If you find yourself in Portland craving really good beer and pub food, then get yourself to Deschutes Brewery.
Deschutes is a large space with a big open bar area, as well as a separate dining room area. The large open kitchen lets you peek at what's being prepared "backstage," which is something I always appreciate.
We stopped into Deschutes for lunch on our first full day in Portland and, since we were on vacation (and at a brewery), we started with a beer. The first beer we had was actually from their bottle list: a 22-ounce bottle of Planete Rouge ($22). (In addition to bottles, Deschutes also has 19 beers on tap featuring mainstays as well as a selection of seasonal and experimental beers developed and brewed right on-site).
To pair with their beer, Deschutes serves up an impressive offering of pub-style food. We wanted to have a lighter lunch, so we opted to split a few dishes. First up: a Brewery Pretzel ($7.75).
The pretzel was served with a creamy white cheese and Black Butte Porter stone ground mustard. Although this was a delicious combination all on its own, we also found ourselves dunking our pretzels in the honey mustard-like sauce that was on every table.
The backside of Deschute's beer menu also displays some affordable snacks that are meant to pair well with beer. We were intrigued by the Deviled Eggs ($1.50 for one egg), which were sprinkled with smoked black salt and had beer in the yolk mixture.
Z and I are both big fans of deviled eggs, and we absolutely loved these. The menu was right, too: they paired very well with beer, especially a 22-ounce bottle of Big Red ($15), which is only available at the brewery.
One of the specials on the day we went was a Ruby Ale Salad ($11), which consisted of ruby greens, grilled corn, roasted red peppers, chile roasted cashews, and Raschera cheese, all coated with a fresh-squeezed ale and pink grapefruit vinaigrette. I didn't snap a photo, but the salad was OK - nothing too special, although I loved the addition of cashews and Raschera cheese.
Deschutes also does growler fills and sells kegs to-go, for anyone who's interested. And if you have the time to stay and have a beer - whether from one of their pub-only bottles or on draft - I highly recommend it.