Bridgewater Bistro (Astoria)

Poutinesque Breakfast Special 7-November-2010

Astoria is my favorite town in Oregon after Portland. It’s got almost everything I need, including a walkable downtown, excellent coffee, and fantastic beer. In addition it has an interesting history and a gorgeous setting at the mouth of the Columbia River. One thing Astoria is missing, however, is poutine. But I have discovered a pair of poutinesque options in the first permanent U.S. settlement west of the Rocky Mountains.

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Papa Haydn (East)

Papa Haydn's poutine close up

Having grown up in Portland, I’ve always thought of Papa Haydn‘s as a dessert place. Well apparently since the 80s things have changed. Papa Haydn East, the original location, now has, in addition to brunch, lunch, and dinner menus, a Cocktail Hour menu, which is to say a happy hour menu (3-6pm 7 days a week!). And a report came in recently that upon this happy hour menu (and lunch menu too, sometimes I think), there is an item called . . .

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Almost poutine: Portland’s disco fries

This post originally appeared on 25 August 2007 at Dave Knows Portland. It references a defunct happy hour at the restaurant Gravy, so bear in mind the drink and happy hour specials mentioned are no longer available. However, Heather and I noticed while ordering breakfast this past weekend that gravy fries are still available, on the lunch menu! When we next have the opportunity we will try said fries again and take some photos. But until then, I hope this old review will give you a taste of what to expect!

Gravy (3957 N Mississippi) is known for its breakfast (and the 30 people out front Saturday and Sunday late mornings waiting to get in), and rightfully so.

But Gravy also has a happy hour . . . and Gravy Fries.

I tried them for my first time last night. As I have long been searching for poutine in Portland (which I’ve found), I thought I’d give them a try to see how they compare.

They hold up quite nicely. The pleasant surprise was the shredded cheddar on top. I understand our New Jersey and New York brethren refer to gravy fries with cheddar as disco fries.

The gravy is rich and plentiful, with mushrooms and bits of unidentifiable vegetables. It was a bit too salty, but perhaps one of my companions got to the bowl first with the salt shaker; I will have to investigate.

You can pick at the crispy fries at the top with your fingers, but I recommend a fork (or maybe even a spoon) for the majority of the fries deep in the bowl. After I’d downed the fries, a bit of gravy remained at the bottom of the bowl. I snagged a few fries from a companion’s plate to soak up the goodness.

Only $3 and with a $1.50 pint of Pabst, damn, an excellent deal on Mississippi!

Red Fox: Gumbo Cheese Fries

Gumbo cheese fries from Red Fox

The Red Fox promises cheap food lousy drinks and over 2 beers on tap, and boy do they deliver (though the Bärenjäger hot toddies 3/4s of our party drank were far from lousy). I went with a cold delicious beer – a Lagunitas Czech Style Pilsner, I believe, but I can’t recall for certain.

After an early afternoon last Sunday sampling the wares at the Great American Distillers Festival, we needed something substantial in our stomachs. And I don’t know about you, but Gumbo Cheese Fries sound awfully substantial.

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