If youíve already been to a few McMenaminís and you love them, this one will certainly not make you love them any less. Itís not the most distinctive of their properties by any means, but itís a great setting for sure. And everything else they do here is pretty much in line with the experience elsewhere.
Hereís what you get: Itís one of those big buildings that always seem to house a succession of different big/chain restaurants until one really sticks. These guys seem to have been here for a while. Itís easy to get to, freeways the whole way. Plenty of parking. Huge dining rooms. What stands out by far the most is the location--right on the shore of the river; when the channel is full, you almost feel like you must be on a boat. Great views of water, the bridge, north Portland.
Inside, the vibe is familiar, but played down quite a bit. They let the windows be 90% of the decoration, rather than covering everything with the usual flowers and faeries and whatnot that the other locations have. Thereís some dark wood around the bar, but the tables and booths around the dining room are pretty standard. Across the ceiling, they do work in the old 50s junior high hallway pendant lights, which create a nice soft effect.
The staff here really have to hustle on a lot of nights--it gets packed. We waited 75 minutes for a table, after first being told the wait was half an hour. They never asked if we were alright--we always had to ask them what was up. They never asked the table they "had in mind for us" if they were planning on staying a lot longer, though they made a point of telling us that table had already paid some time before, and were just relaxing with their beers at that point. They never offered us any comps for the time spent, they never put tables together to create enough seating for our party. All of this is more or less okay from minute to minute, but it adds up to a much longer wait than is really necessary for a party of 6.
The food is the usual--burgers, sandwiches, a few salads and a couple of entrees. The quality is just okay, as is the execution, but the prices are a bit on the high side. The food here is exactly the same as dozens of their other locations in two states, but they charge almost like itís scratch-made. The beers here donít really measure up to the quality of all the independent local breweries that have launched since these guys started their chain, but theyíre drinkable enough. When youíre looking at this view, itís hard not to enjoy the food and drink thatís in front of you, even if itís only okay.
Nice place. Right on the river, decent parking. Same usual pub fare and McMenamins brews. Good service. Certainly worth a visit. The seating outside is pretty nice.
t0rin0 (1529) Do Not Resuscitate, California | September 17, 2013| Updated September 24, 2013
Stopped in on a rainy Saturday afternoon after looking at houses in Vancouver. This was right down the street from where I was staying. What a great area, beautiful view of the river and none of the taxes that you get across the river. The pub itself is RIGHT on the water which is cool. Of course since it was raining and cold we sat inside but it was still nice. The service was friendly and brought out some flights for us as well as a few pints. The beers were just alright but I guess thatís how it goes at a chain. The food was nice though. Iíd stop back in if staying with those friends but there are better places to have a beer just across the water.
A small selection of beers when I visited, mostly just the McMenamins beers and about 5 other IPAs on the guest taps. There may have been more, but the waiter was busy running table-to-table and was on the go.
Terrible seafood (salmon) but some of the typical pub fare looked decent. The black and tan brownie was EXCELLENT.
The view is great, itís a funky little spot on the river...worth a stop if you want to relax.