It was bound to happen. Portland makes it way up North to Vancouver — more specifically, a quintessentially Stumptown influenced menu and beer list settles on Main Street in the old Coppertank spot reincarnated as Portland Craft.
Inside, a massive, wooden long table serves as the centerpiece in the cavernous dining area flanked by booths to one side and a lengthy bar to the next with a few tables scattered about. Stairs in the back lead to what appears to be some limited seating upstairs. There’s a lot of wood going on here, but sunlight gushes through the large picture windows illuminating the dining room with a bright glow.
The chicken and waffles were calling me. And they were telling me to Put a Bird on it — a crispy, hop-fried buttermilk chicken perched on top of Belgian style waffle. The bird suffered from a bit of dryness, but the spice mix was spot on and finished with a nice crunch, while the cake-like Belgian waffle provided a nice confectionary counterpoint. The pair did, however, feel a bit naked with the noticeable lack of syrup to complete our favourite odd couple.
Case ordered the Veggie Shepherd’s pie, an appropriately contradictory melange of beer-braised lentils, brown rice, chard, aged cheddar and cauliflower mash, arriving in a pint-size porcelain pot. The traditional ground meat was not missed thanks to the richness of the mash and earthy lentils.
Portland Craft just wouldn’t be so without an impressive collection of draught beers — many of them tapped from Oregon’s finest including Deschutes, Rogue and Hopworks. Despite all that, I felt drawn to something closer to home — the light and crispy Main Street Pilsner was a refreshing accompaniment to our otherwise all-Portland-like meal.
We finished off with a stout chocolate lava cake that started out nice with bursts of chocolate, but finished extraordinarily dry. Luckily, the accompanying dollop of vanilla ice cream help save the otherwise arid cake.
Our meal came to just under $50 including taxes and tip. Overall we enjoyed most of what Portland Craft had to offer; and there were certainly echoes of Portland in its menu and decor, but the experience still left us craving a little more. It is, however, still early on — perhaps with some tweaks to the menu, Portland Craft could well be on its way to becoming a Main Street fixture. We sure hope so — we love Portland, but that 600km commute is a bitch.
Perfect for: Portland and Vancouver, together at last.