Tag Archives: booze crews

Booze Crews #7: Blitz Ladd

Blitz Ladd
SE 11th and Sherman (next to Kettleman’s Bagels)

Blitz Ladd is the new Eastside outpost of everyone’s favorite sub-species of Pearl Rat, the aging fratboy. I’ve never been to the Pearl location (at 110 NW 10th Avenue, (503) 222-2229 but I’m sure that it’s not quite the place that I’d spend much time.

Blitz Ladd’s sign first went up nearly a year ago (originally Biltz East) with paper on the windows about 5 months after that. I’m not quite sure when they opened, but I spotted it, lights on and TVs a flickering on Columbus Day. I stopped in on Thursday to watch an MLS game and keep my eyes on what I thought would be the Red Sox demise in the ALCS. The Space is huge, easily 5,000+ square feet, with numerous pool tables, shuffle board and more TVs than necessary, including a very large projection set up in the back. The booths and tables are made from oriented strand-board protected with heavy layers of sealant, which gives the place a quasi-unfinished look from afar, but the effect up close is unique and saves the otherwise bland space from utter visual mediocrity.

They have a bunch of beers on tap, with the standard sports bar fare, but a wide range of microbrews from around the PNW and california. Nothing groundbreaking, but respectable. They also have those ridiculous aluminum ‘bottles’ of Budweiser.  They have a full bar, but no menu of ridiculous drinks that I saw.  The happy hour (4-6:30) deals are acceptable: $3 well drinks, draft beer and wine. I’m not sure what ‘wine’ means there, but I don’t plan on figuring it out.

The menu is straight up standard Sports Bar fare, with several burger options, plentiful fried food, a few salads and ‘flat bread’ pizzas.  The place was relatively empty during my time there, so I didn’t witness any pizzas coming out of the kitchen to give any enlightenment to what ‘flat bread’ means in this case.

I’m not sure how Blitz Ladd will fare.  It is rather average, but nearly all sports bars are.  Blitz has more class and 10000% more windows than the nearby Jolly Roger, and is non-smoking, which gets it out in front of Claudia’s further east.  For me, however, I doubt I’ll be back until I have competing sporting events to watch.

Booze crews # 4-Yamhill Brewing Company

Note: originally posted may 9th, 2006. see end of post for update.
The first impression of this place, which is in the center of Garlic Gulch @ SE 9th and Yamhill, was, um, weird. Parked directly in front of the door when I walked in was an obese, bored-looking palm reader.

The place is rough, the clientele surprisingly mixed (gender and age wise), and the bartender a slack-jawed hippie girl. Went with E, she said her grilled cheese was good. Beer is just not that good—their ‘bitter’ wasn’t what I’d hoped for (a low APV English style) and tasted strongly of sassafras, or anise or fennel. Their Amber was good, but nothing special and also tasted strongly of sassafras. It was also not particularly ‘amber’. I bumped into Adam (bartender @ the basement) after my first visit and he said their stout is like ‘pouring chocolate syrup down your throat.’ I gave it a shot on a later visit, and I guess I got a different batch, because it tasted like sassafras, and lacked any real stout character.

essentially, all of their beer has the same weird licorice-sassafras flavor that really didn’t agree with me or anyone I brought with me.

The building is rather large, with sizable piles of kegs in the brewing area, so they’re gearing up for pretty serious production—on par with, or perhaps beyond, Roots capacity-here’s hoping they figure out some better recipes first.

Update 10/14/06

YBC Closed with little fanfare, and the space is now for sale on craigslist

Thanks VJ!

booze crews #6: Brooklyn Park Pub

A funny thing happened on Labor Day, The red sox won a game. Don’t believe me? Here’s the box score.

An even funnier thing happened on Tuesday, the red sox won another game, and I watched it at the Brooklyn Park Pub, on SE milwaukie, just south of Powell. Previously the spot of the ‘who’s on first tavern’, the campy baseball themes continue with some serious baseball-themed rumpus room carpet and 5 TVs, which are a ton for how small the space is.

I once visited the ‘Who’s on First’ and never went back… Something about the two drink specials being ‘the redheaded slut’ and ‘long slow screw’ made me take my business elsewhere. Perhaps I’m sensitive, but I just didn’t get it. The new owners opened up 6 months ago or so, and I finally straggled in after work for a beer and a baseball game with my favorite whitesox fan. The bar has suprisingly good beer on tap: Mac & Jacks, Leemans (Canadian, eh), Alameda ISA, and some others–other than PBR, all mediocre beer is banished to bottles and cans. They also have a full bar, but the drink menu makes me hesitant:

Sea breeze
(Jack Daniels, Rocks)

Bay Breeze
(Jack Daniels, neat)

Rob Roy
(Macallan, Neat)

…and it goes on. Obviously, these people like their whiskey. Their menu boasts a whiskey club, they have a weekly whiskey special and more whiskey bottles about than all their other liquors combined. I’m sure they mix a fine drink, but you get the point–not only are they serious about the alcohol they offer, they also seem to possess a sense of humor.

The food was sparse, deep-fried/griddle fare only.

The red sox somehow managed a 1-0 win over the white sox, and I had two very nice pints. All in all, a great experience. The Brooklyn Park Pub is a welcome addition to the Powell/Milwaukie area, I’m sure.

Booze crews # 5– The Goodfoot

The Goodfoot is on 28th and SE Stark, not far from, well, everything, but tucked on a quiet stretch just east of Central Catholic High School. The Goodfoot is a bi-cameral institution with a large, lofty bar space upstairs and a cozy, awesome music venue (and bar) downstairs. The downstairs section hosts some of the best local music in town, with an open mic on Monday nights. Now with a well ventilated/filtered smoking section stage right, the once irrepressible smoke is not a problem. Just remember, if the music is cool, the spot is happening, you just have to ignore the 45 year old dude with a pony tail wearing tevas and socks, dancing with his baaaad self.

You can take your food from upstairs to downstairs for an extra $1, but to do that you’ve gotta shake out the whining from your ears and walk past their patio tucked between the GoodFoot and the chotchky/drugfront store next door, ’round the corner, and up the stairs into the main bar.

The first thing you notice when reaching the top of the stairs is ‘holy fuck, this bar is huge.’ The space is at least 80′ X 20′ but probably larger. It also has enough headroom to keep Sasquatch’s forehead clear of danger. The headroom also makes for the kind of art-show real estate all artists lust for–with the laid back hippie-but-not-quite-annoying-most-nights crowd, this has to be some of the most prime art-space on the east side. On my last visit, there were 5 piece shows from 9 artists decorating the walls. After all that art, there’s still time for 4 pooltables (bad slate, worse house cues, but whatever–no one serious plays on barboxes anyway) four badass pin ball machines, and tons of past, present and future show posters.

Have I mentioned I love seeing good art in drinking establishments? Well, I have now.

They have 10 or so beers on tap, most of them organic; tons of bottles for the hipsters who don’t know any better, a tiny liquor selection and some wine I’d never order.

The food is actually really tasty. On the bar food scale, they’re in the top 5% percentile for the price range, for food in general, they’re still respectable. It’s standard pub fare of sorts, with wraps of various kinds, sandwiches with funny names, a hummus plate, daily soup specials (last visit it was ‘crouching bacon hidden potato’) and some of the best fries in town–crispy, not too brown, available with garlic, Cajun or what have you.

The Happy Hour also rocks–5-9 weekdays, free pool, free (awesome) jukebox, $3 organic beer, $4 rotating food specials. Doesn’t get much better. On the weekends, when the joint downstairs is hopping, the joint upstairs is as well. A recent visit on a weekend night, I realized what I hadn’t previous: the GoodFoot has serious meat-market vibes when it’s packed. With so much space to circulate, and no dance floor, it’s a place you could make a lot of friends. I’m only guessing though, I don’t make friends, I grow on people. Like a fungus, I am–an infection.

Booze Crews #3: Aalto Lounge

There is a bar. It is on Belmont, near a traffic signal, west of 39th ave. It has few beers on tap, a high-priced wine list (but with quite generous pours), an attempt at a high-end bar menu (no comments here, I didn’t eat anything), tons of cocktails and so much hipster chic it must clog the drains every night. Mopping must be a bitch.

You think I’m kidding? The bar is dark, but there is never a shortage of hipsters straining their eyes to read arbitrarily intellectual texts for an audience. Writing this has forced an epiphany. I think hipsters with books in singles bars (Aalto is very clearly a low key meatmarket) is a lot like the now-archaic hanky codes.

I present to you:
The People-Who-Read-in-Bars corollary:

Reading Camus–don’t talk to me unless you’re faking a painfully depressing existence fueled by inappropriate amounts of eye-shadow, emo and a deep-seeded hatred for your well-intentioned parents.

Reading Chomsky/Zinn et al–don’t you bother talking to me unless every fiber of your being is organic, local, fairtrade and 100% committed to the revolution.

Grading papers?–don’t talk to me unless you’ve been fantasizing about Mr. Lindsey, your fourth grade teacher, for the last 8-15 years.

Reading books in a foreign language–I’m just biding my time, trolling for a chance to cockblock some guy who tries to impress a girl with stories of worldly escapades. After all, you haven’t lived until you’ve seen the sun rise on the plains of Seville

Reading Che/Marx–Talk to me if you also got your political ethos from the liner notes of a Rage Against the Machine album. Can I bum an American Spirit?

Reading the Beats–talk to me? Please? please? My mom says I’m cool. Don’t I look cool?

EDIT: a donation from Van Dusen:
– Anything by a Russian author. “Wow Mr. Park Slope black hoodie, toothhpick of a man. Your sincerity and affectedness is making my nipples cut glass. I would tear off your Diesel jeans and start blowing you right now if they actually came off, but I suspect that there is neither flesh nor bone under that thrift store get up.”

______________________________________________
The corollary is not an Aalto lounge thing, it’s a nationwide observation that happened to rear it’s ugly head during an innocent write-up about the lounge, so let’s get back to it.

There’s a mounted deer head with a trucker’s hat.

My heart sunk to my shoes when a DJ showed up, but he spun a respectable mix of downtempo soul, old country and funk–each song he played could be found in my music collection. That’s refreshing. I’m often driven out of bars because of awful DJs/internet jukeboxes. Basically, Aalto is a hipster meatmarket that one can easily enjoy if you go with a friend for a pint and a conversation. If you’re out of walking distance, however, there are better places to go.