Tasting Laurelwood Public House – A Mini Review

18 06 2011

Good beer makes the rain go away.

Wow, it’s still cold and rainy in Portland, and it’s almost July.  After a taste of sunshine yesterday it started raining again this morning, and that made me want to grab a beer pre-5 o’clock.  But, I craved a new beer… so I headed to Laurelwood Public House at 51st and Sandy.

The 1st thing I noticed when I entered, is that it reminded me of Columbia River Brewing, which, from what I understand was Laurelwood’s old location before Columbia moved in.  It’s open and airy, simple, with lots of light wood throughout.  Now, the reason I call this a “mini review” is because even though I hadn’t eaten all day I just wasn’t that hungry, so myself and my dining partners didn’t order that much.  However, it should be telling that I want to rave about the few things we had, because although their menu is fairly straight-forward pub fare, they do with tasty expertise.

Organic Free Range Red & Sun Daze.

Let’s start with beer, I had their Organic Free Range Red and in the background is their seasonal Sun Daze, which had “hints of mint and mango”, sounds weird, wasn’t, it was subtle, and great.  A fantastic summer beer actually.  The red was quite delicious too.

The nachos that never got soggy!

OK, veggie nachos, hard to screw up right?  No, they are often soggy, are plastered together with cheap cheese and have their ingredient ratios all wrong.  Laurelwood’s nachos were great, simple, and for some reason, regardless of what was on them they never became soggy!?  The salsa was surprisingly good, super fresh and had a hidden heat that made everyone’s face sweat after 5 minutes.  Goodness.

Those fries look crispy and comforting don't they?

For the main course it was burgers all around.  Boring perhaps, but what is more comforting on a rainy day (when it should be sunny!) than a burger with your beer?  I ordered their veggie burger with “pearl barley, roasted garlic, onions, mushrooms, celery & garbanzo beans, topped with roasted red pepper & basil-pesto spread” and the beer-battered fries.  Excellent texture and not dry at all, one of the better veggie burgers I’ve had in the area, and the pesto spread really gave it a unique character (perfect bun too).  And oh those fries…

So yes, I believe that even though my ordering was boring on this visit, Laurelwood deserved a quick (mini) write up, because it was the perfect place for a sun-missing Portlander on a chilly June Saturday afternoon to grab a quality burger and beer.