Sunday, March 27, 2011


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!

I gotta say, I liked their crepes better. Mine was too rich for my taste, but what was perfect for all three of us was the banana, Nutella, pear crepe we ordered for dessert! This baby was gone in about, oh, 60 seconds!

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).

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