5424 NE 30th Ave., expatriatepdx.com. 5 pm-midnight daily. Happy hour 5-6 pm daily: $7 for heavenly wonton nachos.
Established: July 11, 2013
In a black-walled lair in a former hair salon just off Northeast Killingsworth Street, a group of baby boomers are passing around a $6 "James Beard's Onion & Butter Sandwich" as if it were a joint. "It's actually really good!" exclaims a woman in a low-backed evening gown. Expatriate is the bar project of Beard Award-winner Naomi Pomeroy of Beast, so it's no surprise that a lot of people come in for her portfolio of McDonald's-themed burgers and Asian-inspired bar snacks—the kind of unpretentious, indubitably craveable fare chefs themselves like to eat when off the clock.
But the drink menu, created by Pomeroy's husband, Kyle Webster, is arguably an equal draw, running the gamut from tropical and fruity (the coconut-and-rum False Flag, $14, comes in a whimsical hurricane glass dotted with little palm trees) to refreshingly bitter (the Charleston, $12, is lit-up pink with a splash of blueberry syrup). It's impossible to go wrong with anything from this menu, but if you truly can't decide, go with the Diplomatic Pouch—a customized creation made with your choice of spirit and a descriptor.
Bar story: Aside from the four months Pomeroy spent in Burma, the crowded pan-colonialist decor of Expatriate was apparently inspired, in part, by pictures Webster took at a richly luxe hotel room in Corsica—larded with detail work and interesting textures—while an exhausted Pomeroy was asleep.