PDX Fab Find: 442 Soccer Bar

Steven’s friend Matt took us here about a month ago for a Timbers game, and we have been obsessed ever since!

Seriously, 442 Soccer Bar has become one of my favorite hangouts in Portland. On the corner of SW Hawthorne & 18th, this bar rocks for a myriad of reasons

  • Soccer is on. ALL THE TIME
  • The beer tap list is great (and always changing)
  • Delicious Bosnian food (hello Ćevapi)
  • Awesome bartenders
  • The lovely & hilarious owner Mohammad

If any of these points sound appealing, you need to go! Steven and I have been back a handful of times and each time we are left satisfied and super happy. Even just last night we went for a quick dinner, a beer, and for some MLS playoff soccer. And it was divine.

Mohammad the owner is usually there and it’s hard to miss him. He’s a loud, boisterous  super nice guy with a thick Bosnian accent. He treats everyone like they are regulars (but trust me, there are a lot of regulars who love good beer and soccer!)

Mohammad refers to every woman as “nice lady,” which of course means they have a house pale ale brew from Lompoc caled… Nice Lady Ale. I’m not usually a pale ale kind of girl, but once he called me nice lady, I knew I had to try it. And I loved it! The boys (who are all self-proclaimed beer aficionados) are always happy with the tap selection. Basically, you can find anything you want. There are also game day specials — Timbers jello shots anyone?!

Also, you have to try a Ćevapi! Its basically really flavorful kebab on doughy and super addicting bread (lepina), with onions, red pepper sauce (ajvar), and a small amount of cream sauce (kaymak). It’s so delicious, I have to get it every time. Steven has gotten the Mediterranean chicken sandwich  which was amazing, and Katie got another sandwich which she said she enjoyed.

I can’t find a reason not to love 442 Soccer Bar. We have gotten to know some of the bartenders and they are just great to talk to. The food is good, the drinks are great, and our friends also love this place.

Let me know if you check it out! I have also heard a rumor that they show Blazers games…

PDX Fab Find: Bazi Bierbrasserie

I am going to be honest, I never really venture out into SE Portland. Being a downtown girl, I  know my way around the west side, but the east side is a little bit of a mystery for me.

Let me tell you, Bazi Bierbrasserie is a hidden gem on the east side. Small, tucked away right off of Hawthorne, this bar/restaurant totally rocks!

Bazi Bierbrasserie (don’t ask me to pronounce that…) is a Belgian bar with a brasserie style food menu. Steven and I met our friends Katie and Dylan right after work for happy hour and to watch a Timbers game.

I was totally and completely impressed with Bazi Bierbrasserie .

The restaurant is smaller, but has a great outside area with picnic tables and umbrellas. There is also a garage door that was opened into the restaurant, which gave a lovely natural light. Awesome atmosphere, I loved it!

The cool thing about Bazi Bierbrasserie is the beer selection. There are about 17 imported Belgian craft beer taps as well as a couple local, rotating guest taps, all in the Belgian-style. There is something for everyone and our server was more then helpful with our selections.

Steven, Katie, and Dylan well went with traditional, dark imported Belgian beers (of course!), while I ordered lighter Wit beers from two breweries.

Turns out the two beers I had were from the local rotating guest taps, one from pFriem Brewing and the other from Breakside Brewing. If you like lighter, creamy beers, these two Wits are for you!

Hint: Be prepared to pay a little more for your beer! Also, since they are imported, there are no beer samples. So ask your server and order wisely!

Not only were we all super excited about the beers, the food was so so good! Happy hour prices ranged from $3-$7 and the food portions were very generous. I definitely want to come back for dinner sometime.

Happy Hour food menu

I ordered the happy hour frites and the dirty laundry grilled cheese sandwich! The frites were delicious and cooked to perfection. Whatever seasoning they had one them, I want it on everything. I also died over the grilled cheese. With doughy pullman load bread and copious amounts to cheddar and gruyere, I could eat this grilled cheese everyday.

Steven and Katie ordered the old fashioned cheeseburger and both had nothing but wonderful things to say about it!

Bazi Bierbrasserie shows all local teams, MLS games, and English Soccer games on a giant 114 inch tv. They also have a smaller tv in the corner of the bar. If you are going for a game, be sure to get there early! We were shocked how packed it was a half hour before kick off!Good beer, delicious food, great friends? Nothing could be better… (besides a Timbers win)

 

Oregon Brewers Festival 2012

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Everyone in Portland goes to Oregon Brewers Fest. It’s literally a reunion of all of Portland!

I saw people from middle school, high school, college, and work! All enjoying beers and lounging in the sun in the middle of downtown!

There were 85 beers this year, all from breweries from around the country. PDX is totally Beervana.

It was the perfect weekend.

Last year was my first Oregon Brewers Fest experience and I fell in love! I will now being going every year.

Little known fact: The couple that drinks beer at Oregon Brewers Fest together, stays together!

Some tips:

  • Unless you are a huge beer snob, skip the “taster” and just do a full pour. No point in standing in line for 20 minutes to just get a small amount of beer
  • Pick up a program! I really hate dark beers, so with the help of my handy program, I knew where all the light, fruity beers are so I didn’t end up waiting for an icky beer
  • Be prepared for crowds. Like I said, anyone and everyone in the Portland metro area will be there!
  • If you go with a go with a group, grab a table spot! It’s good to have a “home base” for everyone to come back to and meet up.
  • Beer tokens are equivalent to gold… don’t lose them!
  • Start your own “woo” with the crowd. Just do it, people will follow suit!

‘Drink & Be Merry’ at the PDX Holiday Ale Festival

I went last night with Steven and our friend Dylan to the Holiday Ale Festival and it was so incredible! From the people to the beers to the sights, this is the perfect event in preparation for the Holiday season! If you…

a) Love the holidays or

b) Appreciate beer or

c) Want to be a cool kid or

d) Love the city of Portland

then you HAVE to go to the Holiday Ale Festival!

Set up in Pioneer Courthouse Square underneath the beautiful city Christmas Tree, the Holiday Ale Festival is definitely worth consideration for your weekend plans.

Why should you go?

- Every beer featured has a holiday/winter name! (ex: Columbia River Brewing’s Drunken Elf Stout & Widmer Brothers Brewing’s Peppermint Paddy Porter) For someone who picks beers solely based on names, I really loved the selection. ha!

- The location is gorgeous! In the middle of downtown beneath the lit-up Christmas tree. Nothing could be better than that!

- The tents (which have a transparent top for perfect views of the Christmas tree) are heated! It was the perfect, toasty temperature for some ale-drinking!

- Free epic photos (left). Enough said.

- Just like the Oregon Brewers Festival, the Holiday Ale Festival draws the most eccentric and eclectic Portlanders. Young and old, beer snobs to casual drinkers. It’s a fun, happy group and the random roars of cheers always indicate a good time.

- Designated Driver or a non-drinker? You can get into the festival for $5 and you get free root beer the entire night!

 

Some tips…

- Take public transit if you can! It will save you money and will ensure that you get home safely! Many of the beers featured at a higher alcohol level, so be careful!

- Check your coat at the entrance. For $2, you benefit the Children’s Cancer Association, which is really worth it. And since the tents are heated, you don’t want to lug around your coat!

 

- Eat something before the event! Although there is on-site food, you are downtown where you options are endless (and most likely less pricey!). We went to the festival and then walked to Rock Bottom afterwards for dinner. However, there are cupcakes and cheese, all for 1 ticket which were great snacks while you are going from tent to tent. However the Sunday Beer Brunch does look awesome…

- Keep your options open. I am far from a beer snob, but I usually don’t like darker beers. I was pleaently surprised by some of the beers I tried! But then again…I just went with the fun names.

- Go earlier in the day/night! Whenever you go, the festival is going to be pretty busy. But earlier in the evening is perfect because there will be a crowd, but no long lines. We got there around 5:30 and it was the perfect amount of people and basically no lines for the taps. By the time we were heading around 8, the lines were getting REALLY long!

Our suggestions…

Dylan’s pick – Firestone Walker Brewing Co.’s 100% Bourbon Barrel Aged Velvet Merken

Steven’s pick – Holiday Ale Festival’s Moore Holiday Ale 2010

My pick – Lompoc Brewing’s Cherry Christmas

The festival runs until this Sunday. The initial tasting package you buy to get into the festival includes a souvenir mug and 8 beer tickets for $25. Additional beer tickets can be purchased for $1 each and you get free re-admission into the Festival all 5 days with wristband and current year’s mug. (We got our tasting package through the online pre-sale, which came with extra beer tickets)