Thursday, October 30, 2014

Meriwether's

2601 NW Vaughn Street
Happy Hour: 4 - 6 PM daily (in the bar only - no minors)
www.meriwethersnw.com


Without happy hour discounts, there's a pretty good chance I would have never tried Meriwether's. The menu is appealing and I've heard great things, but the price points are just a little too steep for me. I was even a bit hesitant to try their happy hour after spotting reduced prices that were still in the double digits listed on their website. That, of course, was before I noticed the Pantry Board selections--allowing customers to pick one, three, or five small plates at a discount. And now that I've been to Meriwether's, I want to go back.





The Pantry Board selections include at least a dozen small plates, each perfectly presented in the cutest little wooden bowls or tiny cast iron skillets. The menu changes with the seasons but some staples remain constant. We had a hard time choosing (even after eliminating the majority of the meaty options). In the end, we decided on the deviled eggs, polenta fries, falafel, arancini, and the cheese and fruit pairing. The board was perfect for sharing and made it quite obvious that each dish at Meriwether's--no matter how big or small--is accompanied by some serious attention to detail.


Although the Pantry Board provided the two of us with an ample amount of flavors and textures, we felt it necessary to order just a little more. The Meriwether's Beet Salad is available on the bar menu for $13 ($10 during happy hour) and comes dressed with everything you'd expect. It's got great crunch and enough beets to make every bite perfect.


I didn't sample the Prosciutto and Greens Pizza but had to include it in the pictures. It's huge and piled high with Prosciutto. The Pancetta and Potato pizza is sure to be equally impressive. If only a veggie option were available.

Not ideal on a night like tonight, the garden patio is remarkable--full or color and life and dotted with the sweetest birdhouses--and a place you'll want to visit when the sun returns.

Food: Meets
Drinks: Meets
Service: Meets
Ambiance: Meets (although the discounts don't apply outside of the bar)
Value: Nearly Meets

-b

Meriwether's on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Relish Gastropub

6637 SE Milwaukie Avenue
Happy Hour: 3 - 6, Tuesday through Sunday

The sun came out today. The temperatures were back in the mid to upper seventies. It was like summer. And it was beautiful. But tomorrow it will rain. And I will be back in my classroom. The time I spend there has been keeping me from blogging for close to two months. It's been a busy start to the school year and there doesn't seem to be any sign that things will slow down in the near future. Luckily, happy hour is still available. And if I'm too tired to head out on a Friday night, there's always the weekend.


Relish offers happy hour on both Saturday and Sunday. Yes, they have discounts during the week (all but Monday, when they're close) but I'm most excited that they offer happy hour on the weekend because that's when I actually have time to go out.


We were there for an early dinner and had the opportunity to enjoy the last of summer on their over-sized patio. I'm sure it fills up fast, but we walked up just as happy hour was starting. It's right off the street, but traffic through that neighborhood isn't much of a bother at all.

With plans to call it an early dinner, we ordered enough to really fill up. There are plenty of options on the happy hour menu to do more than just snacking--and they've got an assortment of veggies, making this a meal that won't leave you feeling guilty.




I started with the grilled romaine salad--with a substitute for the tomato bacon jam, of course. Grilled romaine is something that I've only tried a few times, but I love it every time. I am not, however, quite ready to try it at home. I just don't want to ruin that smoky goodness by overdoing it. These perfectly blackened greens were topped with giant croutons and plenty of cheese. I snapped an extra picture of that salad as it's listed on the menu. The tomato jam is thick--thicker than any salad dressing I've grown accustomed to--but was apparently a wonderful addition.


Covered in garlic and red pepper flakes, the sauteed green beans were another menu option that makes happy hour at Relish more than just your typical fried food adventure. They were a bit pricey, given the season...but still quite delicious.


Not too pricey was the giant plate of garlic cheese bread. For three dollars, I was NOT expecting such an enormous serving. We ate as much as we could but had to leave some behind.


The gnudi was the most intriguing vegetarian item on the menu--but when I asked the server which was more of a meal, he suggested I go with the tofu and pea masala. Luckily, I was still able to have a bite of the gnudi. I enjoyed the textures and appreciated the roasted red pepper sauce (probably because I've been overwhelmed with the number of tomatoes--and all things tomato-related--that have come from my garden).



Served over rice noodles, the tofu and pea masala was an excellent suggestion. It inspired me to continue my search for the best tikka masala recipe--and I think I've finally found it. The tofu was a bit too chewy for me, but the flavors were perfect. And I love, love, loved the peas.

Sitting on the patio made for plenty of people watching. And many of those people were enjoying what appeared to be frozen yogurt. With a quick search, we learned that this happy hour was within walking distance of dessert. Including something sweet isn't a requirement for a happy hour to make it to the top of our list, but it helps. Being a few doors down from frozen yogurt is almost just as good.

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

-b

Relish Gastropub on Urbanspoon