Brian's Photo Blog — Article 692
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Of White Eagles and Roasted Coffee
Sunday 8 October 2017   —   Category: Dining Out
I am getting really close to finishing the processing of my photos from 2016, and writing articles about them. The other day I decided to look through all of my photos from last year to see if any had slipped through the cracks. I was very surprised to find that some had! And in light of my passion for my McMenamins Passport adventure, I was stunned that what I had neglected was a visit to two McMenamins locations one day in July 2016. But at least I caught this lapse before I announced in an upcoming article that I had finished my 2016 work.
After a beer and gourmet pizza lunch at Life of Pie and buying a mattress at The Mattress Lot, I headed over to the his­tor­ic (opened 1905) White Eagle Saloon and Hotel located near the intersection of North Mississippi Avenue and Russell Street, in Portland’s Eliot Neighborhood.

I took the photo to the right four months earlier during my Portland North Mis­sis­sip­pi Avenue mini pub crawl in March 2016, but I did not stop to have anything to drink there on that day nor did I even enter the building.
I merely snapped that picture as I was passing by on my way to Widmer Brothers Brewing for lunch, just one block west of the White Eagle. At that time I had not yet purchased my Mc­Men­a­mins Passport, which I acquired two months later.

Although there is patio seating on the east side of the building, both of the sidewalk tables in front of the saloon were available, so I settled down at one to enjoy the lovely July weather and sip a Ryeled Up: Whiskey Barrel Aged Brett Rye beer. According to the brewer:

“Tart, spicy and funky, this garnet-hued rye ale is was brewed with 50% Crystal Rye Malt from Thomas Fawcett for a pleasant spice character. Noble hop varietals round out the brew and complement the flavor of the rye malt. Six months of aging in a whiskey barrel with a Belgian wild ale yeast strain, Bret­tan­o­my­ces Bruxellensis, created a pleasant, earthy tang that permeates this complex wild ale.” Meas­ure­ments: 6.2% ABV • 35 IBU
My notes from that day read: “It’s pretty strong tasting... almost like medicine! I think it’s the rye, which I generally like, combined with the barrel aging. This is the second or third barrel-​aged beer I have had, and in general I don’t think I like them. I want to keep my beer and my spirits separate!”
After forcing that beer down my gullet I moseyed inside to pay the bill, get the White Eagle Saloon stamp in my Pass­port, and find out what the Passport Pho­to Hunt clue was so I could get the stamp for the hotel.

The clue was on a framed letter-​size piece of white paper, hanging about eye level on the wooden post by the bar, as you can see in the photo to the right.
It read: “Past patrons of the White Eagle enjoy a Shot and a Back while the record spins Detroit Boogie.”

Then I was led out the front door of the saloon to the front door of the hotel, which the bartender then unlocked for me, and sent me upstairs to find some­thing hanging on the wall that the clue was referring to.
While I was wandering the halls of the small hotel looking at all the photos and artwork on the walls, the maid started talking to me and told me that one of the rooms was haunted.

She led me down the hall and opened this room for me to look inside. I didn’t see any ghosts, and none were recorded in this picture. Better luck next time!
Eventually I came across some framed artwork that obviously matched the clue, so I took a low-​quality selfie with my iPad Mini.

As I have written previously, seeing that I hate the selfie craze, it is very ironic that in order to get certain McMenamins Passport stamps I have to take a selfie.
Mission accomplished, I headed back down the hotel stairs to the saloon. Once I showed the bartender the self­ie with the correct artwork, I received a White Eagle Hotel stamp on Page 12 of my Passport, right next to the White Eagle Saloon stamp.

I had not finished that page yet, but once I did I redeemed the prize of a free appetizer at the McMenamins Broadway Pub on a date night on Port­land’s Broadway with my wife.
Less than a mile east of the White Eagle, on NE Knott Street, is a small building which began its life in 1941 as a house for a family, but is now the location of McMenamins Coffee Roasters.

I was required to take a tour of their one-​room facility in order to get the Tour the Coffee Roaster ‘Ex­pe­ri­enc­es’ stamp in my Passport. Tours are given Monday through Wednesday, 2:00 pm until 4:00 pm.

I arrived around 2:00, and along with a few others got a fifteen or so min­utes tour. I am definitely not a coffee drinker, but it was still interesting to learn about this amazing bean and how it is prepared for consumption.
All of the coffee that is served at the more than one hundred McMenamins venues is roasted right there on their state of the art, German made Probat drum roaster, pictured to the right.

In addition, they sell small packages of various coffee beans at their hotel gift shops and in their online store. Before I left I bought a package of Black Rabbit French Roast for my French-​speaking, coffee-​loving wife.
I took a total of 17 pictures while at the White Eagle. The best 12 are now on display in the new McMenamins White Eagle 2016 album. The handful of photos from the Coffee Roasters have been added to the McMenamins Miscellaneous 2016 album.

My McMenamins Passport adventure continues through the end of October 2017. And since I am just finishing up with my 2016 pictures, I still have tons of photos and articles to share from all my visits to numerous Mc­Men­a­mins locations during 2017. The best is yet to come!
For more tales about other locations, see My McMenamins Passport Adventure.
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 692
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