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5 Ratings

Type: Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

416 W Gates St
Mount Vernon, Washington, 98273-3835
United States

(360) 336-9989 | map

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Added by woemad on 01-02-2008

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Ratings: 5 |  Reviews: 4
Reviews by woemad:
Photo of woemad
4/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

While visiting my brother in Mt.Vernon at the end of September, he mentioned that this place was the best local watering hole for the average beer geek. We didn't have time to hit it when it was open over the weekend, so I decided to stop by on Monday on my way out of town.

The Porterhouse is one of those places that looks smaller from the outside than it actually is. It occupies a space along a sidestreet near the shore of the Skagit River. The area you enter features a bar with about twenty taps, sixteen of which were on the day I visited. The insides were"woodsy", and tastefully decorated.
IIRC, there was a chalkboard featuring the beers on-tap, along with a note declaring that beers were regularly rotated. Past the bar was a sunken room about the same size as the first room, which effectively doubled the apparent capacity of the place. There appeared to be a kitchen behind the bar area.

It was about 11AM, and there was only one person working behind the bar. Wen I came in, no other customers were there, but professional types seeking lunch began to trickle in while I was there. The bartender was a young woman who did her job perfunctorily, but clearly was wishing she was somewhere else as she came off as somewhat sullen, and was not a good source of info about the place.

The beers were a nice cross-section of styles, mostly selected from regional micros (Boundary Bay and numerous Puget Sound area brewers), though some choices from wider afield (Sierra Nevada, for example) were also available. The beers were served at reasonable temperature and without frosted glasses. I opted for a cask Hop Inversion, which was very tasty, along with a pint of Harmon's ESB and what seemed like a 4oz(!) sample of Sierra Nevada's Torpedo.

Having grabbed a quick bite shortly before stopping by I did not try any food, but it is present and judging by the locals who began to flow in this is a popular lunch site.

Aside from the competent though surly service I encountered, this was a gem of a place tucked away in the old downtown section of Mount Vernon, and would make an excellent partner to any exploration of nearby Skagit River's beers.

EDIT: 4/25/08 - Revisited around the time of the dinner rush earlier this week. Despite it being much busier this time, I encountered none of the surly-seeming service, so I've altered the score. Also, I think every beer on tap was different, so it's obvious they rotate regularly. Got a look at a menu this time - typical, slightly upscale pub grub - but didn't partake, as I had already eaten.

 2,566 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of mactrail
4.01/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Five years since anyone has reviewed this place, but it's surprising how little has changed. Good beer selection, excellent food, and a quiet location. Now, it's right on the new farmer's market plaza built as part of the riverwalk on the Skagit, a good place for a stroll before or after. Acres of free parking.

Taps numbered 21 with primarily northern Washington breweries, a couple from Seattle, Sierra Nevada DIPA, and three from Lagunitas. The split level layout is complemented by the roll-up garage door right on the sidewalk.

The food was a nice surprise, and the clam chowder is the best I've had in Washington. I had the Texas wild boar burger which was excellent. Salads are also above average. Daily specials, pub grub and steaks. Pleasant service and nothing pretentious, but clean and no loud music. Local crowd of every age.

 843 characters

Photo of Donkster46
3.57/5  rDev -11.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75

Photo of Briken
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

The Porterhouse is a wonderful spot hiding in a fairly small place. As you walk in you are greeted by the sight of wood floors, a sign to seat yourself at a clean table, and the welcome sight of a bar with 20+ West Coast taps. As you step down in to the lower section you will find a gas fireplace, 2 dart boards and even a small selection of games (rock'em sock'em robots!)and books. The outside wall used to be a garage door with glass windows making an interestingly recycled space feel.

The menu is not your average pub fare. Aside from the pasta offerings, the sandwiches typically have a gourmet side to them. Like the buffalo salmon or the SW philly with rosemary-jalapeno au jus. The portion is a little small but it is supplemented with soup, salad, or a generous helping of crispy fries. Their specials seem to have a flair for gourmet experimentation if you feel so inclined to have your taste buds surprised in a different way.

The service was very efficient albeit not overly friendly. Not rude, just not chatty which is perfectly fine with me.

The beer selection is always rotating except for Wyders pear cider and Boundary Bay IPA. They have 2 nitro taps and an occasional cask. They are also trying to keep their list updated on their website. Happy hour is from 3-6 and all day Monday with $3 pints. I also found out they will fill your growler which is great news considering the limited selection in the area. They also have a selection of bottles but I didn't get a chance to look at the list.

Definitely a great place to relax with a pint or two. Make sure you get there early on the weekend so you can sit back and watch the other people perch like vultures and scramble for a table.

 1,709 characters

Photo of beertunes
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

One of the few places in MV worth checking out, in fact I will take the drive just for a burger. About 15 taps and as far as I can figure they rotate everything, all the time. I have yet to be disappointed by the selection here. The menu is very well done pub food. I really like the Black and Blue burger, a blackened burger with lots of local blue cheese. I've always found their soups and chowder to be top notch. The service is friendly and efficient, in a town like MV where there are few really good options, this place gets busy so the servers can be a little short, but if you get there when it's a little slower they will give you more attention than you want. In a good way. If you're in the area for Tulip Time, or anytime, I highly recommend the Porterhouse.

 770 characters

Porterhouse in Mount Vernon, WA
Place rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 5 ratings
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