Saturday, September 21, 2013

Tasty n Alder - a month later

I'm awful at creating timely blog posts. A couple of weeks ago last month I went to Costco after work to get beverages for the office. Not just a couple cases of soda, but HUNDREDS of cans. I ended up with about 1,100 cans of soda and a couple of cases of beer. 1,100 cans of soda is about 31 cases of 36 cans a piece. It also weighs about 1,000 pounds. So by the time I put all of the soda on my flatbed cart at Costco, then loaded it into my car, I had lifted about 2,000 pounds of soda (so yeah, I used this as an excuse to not go on a run). When I got to my office a little after 8:00pm to start unloading soda I had the pleasure of running into my coworker J, he works at our Atlanta office, but was in town to complete employee reviews. Lucky for me he is a chivalrous lad - he helped me unload the soda out of my car. (note to self: plan trips to buy soda around hours that there will definitely be someone there to help unload it - it makes things MUCH easier)

'cause I'm thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirsty

After loading all those cases onto a pushcart, then taking them up to the office and unloading them there, we were starving. We decided to head check out nearby Tasty & Alder - neither of us had been, and we had heard great things. Everything I've heard about Tasty & Alder has been in reference to their brunch, we were about 12 hours late for brunch, but whatever, we were hungry.
Even though it was a Wednesday night, at 9:30pm, in Portland, the place was packed. This is a GREAT sign, as most places are pretty dead after 8:00pm in Portland during the week. We put our names on the list, went to the bar, and grabbed a drink. They have quite a bit of seating at the bar, and also great standing counters, where you can position yourself for optimal people watching. Even though the restaurant was filled with customers, the waitstaff seemed totally unfazed and we received excellent service. Even though they knew we were waiting for a table, the waitstaff still brought us a carafe of water, and glasses, and checked on us multiple times. This was a huge plus for me, it seems to be en vogue in Portland to have a nonchalant attitude toward customers. Some places seem to intentionally hire the rudest employees they can. So this attention to detail was a breath of fresh air.
We were in the midst of a heatwave and it was still 89 degrees out, so when a table came available outside, we took it. Unfortunately, because we were outside, my pictures are VERY dark. My apologies (there isn't any outside lighting). Tasty N Alder is located on a busy corner with excellent people watching. J & I both quite enjoy people watching so we couldn't have asked for a better location.
The menus at Tasty N Alder are short and to the point. No fluff, like descriptions, are provided for most items.
I ordered the Steakhouse Sandwich (Cascade Natural). That's all that was on the menu, the name of the item, and the farm the meat was sourced from. It was like a mystery, I had no idea what would actually be on the sandwich or if it included a side (I'm a risk taker, so I'm fine with is, and really, how could something called a Steakhouse Sandwich NOT be great?). J ordered the Alder Bacon Burger. We also asked for an order of pickled vegetables and Duck Duck Potatoes (which I assumed would be similar to the Duck Fat JoJos at the Bent Brick, but really couldn't be sure).
The waitstaff at Tasty N Alder definitely have a good sense of humor. Our waiter came out about 10 minutes after we'd ordered and said, "I'm really sorry, but the pickled vegetables are no longer with us." Without missing a beat, J replied to him with, "oh my! And just how did they meet their untimely demise?" We all had a good laugh and the waiter went back inside chuckling.
The Duck Duck Potatoes came out first.
They looked so much better in person! I promise!
So they were a little different than what I was expecting. They were like JoJo potatoes cut into pieces, similar to the size of home style potatoes. They were battered and fried in duck fat, with an over-easy egg on top. They were okay, but after eating the Duck Fat Potatoes at the Bent Brick, they didn't really compare. These were very dry, and it almost seemed that the potatoes weren't cooked all the way through. I wouldn't order them again, but I'm glad I tried them.
Next out was the Alder Burger
J's bacon burger came with a side of fries. He said the burger was quite good, the bacon looked and smelled fantastic.

Sorry for the darkest photo ever - but this is the Smokehouse Sandwich. It was FANTASTIC! It did not come with any sides, which is fine, because it was so rich that I actually took half home with me. The bread was fresh, and melt-in-your-mouth buttery, it was shaved steak with heaps and heaps of house made onion rings, and a perfectly spicy horseradish sauce. The next morning when I went to eat the other half of my sandwich, the bun had started to disintegrate, it was so fresh that it started breaking down from the moisture in the meat. It was still delicious.
My sandwich was amazing, and the bacon on J's burger looked incredible, which leads me to believe that I need to brunch at Tasty N Alder sooner rather than later.
We had - Duck Duck Potatoes- $8.00, Alder Burger with Bacon - $11.00, Steakhouse Sandwich- $11.00
If you'd like to check out Tasty N Alder for yourself, they're located at 580 SW 12th Ave in Portland and serve brunch seven days per week from 9:00am- 2:00pm, Mid Day (Happy Hour) is served seven days per week from 2:00pm- 5:00pm, and dinner is served 5:30pm - 10:00pm Sunday - Thursday, 5:30pm - 11:00pm Friday & Saturday.
Tasty n Alder on Urbanspoon

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