Portland may be know for beer and coffee but there are some great cocktail bars as well.
One of the things about Portland I like is that you are bound to run into friends who are also visiting. Thanks to my occasional checking in on Facebook I knew that fellow blogger Lee-Ann Ekland and her husband Eric were also in town for a parents weekend away. Do I dare reach out and see if they’d like to join me for Happy Hour at one of the fabulous bars in town? Why not, the worst they could say is no. Lucky for me they said yes and left it up to me to pick the place. There was only one place on my mind, Clyde Common in the Ace Hotel. I’ve been dying to go there since I arrived but a cocktail bar is best enjoyed with friends and Clyde Common is rumoured to serve up the best cocktails in Portland so I’ve been saving it up for when I have company to join me. 30 Days In Portland is about to get Happy Hour happy.
As I mentioned Clyde Common is located at the Ace Hotel at 1014 SW Stark Street right in the Pearl District of Portland. Credited with reviving the neighbourhood, the Ace Hotel & Clyde Common are hipster heaven, but don’t worry a now hipster like you and me can still fit in just fine. The space is open, bright, lots of wood and geared towards family style seating. There are a few tables for four but most are eight seater high tops or of course the bar.
Eric, Lee-Ann and I grab a seat and a menu, we are thirsty and need a cocktail stat. While it may be awkward since we are a threesome two of us order a Heavy Petting while the other has a B.M.O.C. the Heavy Petting is made with Vodka, grapefruit, Aperol, quinine syrup and lemon peel, It’s a bit tart with a hint of sweetness and a lovely kick, yummy. The B.M.O.C. is more for the whiskey drinkers as it’s made from Bourbon, raw ginger syrup, Angostura and soda water, also very tasty. Cheers to the cocktail!
Now that are thirst is sated we can turn our attention to the Happy Hour menu and some lite bites. Everything is so cheap ranging from $3 to $6 so we just order at will. Popcorn with brown butter and Old Bay spice, Simple Green Salad with vinaigrette and Kettle Chips with aji amarillo dip. Simple enough fare but surprisingly tasty and the popcorn is quite addictive not to mention the chips are just the right amount of salty to go with our drinks.
The first round was a success but we want more, more cocktails and more food. Eric and Lee-Ann repeat their orders but I want to try something different so I opt for a Dark & Stormy, Dark Rum and Ginger Beer, one of my favourite drinks ever. Drinks taken care of we order a couple more bites as well. Marinated mixed Olives & Nuts is one dish and the second one is the Clyde Common Charcuterie with pickles, baguette and mustard.
What a tasty way to while away the afternoon comparing Portland stories with friends. It was a good day.
If you care about such things Clyde Common is always mentioned in the lists of “Best Cocktail Bars in the USA” and was a semi finalist for the 2012 & 2013 Outstanding Bar Program from the James Beard Foundation. Pretty esteemed recognition so I suggest you don’t order a rum and coke, live a little and let the bartender create something for you.
If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a 1000 times, good food and drink is made great when you share with friends so thanks to Lee-Ann and her husband Eric for joining me in an evening of cocktail adventure in Portland. It was a BLAST!
I want to thank my sponsors Roam Mobility and GM Canada for helping me make this series possible. Roam of course for their awesome product to help me stay connected at a reasonable price and to GM for providing me with a sweet ride to make the road trip in. I don’t know what I’ll be getting yet but I’m looking forward to exploring and test driving a brand new GM.
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