Your good-times guide

“I just love Portland, and I love the happy hours,” said Cindy Anderson, author of the Happy Hour Guidebook: Portland and the Oregon Wine Country Guidebook.

“I just love Portland, and I love the happy hours,” said Cindy Anderson, author of the Happy Hour Guidebook: Portland and the Oregon Wine Country Guidebook.

The author will be at Powell’s tonight to talk about the fourth edition of her book on happy hour hot spots in Portland, and the August release of the Oregon Wine Country Guidebook. Anderson, who moved to Portland from Chicago about five years ago, discovered the endless possibilities of cheap food and drinks during particular hours of the day.

“They don’t have happy hour in Chicago,” Anderson said. “So when I came here I was like a kid in a candy store. It became a way to meet people. I would arrange group happy hours.”

After checking out various happy hours around the city, she knew of so many that her friends suggested that she write a book including all of her favorite spots around town. Anderson thought it would be a fun idea.
Three revised editions later, the fourth edition, the Happy Hour Guidebook 2010 was recently released.

The first guidebook included 115 different places in Portland, and the second added 75 more places. With each updated edition Anderson added or updated information about different happy hour hot spots in our area, mostly restaurants rather than bars.

The different locations are rated according to drinks, food and atmosphere. Anderson wanted to create the book to help people get out of their comfort zones and try new and different places. In addition to the rating, an extra “magic point” is possible if the place goes above and beyond, has a cool scene, a neat vibe or extended hours.

“Ambiance and atmosphere are important,” Anderson said. “Same with food and quality.”

Anderson’s Oregon Wine Country Guidebook, which was released in August, doesn’t include a rating system, but provides information about the locations and includes pictures. She wanted to give more detail than provided on the Web sites of many of these wineries.

“[I wanted to answer questions like] what’s it like? Is it a fancy place? Is it expensive? What is the wine like? What’s the place like to visit? Is there a view?” Anderson said. “I found that some of the wineries take the view for granted sometimes.”

For the Oregon Wine Country Guidebook, Anderson chose not to rate the wineries because of the subjective nature of wine drinking. Instead, she left little areas in the book for people to have their own ratings.

Anderson just completed her top 10 favorite happy hours and wineries. Some of her recommendations include Uptown Billiards Club on Northwest 23rd Avenue where, for $10, you can get a five-course meal that has one ingredient in common, and Limo, a Peruvian restaurant also located in Northwest Portland.

“[Limo has] unique ingredients and blends, and such great food, and they have some drink specials!”

For college students on a budget or the many struggling creative minds in this city, Anderson’s books will surely prove invaluable.

Reading from Cindy Anderson
Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St.
Tonight, 7:30 p.m.