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recommendation for brewpub with good food and not too expensive

  • m

Hi, all.

We're traveling to Portland in August and my husband would love to try one of the brewpubs/microbreweries/craft beer pubs we keep hearing and reading about. We can travel wherever but it must have good food as well (I don't really drink but would love to try some good food) and hopefully not too hideously expensive.

Any suggestions?

Thanks so much....

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  1. I really like the Pastys at Saraveza in North Portland and their beer is top notch. They have lots of homemade pickled stuff and really good salads as well. The Deschutes Brew Pub in the Pearl District has pretty good food and their beer is also really good. Neither place is too expensive.

    1. The problem is that a place focused on great beer is always gonna put the food a distant second, but as long as you keep that in mind there are a few places that won't disappoint.

      Hopworks (excellent beer, better-than-average pub grub with a good burger and steak sandwich) - http://www.hopworksbeer.com/

      Deschutes (mentioned above) is great for beer, with passable food. Same goes for Alameda Brewing at NE Fremont and 48th.

      My favorite brewer is actually Laurelwood, but don't even think of eating there.

      Bailey's Taproom on SW Broadway is awesome for beer (best in the city, imo) but they don't serve any food at all. The Green Dragon (owned by Rogue, but with a wide selection of other brews) on SE Belmont is another one with a great beer selection, but they only serve food against their will and it shows.

      1. Jay is right in his advice. For brewery-operated brewpubs, your best bet is Hopworks, probably followed by Deschutes, with Bridgeport/Rogue/Widmer in a distant third. Like all brewpubs, it mostly just better than average bar food.

        There are however some others (good food + beer) that aren't brewery operated that could also probably fit the bill: Saraveza, Belmont Station, Henry's, and of course Higgins. Good beer is embraced here and you can probably find a great local beer in almost any bar or restaurant.

        Whatever you do, please do not visit a McMenamin's outlet and consider it an example of what OR has to offer...

        1. I love Amnesia Brewing. They just cook hamburgers and sausages on the grill. Simple but high quality product. Very inexpensive. It is 90% picnic table outdoor seating so it is very nice in the summer. I would highly suggest paying a visit.

          832 N Beech St
          Portland, OR 97227

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          Amnesia Brewing
          832 N Beech St, Portland, OR

          1. I also recommend Deschutes for both excellent food and beer.

            One place nobody else has mentioned is the Widmer Gasthaus Pub. Good brews and good food that has a bit of a european bent (German and Scottish) to it. It's a little ways out in the N/NW industrial district, but not far by car from downtown. They have a nice deal for a couple of two listed entrees and a desert for $25.

            And if you are going to Bailey's Taproom -- just for the beer as another poster has pointed out, then you should by all means also go across the alley/street to Tugboat Brewing, which features some great beers and SUPERB cider and has a very funky ambience. Highly recommend happy hour with cheaper beer prices and easy-going, friendly regulars. Never tried their food options, which are limited and primitive -- nachos and such.

            Another great place is Kells', an Irish pub in downtown. They serve a wide variety of great beers on tap, have excellent food dishes and often live music. Be sure to have your waiter do the dollar/quarter trick onto the ceiling -- he'll know what you mean and once you look at the ceiling you'll kinda know what I mean.

            And just plain IXNAY on any McMenamins joint unless you're searching out zymurgized swill and limp, greasy fries -- and an overkill of hippy-dippy artwork of moons, suns and stars with faces and the like (not that there's anything wrong with it in moderation, but to the exclusion of all else gets a little tiresome). It is the Starbucks of pubs -- only Starbuck's product is relatively far better.

            And frankly, since Portland is brewpub Mecca, you really ought to try more than just one of these establishments during your visit. I'd also say ixnay on many of the trendy haute' (and relatively expensive) cuisine places talked up on this board, and rather spend your money and time and satiate your hunger and thirst at brewpubs.

            On the subject of brew houses, how's the Laurelwood brew and pizza place?

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            Bailey's Taproom
            213 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205

            Laurelwood Restaurant
            5115 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97213

            1 Reply
            1. re: Dr Chow

              Closed -- or more accurately, under new ownership. It is now sporting new signs on the windows that say "Columbia River Brewing." It seems that they still are serving mostly Laurelwood beers as "guest taps" which makes sense since this is a very recent transition and I'm sure it will be several weeks before they are serving their own brews.

              (This is in reference to the 40th Ave Laurelwood Pizza location only; as far as I know, the other Laurelwood locations are still going strong.)

            2. To split hairs, a "brewpub" serves primarily their own brew, so if you are being particular about that distinction, you should note that many of the places mentioned (Seraveza, Baileys) are more properly taverns and not brewpubs.

              Some brewpubs proper not mentioned so far that serve food:
              * Lucky Lab (not known for food at the original location, but the new Killingsworth spot has a larger menu)
              * MacTarnahan's Taproom (10 years ago, as Portland Brewing, the food was quite good, and the menu appears to be what it was back then)
              * Hedge House (Lompoc Brewing -- they have other locations in town but my experience with the food here has been better)

              In spite of what others have said here, I would recommend a trip to the McMenamin's Kennedy School, if for no other reason than the uniqueness of the location.

              Other Portland pub/taverns with a focus on Pacific NW beers and some decent pub food:
              * Concordia Alehouse
              * Moon and Sixpence (best English pub food in Portland, IMHO)

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              Hedge House
              3412 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202

              6 Replies
              1. re: jeff_pdx

                Oh Jeff, friends don't let friends eat at the Lucky Lab (or Rogue, for that matter)! ;o) Love the Rogue beers, but will never eat their food again.

                Kennedy School is pretty neat and a great example of what McMenamin's does best. Still better beer than food though.

                I hear that overall Deschutes has some decent food, some of the best overall for a brewpub. Also have heard that Hopworks doesn't suck for food (I know, a rousing rec, eh? ;o).

                Concordia Ale House has a great tap list and I have eaten there with no ill effect (yeah, another rousing rec...serious beer heads are not often chowhounds, it seems, what can I tell ya?).

                If you are looking for great food and a great beer list (only some of which will be local and on tap, but there will be options), the options get WAAAY better out of the pubs. Places like Spints (which I love) and the bar at Higgins come to mind first.

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                Concordia Ale House
                3276 NE Killingsworth St, Portland, OR 97211

                1. re: JillO

                  Is your Lucky Lab comment based on experience at the Killingsworth location?

                  1. re: jeff_pdx

                    No, actually the SE location...some of the worst food ever. You can stand and watch folks throw half-eaten plates of food away all the time there. The root beer however, is very tasty.

                    1. re: JillO

                      Like I said, "not known for food at their original location".

                      1. re: jeff_pdx

                        Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on food at the Killingsworth Lucky Lab, Jeff!

                        Can you expand?

                        1. re: jeff_pdx

                          Well, you said that the Killingsworth menu was larger...but you didn't say the food was any better.

                          ;o)

                2. Didn't know there could be hideously expensive brew pubs......

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: boerewors

                    well the fact that McMennamins charges_anything_for their food, makes it hideously expensive in my book.

                    1. re: nkeane

                      For one reason or another I end up at a McMennamins once or twice a month and their food is consistently not very good. They just raised their happy hour prices a bunch and their beer is normally $4.25 a pint and really bad.

                      1. re: porky pine

                        I might consider "not very good" a compliment, given the Target. ;-)

                      2. re: nkeane

                        The only safe thing on the menu is tater tots. (damn near impossible to mess up)

                        1. re: Kazy Ctn

                          Ha! can't mess up tater tots you say? I give you exhibit A: Blitz Bar's "tatchos".

                          ...........go ahead, google it. I'll wait here....

                          1. re: nkeane

                            hehe - you got me... those look like a soggy disaster