Monday, December 02, 2013

Trifecta Tavern & Bakery

726 SE 6th Avenue
Happy Hour Wishlist
trifectapdx.com



Ken's Artisan Bakery has been around for just over twelve years. Ken's Artisan Pizza has been packed night after night for more than seven years. Now there's number three, Trifecta Tavern and Bakery. It's been open for just over two weeks. It doesn't have Ken's in the name, but you'll know it when you get there. It's nearly impossible to not notice. It's also very difficult to leave without a loaf of bread or a croissant. Or both.


Trifecta doesn't offer happy hour but they do have a bar menu (or what they call a limited menu) available starting at four. The regular dinner menu isn't available until five, and as this place starts to pick up (which it will, to the point where there will be a line out front) we suggest you stop in early for a few nibbles before ordering your main course. It might make for an early start, but we think it'll be worth it.

We sat at the end of the bar and watched as both the kitchen staff and bartenders prepared for the dinner rush. There was some serious hustle and bustle but still plenty of time to attend to those customers seated at the bar. I love watching everything and everyone "behind the scenes" and feel that the food (and drinks) are far more appreciated when you know the amount of work that went into making them.



The Swizzle definitely took a lot of work. (I only had a sip, but know that this drink is meant to please.) Looking at the picture, you would probably assume that they have one high-quality ice machine. Nope. They make their own ice. And they crush it, too. We watched as they loaded the cloth bag, pulled out a wooden pin, and continued thwacking it (without causing too much alarm to the passers by) until it was perfectly crushed. And the ice was not the only thing house-made. The drink menu was covered with "in-house" ingredients.


While I enjoyed the appearance of the Swizzle and that one sip, the New York Sour was more to my liking. (After much influence from my husband, I am beginning to look past the typical vodka drinks I've grown so used to. Whiskey Sours are now on my list of go-tos.) The cocktail menu at Trifecta is divided into multiple categories with a long list of egg white concoctions. There are others on that same list that make me want to return. Actually, there's a lot about the whole menu that makes me want to return. The drinks, the food, the bread...

Having had the opportunity to discuss food options with one of the bartenders, we opted for the Chilled Ember Roasted Carrots, the BBQ Salsify Chips, and the Deviled Eggs. The Deviled Eggs were a must, according to the bartender, and seemed to be popular with EVERYONE at the bar.



The eggs came four halves to the plate, each with a different topping. The toppings change daily but--like everything on the menu--take advantage of the abundant offerings of the Northwest (they proudly list their suppliers on the main page of their website). I was only able to sample two of the four, but was pleased with both the toppings and the eggs themselves.



Delivered just as quickly as the deliciously deviled eggs were the BBQ Salsify Chips. I don't remember ever having tried this root vegetable before, but I am expecting to see it on more and more menus in the months to come. (And when I see it, I will order it...that's for sure.) The chips had great crunch, enough spice to flavor each bite without causing the typical mess caused by flavored chips, and an appearance that kept me taking picture after picture after picture.



Although they weren't the favorite at the table, I especially enjoyed the roasted carrots. I've grown up eating my grandmother's sherried carrots at every holiday dinner, and so a gourmet version of the same will have me ordering it every time...no matter what. These were tossed with hazelnuts and seemed the perfect fall dish. I had a hard time perfecting the ratio of crunchy hazelnuts to tender carrots, but will continue my pursuit of the perfect bite when I'm there next.



We stopped on our way out to peruse the bakery case one more time. (I had already been by to take pictures once.) Their bakery is open daily at 8 AM. They have a number of pastries--including the most tempting chocolate croissants--available with or without coffee. There is plenty of bread to choose from, too, with fresh baguettes coming out of the oven promptly at four every afternoon. While making our decision on which loaves to leave with, we were urged to go with Ken's favorite, by Ken himself.

Food: Meets
Drinks: Exceeds
Service: Meets
Ambiance: Meets
Value: Meets (although I'd love to see an official Happy Hour in the future.)

-b


Trifecta Tavern & Bakery on Urbanspoon

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