Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Gustav's: Happy Hour German Style (minus the efficiency)
We decided to spend our happy hour this week with Ze Germans; risky, I know. Fooditka spotted Gustav's Bier Stube while out and about one day and saw that they have happy hour all day on Sunday. Playoff football followed by beer, schnitzel and giant soft pretzels? Ummmmm, sure.
Gustav's is situated a bit farther out than where we normally go to eat and drink. It's on a main road, Sandy Blvd, and it's a pretty large establishment with a nice sized parking lot to go with it. Upon entering you see it's set up like large beer hall with high, vaulted ceilings and rich dark wood everywhere. We were seated right away, and then had to wait for quite a while before our server showed up. It wasn't all that busy, but it was Sunday evening after all, and it wasn't deserted by any stretch. One other note, the floor in the men's room was covered with some kind of wet, slippery film that seemed kind of nasty. Perhaps it had just been mopped and hadn't yet dried. Who knows?
We ordered off of the happy hour menu, which had a pretty large selection of different food to choose from. It's broken into $4, $5, $6, and $7 tiers. We split a few different items between us; $4.00 potato pancakes, and $5.00 Bavarian pretzels and a chicken schnitzel. I lobbied for a shepherd's pie as well, but Fooditka talked me out of it. I got Paulaner Oktoberfest for $4.00, which is also part of the happy hour deal.
Potato Pancakes - The pancakes were not bad, but they were a little on the oily side for my taste, and didn't have that satisfying crunch to the outer layer that I like so much. They were decently seasoned, but not remarkable really. The serving was 3 pancakes and a little bit of apple sauce and sour cream on the side.
Bavarian Pretzels - The pretzels were o.k. as well, but nothing spectacular. I had in mind an image of a big, crusty, salty, steaming hot thing of beauty that tore apart to reveal a delightfully pillowy inner texture; alas, they were closer to the pretzels you can buy in Costco by the hundreds and then microwave in your kitchen. Definitely edible, but not really German beer hall quality in my opinion. In fact, the best part of the pretzels was the mustard that came with them.
Chicken Schnitzel - I'd say the schnitzel was the best of the dishes we ordered, but it didn't really blow me away. The texture was right; crunchy and tender on the inside, but the overall experience was pretty bland. Not much flavor to the actual piece of meat, even with the lemon squeezed on top. Fortunately there was mustard left over from the pretzels to slather on top.
In fairness, I will say that we consumed every single morsel of food that was set before us, which is to say that it wasn't bad overall, just not really very good.
Service and Cost
I stated earlier that the service left something to be desired and I stick by it. After we were seated it was a good 10 minutes before anyone came by to take our order. In fact, I had to flag down someone who wan't actually our server. But once we got the order in, the food came out pretty quickly and was fresh and hot for sure. Plus, the beer was delicious. Something else I should mention, happy hour is also available Monday through Saturday from 2-6 p.m. at the bar. The all day Sunday happy hour is throughout the entire place.
In terms of cost, I have zero complaints in that department. Another thrifty meal on our happy hour tour of Portland, we got out of there for $21.00 including tip.
Gustav's Bier Stube - 5035 N.E. Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97213
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