Portland: Beaker & Flask
After two days in Seattle (and 13 bars), I drove down with Noelle to Portland for Portland Cocktail Week. After settling into the Jupiter, my home for the next four days, I set off with H.C. of LA-OC Foodventures who was coincidentally vacationing in PDX for Beaker & Flask. Beaker was a short 5 minute walk from the hotel so I was there quite a bit over the long weekend. We were aiming for happy hour but once there, we got sidetracked and ordered food from the regular menu as well.
I was fairly hungry as I had only leftovers from Staple & Fancy for breakfast-lunch (I wouldn’t call 1 piece of pork brunch). I wanted the smoked trout deviled eggs right away. I’m not really sure why I love deviled eggs so much but these with smoked trout were even better. I love protein plus more protein.
I knew I would love the drinks at Beaker but what to order for my first drink in oh, less than 24 hours? I settled on the Mandolin Rain (aged rum, sweet vermouth, Averna, Fernet, old fashioned bitters). Our bartender was Mindy who recently moved from Houston where she used to work at Anvil (probably the only reason why I’d visit the great state of Texas– again). The Mandolin Rain was absolutely my type of cocktail. I wished I had more time to explore with Mindy and gotten a bartender’s choice cocktail but we were saving ourselves for a drink next door at Rum Club.
Other cocktails I would have liked to have tried:
Killer Crossover– bourbon, Lillet rouge, good orange liqueur, Peychaud’s bitters
Jessica’s Lackey– bourbon, Aperol, lemon, honey syrup, rhubarb bitters
New Vieux– rye, Benedictine, apricot, bitters
End of Days– pisco, mezcal, Cocchi Americano, Yellow Chartreuse, grapefruit bitters
Sal’s Minion– aged rum, pineapple gomme, coconut water ice cubes
H.C. wasn’t actually that hungry so we settled on ordering the crispy pig ears and the pork cheeks. Woah! Beaker had the crunchiest, crispiest, BEST pig’s ears I’ve ever had. I was immediately addicted.
How did Beaker know this would be my favorite combination ever? Loved the pork cheeks with pickled octopus. Pork, seafood, tart = win.
What I love about Portland restaurants and I’ve said this before, is they don’t seem to make it such a big deal that everything is local, fresh, organic, sustainable, what-have-you. It just is.
I was back a couple of hours later. Yes, really.