Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Dig A Pony

736 SE Grand Avenue
Happy Hour: 4 - 7, daily
digaponyportland.com


I've had a restaurant concept in mind for as long as I can remember. Like any restaurant, it may or may not attract enough customers to really thrive...or even survive. There's a pretty good chance it would flop. But who knows? All I know, for sure, is that I've got the idea down, the name in place, a few items ready to be printed on the menu...and absolutely no principal. And so I will continue to keep that restaurant name in the back of my brain for a very very long time.


All of which makes me wonder just how long the owners of Dig A Pony were working with that line. It's a great name. And they've attached that name to a great place. But which came first? I'd love to hear the story.


Dig A Pony opens daily with happy hour discounts from 4 until 7 PM. It's a good chunk of time and--although there are plenty of people taking advantage of the cheap food and drinks--there always seems to be a good place to call your own. And you can really take over. This is the kind of place (assuming that you can find a much-needed outlet) to get some work done. If I was the office type--instead of the classroom type--I'd totally use this as my getaway when I needed a change of scenery.


They've got plenty of snacks to munch on while working, or chatting--or whatever it is you are doing--but they also have enough listed on the happy hour menu that you can easily make it into a complete meal. With prices between three and six dollars, you can put away a lot of food for very little money.


With plans to share, we ordered the fried plantains ($3), hush puppies ($4), and the macaroni and cheese ($5). Next time, I will be sure to try the roasted veggie sandwich ($5) and maybe a house salad ($3) or, for the same price, a plate of fries--that's gonna be a hard decision.


The hush puppies came with some sort of addictive honey butter. There was something else to it--something with a little heat--but the sweetness kept me eating despite my attempts to call it quits. Honey butter is a dangerous thing. (And I have loved it for too long.)



Served with a bowl of mojo, the fried plantains were a fun choice and something that was easy to share. And the pickled pineapple mojo was a perfect match for these fried strips.


Macaroni and cheese is a typical happy hour food option--and one that I often opt for--but these guys have added their own twist. With a mix of cheddar and fontina, this mac and cheese has a little kick to it. In the mix is enough jalapeƱo and onion to make it flavorful but without being too obvious.


To match the sunshiny day, I opted for the drink that sounded the most like summertime. Made with ginger vodka, lime, sugar, and ginger beer, the 96 Tears is a lot like a Moscow Mule. It's a favorite of mine and one that will become more popular as the days get longer and longer.

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

-b


Dig A Pony on Urbanspoon

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