Visiting Portland (Fall 2015 update)

Discussion in 'Northwest' started by guajolote, Oct 4, 2015.

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  1. anteater

    anteater Pooh-Bah (1,852) Sep 10, 2012 Oregon
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    If you go in the summer you can get a seat outside and get the best of both worlds - great IPA's, great wings, a nice view of 13th ave and no big stupid heads crowding your entire field of vision.
  2. ballardbeer

    ballardbeer Zealot (645) Nov 10, 2013 Washington

    seconding this. caught some football there two weeks ago and there's not many bad seats in the house for TV views. good food and great beer. where's breakside's #1 fanboy, @Bitter_Better? I bet he agrees.
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  3. Strangestbrewer

    Strangestbrewer Crusader (453) Oct 17, 2014 Oregon

    I've been very impressed with their beer, but Fatheads pub is just the absolute worst ambiance in the entire fucking town, and the food style just isn't for me. For the second year in a row I've tried to meet friends at Deschutes during last minute shopping time downtown and it was so full we made a last second decision to go to Fatheads again. There were people at maybe 6 tables... while there were tons of people just two blocks down. And once again we used that one beer to talk about where we should go instead.

    Has anyone been there with more than half capacity?
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  4. TheBungyo

    TheBungyo Pooh-Bah (2,013) Dec 1, 2004 Washington
    Pooh-Bah Society

    When I was there it was fucking Superbowl Sunday and the place was more than half empty. I don't think they'd been open long by that point and I left about 20 minutes before kickoff but still. I would think they should have been packed. That made the terrible service I received even worse.
  5. digita7693

    digita7693 Initiate (0) Jan 19, 2010 Germany

    Ill agree with this too, definitely one of my top 5 pdx breweries, and has great food too. An Alternative to my Commons, Growler Guys, Cascade route would be to stop at Kennedy school and walk around for an hour and then take Car2Go, Uber, Lyft, walk, whatever the 1.5ish miles to Breakside for real beer.
  6. John_M

    John_M Grand High Pooh-Bah (6,275) Oct 25, 2003 Washington
    Super Mod Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Nope. Last time I stopped by was back on a Saturday afternoon in May. I was curious to see what the place was like, and was in the mood for a snack after a stop over at Bailey's. There seemed to be a lot of folks in the downtown area, and I was a bit concerned that I might have some difficulty finding an open seat. However, the place was no more than half full, and I had no difficulty getting a spot in the bar area. I must have gotten there at the tail end of the lunch "crowd," as by the time I left (roughly an hour later), the place was almost deserted.

    At the time, I just assumed that the place was still fairly new, and that this was the explanation for why so few people were there. I had an OK time (I've been to the FatHeads in Pittsburgh on a number of occasions, so I wasn't greatly surprised by the ambiance and food menu), and the beer was decent (some things better than others, as always). That being said, I couldn't think of a single reason why I'd want to go back there any time soon
  7. dirtylou

    dirtylou Grand Pooh-Bah (3,266) May 12, 2005 Oklahoma
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Fat Heads is what it is, but I just don't see why people seem to somehow be offended by it. I've only been once and there were fat heads all over the place (who really cares?). I had two excellent double IPA's and went about my business. I didn't eat there, but I wouldn't be any more excited to eat at Deschutes either. Like any town on the freaking planet, if food is truly important to you, you won't be eating it at a brewery.
  8. digita7693

    digita7693 Initiate (0) Jan 19, 2010 Germany

    Not offended by it, and they make good ipas, BUT with all the places to go in PDX I find no reason or desire to go there. Personally I find that just in the Pearl and barely into downtown, let alone within say 4 miles, there are myriad places I would rather go for beer, food, and/or atmosphere.
  9. maltmaster420

    maltmaster420 Initiate (0) Aug 17, 2005 Oregon

    Seriously? Deschutes' food may be a tad overpriced (which sort of comes with having property in the most expensive neighborhood in town), but their food is god damn delicious.
  10. dirtylou

    dirtylou Grand Pooh-Bah (3,266) May 12, 2005 Oklahoma
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    I personally wouldn't choose to eat at either given all of the other options. I hate that Deschutes pub for a variety of reasons, so that doesn't help.
  11. blackcloud

    blackcloud Savant (1,197) Apr 28, 2012 Alaska

    while not being a local anymore, I agree. If I still lived in town, I'd likely almost never go there, and would never consider it a "hangout". That said, I went in when I was in town in August, and every beer I tried was pretty damned good, but the place was terrible. My ex used to work in the neighborhood and went there for lunch shortly after they opened, and had nothing but terrible things to say (she's not a drinker at all), which lends creedence to the it not having a "local vibe", from an oherwise unbiased (by the good beer) standpoint.
  12. bfields4

    bfields4 Savant (1,137) Dec 11, 2007 Colorado

    So i honestly have felt like I was at an Applebee's at every Deschutes location I have visited, and the food seemed to fall in line... Which I hate cause I love their beer. I almost like the fatheads location better cause.. Well I'd take a shitty sports bar over an Applebee's any day. Different note. Both of breakside' locations are awesome. Hadn't been to the pub before thanks for the rec!
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  13. Strangestbrewer

    Strangestbrewer Crusader (453) Oct 17, 2014 Oregon

    Man, you and I have been to very different Applebee's.
  14. TheBungyo

    TheBungyo Pooh-Bah (2,013) Dec 1, 2004 Washington
    Pooh-Bah Society

    I found the food offensive in that it was loaded with salt, calories, and fat but was completely bland. I had the Italian sandwich, and how you manage to have a bunch of cured meats topped off with crumbled Italian sausage come off bland is beyond me. It's one thing to be completely unhealthy, and I won't knock most beer bars for offering unhealthy food ... but if I'm going to take the plunge and eat shit like that it should at least have some discernible flavors .

    I won't bother getting into how bad the service was.
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  15. dirtylou

    dirtylou Grand Pooh-Bah (3,266) May 12, 2005 Oklahoma
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    The obvious solution is to grub at lardo, grab an ipa at fat heads, and skip deschutes all together
  16. John_M

    John_M Grand High Pooh-Bah (6,275) Oct 25, 2003 Washington
    Super Mod Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    I would agree that the Bend location food is nothing special (still not sure I'd equate it to Applebee's), but not the PDX location. I mean it's not on a par with Olympic Provisions (excuse me, I mean Olympia Provisions now), Higgins or Paley's Place, but I wouldn't expect that. The specials I've had at the PDX location have always been very good and fairly creative, and even the regular menu items have been solid. The one criticism I would make about the PDX pub is that it always seems to be pretty crowded, and often times waits for a table are ridiculous. I'll certainly agree that the food isn't so wonderful that an hour long wait for a table is justified.
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  17. SeaAle

    SeaAle Savant (1,237) Jun 24, 2012 Oregon

    The crowd and long wait for a table at Deschutes is what keeps me away also. Even finding a seat in the bar for just a beer is tough on most days. This is why I prefer Fat Head's. Seldom a wait, real good beer and decent food. I don't even notice the giant heads anymore.
  18. dcgunman

    dcgunman Pooh-Bah (2,608) Jul 1, 2009 California
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    So I am still planning on visiting Portland next weekend. And I was going ask about places with TV's for the playoffs. But I already see it's been posted. Thanks. But I do have a question about OP places mentioned about loudness level inside. I've been to several brewery's/brewpubs/bars where the level of loudness is too much. More of an echoing loudness to the place. In other words you have to talk louder than normal because everybody else is doing the same. I like a place where you can have a normal conversation and not have to yell or ask "What did you say?" I can understand this weekend being playoff weekend. It will be loud regardless.

    FH was on my go to place. I had no idea they were in Portland. They seem more like BJ Restaurant type but better beers? And I was going to go because of Hop JuJu. Been wanting to try it. So should just look for it at a bar instead of going to FH?

    Same thing above^

    A growler question. Should I bring my SS growler with me on this trip? I am not familiar with OR growler law. As everybody knows the CA growler laws are the worst ever. It did get a little better. But still sucks. Does the Growler guys fill any type of growlers? Thanks.

    One more thing. Should I go to Deschutes? Is it a must visit like Sierra Nevada or Stone?
  19. John_M

    John_M Grand High Pooh-Bah (6,275) Oct 25, 2003 Washington
    Super Mod Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Definitely bring your SS growler with you. Oregon is not California, and any place that fills growlers will generally fill anything. GG will have no problem filling your SS growler.

    If you've never been to a Deschutes brewpub, then I would recommend a visit. IMHO, no, it's not a "must visit" like Stone or Sierra Nevada, but even so... if you like Deschutes stuff, then you should definitely go (though as mentioned above, don't be surprised if there's a bit of a wait for a table or bar stool, depending when you go).

    As for FH's and Hop Juju, be sure to check in advance to make sure it's currently available. Usually it isn't (in my limited experience), but you may get lucky. That being said, they usually have several FH IPA's and DIPA's available, and almost certainly they'll have something on tap that you'll like. You read over the recent comments about FH, so (of course) you can decide for yourself whether or not you want to stop by. If nothing else, unlike Deschutes, you should have little trouble finding a seat at the bar or a table.

    Have fun.
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  20. rennsport

    rennsport Initiate (0) Feb 23, 2015 California

    @guajolote Thanks for the up to date and informative thread. Leaving Portland with 4 shippers. Used many of your tips to make the process of getting more shippers and finding good bottle shops easy. Cheers!
    guajolote likes this.
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