Friday, July 27, 2012

Portland Happy Hours: Corazon & Brix Tavern

Last week Adam and I...wait, that's not right. Two weeks, that's not right either. Four weeks ago, yep that's it, Adam and I actually had a chance to go to a couple happy hours together. I recently started a new job at Portland Bride & Groom which has involved a lot of evening networking events and Adam's job at Nike took him to Eugene for 10 days and has required a lot of late nights recently too. Sometimes I feel like we barely see each other!

So four weeks ago Adam was in Eugene, it was my 25th birthday and I was about to fly to San Diego for Jenna's bachelorette party, when Adam decided to come home for one night to have our own celebration before I left town.

What: Corazon
Where: 1205 SW Washington Street
When:  HH 3 - 6pm and 10 - Midnight

After work we met at Corazon which recently overhauled their menu and has been receiving consistently positive reviews, also it was a short walk from my downtown office. To snack on while looking over the menu they bring you chips and Funyun type rings. None of it really excited me and I would have happily traded these out for Porque No? chips, but I obviously still ate some chips and I did enjoy the green salsa.

We started with the margarita de la casa ($6) with tequila, agave nectar, and lime - a classic house margarita. Since I am partial to tequila and tart drinks these made me much happier than the bowl of chips. 

I can't find a happy hour menu online and I don't remember the exact name or prices of this, but off the happy hour menu we ordered a fondue with chorizo and jalapenos. I love cheese (surprise!) and I am rarely disappointed by something that's main ingredient is cheese, but this was hardening before they even set it down so you couldn't just dip a chip and get a little of everything. Overall, not a great experience and we didn't eat very much of it.

We followed that by sharing 3 tacos. The Fish, Carnitas, and Lamb Barbacoa ($2.50 each). I didn't love any of them. The fish lacked any kind of special flavor, the pork was dry and the seasoning on the lamb barbacoa just wasn't my thing. Essentially there was nothing I had that made me want to come back, but the guys next to me where going on and on about how great their tacos were. Either they ordered all different ones or they don't have my sophisticated palette...

Feeling slightly depressed that Adam had driven North for a birthday celebration and we hadn't been excited about anything, we headed to another happy hour not far away.

What: Brix Tavern
Where: 1338 NW Hoyt Street
When: HH 3 - 6:30 pm, all day Mondays 3 pm - Close

Parking is always awesome in the Pearl, but we made it with 10 minutes left of happy hour. Adam went for the Brix Julep ($4) with Crown Royal, muddled mint and cucumber, honey simple syrup and lime, while I opted for the Rosemary Gin Sour with gin, rosemary simple syrup and lemonade.

I had slight drink envy since his was served in a cute mason jar, but my drink was good...enough. It is sort of funny that it is called a Rosemary Gin Sour, because it was too sweet for me. The favors were nice though so I would just ask for a little less simple syrup next time.

Having been disappointed by our previous bites at Corazon we thought we would try a couple things since the prices at Brix are really reasonable. All 18 hh items are under $7.95 - most $5.95 and under - which is pretty great. The Fried Calamari, Lemon and Rock Shrimp ($7.95) were not over fried and I liked the addition of the rock shrimp. I did have to ask for a lemon to squeeze over the top and had hoped it would be a little more flavorful though.

We also ordered a Classic Caesar Salad which was pretty standard and only $3.95. Not bad!

So I guess our happy hour spots weren't the biggest hits, but it was nice to have a chance to celebrate together! Katie actually went to Brix recently as well and left less than impressed, but I did go back for a work drink the other night and had the Summer Sun ($4) which I really enjoyed. It was Hendrick's gin (yum!), muddled cucumber, green apple simple syrup and fresh lime. It was a nice summer drink to enjoy at the outdoor tables, and the drinks are only $4. Also, the food menu is pretty large and affordable so there could be some hidden gems!