Sunday, May 30, 2010

Billy Ray's Neighborhood Dive: Charlene

Fond memories arise as we approach Billy Ray's patio. The last time I had the pleasure of this patio involved BBQ and an electronic bull.

But alas, tonight was not going to compare. It is, in fact, hard to compare with a pabst riddled patio and free bull rides, and discovering that your thighs are not as strong as you suspected as your face plants into the mat, pride wounded. Would this night result in wounded pride? Yes, yes it would.

Libation: Liquor drinks for $3.50. Pati-hell-yah! And strong to boot. In fact, you can get pabst served in a boot.

Laughter: As always, we entertained ourselves. The patio was not too crowded, as we made the decision to retire upstairs to the Ms. Pac Man machine. There was a healthy crowd, none of whom were entertained by the likes of us. And if you aren't entertained by four ladies discussing the rise and fall of the East Coast Family, then shame on you. So...Pati-no.

Love: I have been single for a long time, and I have discovered that my once lengthy list of preferred requirements for a gentleman caller has significantly shortened. I recently made out with a guy with no teeth, and possibly no home. Not one of my prouder moments. How-some-ever, I discovered that regardless to the copious amounts of alcohol I imbibed, I will not go home with a guy who insists on being called "Fetch". A girl still has standards, thank Baby Jesus. So, this category gets a big fat Pati-no.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Sammy's Daniel: ShanRock

NW Glisan & SE Woodstock
Portland, OR

Thanks for launching us on this worthy endeavour, ChexMex. But rather than move forward, I'm going to look back a bit . . . if you'll recall, we spent some time in a bar not too far from Spirits the night before our adventures there. I think it's particularly worth mentioning Sammy's Daniel because for better or for worse, I'm sure we all feel strongly about the 3 Ls we experienced there on the evening in question . . .

Libation: Pati-Oh-FACE!
*The booze is cheap, and you get what you pay for. But that's OK by me - I'm tight with Evan Williams (he doesn't put on airs!), who is their house liquor supplier. Also, The Daniel has ginger ale, which is a HUGE plus for me!
Laughter: Pati-Oh
*They have TONS of fun games - it's really quite the playground! They've got Big Fish, Wiffle House, little fish, BlowCardz, Spiro Gyra, & even medIum fIsh. I also applaud their strict No Camel Toe policy
Love: Pati-Oh-HELL-No!
*One word sums it up: manchildren. The boy-dults there tend to belly up to the bar, speak only to the owner, and avoid speaking to or even making eye contact with members of the opposite sex. We had to trick them to get them to hang out with us. They are nice boys, but we are grown, so we'd like to make some time with men!

In short, we LOVE this place! And if you're lucky you'll show up on a night when the owner is grilling out on the patio, or when the neighboring establishment is doing one of their impromptu karaoke nights on THEIR patio!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Spirits Pub: Michele

4037 Northeast Cully Boulevard, Portland, OR 97213-1746

We may never have come across this particular bar had we not been visiting a friend nearby. This unassuming neighborhood destination doesn't look like much from the outside-- it has an appeal that I could describe as the "old man bar" appeal. It looks like the kind of place that has devoted customers beginning at 8am in the morning, which it very well might.

Upon entering, the air still somehow holds on to the decades of cigarettes smoked there and pool tables fill the room. There was no person there under the age of 30 when we ambled up to the bar.

The first thing we noticed was an autographed photo of the horrid mean girl from Little House on the Prairie, Nellie Olson. I am assuming this person has an actual name, but who cares? Apparently Nellie Olson has been to Spirits Pub and apparently she carries around 8x10s of herself to sign and give away. The bartender was mysterious and stingy with details about how this meeting came to occur and this isn't the kind of bar where you demand things from the bartender.

Our bartender was super nice and of the hard-boiled local barkeep variety that seems like she could pour a drink, wipe up vomit, and break the arm of a hold-up man all at once. In fact, aside from the Nellie Olson thing, the only she talked to us about was her most recent robbery. She had been held up with a gun held to her, but said she was doing fine. She seemed fine, too, as she poured us our drinks.

Which brings me to our "libation" category. We all ordered whiskey cokes, as is our way, and she poured us a drink with about a 90%/10% ratio of whiskey to coke. Which means it tasted like lighter fluid. However- this drink costs $2.25 (not even happy hour, just the regular price) -so in our book, the libation category is a Pati-oh!

In the laughter category, they have a cow painted on the women's room bathroom stall complete with 3D utters. Need I say more?

In the love category, we were approached by a couple of gentlemen. The first gentleman was wearing a shirt that he was very, very proud of. He removed some clothing to show us said shirt. He at first had eyes only for me, then quickly fell in love with Charlene, and by the end was enamored completely with Shannon. Not a great attention span, but he started out fun enough. We chatted with the gentlemen for about a half an hour and found him drunk but amusing. Then he said, "We'd all like to get our dicks sucked", in an informational way, and tried to meet our eye. We were less charmed by him at this point and went to find the patio. So as far as ratings in the love category, it's a split decision. While we all enjoy being approached and chatted with (a pati-oh!), we don't enjoy being asked to suck everyone's dick (a pati-no!).

The patio was large and comfortable. There was a heat lamp (which is a must for Portland weather) but it appeared inoperable. There were two sections to the patio, so plenty of space was available. We shared a table with an older woman who was very passionate about telling us that women have all the power and kept declaring "I'm not a man-hater" for some reason I don't think any of us understood. She was entertaining and we all thought that perhaps under the drunk there was some wisdom there... but alas, she was just drunk. But so were we. So it was fine.

All and all, this bar has a good patio. It gets a pati-oh! for laughter, a split pati-oh!/pati-no! on the love front, and a solid pati-oh! for libation. However, it is a bit out of the way for us, and the robberies keep on comin', so we shall forge ahead.

The Beginning

This is a story of the journey of four women searching for laughter, love, and libation.

In the rainy city of Portland, Oregon we find ourselves dreaming of the perfect patio. As the late May rain pounds outside, we are waiting impatiently for the sidewalks to dry and the sun to shine on us. As four social and most single ladies, we will endeavor this summer to find the perfect Portland bar patio.

For us, the perfect patio has three necessary components: the potential for laughter, love, and libation. We will be rating each bar we go to by these standards. Charlene, Helen, Shannon, and me, Michele, will be your guides on the road to the perfect Portland patio and will share with you the patio-nos we will undoubtedly encounter in our quest.

So put on your sunscreen, find a designated driver, and join us!