Not many of us were alive during prohibition in the United States, and let's be glad for it. Still, prohibition brought us some good things -- like prohibition-era cocktails. That's just what's on the menu at Central, Portland's first secret bar.
Take a walk near Old Town Portland, avoid the meat-market bar scene and homeless people, and you may find yourself wandering into the dark alley that hosts Central. The owner, Dustin Knox, did zero advertising; in fact, there's no sign out front, just a window with dark curtains covering the teeny-tiny kitchen inside.
But here, the booze and food speak for themselves.
Central is the first restaurant opened by Knox, who also runs Perierra Crêperie, a cart in the pod at Southeast 12th and Hawthorne. And just like the tasty food cart, Central has both savory and sweet crepes to curb your dinner-time through late-night food cravings, I hear they're even working on adding lunch and weekend brunch into the mix.
Last night I sipped on my own specialty cocktail. Roll the dice and order a custom drink from the bartender, rather than one of the many drinks on the menu. I had a citrus-vodka-infused-cocktail with a spritz of absinthe.
For dinner, I dined on a butternut squash crepe with tasty kale and crispy bacon on top, while Melissa and P split the salmon with eggs, chevre and avocado, as well as a ham and gruyere version. Yumm!
All-in-all the food was good, the drinks were great, but the ambiance and cool-factor were the best. This hidden little bar is an absolute gem in downtown P-town.
Central is located at 220 SW Ankeny in Downtown Portland, Oregon.
No reservation needed, but this place gets packed, so expect a wait,
(the later the longer).