a full bar, a kitchen stocked and ready to prepare some pretty fantastic food choices, and what seems to be an endless number of semi-private rooms with couches and coffee tables and pure comfort.

Ordering at the bar might not be the most ideal setup if you choose to sit upstairs, but the trade off you get in privacy might be worth it. So many bars and restaurants require you to practically yell in order to be heard--even when it's just across the table--that it makes the experience less enjoyable. If you are more interested in the food than the company, that might not be an issue. If what you want is a conversation--and delicious food and drinks to accompany that conversation--Beech Street Parlor has so much to offer. I can't say for sure how busy it gets--we were there on a Saturday for happy hour--but I'm certain that you'd find space knowing how big the Parlor is (and how many tables are tucked away upstairs). They do have live DJs in the evening, so the volume is gonna go up...but for happy hour, you should be set.

We opted to stay on the main level after taking a peek upstairs. After ordering our first round at the bar, we found a table just big enough for four and made ourselves comfortable. Planning to snack and not make this a mea, we started with a few things to share...but ended up going back for more. In the end, the four of us sampled the polenta, the white bean dip, the kale tart, and a plate of cornbread. The kale tart is not listed on the happy hour menu but is well worth the full price at only six dollars.

I have loved nearly every plate of polenta that I have ever eaten. Honestly, I think I've only ever not loved it once. And that place closed within the year. At Beech Street Parlor, the polenta is of the creamy variety and comes topped with a fried egg and some house-made hot sauce. Although it wasn't difficult to share, I could have easily finished this dish on my own.

The grilled bread was a perfect match for the flavor--and texture--of the white bean dip. I only wish that they had included more description on the menu so that I could more easily recreate this dish at home. I guess I will just have to go back and eat more there...until I have the flavors down, that is. And then I will probably still go back for more.

Looking back, ordering both the polenta and a plate of cornbread seems a little silly. They were so good, though. And the honey butter made every bite of cornbread make me want another. Honey butter is the best.

Although I had a sip or two of every drink at the table, I have only included a picture of what I ordered. It was a special that night and one that I found listed in chalk on the sign out front. They have a lot of house infused liquors at Beech Street Parlor so it only makes sense to take advantage of some of their extra efforts. Mine was a cherry flavored sour, complete with what I assumed to be a cherry preserved in house. I know I have said this before, but the time and energy that certain restaurants take to make so much of what they serve in-house makes such a huge difference to the finished product.

It definitely took me too long to find Beech Street Parlor. It's a place I will return to for sure.

Food: Meets
Drinks: Meets
Service: Meets (order at the bar)
Ambiance: Meets
Value: Meets


Beech Street Parlor on Urbanspoon

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