Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Altabira City Tavern

1021 NE Grand
Happy Hour: 4 - 6, daily

Change. Man, it can be tough. My whole life changed when I had a kid. I got BUSY. And my blogging hobby went on the back burner, for sure. And while my life was all askew, the restaurants of Portland kept "a coming and a going." Seriously, the top three spots on my official happy hour to do list are all places that I've been to, but before...when they were something else.

Altabira is one of those places. It used to be Windows. It had--and still has--an amazing rooftop bar, but back then the food was mostly fried and the drinks weren't all that special. Things have definitely changed. And not just the restaurant. The entire hotel has been fancified. I'm guessing it's a little more expensive than it was back in the day, too.

I know for a fact that it's more expensive to park. Pulling into the lot, I didn't realize that the only option was valet. (And there was no backing out....) It's five dollars for every two hours you're dining in the restaurant. Sure it's convenient, but next time I might pack across the street and walk in.

Happy hour is available at Altabira daily from 4 to 6 PM. They've got a decent list of food available at a discounted rate plus reduced prices on wine (including bubbles), beer, and the cocktail of the day.

We ordered a little bit of everything - to be fair, but also because this was dinner. And we're eaters. That's what we do. It wouldn't be a very telling blog if we didn't try a little bit of everything.

The soup was my favorite...which is pure trouble, because it was the soup of the day. Who knows when you're going to have the chance to taste the deliciousness that was the cauliflower leek soup? The only thing that made it less than stellar was that it cooled off too fast...but that was my fault for sitting outside on a windy, the-sun-is-just-barely-out kind of October day.

The pretzel and the hushpuppies arrived during the first round, making it a lot like a tennis match on the table. (And by tennis match, I hope you get that I mean I took a bite of this, then a bite of that, then a bite of this, and so on until there was no more to eat.) The pretzel was accompanied by a pimento cheese (yum!) and mustard, while the hushpuppies were paired with a peri-peri sauce. The puppies had good texture--just enough crunch, but still soft in the middle--but needed a touch more salt, in my opinion. And the peri-peri sauce was not nearly as spicy as I was expecting.

Picking a pizza was not easy. There were three on the menu--two without meat--and the toppings all seemed a perfect mix of fresh flavors and cheesy goodness. We settled on the Pizza Margherita with Roma Tomatoes, Roasted Garlic, and Basil Pesto. The garlic was aplenty, the pesto tasty, and the tomatoes and cheese all worked well together (as I had expected) but the crust--although barely dark at all--tasted so much like the oven that the flavor overpowered the rest of the ingredients.

Despite all the downsides, I'll go back to Altabira. I just won't be going for the food. I might order another pretzel...but, really this is a place to go when the sun's out or when you are trying to show off the cityscape to friends from out of town. It's all about that view.

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

Altabira City Tavern Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


  1. Hi, thanks for this Altabira City Tavern review, you gave me so much useful information about it that I'm pretty sure I'll go there when I have the opportunity to be in Portland.

    PS: my whole life also changed when the kids arrived, that's normal :)

  2. always care about our members, whether they are old or new. We are open 24 hours a day.