Tuesdays with Mindy: Portland Pork Sandwiches

A weekend of drinks and eats

Me and the DH (Dan Robertson) had the extreme pleasure of hosting family last weekend, Dan’s cousin and his girlfriend. They were in town from California following a drunken conversation a year ago about how P-Town is the microbrew capital of the world and overall pretty cool.

We invited Cousin Eric to spend a weekend with us and we’d show him around town. He took us up on the offer and brought his lovely girlfriend Carly along. We secured a bed in the Man Cave and I crafted an agenda full of drinking and eating.

Along with introducing Eric and Carly to new beers and new sites, I made up a rule to eat Pulled Pork Sandwiches at every place we were dining in order to scout out the best. A weekend of Portland Pork Sandwiches, if you will. ********************************************************************************************

FRIDAY

McMenamin’s Edgefield: We sat out on the Powerstation Pub patio and the weather/locale was gorgeous. Probably the most scenic spot we ate and drank the entire weekend. Carly bypassed the Ruby for a delicious cider brewed on site and the boys drank plenty of dark, hopsy beer.

The food was actually quite good, which is shocking for a McMenamins. I’ve never had anything but nasty tasting bar food, so finding a location that boasts delicious Ruby AND scrumptious vittles is probably gonna make me a return customer. Not to mention you could hear snippets of the gorgeous Neko Case concert as background.

We also sampled some of their Monkey Puzzle distilled whiskey and everyone was such a fan, we’re bringing a bottle down in early September (when we attend the Scottish Games!).

Pulled Pork Review: At first the waitress brought ours out with no BBQ sauce (Carly had ordered hers on the side) and so we were like “man, this shit is dry and not very tasty.” Then we realized our mistake, so quickly were able to drowned our sorrows in tasty sauce that had a nice sweet start with a tangy bite at the end. I was pleasantly surprised. There was also lots of heat which I was expecting…but could have done without. Rank 2 out of 4. ************************************************************************************************ SATURDAY

Widmer Brewery Tour: We met up with our buddy Umphress here (he’s a fantastic beer SNOB) and sampled the brews while learning about the Widmer origins and what ingredients went into the construction of the individual beers. We each got a keychain bottle opener and a pint glass at the end. The tour was quick because the upper part of the brewery was actually in use, so we couldn’t see the kegs or bottling. Boo hoo. Ah well.

Back at the Gasthaus Pub everyone seemed to find something to enjoy (beer or food). Carly and I opted for Root Beer – I got a float will Tillamook Ice Cream (oh yeah). The only crowd displeaser was our surly waitress and the lack of fries with our burgers and sandwiches. Wha?

Pulled Pork Sandwich: OMG – so yum! It had a rich flavor and was actually created with one of the Widmer Bocks. Wow. I passed around the dish the sauce came in and made everyone try it. I can’t even describe the awesome. So far it had emerged as the clear winner. Very little heat. Delectable. Rank 1 out of 4. 

We also hit up another McMenamins locale just down the road The White Eagle Saloon just because it’s a classic Portland location and supposedly haunted. 

After that we drove through downtown (made an attempt at Powell’s but their parking lot was full) and decided on Huber’s Cafe as our next watering hole. It really does have ambience and old school charm. Our guests had to order the Spanish Coffee even if no one ever finishes it and the pourer dude delivered with style. We lingered here for a few hours, bumping in to some peeps dressed in costume for a pubcrawl and staying long enough for Eric to sample the hot wings. That was his thing for the weekend – he had wings at all the rest of the eateries we visited.

Trek in the Park: Ended up being kind of a wash because we got there late and seating/hearing/viewing was limited. We were all kinda sleepy from a day of drinking so we left pretty shortly thereafter and came home to rest up and play some video games. We vowed to return though!

4th Street Brewing Company: Was our last port of call for the evening. I picked up a froofy girly Scoobie Snack and the boys sampled the brews (of which 4th Street does not have the greatest). I mourn often for their Sour Cherry beer…and may have to kick this location to the curb, especially since…

Pulled Pork Sandwich: Why have I been in love with this sandwich for the last few years? Am I crazy? After the Widmer winner earlier in the day, this one was tasting all kinds of funky. I do like how their pork is shredded…but the sauce is far too mustardy. My palate had never had such a  close comparison before…and now I’m sad to say there is no real reason for me to return to this establishment. Bummer. I liked its proximity and once upon a time it’s beer + pulled pork. Rank 4 out of 4.  ************************************************************************************************

SUNDAY

– After a hearty home-made breakfast, we rolled out to the Columbia Gorge around 1pm or so and hiked the Latourell Falls loop. Then we hit up the Lower and Upper Horse Tail Falls.

By that time it was early dinner, so we drove out to Hood River  for the final stop on the Pacific Northwest tour.

Full Sail Brewery: We got their too late for their free weekend tours, but were seated pretty quickly in the dining room (patio seating was a 30 minute wait). I hemmed and hawed about what drink to order, settling on an Amber which I hated, so Dan swapped me for his LTD 03, which was yum. Carly loved her Amber, Eric snacked on a few Imperial IPAs and Dan tried a Stout. They all scarfed the wings – saying they were the meatiest but not the spiciest or tastiest. The food however, was universally loved. As well as the cool merchandise. Carly and I ogled a sweet track jacket ($45!) and I eventually settled on snagging a few pint glasses for them to take home and remember fondly their trip to Full Sail.

Pulled Pork Sandwich: Not my favorite. We all agreed it arrived looking like “Dog Food.” It too was crafted using beer from Full Sail, but the dark color was quite off-putting (and such a distinct contrast between the orange/mustard yellow of 4th Street). The taste was smokey and also spicy, which is not necessarily the best contrast. I should have ordered a salad as a side, because nothing on my plate looked nearly as attractive/edible as anyone elses. Rank 3 out of 4.

I made up for it with a bangin’ Stout Brownie smothered in Tillamook Ice Cream and Caramel. So gooood.

– After that we drove back towards the Airport, with a quick detour to Freddy Kroger’s (hah!) to pick up some Ninkasi Oatis, which Eric and Dan had been drinking bottles of all weekend in our down-time. **************************************************************************************************

Needless to say – I think we did our parts in making Eric and Carly fans of the Pacific Northwest and Portland in general. I honestly can’t imagine how we could have packed more into 48 hours. We were all exhausted but content by the end of the weekend. I just wish they’d had more time! So many more breweries, hikes, bike trails, wineries, book stores, movie and festival events this summer.

It was nice to view Portland through new eyes again. Being able to play host and tour guide to the city has made me fall in love with it all over again. Especially Edgefield. 🙂

Here is a slideshow of the weekend!

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About tinyheroes

Mindy Crouchley is a 33 year old woman with a degree in English and Technical Writing from Portland State University. She has accumulated three+ years experience in the Marketing and Communications field - with an emphasis on creating digital media content. She has been reading comic books since she was 10 years old. She currently lives in outer southeast Portland with her spouse Dan Robertson, her baby girl, and their dog - Jabba the pug. She spends her free time devouring books, crafting cosplay, video gaming, attending comic cons, writing stories/screenplays, attending book to film adaptation club meetings, volunteering, and watching copious amounts of TV and movies.

8 responses to “Tuesdays with Mindy: Portland Pork Sandwiches”

  1. Denise Hughes says :

    Next time you come down I’ll make ya some REAL pulled pork! 🙂 Glad you guys had fun and hooked up!!! Thanks for enticing Carly and Eric to the Northwest…mebbe someday we’ll get them to move up here! Yee Haw!

    • tinyheroes says :

      Haha! I will take you up on that pulled pork offer. 😄 And it was our pleasure to host! Carly and Eric are such a great pair. Can’t wait to see most of the cousins again in September. 🙂

  2. Sweet paul says :

    They were really cool people.

  3. erninlow says :

    I am in agreement about 4th St. I am was disappointed in the service that night and I realized the only thing I am a fan of on the menu is the fish and chips. I don’t even like their beer choices.

    • tinyheroes says :

      Exactly – which is kind of a bummer because we now have a $25 Groupon we need to use there! Ah well…I guess I can go back again as one final hurrah. But I think Edgefield has finally won me over as a loyal customer! 🙂

      • erninlow says :

        Edgefield is always a toss up for me. Sometimes you get good service and sometimes it is bad. I do like the beer there and the outdoor patio. Plus breakfast at the Black Rabbit is excellent!

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