Monday, August 6, 2012

Portland Happy Hour: The Bent Brick

One perk of working within walking distance of our apartment: I'm home by 5:15pm at the latest. In theory, that should mean I get to make it to all kinds of end-at-6pm happy hours. But since everybody else doesn't have the same commute, it's pretty rare these days that I do get to partake in an early happy hour.
I know, so sad right? But don't feel bad for me for too long because two weeks ago Doug got off work early (yay!) and tasked me with figuring out what happy hour to go to (the pressure!).

Unfortunately I chose wrong.

What: The Bent Brick
Where: 1639 NW Marshall St 
When: HH 5-6:30pm Everyday
Honeys Heart: ???

I've heard good things about The Bent Brick- at least I thought I had. Now I can't quite remember where, so maybe I haven't? Regardless, their $3 happy hour snack menu and $5 cocktails seemed like a good choice.

My first mistake might have been veering off the happy hour drink menu as regularly priced cocktails are a little up there. I decided to go for one of the least expensive: Stay Cool Out There ($8), made with vodka, house elderflower liqueur, strawberry syrup, and "sparkles" (aka some bubbly).

This was good because it reminded me of a sparkling rosé somehow, but that also made me a little mad because if I wanted a sparkling rosé I would have ordered one.

Doug stuck to the hh menu and ordered a Moscow Mule ($5), which he described as "sub-par" and "the most pedestrian Moscow mule I've ever had." Yikes. Can't say I disagreed.

Another downfall: half of our snack of choice, Smoked Cod Poofs with Malt-Garlic Dip ($3), were stale. Like feel like you're going to break your teeth when you bite into them stale. Not good.

And the final strike: the place was completely empty. That's ok in some restaurants, but at The Bent Brick, Doug and I just felt awkward. It was as if we had arrived way too early to the party.

One more thing. They have a great little patio, but on the day we were there, a bright sunny day, there was only one picnic table sitting smack dab in the middle of the patio. There was definitely room for more seating. Awkward again.

I don't think we'll be back any time soon.

UPDATE 8/30: Following the posting of this review, we were contacted by the PR folks representing The Bent Brick asking if we would give them another shot. We agreed and were treated to a lovely meal. Kel loved the Green and Romano Bean Salad ($10) and my favorite dish was definitely the Pork Belly and Loin ($23) served with country ham gnocchi. However, my initial review was of Bent Brick's happy hour, not their dinner menu, and as the happy hour menu does not accurately reflect the restaurant's focus on fresh, local ingredients, I stand by my initial assertion that this is not a happy hour I will return to if the happy hour menu remains the same. If I ever feel like splurging on dinner in my neighborhood, Bent Brick will be on my radar. Cheers!