While shopping in Downtown Portland and what has become trendy 3rd, or Northwest 23rd area, my mother, my sister and I would often stop for an afternoon snack at Papa Haydns, 701 NW 23rd Ave. We enjoying tea and beautiful pastries or split a classic sandwich and soup lunch special. A perfect refueling for the next adventure.
20 years have passed and Portland is overloaded with “hip, slick and cool” restaurants and bars. My peers and I hunt for the best of the best, but unfortunately Papa Haydns wasn’t ever in our radar, until last Thursday. After a magnificent trip with a girl friend to the evening farmers market; at NW 19th and Everett, open 3-7pm Thursdays, June 2nd through September 29th, we wandered around, attempting to find a cute family friendly place to have a beer. As we walked through the sun drenched neighborhoods we discussed our mutual love of beers, and specifically my recent finding of Oakshire Brewery from Eugene. The conversation took a turn to ideas of restaurants, as soon as we hit the crowds covering the sidewalks of 23rd. After a fair amount of searching, we came across Papa Haydn’s Jo Bar and Rotisserie. My girl friend darted through traffic and snagged a table outside. The restaurant’s large doors and windows were open, inviting the enticing smell from the kitchen to migrate on to the street. Every seat was full of content customers, but the service never showed it. Our waiter welcomed us very quickly with fresh, warmed Grand Central bread and smile. To our surprise and delight, Oakshire Cascadian Dark Ale was on tap. In addition to the CDA, I ordered a Roasted Beet salad and a side of sauteed asparagus.
With some time to spare I ran to the restroom with my son. The ceiling to floor drapes and earth tones flowed through dining room with a sense of modern romance. The regal bar stretched along the right side and would be wonderful spot for a happy hour martini or two. (For all you mothers, you will appreciate the home nursery style changing table with full railings.)
Returning to the table I wouldn’t wait to taste Oakshire’s CDA. The sun shined on the glass, being out the red in the appearance, but it was predominantly black. The toasty notes, almost espresso like, were perfectly balanced with the citrus hops. A refreshing beer with a distinct backbone. Absolutely made me long for more Oakshire beers. Highly recommend it.
The Roasted Beet salad with mizuna and radicchio in a citrus vinaigrette and finished with gorgonzola,chili-candied nuts, orange and grapefruit supremes was GLORIOUS. At first look, it seemed as though there were a bit too many ingredients, but I was most certainly wrong. Every flavor complimented the next. The sweet citrus played nicely off the bitter greens and robust gorgonzola. Watch out for the chili-candied nuts if you can’t take heat, but personally I loved the kick.
The overall experience at Jo Bar and Rotisserie was charming and delicious. As a long-time patron of the Papa Haydn’s empire I continue to be impressed with their dedication to fine food and remarkable service. Now that I have discovered Jo Bar, and rediscovered Papa Haydns I will praise them all over town.
See you next-time, but perhaps without my darling son.