Portland Oregon-Based Digital Media


3518 SE Hawthorne Blvd

Mulligan's on Urbanspoon

Date of Visit: March 11, 2010

Cost for 2 (with tip): $21

Since it’s getting close to St. Patrick’s day, it seems fitting we’d finally make it to Mulligan’s, although, the impending holiday actually has nothing to do with why we went there. A combination of attempting to be less fat and attempting not to spend so much money has slowed the lunch blogging, but there are a few places still to cross off. Mulligan’s was one of them.

We showed up promptly at noon and were officially the only customers in there. The bar is big, with a couple pool tables, and apparently on Thursday it’s happy hour all day. Unfortunately for us, the Happy Hour food didn’t start until 4, so we were left with the regular menu. In a decision that definitely was not going to help my “diet,” I ordered a turkey bacon and avocado sandwich with a heaping pile of french fries. It was available either hot or cold, and upon the waitress’s suggesting I got it hot, or essentially “grilled.” It was indeed “melty” as she described and pretty damn good. I officially ate one half of it and still feel like I may have gained a pound, or three.

Jared’s options were limited, but who are we kidding, he would have gotten a veggie burger either way. It came with plenty of toppings and although his first review was “it’s a garden burger” he later added that it was a good veggie burger, especially thanks to the bun. Fries were plentiful and pretty tasty, and over all, it was a solid meal of indulgent bar food. However, as we didn’t eat our meal with a side of Guiness, we somewhat failed this place. What can you do?

Veggie Options: A few apps, mac and cheese and veggie burgers

Speed: Pretty average

turkey, bacon and avacado sandwich

turkey, bacon and avacado sandwich

Veggie Burger

Veggie Burger


4800 SE Hawthorne Blvd


Space Room/Brite Spot on Urbanspoon

Date of Visit: 1/12/2010

Price for 2 (with tip): $14.50

After yesterday’s round up of places yet to go, it became clear we’re pretty much scraping the bottom of the barrel on Hawthorne. 80% of remaining restaurants are of the scummy bar variety, and, well, my ass is already fat enough. But one place I hadn’t thought of was Big Bertha’s; a-ten-dollar-and-under gyro sounded mighty delicious today. It turned out though, that there was a reason we hadn’t tried it: this is is exclusively a late night spot. So we hastily opted for the Space Room, directly across the street.

I’ve been to this bar before, with its cosmic theme and black light-laden decor, for fishbowls. Really, the pursuit of fruity drinks is the only good and reasonable reason one would ever step inside. But on this day, we were there for lunch. I felt like I would need a lunch beer to really enjoy, so I ordered a Session as the 11 fluid oz seems a safe lunch beer option.

The menu is actually surprising extensive, though all of the pub food variety. One bonus is $1 off menu items every day before seven. Score. I figured I’d play it safe and go with a burger and tots, while Jared did the same with a grilled cheese and onion rings. Again, the choice of cheeses and bread was impressive for the overall scumminess of the bar, so I was hopeful. Some of my favorite food in Portland comes from bars: Slow Bar, Night Lite and Dots to name a few, so I figured best case scenario this could be a hidden gem.

The food came though, and was pretty much what you’d expect from a bar lit with black lights. Dripping in grease. It wasn’t terrible, though the tater tots we’re a bit over cooked. It just wasn’t anything to write home about.  And shortly after eating my burger, well, if both meals including the beer didn’t come to $12, total I would have been pissed about my stomachache.

Speed: Took a little bit to get service, but food came out quickly

Veggie options: standard bar options: veggie burger, grilled cheese etc. ixnay on the being vegan though.

Burger and tots

Burger and tots

Grilled cheese on dark rye with Onion rings

Grilled cheese on dark rye with Onion rings


1629 SE Hawthorne Blvd


Barley Mill Pub on Urbanspoon

Date of Visit: November 12, 2009

Price for 2 (with tip): $22

The Barley Mill is the oldest McMenamins pub in Portland, and if you’ve been to one McMenamins, you pretty much know what to expect. Pub food and good beer served up in whatever kitschy theme that location happens to be dedicated to. The theme here is the Greatful Dead, and the walls and even ceiling are covered with brightly colored junk of that ilk, but I tried not to hold that against them. When you really start to pay attention, there are subtle differences in the menus and offerings at each location, and as it turns out, Barley Mill is actually very well catered towards the midday meal.

Missing from the menu are the heartier (and more expensive) pasta dishes, as well as pizza. Instead there is a plethora of sandwich, wrap and burger options not found at every other location. So basically, tons of lunch food, not so much for dinner. Another perk of this place, especially over the nearby by Bagdad, is the service. At least on our visits it has always been good. It seems more adequately staffed overall, and we literally had two servers doting on us the whole time, replacing our drinks without having to ask, etc.

I went with the Tequilla lime chicken sandwich, mostly because if you put avocado on a sandwich I am going to order it. I wasn’t disappointed: tender chicken, avocado, lettuce, tomato, tons of melted cheddar cheese and spicy mayo. They did load up the red onions, which I as usual, opted to pick off. It was a bit messy, but overall good, and they were kind enough to provide a sharp knife with all the burgers so you could cut them in half. Another point scored for Barley Mill.

Jared felt bad ordering his usual, a communication breakdown burger, since we already covered that, and went with a standard Beer Garden Burger instead. I just asked for his review, and he said, “It was a good veggie burger, better than just a plain garden burger. And the size was ample.” Profound really.

So there you have it. 20-plus years on the corner of 17th and Hawthorne, The Barley Mill must be doing something right and we were not let down.

Speed: Faster than the Bagdad

Veggie options: Several sandwiches and any burger can be made veggie

Tequilla lime chicken sandwich

Tequilla lime chicken sandwich

Beer garden burger

Beer garden burger


915 SE Hawthorne Blvd

Lucky Labrador Brew Pub on Urbanspoon

Date of visit: Nov 2, 2009

Price for 2 $19.20

With all of our Hawthorning, this week we decided to mix it up a little bit. So on Monday, after staring at each other for a bit trying to decide where else we should go, we eventually gave up and drove towards Hawthorne. But as we got close, brilliance struck! We decided to go the OTHER WAY, and see what 1st through 10th aves had to offered. As it turns out, not too much. One seedy looking bar, one seedy looking strip club and the Lucky Labrador Brew Pub. Since I wasn’t in the mood for a greasy burger and boobs, Lucky Lab it was.

From the outside it almost looked closed, as the main seating area is down a hallway in the back. Inside it’s basically a giant hall with tables and a bar, from which you walk up and order food and beer. We were there on a Monday, which happens to be “Miser Monday,” featuring a dollar-off pints. I resisted lunch beers though cause I had work to do, and went with an iced tea instead.

Since the menu board didn’t specify what the sandwiches came with, we started with an order of chips and salsa, just to be safe. (As it turns out, all the sandwiches come with your choice of potato chips or tortilla chips.) Though obviously store bought, the chips were good and salty. The pico they came with was ok, but kind of tasted like the stuff you get in a tub in the refridgerated section of the grocery store. It could have been housemade, but just old…They did grab the chips for us right away though, which was nice.

Sandwiches were delivered to our table after a few minutes. Jared went with the Super Spy, which is Spicy Cream Cheese, Cucumber, Lettuce & Tomato on a Ciabatta Bun. His review: “Spicy, as advertised.” I got the half sandwich soup combo with a tuna melt and tortilla soup. Tortilla soup is one of those things that I always order, and then realize that I don’t really like. Well, I should say that. I have had two versions of it that I absolutely loved (both from Mexican restaurants) but I need to stop ordering it from American spots. It sort or reminded me of watered-down chili with tough chunks of chicken in it. The Tuna Melt, however, was awesome. Super simple, italian bread, melty swiss cheese, tomato slices, and good tuna. I definitely will just go for the full one if we go back.

Overall, Lucky Lab was good and fairly affordable. I think next time I go will be on a day I really need a lunch beer though!

Speed: Good

Veggie options: A pretty long list of sandwich options.

Chips and salsa

Chips and salsa

Super Spy

Super Spy

Tuna melt with tortilla soup

Tuna melt with tortilla soup


3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd


McMenamins Bagdad Theater & Pub on Urbanspoon

Date of visit: October 23, 2009

Price for 2 (with tip and lunch beer): $23.70

Today was the final day of our goal within a goal of the 4600 block of Hawthorne, but as we drove towards Thai Thai, we passed the Bagdad Pub. Seeing the big windows filled with happy dinners enjoying their microbrews on a miserable, rainy Portland day made me realize: I wanted a lunch beer! So we turned the car around and headed back to Bagdad, one of two McMenamin’s options on Hawthorne Bvld.

The Bagdad (they spell it wrong, not me) is part of the chain of Portland restaurants famous for repurposing old buildings into casual pubs with a twist. This location is a movie theater in addition to a restaurant/bar. As with all McMenamin’s it offers house brews and basic pub fare. While all of the locations offer a slightly different menu, the gist is the same: burgers, sandwiches and a few more entree-style options.

I almost always get the same thing at Bagdad for lunch: a half a tuna sandwich with tots. At $4.60 it’s an amazing deal and the perfect amount of food for lunch. So today, I ordered it as usual, and didn’t notice the server (who didn’t bother to write down our order) had actually brought me a turkey sandwich instead, until I actually picked it up to take a bite. Now I have worked at enough restaurants that I really don’t let stuff like this bother me, so instead of complaining, I just ate it. I must say, the cranberry sauce made it something special, and honestly, I might just switch things up to the turkey sandwich from now on, and that’s not just the lunch beer talking.

Jared went with a communication breakdown burger, veggie-ized. That’s a burger with cheddar, onions and peppers, and having had it in the past (but with real meat), I can vogue for it’s quality. In fact, all of the burgers I’ve ever had at McMenamin’s have been good. As pub food goes, they’ve got it down. Eventually we’ll make it back to The Barley Mill, actually the oldest McMenamin’s pub, also on Hawthorne, but for today, Bagdad was pretty much perfect.

Veggie options: Burgers are good here and any one is available with your choice of two veggie patties.

Speed: Generally understaffed (one server/bartender for the whole place at prime lunch time) so not the fastest.

Hammerhead Ale

Hammerhead Ale

1/2 Turkey Sandwich with tots

1/2 Turkey Sandwich with tots

Communication Breakdown garden burger

Communication Breakdown garden burger


3632 SE Hawthorne Blvd

BridgePort Ale House on Urbanspoon

Date of Visit: October 8, 2009

Price for 2 (with tip): $27

If this was a Happy Hour blog, I’d probably give Bridgeport Ale House an A- overall, but this is a lunch blog, and as lunch goes, it was a C, tops. The Hawthorne location, Bridgeport Ale House, is not to be confused with Bridgeport Brew Pub on NW Marshall, where I have also eaten on a previous occasion. The Ale House is an overall much smaller location, with a smaller menu selection. There is no bakery on the premises, just your basic upscale pub atmosphere.

On my visit to the west side location I tried the French Dip, because roast beef with horse radish is just about my favorite thing. At that point I was very happy with my selection and nearly ordered it again, but decided to mix it up a bit and went with the Ale House Burger. It came with a choice of cheese (I picked cheddar) and a side (I had chips.) I’ve been on a macaroni salad kick as of late and I almost ordered it, but our server straight up said it wasn’t very good, so I took her word for it. Jared got the Mac and Cheese, mostly on the server’s recommendation, although her saying it tasted like bacon nearly scared his non-meat eating self away. She went on to explain it was just the smoked cheddar they used that gave it a similar flavor.

The food arrived and the portions were certainly generous, but again, this is a lunch blog and despite my affinity for food I am a fan of reasonable lunch-sized portions. The Ale House has only one menu for all times other than happy hour, so dinner time may be a more appropriate time to go. I also should have known better than to order a burger. You see every burger I will ever eat gets compared to the holy grail of hamburgers, the Slo Burger. While not actually on Hawthorne, Slo Bar has the best burger I have eaten ever, and for the same price as the Ale House Burger. The burger here was big, juicy and cooked well, but was overall pretty damn boring. Honestly the only thing I got excited about was how thin the red onions served of the side were sliced. The Mac and Cheese was a bit better. Crumbled kettle chips on top gave it a nice crunch and it did have a smokey flavor. The side salad it came with however, was mediocre at best, due to bland ranch dressing (seriously, how do you screw up ranch dressing?)

Obviously I look at the prices on the menu so it wasn’t a shock when the bill came to $22, but for lunch it’s a bit excessive. That said, at Happy Hour (from 3-6), our same exact meal would have been $6 less, plus we could have gotten cheap beers! While we’re on the subject of beer, they have a bunch, but I usually save lunch beers for Fridays or the days I just don’t feel like working, which wasn’t today. Had I been drinking, my whole experience would have likely been different (a even more expensive.)

Speed: Average

Veggie Options: A few, but mostly meaty pub fare

Ale House Burger

Ale House Burger

Ropewalke Macaroni and Cheese

Ropewalke Macaroni and Cheese