Brian's Photo Blog — Article 543
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A Beer, Schnitzel, Bread Pudding, Whisky Day
Wednesday 20 April 2016   —   Category: Dining Out
Last week I made a trip to Portland for another vol­un­teer session at Free Geek. As usual, that not only means helping recycle and refurbish thousands of unwanted computers, but it also means yet another chance to ex­plore Portland’s more than 6,200 restaurants, pubs and breweries.

I left Albany (recently reported as the third-safest city in Oregon!) at 9:00 so I would have time to do some gro­cer­y shopping and have a nice lunch — the time I eat my main meal of the day — before my three-​and​-​a-​half-​hour afternoon session at Free Geek.

Although there are thousands of Portland-area res­tau­rants which I have not yet visited, the reality is that there are many which I don’t even want to try. For this day’s outing, I ate and drank at one familiar restaurant and one new restaurant. Or to borrow an old rhyme, “something old, something new ...”
There are four Gustav’s German restaurants in the Portland area, as well as their more recent Gustav’s Bargarten in Keizer, less than halfway from Albany to Portland. I’ve been enjoying their delicious German food and beers for over seven years now.

This time around I had a stein of Paulaner Oktoberfest beer at Gustav’s Clackamas location, in the southeastern suburbs of Port­land. It is within easy walking distance from the MAX Green Line Clackamas Town Center Transit Center station.

Neither Gustav’s menu nor Web site mentions how big their stein glass is, but I would estimate it holds a bomber’s-worth, around 22 ounces. However much beer it contained, it was quite good — tasty, without being too heavy or hoppy. I would definitely order it again. According to the brewer:
“Oktoberfest Märzen, the one that start­ed it all, is an amber beer style that was developed over 200 years ago to cel­e­brate the original Oktoberfest. The Mär­zen name comes from ‘March beer’ be­cause it was historically brewed during March to be at peak flavor for the Ok­to­ber­fest celebration.

Today this style is available year round in the U.S. due to popular demand. This full-bodied beer, with its rich malt flavor and dark toffee note, has an underlying fruitiness and masterful hop balance.” Meas­ure­ments: 5.8% ABV • N/A IBU
With the beer I had the dish I most often enjoy at Gustav’s: their Jäger (hunter) Kalb­schnitzel with spätzle (knöpfli), topped with cremini mushrooms and Hungarian pap­ri­ka sauce.

There are quite a few restaurant dishes I can make just as well at home — even spätzle — but a good veal schnitzel is currently beyond the reach of this gourmet chef wannabe.
On my way from Gustav’s to Free Geek, I stopped by Otto’s Sausage Kitchen in Portland’s inner southeast Woodstock neighborhood. I had been wanting to buy some meat there for more than half a year, but for some reason I could never manage to get a round tuit.

I could tell I had arrived at the right spot because there was a fair number of cus­tom­ers on the front sidewalk, lining up for a lunchtime barbecued sausage. As Otto’s proudly proclaims: “Our grill is going seven days a week rain, snow, or shine.” Gosh! I would love to get a bar­be­qued sausage there during a snow storm!

Once I entered this den of fleshly de­lights, for quite a while I gazed with saucer eyes and gaping jaw at the piles and piles of incredible sausages and cured meat. The country bumpkin in the big city strikes again! After I had re­cov­ered my wits, I pur­chased four types of sausages and two types of cured beef.

They were quite generous with their free samples. It was the first time I had ever tasted corned beef and pastrami in my more-than-half-century sojourn on this planet. One of the employees told me that I can now cross those two items off my bucket list!

During my extensive exploration of Portland in 2015, I kept mostly within the city limits. I didn’t spend much time in the other 24 cities which com­prise the Portland metro area. I’m sure that one day I will explore them as well, but for now there is so much to see in Portland itself.

One of the towns I have been neglecting is Oregon City. It has a rich history, be­ing one of the most important towns in the entire western United States during the mid-1800s. It was the end of the Oregon Trail; the first U.S. city west of the Rocky Mountains to be incorporated (1844); the first capital of the Oregon Territory; and it rivaled Portland, 12 miles to the north, for early supremacy in the area.

There is quite a bit to see in this small city of 35,000, but once again, those darn round tuits are so hard to find! How­ev­er, after my time at Free Geek, by 6:30 I was at The Highland Stillhouse — on the corner of South McLoughlin Boulevard (Oregon Route 99E) and South 2nd Street in central Oregon City — for an unusual supper.

This Scottish pub recently made the OregonLive list of 11 Oregon bars with spectacular views — and for good reason. From the extensive patio on its cliff-top location, there is an awesome view of the 1,500-foot-wide, 40-foot-high Willamette Falls (see the above photo), as well as the sur­round­ing portions of the Willamette River.

To help me recover from a long afternoon on my feet examining old computers, I treated myself to their strawberry-lemon bread pudding with whipped cream, and a glass of Aberlour High­land single-malt Scotch whisky 12 year old. It was quite a unique and scrumptious delight!

After that I walked across the street to get some photos of the waterfall in the orange-tinted sun­set light. Out of the 49 pictures I took during my one-hour stay in Oregon City, the best 14 have made it into the new Oregon City 2016 album. The three photos I took at Gustav’s have been tucked into the Oregon Pub Crawl 2016 album.

I plan on going back to Oregon City sometime this summer for a more in-depth exploration, so I will definitely be taking more pictures there.
A 75-mile drive brought me back home about 12 hours after I had left that morning. All in all, it was a great Free Geek, sausage, beer, schnitzel, bread pudding, whisky day!
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 543
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