Saturday, June 26, 2010

Pat Visits Oregon...eats Sushi!

I have not seen my good buddy Pat in over a year, so a few weeks ago when he called me up to tell me he was swinging through town, I was excited to catch up with him.

I picked him up off the MAX line downtown last Tuesday and we checked out the new Deschutes Brewery & Public House.

This brew pub is in the heart of the "pearl district" and is open, clean, bright, and cheerful. My first time there since the place opened about 15 months ago. Lots of beer and the food smelled awesome. A few tables outside so I'll put this on my list as a place to return in the summer months ahead.

After "happy hour" we drove up to NW 23rd to Sushiville. A small dining room centered around the conveyor belt of sushi...little plates of raw fish and other goodies roll by on the automated track.
Plates are economically portioned: Nigiri such as meltingly tender tuna is thinly sliced, and crunchy deep-fried rolls come three pieces to a plate. Plates average about $3, which is a bargain. I had quite a diverse stack of plates and my bill, with wine was only $18.

I dropped Pat off on the east side after dinner. He spent the night at the famous McMenamins White Eagle Saloon located in North Portland's burgeoning industrial district. The pub, started in 1905 by two Polish immigrants, still boasts the original oak back-bar and ceramic-tiled floors.
Legends of music have strutted their stuff for decades on the corner stage and the pub still has lodging upstairs. Rooms feature whimsical artwork and original porcelain sinks in each room (sorry, not toilets of showers in your room).

Oh....did I mention it is haunted?

The downstairs was a notorious location because it connected the White Eagle to the tunnels of Portland's underground otherwise known as the Shanghei Tunnels that run throughout the city.

This massive labyrinth is one of Portland's ugliest and little known secrets. The underground tunnels were the forced home and thoroughfares for Portland's large population of Chinese immigrants. It is rumored that many a drunken patron became shanghaied through these subterranean passageways and would ultimately find himself to be an unwitting crew member of an ocean going vessel already at sea upon sobering up.

There are hundreds of stories about the supernatural happenings that make the White Eagle one of the most haunted places in Portland. Stories include that of a man that walks down to the basement every night after closing, or about the crying ghost of a former prostitute who had been killed in what used to be the brothel upstairs.

I will have to check with Pat and see how his night went....he stayed upstairs in Griselda's room.