So I was on my way to a Halo 4 marathon. Specifically, I was on my way to a non-stop, Let’s Play style video and audio group recording of Missions 5 through 8 of Halo 4. I was getting short on my time in Portland and needed to squeeze in a few more bloodys before my return to sunny Southern California. After scouring the internets for popular eastside destinations, I uncovered Slow Bar.
Touted by many as both divey and sexy (but not dirty, well, maybe “dirty,” but not grimy), Slow Bar offers a sophisticated yet affordable array of dinner items, the most notable being the Slow Burger, which consists of a 1/2lb. of Painted Hills natural beef, Gruyere, onion rings, butter lettuce and pickle relish. I’ve heard good things, but I wasn’t there for the burger. I was there for the bloody.
During happy hour, Monday through Friday 4-6:30pm, beer, wine and cocktails are $1 off. I took advantage and ordered the House Infused Bloody Mary with Italian Tomato Vodka. Normally $6.50, I reveled in the affordability of my happy hour cocktail. It arrived in a salt rimmed pint sized glass garnished with a pepperoncini, two olives and a wedge each of lemon and lime.
Finest Call provided the base followed by a healthy addition of Tapatio, salt and pepper. The Tapatio added a nice spicy burn, but the star of the show was the house infused Italian tomato vodka. Bringing an unusual brightness, it elevated what would have been a rather dull, generic, tomato paste, Finest Call mix flavor to a more authentic fresh tomato flavor reminiscent of sun dried tomatoes. This trickery was both interesting and inventive, and left me surprised at the ease with which they transformed a standard bar mix into something on the verge of tasting freshly squeezed.
For its affordable, divey meets sexy House Infused Bloody Mary, Slow Bar earns 3.5 Celery Stalks.
533 Southeast Grand Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97214. T: (503) 230-7767.