Monday, October 19, 2009

Portland: The Honeys Reunite for a Happy Hour Marathon

Posted by Katie & Kelly

Recently friends from college got married in Harrisburg, OR giving Katie a great excuse to come to Portland for a reunion of UP friends. It was also a great excuse for some delicious happy hours. Making the most of her last night in Portland, we decided to hit up four happy hours: Andina, Blue Hour, Elephants, and North 45.

Andina, a new bar for both of us, specializes in Peruvian style food, with an array of tapas on their bar menu. For happy hour food they offer kebabs of chicken, lamb, and beef, but with a full night of happy hours ahead of us we decided to just settle for a drink. At first we both gravitated to a vodka drink called the Tortuga, but our waitress recommended two other unique drinks and we followed her suggestion. Our drink orders fell under their "Novoandina Cocktails" category. Katie ordered their Atardecer Porteno, a honey vodka, guava, and fresh juice cocktail with a float of port and I ordered the Sacsayhuaman which involved a habanero vodka with passion fruit (half the spice for me). We were definitely happy we ventured outside our comfort zone as these were both great drinks! The Port floating in the Atardecer Porteno offered layers of flavors that unfolded throughout the beverage while the spice in the Sacsayhuaman was wonderfully complimented by the passion fruit.

Blue Hour, a first for Katie, was next on our list. Their bar offers a great vibe with their black and white interior. Unfortunately they didn't have the happy hour vodka and house roasted plum liquor drink that Katie and I were planning on ordering so the bartender offered us Sidecars for the same price. We said okay not really realizing those were made with brandy. We may be venturing out from vodka to gin, but we're not onto brandy quite yet. The drink tasted fine, though it was pretty tiny, but thanks to the bartender for making an effort. Finally ready for a snack we ordered their cheese plate and fried chick peas. Not sure I would order the chick peas again, though they were interesting to try and the cheese was good (cause it was cheese and we love cheese). Please note: when sitting at the bar, beware of people trying to strike up conversation over and over and over. And watch out for the three-legged stools. They tip quite easily as a fellow patron found out.

Finally we were off to Elephant's, a favorite of ours. After our appetizer at Blue Hour, we were ready for some real food. We met up with Adam who ordered their aardvark chicken strips (his fav) and a Rosemary's Baby, while Katie and I shared their margarita foccacia pizza and a new addition to the menu, garlic fries. Starting out with our old standby, the Three Citrus Margarita, we then ventured to some other great drink specials. We ordered Emlits (cucumber muddled with lime, gin, and mint) which were quite delicious and an immediate favorite. Those were followed by new drinks for us, a Negroni and a Corpse Reviver.

A Negroni is usually 1 part gin, 1 part sweet vermouth, and 1 part bitters, traditionally Campari, making it a deep orangy color, which I thought made a very festive-looking Halloween drink. Kel's Corpse Reviver probably had something like gin, Cointreau, Lillet Blanc and lemon juice. Let's just say that it was probably good that these were our 5th drinks of night (wow, sounds bad when you put it that way...) because they were hard to get down even with the tipsy factor. We have to thank Steve though (Kel's fav bartender) for attempting to broaden our horizons and being gentleman enough to pretend our silly stories were amusing. Thanks Steve!

By that time of the evening, Elephants was closing up shop, but Kel and I weren't quite ready to go home so we hopped over to North 45 for some margaritas and their new 3 sliders plate. Interesting display, don't ya think?

After that, it was off bed since we had to get up for my early flight back to Boston the next morning.

Kel and Katie Reunion: Round 3
So, I'm sure you're all wondering when the next Happy Hour Honeys reunion will be and for a while it was looking like it wouldn't be until May (way too far away). Luckily, Kel is visiting family in Bakersfield for Christmas and since I will be home in San Jose then too, you can bet that a 3hr 50min drive is not enough to keep us drinking separately. Anyone know any good happy hours in the Bakersfield area?