Friday, August 06, 2010

Spints Alehouse - CLOSED

401 NE 28th Ave
Happy Hour: 4 - 6 and 10 - midnight


It's in my favorite happy hour neighborhood. It's German. And it's got a great atmosphere with super attentive servers and discounts on both food and drinks during happy hour. How fantastic. Apparently, Spints Ale House has been around since the start of 2010...but with all the happy hours on my to-do list, it took until today to make it there. According to an article I found, this place opened just around the same time as Grumer (another German-style, Portland-esque restaurant located downtown and on my to-do list) but has done quite well despite their similarities. They may be similar in style but they ARE on opposite sides of town...making this place an easy "go to" for east siders like me.


Spints Ale House is just off of Glisan and NE 28th Avenue. That, of course, means that if you decide against one of the yummy offerings on their dessert menu, you can walk up the street for some gelato. Yum. Either way, it's best to finish a German-style meal with something sweet. And some coffee, too, perhaps.


I spent the summer of my junior year in high school on exchange in Germany. Some thought that it would be near impossible for a vegetarian teenager to make it in a sausage-laden country. I proved them wrong. There are plenty of meat-free options in Germany. And it's more than just potatoes, cheese, and bread. I was introduced to all sorts of veg-friendly recipes, some that I still make today. Knowing this, I was a teensy bit disappointed that the Sprints menu doesn't have more vegetarian options--for both happy hour and on its regular list of entrees. In proportion to the rest of the menu (it's quite small), though, I suppose that it is to be expected.


The happy hour menu has a little sausage, a little chicken, a little pork and--for me--the cheese board. Served on an honest-to-goodness piece of wood (don't worry, it's finished quite nicely) were three fancy cheeses (for only $5). Our server described them all when she first brought the board and was quick to remember the favorite when I asked again later. (I, of course, wrote it down to avoid forgetting it in the future. It was just that good. I'm hoping to find it an New Seasons, where they seem to have every cheese known to man.) The cheese was served with a bowl of crisp bread covered in sesame seeds and poppy seeds. Having fallen in love with the idea of walking to the bakery to buy fresh breads each day in Germany, I was a bit disappointed with this pairing. Maybe it's more typical of another part of Germany...but it wasn't my favorite part of the meal. They cheese, however, made up for it. Who needs bread when you've got incredibly delectable cheeses to consume?


To drink, I selected the happy hour red wine of the day. Spints offer discounts on beer, wine and select cocktails. For five dollars, I finished a glass of Pinot that was easy to drink but obviously not something that you can pick up just anywhere. It went especially well with the cheese board and only would have been more delicious had there been a piece of chocolate or two to finish the meal.

Spints Ale House is divided into two main sections. On a Friday afternoon, the bar was filling up nicely while the restaurant area sat empty. There was one table set for a large party that happened to walk in just as we were leaving. I suppose that as the night goes on, the place will fill on both sides. There's also plenty of outdoor seating available while the sun's still out. The bar itself is beautifully designed and looks fantastic with its dark wood next to the stein cabinets. From what I gathered, regulars lock up their steins to enjoy the best of the German beers each time they return to Spints. I'm not sure how to get a space of my own but know that it wouldn't be worth much as I tend to stick to red wines and cocktails and haven't quite learned to like beer. The system itself, however, is quite intriguing.

Food: Meets
Drinks: Meets
Service: Meets
Ambiance: Exceeds
Value: Meets

-b

Spints Alehouse

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