| Chaos Cafe & Parlor |
BREWS & BEDLAM: Chaos Cafe & Parlor (2620 SE Powell Blvd., 546-8112) is more kaleidoscopic than chaotic. Adorning the eatery’s outside wall is a bright, intricate logo featuring a sexy, wine-sipping temptress. And the interior is even more psychedelic than the street view, with walls clad in loud artwork and tables covered with lively designs. The vegetarian (and mostly vegan) restaurant has a swift and unpretentious waitstaff that will answer questions about tempeh vs. tofu without making you feel like an idiot. While the cafe’s beer list is short and most of the usual suspects (PBR, Stella Artois, Full Sail Amber) come by the bottle or can, it compensates by carrying Portland-brewed Hopworks Organic Pale Ale on tap ($4 pint, $12 pitcher). Deep Space Nachos ($7) made with hearty blue-corn chips were hot and gooey, the Afterschool Special ($7)—a grilled peanut butter sandwich with caramelized banana and honey or jam—looked obscenely decadent, and the tangy Sunrise Smoothie ($4-$6), while not exactly smooth, hit the spot on a recent sweltering Friday afternoon. The adjoining “Parlor” section of Chaos hosts DJs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, live bands on Saturdays and an open mic on Thursdays, but Chaos also has music grooving on the stereo during the afternoon: standard indie rock occasionally overpowered by a chorus of cooks singing along to ’80s hits like Blondie’s “Call Me” on the kitchen stereo. Not chaos, really, but a happy sort of mayhem.