Visiting Portland (Fall 2015 update)

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

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  1. Spaceloaf

    Spaceloaf Initiate (0) Nov 27, 2008 Oregon

    Personally, I feel that Fat Heads crosses a line in terms of food quality. It's not that food is "so important to me," but Fat Heads is far enough below the standard of quality for Portland that it must affect their business.

    For example every time I'm out with friends in that area, we end up going to 10 Barrel over Fat Heads. Even though I think Fat Heads has better beer, for the overall happiness of the group 10 Barrel wins hands down.

    I really do think FH could do much better business if they developed a PDX-specific menu rather than trying to force the franchise menu in a location where it doesn't fit. As it stands, I think their food is the main reason why they are always half empty.
  2. boralyl

    boralyl Savant (1,000) Apr 17, 2008 Oregon

    I personally love going to Fat Head's. I've been there many times and had to wait for a seat on several occasions. The beer (especially the hoppy offerings) is on point. While their style of food and gigantic portions doesn't exactly fit Portland, it's just fine by me.

    I'm not sure why so many get turned off by the ambience, but fortunately we have plenty of other options in Portland. I would always recommend Fat Head's to an out of towner.
  3. dcgunman

    dcgunman Pooh-Bah (2,558) Jul 1, 2009 California
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Okay…let me throw this at you guys. Bend vs Portland? If I had a choice to go to Bend instead, should I? I can always visit Portland another time. Just asking.
  4. Aestro

    Aestro Initiate (0) Nov 29, 2009 Oregon

    Bend is a great town and cool spot for a short vacation (or a long one if you're outdoorsy), but I think there's a whole lot more that you'll find in Portland that isn't in Bend than the other way around. Crux is great, but they're not too hard to find in Portland. APEX in Portland is arguably better than visiting the Boneyard tasting room. There's a Deschutes and 10 Barrel in Portland. Bend Brewing and Sunriver are both great, but that's still a fraction of the Portland breweries, and I'll take Portland's beer bars and food in a heartbeat.

    Now, if this is some strange situation like you're road tripping and going near Bend so it'll be easier to get to than any time in the foreseeable future, then yeah hit it up. But if you're just debating between the two, and especially if you've never been to Portland, it's Portland.
  5. John_M

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

    I confess I'm kind of scratching my head about your question. Much as I like visiting Bend, there's really no comparison between Bend and PDX. Bend has some nice breweries, pubs, growler stations and restaurants, but quantity and quality-wise, nothing that really compares to what you'll find in PDX (IMHO). Also, for the most part, Bend breweries see good distribution throughout the state and NW, so most of what's brewed in Bend can be found without too much effort in and around PDX.

    That being said, if you have an opportunity to visit Bend on this up-coming trip, and aren't sure if you'll have that opportunity again any time soon (but feel getting up to PDX won't be any sort of problem), then it's certainly something to consider. Just be sure to check the roads getting up there, as I think they've been getting a fair amount of snow up in the mountains (you might need chains to get there).

    Either way, I'm sure you'll have a good time.
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  6. maltmaster420

    maltmaster420 Initiate (0) Aug 17, 2005 Oregon

    This is the deciding factor for me. Not all of the breweries in Bend distribute to Portland, but 90% of the stuff worth drinking makes it here. Sure, you won't find the full line of Crux, Bend Brewing, or Boneyard in one convenient place, but odds are you'll find a handful of stuff from all of them pouring somewhere in town at any given time.
    dcgunman likes this.
  7. guajolote

    guajolote Maven (1,325) Sep 12, 2008 Oregon

    I agree with the three above me. Bend is awesome and I love visiting, but the answer to your question is Portland. It's not even close.
    digita7693, dcgunman and sharpski like this.
  8. distantmantra

    distantmantra Pooh-Bah (2,954) May 23, 2011 Washington
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    If you've never been to Portland, go to Portland. If you've been before, go to Bend.
    philhyde and dcgunman like this.
  9. dcgunman

    dcgunman Pooh-Bah (2,558) Jul 1, 2009 California
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    PDX it is.
    vurt likes this.
  10. PortlandAlePatrol

    PortlandAlePatrol Initiate (0) Nov 18, 2014 Oregon

    Fat Heads has Hop JuJu, IBUsive & Head Hunter ales, that I had there before PTFC matches, all of them are tasty in my opinion. Never ate at FH but know for shure that portions are huge, reflects "mid east" pub grub mentality.
    Hair of the Dog, Bridgeport,Deschutes,Breakside, all of them have good food IMHO
    also I am borderline alcoholic so my emphasis is on ales and wine and cocktails:wink:
  11. TaborTime

    TaborTime Pundit (928) Dec 10, 2013 Oregon

    Not sure why people are overcomplicating Fat Head's.

    Definitely go, do a taster tray or two and order some combination of their wings, fried pickles, or pretzel. Really good beer and those food options are above average even by Portland standards.
  12. Aestro

    Aestro Initiate (0) Nov 29, 2009 Oregon

    I've heard from others that they have good food. The one time I went I ordered a medium burger and got one that was completely grey inside. Not exactly the most difficult order in the world. Shouldn't stop anyone from just going and getting a couple beers though.

    On an unrelated note: Zupan's on Belmont had both DFH's 120-minute IPA and the Cognac Abyss, among several other great beers. I still love that as a somewhat secret beer spot.
  13. guajolote

    guajolote Maven (1,325) Sep 12, 2008 Oregon

  14. John_M

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

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