Pleasurable patios provoke parched palates
In one more week, the summer session will finally be over, and you can begin indulging in that afternoon pint, siesta or both without guilt. In celebration of this glorious day, here’s a look at some of Portland’s best spots for either, the patio bar/restaurant.
204 S.E. Oak, 503-232-8355.
This is classic Portland patio fare. A large open space decked out in sun-bleached wood with plenty of seating and a few nice booths to duck into with a good micro-brew. Nothing spectacular as far as the patio, but a great selection of beer, which is often all one ever needs.
THE PIED COW COFFEEHOUSE
3244 S.E. Belmont, 503-230-4866.
This quirky cafe/coffee house has perhaps the penultimate patio in Portland. I mean it’s a friggin’ park. Plenty of shade and seats. The small fountain gurgling in the background is absolutely lovely. The only draw back is its proximity to Belmont. A large hedge hides the traffic, but the wheeze and hiss of the buses running regularly by is a constant reminder one is in the city and not the French countryside.
THE NEW OLD LOMPOC
1616 N.W. 23rd, 503-225-1855.
Great grape arbor. No, it’s fabulous, incredible, amazing. Three old grapevines provide plenty of shade for a number of tables, while the upper level is simply left to look enviously down from under their little, inadequate umbrellas. Not too much residual traffic noise from 23rd, and what there is covered up by a set of small speakers.
THE ROSE & THISTLE
2314 N.E. Broadway, 503-287-8582.
Touted as Oregon’s only Scottish pub, the Rose & Thistle has one of the quietest and park like patios in Portland. It’s actually a strain to hear the traffic from busy Northeast Broadway. Ivy covered walls. Picnic tables under shady pines. Plenty of choices between shade and sun. Possibly the most secluded patio around.
BERNIE’S SOUTHERN BISTRO
2904 N.E. Alberta, 503-282-9864.
A fabulous, shady patio compliments with the fabulous southern fare. The patio is comfortable, quaint and quiet. This is a perfect spot to partake of a mint julep, or three, or a luxuriously long dinner.
MARKET STREET PUB
1526 S.W. 10th, 503-497-0160.
Another sibling of the McMenamins’ clan, The Market hasn’t a patio per se, but a simple courtyard with a handful of tables scattered out of the way of the meandering pedestrians. This, like the dumb, ugly cousin ���� the sidewalk patio ���� is for the diehard, must-eat-outside-if-it’s-nice individual.
HOT LIPS PIZZA
1901 S.W. Sixth, 503-224-0311.
Another classic patio. Simple, functional, with plenty of tables and plenty of sun. Not much shade until late, late afternoon. Not the most inviting of patios, but relatively quiet, considering. Unless, of course, you get a study group taking the proverbial study break.
1220 S.W. First, 503-227-7342.
Ah, now this is a patio. Elegant, with a certain sense of seclusion even though it’s right downtown. However, some street traffic does drift over, and there’s always a high probability of being subjected to one-sided-cell-phone-conversation. However, it does have shade for days and days.
CHEZ JOSE (Eastside)
2200 N.E. Broadway, 503-280-9888.
Now this cubicle of cement with its handful of tables does qualify as a patio, but not as a comfortable one. And if the sun is out, you might as well be in a prison hot box doing a three-week stint for attempted escape. An iron gate gives a glimpse of a small parking lot and a side street. What their patio lacks in greenery and ambiance Chez Jose makes up with their tequila selection, which, I suppose, is some consolation.