Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Portland Happy Hour: Urban Farmer

Posted by Kelly

The historical Meier + Frank building on SW Morrison (and SW 5th) off of Portland's Pioneer Square was renovated and re-opened in October 2008 as The Nines luxury hotel. The top floor houses a restaurant and bar called Departure (featured in an earlier post) and floor 8 became home to Urban Farmer, a self proclaimed modern steakhouse.

Recently my friend Katie Burgess and I ventured to this mid-level atrium and sat at the "happy hour table" in the middle of the bar. Discounted food is available from 4 to 6pm at this table, but unfortunately drinks remain full price. It was still my "sober September" so I passed on a beverage, but Katie ordered the Farmer #3, a $9 martini with vodka, lemon juice, and St. Germaine. Tasty, and strong...good thing since it was spendy.

Before we even had a chance to explore the menu we were approached by Urban Farmer's very own "cheese head" Brandon, pushing a cheese cart with a selection of eight cheeses and eight sauces. Brandon offered a short lesson on each type of cheese, a couple tastings, and proceeded to convince us to get a customized cheese plate.

We thought we made it clear that we wanted a small plate which cost $5, but apparently our attempts to get a couple different kinds of cheeses for $5 didn't work, because we ended up with three different cheeses for $15. Though it was a little more than we had planned on spending for our cheese plate, I'm not going to lie...it was kinda worth it. If you love cheese, which we do! On the far left was a brie with blueberry and arugula sauces. The middle is a goat cheese with a blue cheese type mold on the outside, paired with truffle honey and marcona almonds. Finally we had a shaved Parmesan type cheese (?) with a delicious sauce. They were all SO good!

We definitely didn't let our $15 cheese plate and Katie's $9 martini stop us from ordering off the happy hour menu as well. Finally we had a chance to look it over and ordered a pulled pork on cornbread slider ($4), a beef slider ($5), and a garlic, white bean, and spinach cold dip with grilled pita ($5). Since we ordered sliders we also had to order the fries ($4).

The sliders were great, with generous portions of meat and unique buns. The dip was good but not a must have, and the fries were a great addition to our order!

Urban Farmer is not a cheap happy hour with big portions. It's not an everyday after work happy hour to enjoy with friends or co-workers. It doesn't have an enticing drink special, or a great steal on it's menu, but if you are looking for a unique experience, awesome fries, really tasty pairings, and some great cheese, this is definitely worth a visit!