Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Portland Happy Hour: Cafe Nell

Posted by Kelly

Once I decided I wanted to move to NW Portland I walked around to look at apartments and as I walked past the corner of NW 20th and Kearney I smelled something delicious, Cafe Nell. Since that day I have been wanting to eat there, and tonight I finally made it to their happy hour.

The menu includes $4 drink specials, all of which I would gladly drink! Adam enjoyed (like really enjoyed) a champagne cocktail and I will definitely return after sober September to try one of the very appealing martini specials.

The food menu had an awesome variety at affordable prices ranging from $1 to $5. Adam and I had a hard time making choices but managed to eventually narrow it down. We ordered hand cut fries, a pickle and fried onion slider, and grilled chile lime shrimp all for $2 each.

With fall beginning, bringing with it chilly weather and rain, grilled cheese and tomato soup ($5) sounded great, and it was!

A nice surprise was to see a dessert on a happy hour menu. Adam is already a sucker for chocolate so we couldn't pass up a chocolate brownie with caramel sauce ($2). Tasty! We left very satisfied and with only a $17 bill.

The environment is great, with a sofisticated and friendly crowd, a cozy bar and a great couch area where we were lucky enough to sit. Their happy hour is from 4 to 6pm Tuesday through Friday, and 4 to close on Saturday. I highly recommend it and will definitely be back soon! Look out for Cafe Nell Revisited...

Portland Happy Hour: Blue Moon McMenamins

Posted by Kelly

McMenamins are a popular chain restaurant throughout Oregon. With everything from hotels, restaurants, $3 movies, live music, and science pubs they are a favorite destination for locals and tourists alike. Blue Moon, located on the corner of NW 21st and Glisan, is a McMenamins offering a small happy hour menu from 3 to 6 daily. With cheap eats that include cajun tots, 1/4 pound burgers, nachos, spinach artichoke dip, and beer specials it is a good happy hour to fill a bar food craving. Hit it up on a nice day when the seating spills out of the restaurant to the streets!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Boston: Picks and Pans

posted by Katie

So I've been living in Boston for a little over 2 weeks now and I think it's about time that I share some of my early observations a la a countdown of my top 3 loves and hates.

Love #3: Public Gardens

Boston is teasing me and pretending like the weather is nice here. I know any day now it's going to get freezing cold and dreary but lately it's been sunny and almost warm, perfect weather for a stroll in the gardens.

Love #2: The T
I'm on the green B line, which apparently is the line you really don't want to be on, but I'm not complaining. Yeah, it does take me a good 40 minutes to get anywhere and there are way too many occasionally annoying BU undergrads (I'm talking to you obnoxious theater majors going to the aquarium last saturday) but hey, I can deal with it. I'll gladly use that free 40 minutes to read, people watch, or just zone out if it's that kind of day.

Love #1: The Food
Big surprise right? Just don't go making the mistake of thinking that I haven't sampled my fair share of food in the short time I've been here. Top three indulgences currently are: cannoli from Modern Pastry in the North End (Mike's are no comparison), fresh pasta and sauces from Dave's Fresh Pasta in Somerville, and a burger from Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage in Cambridge. (Future posts to cover these in more detail)

and now onto the not so good...

Hate #3: The Drivers
A girl in my orientation group informed me that they are often referred to as "massholes." I believe it. No one has run me over yet but everyone is sure doing their darnedest.

Hate #2: The Smokers
Seriously, what is with everyone smoking? I can't walk two blocks without having to dodge some nasty smoke clouds. Gross

Hate #3: Happy Hours are Illegal!!!
That's right, illegal. I didn't want to believe it at first either but it's true. You can read about it here if you're so inclined.
Really, it's only discounted drinks and doubles that are not allowed, so food-only happy hours are still a go but yeah...kinda sucks.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Portland Happy Hour: Bluehour

Posted by Kelly

My friend Mary and I have been training for the Portland Marathon as American Cancer Society Charity Runners. It has been a lot of work but we haven't done anything too serious for our training (I mean other than going on 20+ mile runs) until September when we decided it was time to be healthier with the marathon only a month away (October 4th). September officially became known as "Sober September" and we have decided not to drink for the entire month. Initially I allowed this to put a cramp in my happy hour style, but then I remembered I can go to happy hour and not drink!

Tonight Adam and I hit up a popular after work happy hour located on the corner of Everett and 13th, Bluehour. Looking at the regular menu we almost thought against it knowing that on our limited income we definitely couldn't afford to eat in the restaurant, but we decided to brave the happy hour and hoped they had some good deals. Turns out they do!

To begin Adam ordered a drink. He almost went for a beer, but living vicariously through him I convinced him to order a $6 martini special. He chose the Fresh Summer, which combined vodka, lemon juice, and honey. We both wished there had been a little more lemon and a little less honey.

The food menu included about 15 items ranging from $1 to $5. Adam and I chose a $2 vegetable slider with zucchini, red peppers and pesto. This was our fav! A $3 ceasar salad was next. Great dressing and croutons.

When we first sat down Adam spotted the $5 burger so we decided to share that as well, and a little $2 goat cheese fonduta. Both were great, and the burger even came with fries.

Bluehour offers great happy hour food and prices to match. I would definitely recommend it and will be going back once "Sober September" is over so I can try one of their many other cocktail options!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

San Jose: Agave Viejo

Posted by Katie

For my last night in San Jose before the big move to Boston, I decided it would be fun to hit up a happy hour with all my friends from home...so basically Nick and Bears.

We planned on trying Smoke Tiki Lounge, which had caught my eye when I was dropping off my boxes at the Greyhound Station next door. That plan was quickly aborted though thanks to the sketchy patio and the fact that we sat around for a good 5 minutes without being approached by a waitress.

We tried Agave Viejo instead, but the service was not much better. We waited at least 10 minutes before the manager finally sent a waitress over and throughout our time there it was like pulling teeth to get our food and drinks within a reasonable amount of time.

Despite the poor service, the prices were pretty good. $4 for house margaritas and we also went for the $4 nachos and $4 chicken flautas. Definitely not anywhere close to authentic mexican food but it wasn't bad.

But then there was our second round of margaritas that came with extra sour mix (homemade at least) and no tequila. Big problem. We asked the bartender to add some of the good stuff and he did, but he was not happy about it. So all and all, I would steer clear of Agave Viejo in the future.

Also, you probably want to see a picture of the awesome cake we made for dessert. Piping by Bears (she's a pro).