I’d been meaning to visit The Victory Bar ever since Imbibe Magazine named it one of the 100 best places to drink beer in the country. That was almost two years ago, however, and somehow my beer drinking never took me out to SE 37th and Division. Recently, however, I noted an intriguing tweet from @VictoryBar:
Potato Champion is the grandaddy of Portland poutine. I have no doubt that more Portlanders tried poutine for the first time at this modest food cart parked at the corner of SE Hawthorne and 12th than at any other poutine purveyor in town.
UPDATE: Closed 🙁
When Heather lived in NW Portland, the Laurelwood NW Public House was one of our favorite weekend brunch spots. But since we moved to North Portland, we seldom have reason to visit the neighborhood. Recently, however, we learned that the menu had been revamped, and that one new menu (pdf) item in particular would provide the impetus to revisit Heather’s old stomping grounds:
House Cut Fries, Cheese Curds,
Mother Lode Golden Ale Gravy
We can’t be expected to spend a weekend in Seattle without poutine can we?
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 . . .
There’s a new poutinerie in town.
I know I have a good chance of getting a free dinner if I mention going to a restaurant that serves poutine. I recently had such a night, where the thought of going home and actually cooking food just seemed dreadful and unbearable. I mentioned Lincoln, where they have poutine on the happy hour menu. Dave needed no further coercing.
I always marvel at at sleek, hyper engineered new restaurants in overwhelmingly giant spaces. I always wonder who has the money to create these ventures. Someone has a vision. But I wonder how they pay the rent.
Everything we put in our mouths at Lincoln was well executed and tasty. The menu is downright dainty. We started with fried fennel fritters with a Meyer lemon sauce. And of course, we ordered poutine, which came with a lamb gravy. We had never seen lamb gravy on poutine before. I normally don’t order lamb if given the choice, so we were curious how this was going to taste.
Oh my. I’m pretty sure this photos doesn’t make it look delicious. But it was. Oh, how it was. There was a lot of ultra-tender bites of meat, with hearty, well bodied, and dare I say soulful gravy. The curds appeared to be cheddar and the fries were up to snuff. It was a delight. The kind of dish you regret having to share. The kind of dish where you wish you could go back in time, to alert your past self to ditch the boyfriend for a night and take yourself out to dinner so you don’t have fend off the poutine with your fork.
We squeegeed up the last bit of gravy with the last bit of our fries. Ultimately, it is better to share such a dish so that you have equal chances clogging your arteries. We continued to nosh, he on a panzanella salad and I on a spaghetti squash gratin. I have lately come to enjoy spaghetti squash quite a lot, and historically have never refused anything made into a gratin. The combination seemed like it might have been virtuous. But it was not. It was utterly decadent. It was heavy and rich and wonderful.
In total, not the healthiest meal I’ve ever had. As the waiter cleared our plates, I joked that I would next order a stick of butter. Instead, (yes, we kept going), we had a slice of orange cake and a “44 Cordial.” This was a house made liquor, starting with rum, and orange and coffee beans. The orange is slit 44 times, and 44 coffee beans inserted into the slits. Then it is left to infuse for 44 days. We liked it. It was sweet, but not sickly. It was citrus, but it was warm and buttery from the coffee beans. We resolved to try making it ourselves. We will let you know in 44 days.
In all, Lincoln had a hip atmosphere, suitable for a date, and interesting, well-crafted food that was a pleasure to eat. And that poutine [Update: happy hour menu only]. Wow. Perhaps our favorite so far in Portland. We will be back.
3808 N Williams No. 127
Portland, Oregon 97227
Poutine is the quintessential Quebec coup de grâce to a night of drinking. But that has never been my experience in Portland; poutine has been the point of the venture, not the coda to a fun evening. Until last Friday.
There has been no arm twisting to find reasons to visit local restaurants serving poutine. It merely takes being “in the neighborhood.” Oh, we’re in SE Portland? There’s a restaurant serving poutine just a mile away? A couple streets over? Well, we should go. We’re in the neighborhood.