Thursday, March 19, 2015

24th and Meatballs

2329 NE Glisan Street
Happy Hour: 2 - 6 PM, daily

Six dollars! Two sliders and a pint of beer (or soda) for six measly dollars. That's pretty amazing. And that's exactly what you get at 24th and Meatballs. I'm not the type to say the following, but in this situation it seems fitting to declare this happy hour deal as AMAZEBALLS. I'm guessing everyone says that about this place...and it's okay, because it's the truth.

Happy Hour pricing is available daily between 2 and 6 PM. That means you can enjoy a late lunch, an afternoon snack, or an early dinner for only a few bucks. The menu seems small--with only the slider combo listed--but when you consider all the choices you have to make with both the balls and the sauces, it's actually almost overwhelming. (And, yes there's a vegetarian option...but one with walnuts in the mix, which means this post came with a lot of help from my meat-eating husband.)

24th and Meatballs is located on NE 24th and Glisan in a corner complex called The Ocean. In it are five "micro-restaurants" with a variety of cuisines and an abundance of outdoor seating. Similar to a food cart pod, this complex is ideal for a family that just can't agree on what to have for dinner. While my husband enjoyed his sliders--one Classic Italian with Tomato Basil Sauce and one Pork Picante with Spicy Pork Sauce (pork on pork is apparently a popular choice)--I walked to Slowburger for a meat-free mini black bean burger.

Like so many Portland establishments, the restaurants at the Ocean expect you to order at the bar and bus your own table. That's not going to drop our rating for service, though. This place meets all of our expectations and we hope it meets yours too.

Food: Meets
Drinks: Meets
Service: Meets
Ambiance: Meets (especially on a nice day)
Value: Exceeds

24th & Meatballs on Urbanspoon

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Iconic Lounge

2226 NE Broadway Street
Happy Hour: 3:30 - 6:30 & ALL DAY Monday

We stopped in for Happy Hour at Iconic Lounge on what might have been the worst night for it. They were in the process of changing the menu...that very night. Not everything on the long list of discounted food items was being pulled--but enough to warrant a return visit, that's for sure. Until that happens, here's a sampling of some of the items that are still available at a discount today.

It's not just the menu that's changed since our visit. Happy Hour at the Iconic Lounge now runs seven days a week. And they've added a number of cocktails to the list of discounted drinks, all available at $5 each. Add that to the long list of food items and you've got a Happy Hour that is likely to please a crowd.

And it's definitely going to please anyone from the Lewis Clark Valley. Having spent the first eighteen years of my life in that valley, I recognize the menu items that are so well known to the people living and dining in the small towns of Lewiston, Idaho and Clarkston, Washington. There are two--two very unusual sounding menu items--that appear on the menu at the Iconic Lounge that might just cure the homesickness (or at least lessen it just a bit) of someone from the LC Valley.

The Steak Bites--better known to those of us from the valley as Bite Size Steak--are not just named because of their size.  As a vegetarian, I can't speak to the flavor or texture but know that it's the preparation--both the marinade and the manner in which it's cooked--that makes these bites so memorable.  The second item, called the KA-Boom! on Iconic's menu, is a pizza topped with mustard, sauerkraut, Polish sausage, and sweet onions. It's a strange combination of flavors but one that I've seen on menus since I was a little girl.

It was obvious to me that the owner of the Iconic Lounge has some connection to the Lewis Clark Valley. It was also obvious that he has poured his all into this establishment. There are a lot of details--from the ingredients to the decor, the themed events, and the teamwork exhibited by the employees--that lead me to believe that the Iconic Lounge is not just a money-making attempt but a true labor of love.

The menu at Iconic includes shareables, soups & salads, sandwiches, and pizza. A number of the regular food items make a repeat appearance on the happy hour menu with a savings between three and four dollars each. We opted for the hummus plate, the deviled eggs, and a white pizza. My husband also ordered the American Pie--a personal sized pizza with pepperoni, sausage, onion, mushrooms, and olives.

The hummus plate is served with an ample amount of grilled bread, a small stack of cucumbers, and a pile of Kalamata olives resting happily on top of pickled red onions. I'm a big dipper--I like a lot of hummus with every bite--but I have a feeling that most everyone would agree that the ratio of bread to hummus was off by a lot. I felt super wasteful sending the plate away with more than half the bread remaining...and nothing else. I liked the bread--don't get me wrong; I just wanted more hummus to go with it.

Also resting on a pile of pickled red onions were the deviled eggs. These eggs were basic--no fancy add-ins or accompaniments--but had good texture and a fresh quality to them.

Trying my best to stick to the Happy Hour menu, I ordered the White Pizza. I love cheese and I love garlic, but this was a little too much for me. I ate a couple of slices but had to call it quits soon after the plate arrived. Next time, I'll stick to a pizza made with a red sauce base. The veggie pizza looks like a good choice and the vegetarian version of the American Pie would be my ideal meal. The spinach & beet salad looks really good, too. The beets are roasted and topped with apples, hazelnuts, and chevre. It's available on the Happy Hour menu with a glass of wine for just $9.99.

I will definitely be back to Iconic someday soon--and not just because I've already promised my nephew a special birthday delivery of the KaBoom! pie. They've got good snacks, a cocktail menu that I'd like to explore, and great prices during Happy Hour. Plus, they play excellent movies on two oversized screens, all day long.

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


Iconic on Urbanspoon