Sunday, January 30, 2011

Thirsty Lion Pub and Grill

71 SW 2nd Avenue
Happy Hour: 3 - 7 PM, Monday through Friday

The Thirsty Lion is very much a pub. The sports decor and big screens say pub. The fried foods say pub. Even the wooden booths have "typical pub atmosphere" written all over them. This place is exactly what I expected it to be. There's a chance that I'll go back (if I'm in the neighborhood and not walking into one of the other 9 bars within a 1-block radius) but there's nothing calling me there. And that's okay...because there are plenty of people in Portland who like the atmosphere and they'll be there instead.


I walked in to find that my boyfriend had already started without me. He HAD been waiting for more than forty minutes. (The drive from outer SE Portland took longer than expected.) He had ordered the frou-frou lemonade off of the specialty cocktail menu and the Traditional Scottish Eggs. According to him, the lemonade might not have actually had any alcohol in it and the eggs were, quote, disgusting. Perhaps if he were Scottish he'd appreciate them more. The menu said hard boiled (they were most definitely soft boiled) eggs encrusted in pork sausage and fried to a golden brown.

There were three of us in the end...and that meant a lot of food at the table. And most of that food contained cheese. You see, the menu during happy hour at the Thirsty Lion is made for meat eaters. And if you're not a meat eater, than you'd better like cheese. And fried things (which, again, seems just right given that it's a pub). The only non-meat, cheese-less option was onion rings...which are, of course, FRIED. If you're on some sort of diet, just don't even walk in.


I ordered the beer cheese fondue. It came served with a pretzel that was warm and perfectly chewy but caked in salt. I brushed off most of it and worked may way through the plate.


To accompany my fondue, I ordered a salad. The only salad on the happy hour menu, however, is a Caesar salad which--as most vegetarians know--typically contains some sort of anchovy something or other in the dressing. So I went without. The romaine lettuce wasn't too plain, though, as it was topped with CHEESE.


My boyfriend ordered a plate of mozzarella sticks to fix what disappointment came with the eggs. They were tasty but fairly typical.


Also at the table was a plate of Reuben sliders. They were the most adorable things ever created. (As are all sliders.) I can't wait until someone opens a restaurant that only serves sliders...sliders of all makes and models. Knowing Portland, they'd probably be served out of a cart. Maybe this place already exists. If you know of it, please tell me NOW. Really, send a message or something.


To wash down all of my food choices (and relax after three hours of rehearsal for the upcoming diversity assembly during what should have been my very relaxing end-of-the-quarter grade prep), I ordered the fresh fruit margarita. It was full of freshly muddled fruit and came in a well-salted pint glass. I could have ordered many more but knew that the price tag was not quite worth the contents. So instead of a second, I ordered a $2.50 well drink. I'm fairly certain I ordered a vodka gimlet but am not sure what I actually drank. It tasted a bit like a sweet tart and might have contained a splash of midori...all of which are not typical of a gimlet (good or bad).


Even with all of my complaints (and the use of the word disgusting), the Thirsty Lion still ended up meeting the standard in all areas. The service was close to great, the atmosphere was appropriate (especially if you're interested in watching sports), the food options are priced from $2.95 to $4.95, and the happy hour starts early and runs late.

Food: Meets
Drinks: Meets (just don't order a gimlet)
Service: Meets
Ambiance: Meets
Value: Meets

-b


Thirsty Lion Pub & Grill on Urbanspoon

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