Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Bazi Bierbrasserie

1522 SE 32nd Avenue
Happy Hour: 3 - 7 and 10 - close, Monday through Saturday

The three of us have been blogging about Portland's Happy Hours for more than five years. During that time, we've had three weddings, two pregnancies (only one month left and there will be two bloggin' babies), we've bought and sold houses, and we've taught hundreds of lessons to hundreds of students all while doing our best to keep up with this blog. This is post number 400. And although it's just another restaurant review, it feels like a pretty important milestone.

I've been to Bazi Bierbrasserie once before. I remember it well because it was my birthday and I was on a happy hour mission. Days later I flew to Washington, D.C. and returned just in time for the school year to begin. I got behind on blogging--really behind--and never finished the post. It's an awful feeling, leaving something unfinished, but I just didn't feel right about finishing the post without really remembering the experience. Now that I've been back, it's fresh.

Bazi is located just off of Hawthorne at SE 32nd Avenue. They are known quite well for their (what seems like an) endless list of fancy Belgian-inspired beers, but really the entire drink menu is extensive. It's a full-bar (and I do mean FULL), the wine list is just long enough, and the bier-cocktails were a big hit with my husband.

Happy Hour runs from 3 until 7 PM daily (although they are closed on Sundays until Spring) and again from ten until close. There are discounts on drinks--including a $5 cocktail of the day--and enough food options to make most anyone happen. As a vegetarian, I typically am left to pick between one or two items on a restaurant's happy hour menu. That's not the case at Bazi. Sure, they are not all healthy options...but there are enough meat-free items listed on the menu that I actually had a hard time making up my mind.

This time around, I enjoyed the Velgie Burger and an order of Flemish Frites. (I thought it was a typo at first, too. Unless they are big believers in copy and paste, that misspelling was completely intentional.) The Velgie Burger is a house-made lentil patty topped with a handful of greens, a mountain of fried leeks and comes sandwiched between a soft potato bun. I added a slice of Gruyere cheese. And after taking the first bite, I was especially thankful I had. Not just because it's Gruyere...but because lentil patties can be pretty soft. Without that cheesy top, I could have easily been wearing more of my meal than would have seemed possible.

The Flemish Frites are thin cut, tossed in sea salt, and served with a delicious aioli. The regular menu includes two other variations--the thin-cut fries tossed in truffle oil or the Street Frites, which are of a thicker cut. I had a hard time sharing these. It was a decently sized portion, but they were just too good to give up.

Also at the table was a plate of the Aged White Cheddar Mac and Cheese. With add-ons available, this macaroni and cheese (with a side salad, perhaps...or maybe a plate of Brussels Sprouts) would make for an excellent meal.

The Pork Belly Skewers, Spicy Grilled Shrimp, and an order of house-made deep fried Kale Chips rounded off the meal while--at the same time--giving us a really good sampling of all the menu had to offer. The shrimp seemed to be the favorite among the meat eaters but I was especially impressed with the kale chips. They honestly seemed to melt in my mouth.

Although they prefer cash and really appreciate limiting the number of credit cards at each table, the service at Bazi is pretty much right on target. The place was nearly empty at first (all but the bar, that is) but really picked up prior to kickoff--they've got quite the set up with a big screen and projector--and still our server was able to meet all of our needs.

Food: Meets
Drinks: Meets
Service: Meets
Ambiance: Meets (although it was a bit dark in there)
Value: Meets


Bazi Bierbrasserie on Urbanspoon

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