Slow Bar

533 SE Grand Ave
(503) 230-7767
get there via trimet
find a bike route

Slow Bar is a sophisticated small room, with some tall womblike booths, a comfie seating area, a couple tables, and of course, a lovely long bar which dominates the room. It can be smoky, but early on in the evening, it's not too bad for those of us who have given up the cancer sticks.

Originally, the focus at Slow Bar was hard alcohol, and I think it's fair to say that it's still important, but us beer drinkers have been recognized as well. Taps now include:

  • Widmer
  • Droptop Amber
  • Deschutes Buzzsaw Brown
  • Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale
  • Deschutes Inversion IPA
  • Lagunitas Censored
  • PBR
  • Murphy's Irish Stout
  • Pilsner Urquel
  • Stella Artois
  • Widmer Hefeweizen
There are bottles as well.

In honor of the bar's heritage, I got a strawberry margarita, made with house infused tequila. Yum. The drink menu had prices from $5-$7.50.

The food menu is short, irreverent, and fairly inventive. I have to love a place that offers fries with "melted stinky cheese". They have appetizers ($3.50-$7), and other stuff like ceviche, pizzetta, pasta, and sandwiches ($5-9.50). A handful of the options are vegetarian, and another couple involve fish.

But the best part, really, is happy hour. 3-6pm. $2.50 off well drinks, $1 off beer.

Happy hour also has a short food menu, with prices ranging from $2.50-$5.50. That includes olives, spicy mixed nuts, hand cut fries (with or without stinky cheese), green salad, ceviche, asparagus tempura, southern fry, and 3 pizzettas.

We ordered a couple of southern fries (hushpuppies, buttermilk fried chicken, a spicy honey butter, and a dijon dipping sauce), a ceviche, and a plate of fries.

The southern fry ($7.50, or $5.50 happy hour) is not a huge plate, but there's enough artery-clogging food here to at least slow you down. The chicken is all white meat, and in tenders-like chunks, then batter-dipped and deep fried, and honestly, I felt like I was eating fancy chicken fingers. Which isn't a bad thing. The hushpuppies were a little leaden, but they were nicely made inhalable with the spicy honey butter.

The ceviche ($7.50, or $5 happy hour) was a success as well—nothing that would compare, say, with D.F. or Taqueria Neuve or Andina or Autentica, but tasty and generous. And the hand-cut fries ($4.50, or $2.50 happy hour) are just that. They're obviously hand-cut into small planks and single-fried, so they aren't crisp, but in spite that, they're really tasty.

And because everything on the happy hour menu seemed so cheap, we just kept ordering, and that is how we came to spend $35 on a happy hour meal. We had a great experience, however, and we'll be back.

The one weird thing is the music situation. They have a great punk rock jukebox, and they'd be playing something cool off it, and then suddenly some other "music" would cut in. WTF?

filled under bar, smokey, TV, burger
June 16, 2006 | Permalink



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