We heard Portland has a thriving microbrew community. So we couldn’t justify leaving the city without trying at least one of their famed brew pubs. Deschutes Brewery & Public House, located in the Pearl district, is similar to any brew pub from one of Vancouver’s own Mark James Group — local brewery, local eatery, all nicely wrapped in a slick marketing and merchandising mini empire complete with t-shirts and souvenirs.
(Clockwise, Left to Right: 1. Cascade Ale. 2. Steamed Mussels with Andouille Sausage. 3. Sweet Potato Fries)
Deschutes banged out some solid pub fare. Like Mike’s Lamb burger — a burger of mammoth proportions — well cooked, flavourful and sufficiently juicy; or Steve’s garlic burger, slathered in roasted garlic; and the Sweet Potato fries, which were nicely crisp with a slight hint of sweetness.
Other dishes, though, fell a little short: the Thai Wings of Fire with peanut sauce was standard pub wings tossed with some bottle-quality marinade. The wings were nicely cooked, but the sauce was runny and flavourless. The elk meatballs were mostly dry and hard. And although our Steamed Mussels were nice and tender, both the Andouille sausage and broth lacked body and seasoning.
(Clockwise: 1. Cascade Ale and Roasted Chili Cheese Dip 2. Something for your beer to sit on. 3. Lamb Burger )
The surprise hit of the evening was the Nacho with a cheese dip made from a special blend of jack cheese, cream cheese, roasted Jalapenos and Poblanos, onions, spinach and Cascade Ale. Half expecting run of the mill nachos and dip, we were pleasantly surprised by the rich, flavourful and surprisingly addicting dip. It went well with my own draft of Cascade Ale.
(Top to bottom: 1. Beer tasting pack. 2. Thai Wings of Fire was doused with runny peanut sauce.)
The highlight was watching as Mike sipped and evaluated each of the 6 4oz. beer tasters and attempting to identify each by its flavour and aroma (note to self: next time, order beer tasting pack).
Overall, the spacious dinning room, mostly well executed pub food designed to pair especially well with beer, and the company of good friends made this an enjoyable meal. Our portion of the bill including two appetizers and a beer came to $36 including tips (no tax).
Perfect for: A nice, casual get together with a bunch of friends.