Pause Kitchen and Bar
But this place has a chef, according to the Oregonian. It's a lovely, wide open space, with tables and booths, and a full wall of windows onto Interstate. And, it's owned by the Low Brow guy.
Anyways, we went in for lunch and really liked it. We had great but relaxed service (though admittedly, the restaurant only had a couple tables going). Water and cokes were refilled frequently. The menu is just one page but stocked with comfort food in the cheapish range ($7-$11). And, there is a full bar, and about ten taps (Bud, Bud Lite, Lagunitas IPA, Lagunitas Maximas, Terminal Gravity Fest, Guinness, a Dick's, Boont Amber, a Flying Dog, and Black Butte Porter). In chatting with the staff, they are planning on rotating at least part of the taps, with Hales Wee Heavy next in line for the cask.
We had the crab/cheese dip, meatloaf, and mac-n-cheese. It was quite impressive when the crab and cheese dip came to the table, in its own boat, covered with breadcrumbs, and quite molten. The dip came with grilled pita bread. It was delicious, and we made short work of it.
Next came the entrees. So, the meatloaf is not what you'd eat at home unless perhaps your mom was a Food TV addict; in fact, I'm not sure how to deconstruct it from the one bite I had. But I'm generally not a meatball fan, and this was quite tasty, like a meatball loaf. It came served on mashed taters, covered in a pancetta gravy. Health food, in other words. It was a substantial portion.
The mac n cheese came in a large, round, low baking dish, perfect for a high molten mac-n-cheese to toasty bread crumb ration. I couldn't even make it through half before getting it boxed up. It was quite delish, a nice classic mac with a smidge of heat.
So, all in all, it was great. Good food, good beer selection. Can it last? Gosh, I hope so.
Sadly, it appears Pause has settled into mediocrity. The last 4 or 5 visits have been underwhelming at best. But they do have an outdoor setting area, fenced off from Interstate, surrounded by lawn which is great for little kids and smokers.
Posted at May 05, 2007 * add entry to del.icio.us