Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Portland Happy Hour: Saucebox

I first visited Saucebox on my 21st Birthday. The place wasn't very hopping considering it was a Tuesday night around 10:00pm but from the moment I took my first sip of my hijito (a mojito with hibiscus syrup), I knew I had come to the right place.

Located on SW Broadway near Burnside, Saucebox is hard to miss with its monkey-adorned neon sign. It had been awhile since I'd visited Saucebox and when Leslie and Kelly couldn't stop raving about their happy hour, it became very necessary that I too experience all that Saucebox has to offer. Leslie and I met up with Kelly and immediately ordered a round of hijitos; the food decision took a little bit longer. All the food is priced at $2-5 and they have quite a selection. We finally decided on the $2 bowl of fries, $3 sweet potato spring rolls, $3 bowl of pad thai, $3 noodle-wrapped meatballs and $4 bowl of curry noodles. We were also treated to a complimentary order of edamame. Nice.

While we pride ourselves on our usually cost-efficient happy hour runs, I have to admit that this trip ended up being pricier than most thanks to the $8 price tag on those hijitos...and our decision to each have two. (Hey, we had a hard couple of days and in the words of Leslie "those things are like juice.") Oh well, a little splurge now and again is good for you.

Honeys Heart: Cacao

If you are in the mood for some hot cocoa, we highly recommend Cacao on SW 13th St. Their hot chocolate and drinking chocolate is deliciously rich and they also offer an assortment of solid chocolate bars and handmade chocolates.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Portland Happy Hour: Amalfi's

My grandparents live in NE and have becomes regulars at many of their favorite local restaurants. They introduced me to Amalfi's, an Italian restaurant on NE Fremont. I like to order the tortellini with alfredo sauce, but I'm quite a fan of their meat sauce, shrimp scampi, baked pastas, and pizza. All of their dishes come with a salad (always order with their blue cheese, they make their own and it's SO good), and ice cream at the end, which I am usually too full to eat.

I have gone to Amalfi's many times with my grandparents and they always order a citrus drop, which until 5 months ago I was too young to order. Recently Katie and I decided we needed to try their happy hour, mainly so we could have a citrus drop but also to satisfy the needs of our likely desperate readers, since we haven't blogged in a month.

We arrived around 5 and sat at the bar. We both ordered a Raspberry Citrus Drop ($8) while we reviewed the happy hour food menu.

In order to try a bunch of different things, we decided to order four dishes and share. First we decided on the Penne with meat sauce and Ravioli with creamy pesto, both $3.95. After more deliberation and assistance from the bartenders, we also ordered Bruschetta and Jalapeno Artichoke Dip.

Ultimately we did not need all of this, but managed to eat it regardless. In the interest of saving money and satisfying a desire for desert we shared a Lemon Sorbet Martini ($8) which was lemoncello, peach schnapps, and fresh lemon juice served over a scoop of sorbet in a martini glass.

Both drinks were awesome. I will even go so far as to say the Raspberry Citrus Drop rivaled our fav drink at Mint, the Bella. While the bartender made our second drink, an older couple sitting down the bar from us complimented us on our impeccable drink selection abilities. They had no idea that we are basically happy hour experts, maybe we should make cards to hand out...

In the end, we realized that while the portions of the happy hour dishes are much smaller than the regular meals, two pastas, two drinks, and one other appetizer type dish is plenty for two. Additionally, the bar has a nice atmosphere, and although getting our check took some time, the bartenders were friendly and helpful. I am looking forward to going back, when my lovely grandparents are paying, and drinking more than one citrus drop!