Posts Tagged ‘Pub’

I don’t know what possessed me to order another Sports Bar/Grill Living Social voucher.  I guess I am a glutton for punishment!  But, I was kind of excited about this place, if for no other reason than because it was in Vancouver.  We wouldn’t have to worry about the rush hour traffic if we’re a little late headed home after lunch, and even though I call my blog “Hungry In Portland,” I do love the city I call home:  Vancouver, Washington.  So I tried to remain optimistic, and hoped that this would not be a repeat of the past sports bar experiences (the food was great; the atmosphere just wasn’t my thing.)

The Adult Mac & Cheese

Location:  800 Main Street, Vancouver

Order:  I ordered the Adult Mac & Cheese along with a Watermelon Lemonade while my husband ordered the Bacon Cheeseburger with Fries.

What I Think:

My “sports bar” concerns were not assuaged when I first walked into the Main Event Sports Grill and to my left, I saw a stripper pole.  Oh great.  This place is SCREAMING sports bar with television screens on every wall at every angle so that no matter where you might be sitting, you can watch a game, and it’s dim lighting and dark decor.  However, after looking past the stripper pole and seeing that most of the patrons were actually female, my spirits began to lift.  Maybe this place might not be so bad after all…

I found a nice table (or so I thought) that was located near a window.  However, it happened to be located next to a table that had been occupied by several women, and my husband complained about their tendency to … well … talk.  A lot.  But that certainly is not the fault of the establishment.  I guess I should have chosen the other side of the booth, so that I would have been the one to endure most of the chatting.

We were served our drinks pretty quickly, and let me just say:  the Watermelon Lemonade ROCKS!  Oh my goodness.  So sweet and delicious.  The sweetness of the watermelon softened the tart lemon, and made for a very smooth beverage.

My “Adult” Mac & Cheese was also delicious.  The “mac” was represented by penne pasta that was tender and not mushy, and it had been smothered in a spicy cheese sauce … seasoned with what I surmised was chipotle pepper and onions.  Bacon was crumbled and tossed in with the pasta, and then the whole cheesy mixture was topped with breadcrumbs and then put under the broiler until it was golden brown.  Finally, the whole thing was topped with some Bleu cheese and served with a lightly buttered breadstick.

Bacon Cheeseburger & Fries

The first thing I noticed is that this bowl was HUGE.  Then, I noticed that the sauce was very … well, saucy.  That is to say, it seemed to be rather thin.  But by the time I’d reached the halfway point, the sauce had thickened up quite a bit and was no longer a puddle of sauce at the bottom of my bowl.

This Adult Mac &  Cheese is a delightful medley of flavors – but it is definitely not for sissies.  It has a real kick to it … and is one of the most flavorful macaroni and cheese dishes I’ve enjoyed in a long time.  The cheese was creamy and tangy, the spice sort of crept up on me, starting out as just an enjoyable warmth but before I knew it, it was a real kick in the mouth!  (It’s a good thing I had that watermelon lemonade!)  The bacon added a pleasing texture and smoky, bacon-y flavor to it all.  Even the breadstick was enjoyable – buttery and a little bit crisp, but warm and tender on the inside.  YUM!

My husband enjoyed his burger, but I think the atmosphere sort of wore on him, and I think he would have enjoyed the experience a bit more if I had selected a different table.  I did manage to steal a fry or two, and they were deliciously crisp, shoestring fries.

My Final Thoughts:

I think I enjoyed this experience a bit more than my husband.  I don’t think we’ll be back, because I think that the atmosphere left a very unfavorable impression on my husband, but as for me, I’d go back if only for the Watermelon Lemonade and Mac & Cheese … maybe a to-go order?  The menu is a bit pricy for us though, however, when one takes in to account that you leave there STUFFED because the portions are large, it seems to soften the blow of the price tag just a bit.  I enjoyed it, my husband not so much, and there are many other places we can go to that are just as good that my husband will also enjoy.

Main Event on Urbanspoon

Our visit to the Northwest Public House offered some very interesting surprises.  The Northwest Public House is just off of 23rd Street (one of my favorite streets in Portland), and it is a house that’s been turned into a restaurant/pub with a very home-y kind of feel to it.  Another Living Social opportunity to sample the cuisine of Portland…

The Prosciutto Wrapped Scallops

Location:  2327 NW Kearney Blvd, Portland, OR

Order:  I ordered the Chicken Roulade (small plate) and the Baby Chef Mac (small plate), while my husband ordered the Prosciutto Wrapped Scallops (that was the first big surprise of the evening … the second was that he really liked it!)

What I think:

When we first entered through the front door, I was shocked at how cozy this place was.  It was almost too cozy.  It felt a little crowded to me, and if our Living Social voucher wasn’t just about to expire, I would have suggested coming back on another evening.  However, it was a “now or never” kind of predicament with the voucher on the verge of expiring, so we were seated near the bar, which appeared to be the only available table in the place.  (I learned later that there was also a dining room upstairs, and there is also outdoor seating, although with it being January when we dined at this establishment, outside didn’t seem like the optimal place to dine)

Since our visit, it would seem that they’ve changed the menu just a bit, as I no longer see the Chicken Roulade on the menu, which is just as well, as it was my least favorite item ordered for the evening.  Also no longer on the menu are the Prosciutto Wrapped Scallops, which is kind of shame, because my husband devoured this entree, which was complete with a side of brown rice and topped with a delicious sweet-and-spicy mango salsa and steamed vegetables.

This is a dish that I would have never guessed that my husband would order, I figured he’d probably order a burger.  But it was a wonderful surprise for him to order this, I like to think that my journey as a novice food critic is having a positive effect on him as he is becoming more adventurous and trying new things.

My husband was good enough to share with me a couple of bites of his entree.  The scallops were perfectly cooked and were very tender.  The veggies were delicious – especially the mushrooms.  I also really enjoyed the mango salsa, which really elevated the flavor of the overall dish.

As I mentioned before, I was not as impressed with my Chicken Roulade.  It was a chicken breast that had been pounded thin, and then wrapped with goat cheese, peppers, and arugula, cooked through and then sliced very thin.  Three slices, topped with lemon basil cream sauce, were put on the plate along with a serving of sweet potato mash.  The sweet potato mash was delicious, as was the cream sauce.  The chicken, however, was overcooked.  The filling was tasty but there really wasn’t much too it, and it did little to disguise the fact that the chicken was dry and flavorless.  The only thing that saved these overcooked discs from being completely inedible was the lemon basil cream sauce, which was incredible.

Kahlua Krème Brûlée

Fortunately, I also had a small plate of Chef Mac & Cheese to help satisfy my hunger.  Really, I would have been happy with just a large plate of the Mac & Cheese rather than ordering the two smaller plates.  Seriously, I wanted to crawl into this bowl of Mac & Cheese … it was absolutely the best Macaroni and Cheese I had ever eaten in my life.  The blend of cheeses (aged cheddar and smoked gouda) and the garlic cream sauce combine to make an incredibly rich, flavorful, creamy delight that elevated this comfort food to new heights.

For dessert (which was my third and final surprise for the evening!) we shared a bowl of Kahlua Krème Brûlée.  I absolutely love Crème Brûlée, it is my favorite dessert, so this was a big treat for me.  There was not a lot of Kahlua flavor to this dessert, but there was a LOT of burnt sugar on top – which is my favorite part of the dessert, so I left quite content.

My Final Thoughts:

Despite my misgivings about the Chicken Roulade, this is a place I’d be very happy to visit again, if for no other reason than to enjoy the most delicious Macaroni & Cheese in Portland.  (If you think you’ve tried better Macaroni & Cheese in Portland, please comment on this post and let me know where I can try it!)  This is comfort food at its finest!

NorthWest Public House on Urbanspoon