Friday, August 31, 2012

Papa Haydn – Portland, OR

I was in Portland for some awesome Minnesota Rollergirl action and I got to hang with my good friend, Babo. He’s an IT guy who claims he doesn’t get out much, but he’s always got the best-tasting and most unique food recommendations – so he must get out a little bit, right?

We went to have a light lunch at Papa Haydn. It’s a slightly upscale restaurant known for its desserts in the Portland area. They have a handful of locations, but we went to the one with an adjoining casual space called the Jo Bar – it’s got a more expansive menu due to the wood-fired oven in the kitchen.

The menu had quite a few things on it I wanted to try. It was difficult to decide, so I told the server what I was trying to decide between. They’re always helpful at splitting ties, even if it’s a six-way tie. I finally went with the Asian cucumber salad. It had everything in it I like and she said it was a light enough salad that I wouldn’t want to take a nap afterward. Perfect.

They brought us bread after some sort of butter bottleneck in the kitchen. The butter was a peppercorn butter, which made me smile to myself when I realized why it looked familiar – it looked like Breyer’s Vanilla ice cream, the one with the vanilla bean specks in it. This butter was pretty delicious though. I can’t say I’ve ever had coarsely ground black pepper in my butter before, but now I ‘m going to want it all the time. Brilliant.

The food came out pretty quickly for how busy they were at lunch. My salad was even better than I expected. It had a ton of cucumber slices in it, and also persimmons, cherry tomatoes, a few chili peppers, and some really delicious croutons. The whole thing was drizzled in a very light raspberry vinaigrette dressing, which gave everything a light pink hue. The croutons really made this salad. Keep in mind, I’m a super crouton snob, but these croutons were great. They had soaked up just a little bit of the raspberry flavor and retained their crunch while not tearing the roof of my mouth up. The persimmons had lost their bitter taste with the dressing and the cucumbers were really fresh and flavorful. I’m glad I got this dish.

I had a bite of Babo’s steak salad and was really pleased with his, as well. Great flavor on the sliced hangar steak and the greens were really tasty. This food at this restaurant suited the atmosphere. It was upscale and light, without being snooty and expensive. I’d recommend this place, even though we didn’t try the desserts. We sat very close to the dessert case, however, and everything in it looked great. Maybe a dessert fan should try some of these and give them a review, since Papa Haydn appears all over the place when you do a search for Portland desserts.

A great recommendation from Babo and I can’t wait to go back and visit!

Top 5 things about Papa Haydn
1. Asian Cucumber Salad
2. Pepper butter
3. Steak Salad
4. Unique and varied menu (even more expansive in the Jo Bar)
5. Known for desserts, apparently

Bottom 5 things
1. I didn’t get the main thing Papa Haydn is known for
2. The menu is on the pricey side, but still reasonable
3. We didn’t know the Jo Bar had a broader menu when we sat down (hard to tell they’re the same restaurant, except we walked through the Jo Bar to get to the restrooms)
4. The server took my bread plate and pepper butter before I was done with them – I stopped her and asked her to return them
5. The online menu doesn’t line up very closely with the menu in the restaurant
701 Northwest 23rd Avenue
Portland, OR
(503) 2238-7317

1 comment:

Ruby James Vita said...

You went to Portland?! My favorite vacation city!!!