Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Gustav's Pub & Grill

10350 SW Greenburg Road
Happy Hour: 2 - 6 PM, Monday through Saturday (bar only) and ALL DAY Sundays (everywhere)

Disclaimer: We were invited to attend a special blogger dinner at Gustav's Pub & Grill in Tigard as a part of the restaurant's new winter menu release. We received complimentary food and drinks, but--as always--all of our opinions are our own.

Gustav's has always been a family favorite. It's one of those places that can easily fit a party of ten (regardless of which location you frequent), offers menu items that please each and every family member (even the youngest), and provides a great value for the price paid. Plus, the service is always stellar (despite the special requests, overabundance of questions, and mess left behind when the entire family comes to town). It's an easy go-to every time.

Although I go in wanting the exact same meal (and when I say meal, I mean fondue) every time we go to Gustav's, their menu is always changing. It changes by the seasons--allowing the kitchen staff to make the most of fresh, local ingredients--and it changes, like all things should, to show improvement. Recently, we were invited to attend a special blogger dinner highlighting the new menu items available on their winter menu.

The blogger dinner began with a plate of pretzels and mustard--a perfect start, as we waited for the others to arrive. And although we were invited to take our pick from the cocktail menu, it was obvious that they were attempting to showcase the warm and wintery drinks that would go so well with the new menu items. There were at least four warm drinks listed on the menu--including the Hot Apple Strudel, made with Tuaca, Fireball, and hot apple cider.

The chef was out before long with a warm welcome and a description of the first course. The Schweinshaxe is a brined and roasted ham hock, served with creamy mashed potatoes, beer jus and fresh grated horseradish. While this was well-liked by every meat eater at the table, I happily crunched on a kale salad--topped with fresh apples, blue cheese, and hazelnuts (thanks again, Gustav's, for the special treatment).

The second course included grilled chicken breast, plenty of mushrooms, and a black pepper cream sauce all on top of a mountain of house-made spaetzle. I was especially pleased when the vegetarian alternative included spaetzle as well. Although the texture might not be for everyone, those little German dumplings are a serious comfort food, in my opinion.

The third course was the favorite of the evening, despite its difficult pronunciation. The Hausgemachte Kalbfleischflanzerl, more commonly referred to as pan-seared veal and pork meatballs, were served with a Bavarian potato salad and thinly sliced cucumbers and radishes. It was quite apparent--when looking around the table--that this was the meal people would be returning for, sooner rather than later. After pretzels, cocktails, ham, mashed potatoes, chicken and spaetzle, you'd expect the average foodie to start slowing down. That was not the case with these meatballs. They were just too good to go to waste.

The fourth--but not exactly final--course for the evening was a small sampling of the Bavarian chocolate mouse. Served in a wine glass and topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of espresso beans, this made for the perfect ending to an enjoyable evening.

Before leaving, the chef returned with his final words and a parting gift. As we packed our things to go, we were encouraged to take with us--not only a fresh pretzel sandwich, filled with soft cream cheese and sprinkled with chives--but a full growler. Growlers are the perfect take away, knowing that it can be refilled (at a discount every Monday and Tuesday) again and again. And again.

Although I feel full just thinking about all the food we ate that night, the happy hour menu--with its tiered ricing and variety--has me wanting more. Discounts on both food and drinks are available Monday through Saturday from 2 until 6 PM (in the bar) and again from 9 PM - close (throughout the restaurant). And you can enjoy the low prices all day long on Sundays (again, throughout the entire restaurant). My favorite, the original fondue, is priced at just $6 (down from almost $10 on the regular dinner menu) and the potato pancakes are just four bucks. Drinks are discounted, too, with prices starting as low as three dollars.

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


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