Thursday, July 26, 2012

Kells Irish Restaurant and Pub

112 SW 2nd Avenue
Happy Hour: Monday through Friday 4:30-6PM
Sunday through Thursday 10PM-close
www.kellsirish.com/portland

I'm having a really hard time believing that we've never been to Kells. We've been working on this happy hour food blog for four summers straight. And even during the school year, we make it out for happy hour now and then. You would think that one of us would have made it into this place in that amount of time. Weird. Kells is a mainstay in Portland. So many people depend on this place for watching international football and rugby games. That, and St. Patrick's Day. Where would the people of Portland celebrate St. Patrick's Day if it wasn't for Kells? So, again, I find it absolutely baffling that we haven't been in for a review until now.

We were there with a large group yesterday afternoon (there were twelve of us, I think) and service was fantastic. I love places that can handle big crowds without any issues. I was one of the last to arrive (and I was late enough that the majority of the food they had ordered was close to gone). Our server was on it, though. He came out almost immediately to take my drink order, was back to see if I wanted any food, and didn't even question splitting the bill. He took care of it all.


There were pints of Guinness and Drop Top all around, but I stuck with something safe. I ordered a gin and tonic (with extra lime, of course). A glass of red wine just wouldn't be refreshing in that heat...and, well, I'm a little too hesitant to order a gimlet when at a pub.


The french fries seemed to be one of the biggest hits at the table...and since there were only a few left for me to try, I decided to order my own plate. I shared, of course, but I needed to get a good picture in first. These fries were thick and salty and came with a buttermilk dipping sauce. And they are only three dollars during happy hour.


For five bucks (down from $8.50 during happy hour), I also ordered the hummus plate. It came with plenty of sliced cucumbers, tomato wedges, kalamata olives, and feta cheese. (Red onions, too...although I didn't touch them.) The bread, though, was a little questionable. There were three types of bread on the plate: one was a grilled pita bread that was a little too oily for me; the second was a white bread (maybe potato?); and the third a wheat bread with all kinds of seeds and things. The white and wheat bread were both good (especially the wheat) but aren't really what I'm used to seeing served with hummus. They still did the job of transporting food to my face, but they seemed a bit out of place. (I did really love the wheat bread, though...and hope to find it someday served with butter and maybe a bowl of vegetarian potato chowder. I'd order that, for sure.)

There were about a million other things that I could have ordered on their happy hour menu. A lot of the items are vegetarian friendly (some vegan, too) which means I can return again and again and always have something new to try.

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

-b

Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub

2 comments:

  1. Their nachos are amazing! If I remember correctly, they use potato skins instead of chips.

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  2. I'm a bit surprised the you didn't try one of their signature drinks! They are all good and highly recommended!!

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