Portland: Whiskey Soda Lounge

Whiskey Soda Lounge! My original intention was to make it into this Andy Ricker joint for happy hour, which didn’t quite happen. But while I was waiting for a coveted table at Pok Pok, I was able to relax and get my drink on in the heated outdoor picnic room of Whiskey Soda Lounge, conveniently located just across the street. Feeling a little partied out from the last few days of hanging out with my sister, I first ordered a Som Drinking Vinegar (tamarind) mixed with soda water. If this sounds crazy to you, open your mind. Drinking vinegar tastes a bit like kombucha or other fermented beverages, but sweeter and fruity! Hungry, we decided to order our appetizer course from WSL while we waited on Pok Pok – they have the same small plates menu. Above, house roasted red peanuts with lime leaf, chili, garlic and sea salt.

The dish I LOVED and could have eaten all day was Chef Chew’s Khai Luuk Khoei – deep fried boiled egg with tamarind sauce and shallots. Regrettably, I had to share, but could have easily eaten the entire plate.

The Som Tam Thowt – deep fried strips of green papaya, carrot and long bean with a peanut-studdent sweet dipping sauce, was a little disappointing. It was pretty look at, and fun to eat, but I would have preferred the sauce to have more kick, and perhaps even a little thicker so that it’s didn’t so drench the thin, fried strips.

I did have another drink, un-photographable in the low light. Whiskey Soda Lounge has an interesting cocktail list – more savory and herbal than sweet, with southeast asian flavors and liberal use of drinking vinegars. It was hard to choose, but I eventually went with an evening special involving muddled cucumber, chili, and lime. Certainly fun and tasty enough for a casual date, WSL is also the perfect “overflow” space for your pre- (or post) dinner time at Pok Pok.

Whiskey Soda Lounge on Urbanspoon

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