14 January 2009

Sloan's Tavern

If you've spent much time driving around Portland, you might have encountered Sloan's. You'd at least remember the West side of the building, its that place at Vancouver and Russell with a Freightliner Cab sticking out the side of the building.
I've lived within a stone's throw from it for a long time, but until tonight I'd only been there once.
I didn't discover it when I was still a cigarette smoker, and since I quit I really don't dig the smoky bars. I went there for the first time on a whim last year and thought it was an awesome neighborhood bar, but too smoky for my tastes, so it went somewhere near the top of my list of places to visit in 2009 now that Oregon's bars are smoke free.

Sloan's is the awesome low-key neighborhood bar with a perfect mix of grey haired old men, crusty skater punks, maybe a random table of queens, plenty of other neighborhood folks, and a bar full of interesting drunks and refugees.
I'm in love with Sloan's. I don't think G is completely sold yet. Someday that $4.99 chicken strip basket will make him a believer too.
The beer selection is the only troublesome spot. The only local beers are Widmer Hef on tap and Full Sail in bottles. I opted for PBR in a can, and then one on tap. The price was right, but I just don't really have the taste for shitty beer anymore. Maybe I'm a snob. I think next time I'll partake of their RC cola or maybe a Squirt, until they get a tastier local beer on tap.

The food at Sloan's is the main attraction. Full on old-school diner fare. Sandwiches rule the menu, Hot Ham & Cheese, a Reuben that I've read is awesome, the French Dip, the special ham & turkey on a french roll named the Emanual after the hospital across the street, and my special pleasure, the burgers are cooked just like in the Midwest diners of my youth, on the flat-top, steamed at the end so the cheese is all melty and perfect, and the toasted buttered bun was something I haven't encountered outside my own kitchen, or an Indiana diner. Oh, and everything comes with hand-cut fries! This place is the real fuckin' deal!
Oh, and the decor? Like a time capsule! An almost perfectly preserved 1975. Comfy booths, mirrored walls, cool carpet, and the bird themed wall hangings were something I'd forgotten about, but now I remember everyone had these in their house when I was a kid.
It seems like this place has been frequented by folks who respected it over the years, otherwise that mirror wall would've had someone thrown into it by now, and those booths wouldn't be perfectly intact. There are a few remnants of "Old Portland" still hanging on out there, and this is one of them. Check it out while you still can.

Oh, and the jukebox with the old timey animated band that plays along with the music makes it all worth while. If this place were to put even something like Mirror Pond on tap, I think I'd be there every night.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sloan's has WONDERFUL food. The cook is one of the finest in Portland, and the waitress is the best. Whenever you're in Portland, you must go there.