#ThursdayToursPDX {Mash Up}

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Hi everyone! First off, thank you so much for all of the positive feedback about #ThursdayToursPDX! It has been so wonderful welcoming Erin's readers and sharing recommendations from some of the best bloggers in Portland! We have are having so much fun and have some big things planned for the series - including a mash up component. Periodically, Erin and I will be sharing our recommendations for previous topics. Let's be honest, when all of the wonderful guest posts come in we can't help but chat about our own picks.

Hello Martha Chartreuse readers! #ThursdayToursPDX has been such a fun collaboration with Meredith and I’m so excited to be sharing my go-to Happy Hour and Date Night Dinner Out spots in Portland. I love when people ask me where to go to eat so I can ramble even more about food. This city is filled with a lot of excellent choices but here are a few favorites as of right now:

Happy Hour:
Oso Market: 726 SE Grand; HH hours: Tues-Sat 4-6pm
I love everything about this place. The space has a casual, classy Portland vibe with a great retail space selling wines, vinegars and local products. The people who work there are fun and knowledgeable, and the food is insanely good.
Current Favorites: Their roasted carrots with dill yogurt dressing for only $3 are always a good choice, as are the chorizo stuffed dates wrapped in bacon with blue cheese. With $2 off their excellent wine selection and $2 radlers (!), you just can’t go wrong with drinks.
Photo: Erin McKalip

Decarli: 4545 SW Watson Ave, Beaverton; HH hours: Tues-Thurs 4:30-6pm & 9-10pm, Fri-Sat 4:30-6pm & 9-11pm, Sun 5-9pm
Ok, I know what you’re thinking. Unless I work or live out that way, why would I trek out to Beaverton? Because Decarli is really that good. Plus it isn’t that far. Husband and wife duo Jana and Paul Decarli have a resume including Blue Hour, Paragon and Fratelli before they decided to open a space in the much needed food desert of Beaverton.
Current Favorites: The crispy polenta fries served with a gorgonzola butter for only $5 are things dreams are made of. Their daily bruschetta is always great. For drinks, I love their signature cocktail made with vodka, fresh basil and lemon juice.
North Light: 3746 N Mississippi; HH hours: Daily 5-6pm & 10pm-Close and all day Tuesday!
North Light has a beautiful space and their classed up American comfort food is top notch.
Current Favorites: Happy hour favorites include the $5 Mac & Cheese and $3 Rosemary Garlic Fries. For those with a bigger appetite, their giant burger stuffed with cheese curd is only $6. Plus any place that offers $5 desserts during late night happy hour has got my vote. House cocktails and cask wine are also a deal at $1 off.
Photo: Erin McKalip

Portland Cider House: 3638 SE Hawthorne Blvd
So this isn’t the typical happy hour per se but if you are in the mood for happy hour, you’re probably looking for drinks, right? And I wanted to include it because while we aren’t really beer drinkers, Brice and I are big fans of cider and scope out wherever has a good cider selection. The newly opened Portland Cider House is an awesome space to sample various ciders and enjoy a fun, casual evening out. With 28 ciders on tap, Portland Cider Company’s ciders are prominent, but more than half are other brands like 2 Towns, Apple Outlaw and Red Tank. You can create your own taster tray or get yourself a pint. If you’re hungry, unfortunately the food is terrible (like to the point our waitress told us not to order anything from their menu so hopefully that will improve with time!) but you can bring in food from nearby places like Harlow, Cha Cha Cha or Lardo.  
Current Favorites: Portland Cider Pear, anything from Atlas and Red Tank Chops.
Had to share this snap of lovely Erin from one of our lady dates!
Date Night:
Ava Gene’s: 2277 SE Division St
This is the ultimate date night spot, especially for the special occasion. Mostly because to get reservations at Ava Gene’s these days, you need to plan months in advance. But the Roman-inspired cuisine here makes it worth every waiting moment.
What to Get: The menu changes often with the seasons but be sure to order one of the Pane specials, similar to a bruschetta topped with things like fava beans, squash and fresh sheep cheese. The handmade pastas are phenomenal. And Chef Joshua McFadden does wonders with vegetables so don’t pass on the salads.
Photo: Erin McKalip

The Observatory: 8115 SE Stark St
If anyone asks about underrated restaurants in the Rose City, The Observatory is definitely on that list for me. It is in a slightly obscure, far out part of town in the Montavilla neighborhood on a quiet street right off the noisy 82nd and just down the street from The Country Cat. Their American food with a Southern twist is incredible; the space is fun and welcoming; and the prices can’t be beat. I guess that’s what happens when you get out of the Pearl District!
What to Get: Be sure to start with the Oregon Fry Bread. Don’t just order one for the table, better yet, get one for each person. It is so good. Their house made Quinoa-Mushroom Veggie Burger is fantastic, especially when paired with their sweet potato fries. Don’t forget dessert. Their Cinnamon-Sugar Bread Pudding is outstanding.
Imperial: 410 SW Broadway
After watching Chef Dougie on Top Chef last year, I have been reenergized with my love of Imperial. And with Brice declaring it his new favorite restaurant in the city, we go there a lot on date nights. We always love sitting at the chef’s counter by the wood fired grill. While toasty in those seats, it’s fun to get a behind-the-scenes look at the chefs in action.
What to Get: Doug’s Fried Chicken served on a hipster wood plate and topped with Bee Local honey from bees on the roof and house made hot sauce might be the best fried chicken I’ve ever had. The Grilled Vegetable Plate will make you never need meat again. Do not leave without a Parker House Roll.

#ThursdayToursPDX is a collaborative series between Portland, OR bloggers {Erin} Bakery Bingo + {Meredith} Martha Chartreuse. In a city filled with amazing restaurants, artisan experiences, and fantastic tastemakers the inside scoop is a must. We will be asking our friends and fellow bloggers for their recommendations and tips for all the City of Roses has to offer.


  1. Nice! Erin always does have the best suggestions for places to eat. Stunning photos too!

  2. Eeekk!!! I need to go to all these places now! I love finding out about great places here in Portland. <3

  3. Love these options. I have not tried any of them less Ava Gene's. Can't wait to try some new spots! Thanks for the suggestions!

  4. I am drooling over that photo with the pasta right now from Ava Gene's!

  5. Great picks! Nice to see some Beaverton love in there. I don't live there anymore (thank goodness) but I'm out there a lot visiting family. Nice to know about non chain restaurant options.

  6. This is such a great series, ladies! What wouldn't I do to be eating at Ava Genes right now... Soooo good!

  7. Never got to make it to the Cider House before going dry. I HAVE made it to Decarli's, though. Great place. Good recommendations.