We went to Smokehouse 21 a few weeks back for (big surprise) happy hour. We had somewhere to be, and just enough time to pop in for a quick bite on the way. As is usually the case in this city, stopping by somewhere for happy hour was a good idea. Everything we had was very good, but there were some highlights that stood out above the rest. Let's get to it.
Located on NW 21st between Glisan and Flanders, Smokehouse 21 is in an area I don't usually get to. And like many neighborhoods in Portland, there are a ton of great places to eat and drink. Smokehouse 21 fits right in, with its vibe of a homey bbq joint that manages to elevate its fare, making for a unique and interesting experience. The decor and feel of the dining room is of the no-frills variety, but there are interesting pieces on the walls that really tie the room together. For sentimental reasons, my favorite is the pictorial of the story of five little piggies, the first of which goes to market, and the last of which goes "wee-wee-wee"all the way home. I'm sure you know the middle part.
We ordered a few different items, and I had a dry cider, which they served in a branded coozy to keep it cold while I enjoyed it. Pretty classy, I'd say. Among our choices were the deviled egg, the bacon molasses cornbread, the smoked oyster shooter, and the brisket tacos.
Deviled Egg - A very flavorful bite, made all the more-so because it is topped with a nice sized chunk of hot-link. The mustardy, creamy yoke with the snappy bite of the well cooked sausage went together perfectly. If you like deviled eggs, it's a can't miss.
Bacon Molasses Cornbread - Tastes as good as it sounds. Cooked in an individual cupcake wrapper, the top is that awesome well done but not quite burnt muffin top, and the whole thing is drowned in honey. There are chunks of bacon in the bread itself, and the molasses comes through as a mild sweetness to back up the salty meat. Another can't miss if you like cornbread. And bacon.
Smoked Oyster Shooter - I've had my share of regular old oyster shooters, but never one where the oyster is smoked beforehand. It was a new and interesting twist for me, and if raw oysters and fish gross you out a bit, you might consider this because it's smoked, not straight up fresh and slimy.
Brisket Tacos - Another excellent plate of food, the corn tortillas together with the pickled onions, oaxacan cheese, and tender as @#%*! brisket is basically my idea of a perfect dish. You had me at brisket. One thing I will caution is that the meat is definitely on the very greasy side. The fact that there is not a huge amount in each taco works in your favor here.
Service and Cost:
Both were totally fine. The restaurant was pretty busy, and I think there was only one waiter, but he was getting the job done. As far as cost, we stuck to the happy hour stuff, so as usual, we got out of there for a reasonable price. I would definitely recommend it, especially if you're going to be in NW sometime soon.
413 NW 21st Ave Portland, OR 97209