Friday, July 29, 2016


Multiple Locations
Happy Hour: 2 - 5 PM (at most locations)

There are Pizzicatos all over the Portland Metropolitan area. They've been around for more than twenty-five years. The menu appears to be the same, no matter where you go. And the vibe is similar. But not everything matches up exactly. Some locations offer happy hour specials and some offer that same deal all day. Either way, you're bound to find a slice & something for around seven bucks no matter which direction you go.

For me, it started with a slice & a salad for lunch on Tuesday. Then it was a slice & some wine during happy hour on Wednesday. I probably could have gone again on Thursday, but we already had plans. Some people go every day. It's totally acceptable. I think.

And they have more than pizza. There are salads and sandwiches. They have a few appetizers (including the seasonal appetizer, grilled corn) and a good mix of beverage options.

I have been a longstanding Puttanesca lover since I first discovered Pizzicato. I'm fairly certain that I order that same slice every time. Until recently, that is. Going two days in a row gave me the opportunity to be spontaneous and go for something I had never had before. (Daring, I know.) Pictured above is the Fresca. It's the seasonal pie. (Seasonal for JULY which means if you like what you see, you'd better head there this weekend. It's almost August, people.) The Fresca is topped with fresh mozzarella, basil, and heirloom tomatoes, then drizzled with a balsamic reduction.

And then there's the plain jane cheese pizza. I decided it needed to be included in the post (not just to include those chubby little fingers in the photo) because I so appreciated that they cut the slice into teeny tiny bites for my teeny tiny happy hour companion. Thanks for being so kid-friendly, Pizzicato.

The grilled corn is also seasonal (so go there now!) and covered with enough cheese for every bite (not just those few on top). It's good but takes longer to prep than the typical slice, so it's less an appetizer and more like dessert.

Go for happy hour. Or go for lunch. It's a great meal at a really good price. (And there's a punch card, so if you do go every day you'll eventually be eating for free.)

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


Pizzicato Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, July 16, 2016


5401 NE 42nd Avenue
Happy Hour: 3 - 6 PM, daily

I've had my eye on this place for what seems like an eternity. It's on the way to the dog park--the BIG dog park at what was once Whitaker Middle School. We used to go there all the time, before we had a baby (sorry, doggie). It's got a huge patio out front (Nepo 42, not the dog park) and--unlike the park--it's fenced in (making it perfect for toddlers who are on the move). It's just that every time I make plans to go there, it rains and I end up sitting inside.

Happy Hour at Nepo 42 is served daily from 3 - 6 PM. They have a good long list of typical bar food, done up. Like, they have jalapeno poppers...but they make them from scratch. And they're HUGE. (The poppers must be taking a break from the happy hour menu right now, but we hope they'll be back. Either way, they aren't that much pricier than the rest of the happy hour options.) And when the menu was redone, they added more discounts on drinks. That's a fair trade-off, in my opinion.

I much preferred my super summery coconut & lime cocktail served at a discount to a run-of-the-mill whiskey ginger for four bucks. The only thing that would have made it better was a little more sunshine (and a little less rain).

We ordered more food than was necessary (which is good for blogging & testy toddlers) and enjoyed all...but one thing. There was something about that horseradish vinaigrette--perhaps the HORSERADISH--that made it hard to stomach. It's just not for me. But now I know. And I'm sure that they've got plenty of other dressings to choose from.

Or I could just eat more chips. There were vegetables hidden in that dip, I am sure of it. And the more dip I eat, the more vegetables I consume, and the healthier I will be--right? In all seriousness, that dip was delish! It is made with perfectly caramelized onions and loads of herbs.

The hummus was good and came on a plate packed with pickled veggies, big blocks of feta, and plenty of pita...but be prepared as the menu only claims it to be house-made and doesn't make any mention of the extra ingredients mixed in. They're just spices, I know, but I wasn't expecting for my chickpeas to have that extra flavor. I tasted curry, but who knows what else they could have mixed in there.

Nepo 42 offers a six dollar burger (veggie or not) with options to add just about anything. The first time, I took things a little too far adding so much that I could barely pick the thing up without help. This time, I kept things simple...adding cheddar cheese, but nothing more. It's a good burger on an even better brioche bun that I am sure I will order again and again.

Although I didn't taste the meaty option across the table, I did snap a picture of the chicken 'n' waffle. They say chicken 'n' waffle, but that's bacon in the middle, too. And it's smothered in sweet maple syrup. It's pretty, and people say good things about the combination of sweet and meat, but it's not enough to make me change my ways. Not even one little bite.

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


Nepo 42 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, July 08, 2016


2338 NE Alberta
Happy Hour: 4 - 6:30 PM, daily

Tacos. Tacos. Tacos. $2.50 tacos. That's the happy hour deal at Cruzroom on NE Alberta every afternoon from 4 until 6:30 PM. And these are NOT normal tacos. They look like tacos. And they function like tacos. But the stuff inside is NOT the stuff I'm used to. And the menu is LONG, so everyone is bound to find something that they'll enjoy. Even as a vegetarian, I ate three different tacos and still have more to go until I've tried all that I can try.

There are FIFTEEN tacos to choose from on the regular menu and every one of them is available for $2.50 during happy hour. Sure, it's only a dollar discount. But it's a discount. And that's what makes me happy. They've also got plenty of sides, a kid's menu (just ask), house-infused booze, and some pretty stellar cocktails.

I started with the Size Me Up. It's basically a Vesper (a favorite of mine) but made with cucumber-infused gin. It's served up and garnished with a DINOSAUR. Why not, right? Who needs an umbrella, anyway?

Across the table was the Victory. Also made with one of their house-infused liquors, this one is a mix of strawberry vodka, ginger, lemon, and basil.

Between the drinks and the tacos, was the arrival of the Asian Salad (and a kid's quesadilla - thank you, Cruzroom, for knowing that the first food to arrive should be the food for the baby. So many places don't get it.)

The Asian Salad is a mix of julienned carrots, jicama, cucumbers, toasted sesame seeds and cilantro that's been lounging in a somewhat spicy sauce for just long enough. I loved it. My baby loved it. And I could have easily ordered a second (or third) bowl before tiring of the flavor.

Last to arrive (besides the check, of course) were the tacos. Each of us ordered three: three veggie (two were actually vegan) and three meat. Reading the descriptions again makes me want more. Right now.

On the meat side, there was the Green Meanie (pulled pork and roasted tomatillo & poblano chili sauce), Sweet Caroline (apple-braised pork, honey mustard slaw, and a dill pickle & jalapeno relish), and The Jerk (spicy & sweet braised chicken topped with mango slaw and fresh cilantro).

For the vegetarian (that's me), it was an Eat Your Heart Out (black beans, fried artichoke hearts, and avocado salsa served in a teeny-tiny crunchy tortilla cup and topped with gooey cheddar cheese sauce), a Miso Hungry (tofu, bean sprouts, and carrots with pad thai sauce served in a crunchy shell), and the East is West (Eastern-style pulled jackfruit in a soft corn tortilla, topped with cabbage slaw and roasted cashews).

The winning tacos from each plate were the Green Meanie & the East is West. I'm new to jackfruit (despite being a vegetarian for more than twenty-four years) and my first experience wasn't a good one. This pulled jackfruit taco, however, is one that I will eat again and again. The other two were good too, but messy, and I didn't enjoy the fried crunchy shells as much as I thought I would.

If the weather is good, sit outside. They've got a great patio. And there are games...if your table requires additional entertainment.

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


Cruzroom Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Via Chicago

2013 NE Alberta
Happy Hour Wishlist

Via Chicago does NOT offer happy hour, but you can get a bottle of wine for HALF OFF when you're there to eat that ultra cheesy, nearly overstuffed, Chicago-style pizza every Wednesday night. And--although it might require a few more laps around the track or an extra two hundred and some odd burpees--you might just want to eat there EVERY Wednesday night.

At Via Chicago, they've got pizza by the slice (with or without meat), salads, appetizers, a number of sandwiches (including a goat cheese, fig & honey panini), and all the full size pies. You can order one of many pre-designed pies (we opted for the stuffed spinach pizza) or build your own. Toppings available include all the usual PLUS an option to go vegan or gluten-free.

The wines are limited (they've only got three reds, three whites, one rose and one with bubbles) but for only ten bucks (on Wednesdays) it's totally worth it. The list of beers available, however, seems to be forever long. Via Chicago is, in fact, a pizzeria & bottle shop. They've got bottles and cans and rotating taps and growler fills, galore.

Service was good and they've got toys in the corner for the kids to peruse, but you must know before ordering a full-size pie that it's gonna take some time. And those stuffed pizzas take even longer. So order a salad. And an appetizer. And maybe a second bottle of wine.

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


Via Chicago Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, July 01, 2016


2724 NE Pacific
Happy Hour: Tuesday through Friday 4 - 7 PM, Saturday 12 - 7 PM
ALL DAY Happy Hour: Sunday & Monday

Happy. Hour.

I haven't forgotten how. It's just been awhile since I've written about it. But it's summer break again and this time I have a goal. (We'll see if I make it.) It's nowhere near as lofty as my Spring Break goals used to be (current Spring Break record: 17 new happy hours in one week), but now I have a small child slowing me down.

Speaking of that small child, Nana was in town last week...which meant we made it to happy hour without that little girl in tow. Paydirt opened last September, just as the three of us bloggers were headed back for another year of teaching. It shares space with a number of micro restaurants in a building known as the Zipper. Sharing that space means that Paydirt--unlike its sister bar, The Old Gold--can focus on drinks alone.

During happy hour--which lasts all day on BOTH Sundays and Mondays--well drinks, house wine, and micro beer are all a dollar off. Fancy cocktails are pretty low to start, with most priced between eight and ten dollars. Buy in bulk (or plan to share) a bucket of Miller High Life for just $10. Or try one of the two bottled cocktails for just seven bucks a piece. Just don't walk away from the bar without taking a quick look at the Big Book of Whiskey. It's more than impressive.

Pictured below is the Future Days (Bulleit Rye, Amaro Averna, Fresh Mint, Lemon, Demerara, and Soda) and the Georgia Lee (Pisco, Creme de Peche de Vigne, Lemon, and Sugar).

There are a number of food options available at the Zipper, making this place a perfect spot when you and your significant other, foodie friend, or even the entire family can't agree (but also a nightmare if you can't make up your mind when given an abundance of options). Since we weren't in it for a full meal, we ordered the Dan Dan Fries from Basilisk, a place known for its enormous fried chicken sandwich. Dan Dan Fries are just seven bucks and come smothered with peanut sauce, pickles, chopped peanuts, green onions, lime, chili oil, and cilantro.

Although there is plenty of seating inside Paydirt, the patio is HUGE and makes the entire establishment very kid-friendly. (Minors are only allowed during the early parts of the day, be prepared to pack up by eight.)

Food: n/a
Drink: exceeds
Service: meets
Ambiance: meets
Value: meets


Paydirt Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato