Misadventures with Miso

Misadventures with Miso

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Dining at Portland Penny Diner

 Remember my post yesterday mentioned the Portland Penny Diner was only open for breakfast and lunch? Well last week (6/4/15) that all changed. Because they are now open for dinner and later!

 They opened with a presentation of bites of different menu items for Happy Hour on Thursday, put together by Executive Chef Doug Adams. Who was dishing up and then topping off shooters of their Tomato Bisque.

 It was great getting to sample a variety of items since I usually dine alone so am limited in what I can try. I was able to start with a couple of Chef Paley's frybread tacos. Left is the Soy Braised Pork Belly with banh mi pickles, cilantro and spicy mayo. This taco impressed me with just enough heat and great taste. It was spot on. Right is the House Smoked Pastrami with Russian dressing, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut reflecting Chef Paley's Russian heritage.

 The new menu has three different burgers on it. We were offered little Falafel Burgers with a bit of lettuce, tahini and harissa. This was nice with a taste of green in the falafel and good crunch. This did carry a bit of spicy heat.

 Another welcome menu item is Chef Doug Adam's famous Buttermilk Fried Chicken. I saw this plated up and diners will get a number of pieces along with mashed potatoes and gravy. Definitely a decent serving and I'm happy I got to try the chicken finally. Really delicious with a little Imperial Fresno hot sauce, honey and I could taste a little salt. Tender on the inside, crunchy on the outside, it really is what everyone raves about. You might remember it went over big on Top Chef. No wonder.

 So what has changed inside of the diner to make it more happy hour and dinner friendly. Banquets with tables offer more comfortable seating along with tables outside. Also Imperial bartender Tony Guardian has created new drinks that are on tap along with paired shots, wine, beer and non-alcoholic drinks.

 Samples of the eight draft cocktails were offered along with the bites. I think this was the Martinez or El Presidente.

 I do remember this was the Mad Hatter which Chef Paley recommended. Whiskey, lemon, sugar and absinthe with a bit of orange and a cherry. This was a favorite of those around me that tried it.

 A couple other Portlanders were there enjoying the evening. Pechluck tried the short order of Pisco with grilled pineapple coated with a bit of espelette.

Diners were also trying out the other dishes. I saw the Blackened Trout plated and really want to try that. However there was something I was hoping to taste even more. Thankfully I was not alone in this. Marlynn of Urban Bliss Life also wanted to try the Hangtown Fry Taco so thanks to Chef Paley we got our wish!

 Honestly this was amazing. Chef Doug Adams perfectly fried oysters with spicy mayo, bacon and nicely seasoned eggs on fry bread was really delicious.

 I added a few drops of their special Fresno hot sauce which meshed so well with this savory taco.

 Here is a very happy Chef Paley serving up more of Doug's fried chicken. It definitely looks like Portland Penny's dinner service will be a winner. With this menu and drinks I think a lot of people will like the changes.

One final photo of Chefs Doug Adams and Vitaly Paley cooking up some really good food with Laurelhurst Market and ex-Imperial Chef Ben Bettinger checking things out. I'm glad I went to the opening and was able to tell Chef Adams that the DaNet Kulebyaka was one of the best things I have ever eaten.

So I'm going to recommend stopping in at the Portland Penny Diner not just for happy hour or dinner but also later since they will be open from 4 pm to 11 or 12 pm depending on the day, from Monday through Saturday. Portland Penny Diner is next door to The Imperial at 410 SW Broadway
Portland OR 97205 and their menu and other information is here.

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