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May 23rd, 2007 Jessica Machado | Special Section Stories
 

Drink 2007: Hotel...Motel...Holiday Inn

     
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Driftwood Room
IMAGE: Jason Quigley
HI-BALL: Never mind Grandpa's yellow-tinged hanky; old is classy. Or, at least, remodeled vintage is. The Mallory Hotel may now be the Hotel deLuxe, but its infamous bar, the Driftwood Room (729 SW 15th Ave., 243-5623), still embodies Hollywood's golden era. Sitting along its curvaceous wall of creamy leather booths, you'll find it impossible not to lift your pinky while sipping one of bar manager Terry McCartney's classic sips, such as the Thomas Crown cocktail ($9), Seven Year Itch ($6) and tequila-filled Pennie Lane ($8.50). Another outlet for traditional martini-making (no caramel-apple-kamakaze-tinis here) is the Heathman Hotel (1001 SW Broadway, 241-4100), which offers nearly 30 classics such as the Virginia mint julep ($11.75). From the outside, the bar appears to be your standard upscale hotel affair, but inside, it's more like a busy Manhattan brasserie—the bartenders are friendly, the crowd not-so-stuffy and the room always full of lively conversation. For late-night munchies with highbrow appeal, El Gaucho (319 SW Broadway, 227-8794) has just unleashed a late-night menu served until 1 am that includes a Wicked Shrimp linguine ($18), pan-fried oysters ($12) and a "baseball" (it's a truly amazing steak) with soft fried eggs and hash browns ($37).

LO-BALL: Plastic patio chairs is about as cush as it gets at the Blind Onion (415 SW Montgomery St., 796-1878). But you can find comfort in their cheap-ass pitchers ($1 off if you're named Fred) and greasy-ass pizza (free anchovies on Tuesdays). And, if you get lucky with a PSU coed, or you need a nap after a belly full of Fat Tire, then the seedy Downtown Value Inn is only a staircase away. The Commodore Hotel, on the other hand, is more charming...but deceptively so. For one, it's no longer a hotel, and two, the black-doored, Lotto-stickered Commodore Lounge (601 SW Morrison St., 224-7606) in back seems anything but delightful. Thankfully, the Cramps tunes blaring from within the Commodore prove that all kinds of wonderful weirdos are welcome. Plus, for under $12 you can get a grilled cheese, a bag of Doritos and a decent buzz, courtesy of their notoriously generous pours.


Willamette Week's 2007 Drinker's Guide
Introduction
PDX Bar Worker Photo Contest RESULTS
The City That Drinks: A squiggly timeline of Portland's love of booze.
Beer Joints
Dance Clubs
Hotel Bars
Put A Cork In It: A roundup of places to find red, white and everything in between.
The List Part 1: Aa-La
The List Part 2: Le-Za
 
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