Cafe Castagana or Ken's PLace?
What is the better choice in this Hood
Having dinner with out of town guests staying in Hawthorne Area
Any suggestions on good DRINK happy Hours near by??
Tough choice. Ken's leans more to comfort food, excellently prepared; Castagna has a slightly more adventurous menu, and possibly the best burger and fries in Portland. Ken's has a limited beer and wine offering; CC has a full bar. Ken's is patronized by more "ordinary" people, while there is a slight whiff of the trendy and meat-markety about CC. Your best bet is to check out the menus and see which is more to your taste; both should be just fine.
I love love love Cafe Castagne. My husband ordered a mojito last time we were there and the bartender went outside to pick fresh mint for it. The burger is the best in the city in my opinion.
I love Cafe Castagna too. Interesting and ever-changing menu (last time I had cockles and spaghetti, which was marvelous), good drinks, good service. I love their burger as well...though I love Carlyle's too. They also make a very refreshing homemade ginger ale. Never found it to be meat-markety, but then again, I dine early, before the heavy hitters get their drink on. ;o)
Just remember, if it is Tuesday, Ken's Place is an all BBQ menu. Some of the best 'Q in town, but if you're not craving BBQ, and it's Tuesday, you'll probably want to go to Cafe Castagna.
They are on adjoining blocks, so park your car and look at both menus and see what you are in the mood for that night. You can always start at Castagna's bar for drinks (no HH pricing, but good drinks) and then move over to Ken's if you wish...or just stay put.
That's Crush, and yes it is near - on SE Morrison at 14th. They do have a good happy hour with a short list of drinks discounted. Naughty Girl Lemonade (basil-infused vodka, muddled basil leaves and lemonade) and the ManDiva Delight (vodka/berry puree concoction) are two of my faves there. HH is 4:30-6W-Fri and all day Tuesday (4:30 -2am).
holocene on SE Morrison and 10th also has an interesting drink menu, but I don't know about a HH.
Personally, I think the drinks and atmosphere are better at Crush.
i second the tough choice, but since it sounds like you want to have drinks (beyond HH) and want to have a sociable evening, I'd have to say Castagna. Really good cocktails, a nice wine selection and a more comfortable atmosphere that lends itself to lingering. Can't really lose with either one though.
Based on last night's experience, you might want to try Castagna's burger some night other than Sunday. My companion ordered her burger rare, and got it medium to medium well. Sent it back for a new burger, specifying very rare, and AGAIN got it perhaps medium rare to medium. Really surprising. Fries excellent as ever, and waiter extremely accommodating and comped stuff, but she gave up on getting a rare burger. (From one bite, though, my more flexible palate could tell it was still a fine burger. . .)