Thursday, May 21, 2015

Widmer Brothers Pub

929 N Russell Street
Happy Hour: 2 - 5 PM, Monday through Friday

The Widmer name is pretty well-known (and not just around Portland). Kurt and Rob have been brewing their best since the early eighties. They started small (only forty barrels) but have grown substantially over time, currently producing more than 450,000 barrels per year. Now a part of the Craft Brewing Alliance (with Redhook & Kona Brewing), they are the ninth largest brewing company in the United States. SO big and so well-known, but still producing their famous hefeweizen in the same location on North Russell Street, just below the Fremont Bridge. And at the corner of Russell and Interstate Avenue is the Widmer Brothers Pub, serving lunch and dinner while pouring more than twenty different beers (by the glass, in house, or by the growler to go).

Happy Hour is available at the Widmer Brothers Pub weekdays from 2 to 5 PM. The food menu lists a number of items at a reasonable discount that would be suitable for snacking or easily combined to make a full meal. They also offer a dollar off pints (and will bring out samples to help in the decision making process).

After having shared a cup of their beer cheese soup over lunch recently, I knew what I was going to order before leaving the house. To get a better idea of what their happy hour is all about, though, we also ordered a bowl of baked mac and cheese ($6), a green salad ($4), the pretzel with fondue ($5), and the cheeseburger ($7).

Served with a bowl of chips, a couple of sliced pickles, and enough cheese to keep everything in place, this burger was enough all on its own. That, of course, was something we learned after having ordered almost everything on the menu. It was pretty juicy--enough to soak through the bottom bun without making a complete mess--but came with no other complaints.

On the regular menu, the Pub Mac and Cheese is listed at twelve bucks and comes with the option to add on kale, bacon, or pulled pork for just a couple bucks more. The happy hour size is smaller, to be sure, and is topped with Parmesan breadcrumbs and parsley. Although cheesy and delicious, the Beer Cheese Soup will continue to be my go to.

At only four dollars per bowl, the Beer Cheese Soup is a steal and--in my opinion--the star of the show. From now on, whether I'm there for happy hour, lunch, or dinner, this will be my meal. With a side salad, of course.

And if I decide I need just a little bit more to chew on, I'll add the pretzel. It's listed on the happy hour menu solo (just $4) or with a side on fondue. Some bites are a bit salty, but what pretzel isn't.

Service was fantastic (and seems to be the norm, whether there as a table to two or twenty-two).

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


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