Sunday, June 01, 2014


6839 SE Belmont Street
Happy Hour: 3 - 5 PM, Tuesday through Saturday

I used to live just a few blocks from Mt. Tabor. I made it a part of my everyday running route. I didn't always love running up, up, up to the top but I enjoyed the view every time I did. Despite the many trips I made, there are still parts of Mt. Tabor that I have yet to discover. Songbird--an adorable restaurant tucked into the side streets of Mt. Tabor--is no longer on that list. Instead, it is on the list of places that I will return to again and again. And not just for happy hour. They've got breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Plus desserts. And they all look very good.

Songbird is located on Belmont Street, just east of 60th Avenue. It's not too far up from The Cheese Bar but far enough that one might expect nothing but residential space. I first learned of Songbird when I saw it listed on the restaurants participating in Portland's Dining Month. I am so glad I did.

Happy Hour is available from 3 to 5, Tuesday through Saturday. I love that they extend the discounts all the way through Saturday. The menu includes a number of snackable items but options that could make a meal as well. We opted for a little bit of both with an order of the beet chips($4), a bowl of the daily soup($5), and the house-made veggie burger($8).

The beet chips are a definite must. They are gorgeous--not necessarily in my pictures, but in real life, for sure--and they are tasty. They were served with a dipping sauce that suited them well but wasn't at all necessary. The root vegetable was packed with enough flavor on its own that the accompaniment wasn't required. I loved every bite and have since attempted to recreate them at home.

Although we didn't go in planning to eat an all beet meal, that's exactly what we did. We saw the soup of the day being delivered to a table across the way and HAD to have it. Beet chips and beet soup. It makes sense. I have been on a beet kick for the past year or two.

As it turns out, the veggie burger is also made with beets...and a lot of other perfectly matched ingredients. I've had it twice now. The first must have been mixed with golden beets. The second--not pictured--was nearly as red as the soup. As is the case with most house-made veggie patties, the flavors and textures weren't a perfect match from the first beet burger experience to the second. I liked them both, but the first held up a little better than the second. That isn't going to keep me from trying a third. I loved every bite.

They've got a pretty fantastic wine menu--especially if you are willing to purchase a bottle--but, for happy hour, it made the most sense to take advantage of the well-priced house cocktails. Most are just seven dollars and made with the highest quality ingredients. Narrowing it down to just one was nearly impossible to do alone, but our server--who was a hoot--helped with the decision-making process. Having been back to try more from the menu, I know now that no matter what I had picked on that first visit, I would have been pleased.

With summer break starting in just two weeks, I know that I will be back next to try their brunch. It's available Tuesday through Friday starting at 9 and on the weekend at 8.

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

Songbird on Urbanspoon

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