Salty's on the Columbia. Habanero Hell.


Sometimes life gives you lemons. And sometimes you don't even get the damn lemons. On a Sunday not too long ago, life gave me a bad bloody mary, not even a lemon to be found. Described as Salty's Spicy Mary with "house infused habanero vodka, house made bloody mary mix, and a spicy rim," I was looking forward to a spicy burst of vodka loaded sunshine to share with my father on his 71st birthday. But upon first sip, Harold's review could be summed up in one word, "Yuk!" My reaction was't quite so dramatic, possibly because I was too busy reaching for my ice water. I like my bloodys spicy, but this was just out of control. All I got was heata hot, burn the back of your throat, fire-breathing, searing heat. As a big fan of vodka infusions, I like to think that it might have been good, had it not been for the terrible tomato mix. With no sweetness, no depth, and no salty finish, the barely there tomato base was much too thin and watery to hold up to the habanero vodka. And it wasn't until the very end, after much of the ice had melted, that I finally tasted a faint hint of Worcestershire.  All in all, it was barely drinkable.

But I was determined to salvage the day. You see, the main draw of Salty's is their all-you-can-eat seafood themed brunch. So after I stuffed my face with various breakfast items, a delicious white chocolate and strawberry crepe and an assortment of tiny desserts, I got to work. I acquired a wooden skewer from the chocolate fountain display, loaded up a plate full of bacon and sea creatures and began assembling.

With the help of a shrimp, crawdad, oyster, bacon, kielbasa and snow crab legs, I could at least make this pitiful excuse for a bloody mary look appealing.

Salty's Bloody Mary after some help from The Drunken Tomato

Even though the drink itself sure didn't taste very good, by the time I was done, it did look pretty damn epic. So the moral of this story? When life gives you a bad bloody mary, sometimes all you can do is garnish the shit out of it.

Two Celery Stalks.

Salty's on the Columbia 3839 NE Marine Dr, Portland, OR 97211. T: (503) 288-4444.

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