Brian's Photo Blog — Article 642
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McMenamins Grand Lodge Mini Pub Crawl
Friday 21 April 2017   —   Category: Dining Out
This article is part three in a six-​part series. If you missed them, you might want to check out the first two before continuing here: I finished the second article by writing: “I haven’t even told you about the various free samples of food and drink which were being served in the attic during the celebration party.”

In today’s article I will recount those details and also tell you about the other epicurean delights I enjoyed during the grand opening celebration of 22 new attic hotel rooms at the McMenamins Grand Lodge, in the western Portland metro suburb of Forest Grove, on February 11, 2017.
In a few of the new attic hotel rooms, McMenamins had set up sampling stations for their various types of li­ba­tions. In the room with beer I tried a sample of their new Hard Days Red ale. According to the brewer:

“Everyone who puts in a full days work deserves a ‘Hard Days Red’. The Grand Lodge property in Forest Grove is opening a new hotel wing and this classic American red ale was brewed as a tribute to the hard work put in by all involved in the construction. Dry-hopped with more than a pound per barrel of Falconers Flight hop blend, Hard Days Red offers a perfect balance of premium barley and classic Northwest hops.” Meas­ure­ments: 5.3% ABV • 45 IBU

My notes from that day read: “I really like this beer ... it is similar to Hammerhead but not as hoppy ... I would like to have a whole pint!”

To take this picture I set the cup down on the bathroom sink in one of the rooms.
As I was walking down one of the attic hallways, a young lady came by with a tray of cocktail samples. She said it was called ‘Billy’s Forbidden Fruit,’ and told us it was made with McMenamins Billy Whiskey and other ingredients, mostly fruit juices I would suppose. I forgot what she said and I didn’t have time to write it down. It was really good. She said we could go downstairs to order one, but I didn’t see it on the list of cocktails — maybe it was verbal only.

As I was writing the caption for this photo a few days ago, I found a McMenamins cocktail menu on the Web that has one called ‘Billy Dance’ which might be the same or very similar: Billy Whiskey, fresh squeezed or­ange and lemon, fresh pressed apple cider and Pey­chaud’s Bitters.
Back in the hallway at the celebration, another server was following the cock­tail lady, offering some sort of warm pastry hors d’oeuvre stuffed with spin­ach and cheese.

Like the cocktail, it was really good, but I didn’t have enough hands to take a photo with the cocktail in one hand and the hors d’oeuvre in the other!
In another of the new attic hotel rooms I wandered into, Bart Hance, the head distiller at the Cornelius Pass Roadhouse (CPR) Distillery, was offering samples of McMenamins spirits. Here are the three I tried, along with my thoughts about each one:
  • Phil Hazelnutreally good ... I need to buy some.
  • An unreleased CPR brandyit was OK, but I probably wouldn’t buy a bottle.
  • An unreleased CPR rye whiskeysame as the brandy.
Back in May 2016, when I started my McMenamins Passport adventure at the Cornelius Pass Roadhouse, I also took a tour of their distillery. Click through to read the details, see photos, and watch a YouTube tour video with Bart.
For lunch I headed downstairs to the main restaurant at the Grand Lodge, the Ironwork Grill. Before deciding which beer to order I tried a sample of Mam Tor ESB. According to the brewer:

“Ay up, Surry! Named for the highest peak in Derbyshire, England, our Extra Special Bitter was made with London ESB yeast and British barley and rye. A slightly fruity nose gives way to flavors of caramel and spicy hops layered over a bready malt body, finishing with a balancing bite on the tongue.” Meas­ure­ments: 5.3% ABV • 45 IBU

My notes from that day read: “Had a sample ... not the great­est ... a bit watery ... a bit bitter ... I would not get it again.”
Because I really liked the sample of Hard Days Red ale, I decided to enjoy it some more with a whole pint to go with my meal.

I have already given the description above, as well as my tasting notes, so I will not repeat them here.
My lunch consisted of lamb skewers, with feta cheese, tzatziki sauce, and sal­ad greens. I had this dish for the first time in August 2016 during my first visit to the Grand Lodge. I can simply echo what I wrote before: “Wow! The lamb and tzatziki were awesome!”
During the course of the day I made a couple of visits to Pat’s Corner, which is in its own building, separate from all of the other venues in the main Grand Lodge building.

This bistro has a small, cozy interior with an interesting ceiling and limited seating, as well as a large patio area with lots of tables on its east side. Fortunately this was a winter day without the typical rain, so patrons could enjoy sipping a drink by the fire.
On my first visit to Pat’s Corner that day, I tried a pre-​release sample of Edge­field Winery’s 2015 Black Rabbit Red.

I don’t know what their reasons are, but according to McMenamins this vintage will not be available at any of their ven­ues except Pat’s Corner until November 2017.

This wine is really nice, although I think their Cuvée de L’Abri Rouge red wine is even better.
The next stop was the Doctor’s Office Bar, located in the basement of the main building. While I was there I grabbed a pint of Mc­Men­a­mins seasonal pome­gran­ate ci­der to take with me down the hallway to the history presentation.

The presentation was so crowded that I had to sit on the floor, so I was not able to take a picture of the cider. Therefore I have ‘borrowed’ the photo to the lower-​right from the McMenamins Web site. But at least I got yet another ‘ex­pe­ri­enc­es’ stamp in my Passport!
The pomegranate cider was pretty good, but somewhat too sweet. I like some of their other seasonal ciders better, like black cherry and blackberry.

After the history lesson I stopped by the newly-​opened second-​floor Billy Scott Bar. I didn’t get anything to drink, and stayed only long enough to get the not-​yet-​required Passport stamp, just for fun.
Next I swung by Pat’s Corner again and snagged an entire glass of the new 2015 Black Rabbit Red wine which I had only sampled before.

Then I returned to the second floor of the Grand Lodge to enjoy the wine in a quiet spot by a fireplace in the Equinox Room.
Eventually it was time for dinner, so I made my way down to the basement to Bob’s Bar. On my first visit to Grand Lodge I had gotten all of the venue Passport stamps for that location except for Bob’s Bar, so I was happy to finally get that last one.
Part of Bob’s Bar is a corner called the Garage Door where musicians perform. One of the groups that day was The Junebugs. I took videos of a number of performers during my visit, which you can view in my next article.

For dinner I had a 8 oz. salt- and pepper-​crusted prime rib, served with pan juices, horseradish sauce, mashed potatoes and vegetables. Unfortunately, it fell below my expectations and tastes for a number of reasons.

The food was only warm instead of hot, the mashed potatoes were lumpy (mine at home are much better!), the meat had a lot of fat around the edges (but I think this is normal for prime rib), there was not enough horseradish sauce, I don’t particularly care for broccolini, the tasty pan juices got cold quickly, and the meal was too spendy ($24) for what it was.

On the positive side, the meat was pretty tender once I cut the fat off, but I would not order it again. Also, it was very dark in the dining area, so the photo to the right was a real challenge to salvage.

Before I left for the 80-​mile, 100-​minute drive home, I paid a visit to a men’s room which was for all visitors and not just hotel guests. So I was surprised to find a bathtub in there — perhaps at one time they actually used that bathroom for baths, or maybe still do.

Inspired by the quirky The Best Places To Pee: A Guide To The Funky & Fab­u­lous Bathrooms of Portland book, I tried my own bathroom shot. For my other such photos, if that’s your kind of thing, see the entire growing collection!
Well, that brings my Grand Lodge mini pub crawl to a close. During my time there I took a total of 37 photos at the various bars and restaurant. The best 22 are now on display in the new McMenamins Grand Lodge Pub Crawl 2017 album.

As I mentioned above, next time, in part four of this six-​article series, I share with you the best of the music videos I took during the attic rooms grand opening celebration.
For more tales about other locations, see My McMenamins Passport Adventure.
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 642
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