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The Belgian Embassy
Taps: 5 / Bottles: 30
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
938 N Cook St.
phone: (503) 517-9931
// CLOSED //
(Place added by: msubulldog25 on 12-07-2007)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 3
Reviews by johnmichaelsen:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
Yet another cool beer destination spot in Portland. Just what the town needs. :-)
One thing I liked about this place right off was the cool, laid back, understated decor and atmosphere. It really reminds me more of a college coffee shop then a beer bar, and in fact the night I was there I saw quite a few young folks there, though they were a bit older then college age. The place has a very relaxed, low key vibe, and it doesn't hurt that Jim Parker and Kelly Stewert are friendly, gracious and clearly very interested in doing everything possible to make guests here feel welcome. The place is located on the south end of N. Mississippi, and has the look of smallish two story home. Were it not for the neon 'OPEN' sign that you can see from N. Mississippi, there is nothing to tip you off that you are looking at Portland's newest Belgian beer bar. As you walk in from Cook Street, one is immediately struck by the small, cozy aspect to the place. I think there were probably about 10 tables and chairs at the most, with the bar area seating another 5 or 6 folks.
The Belgian Embassy has a small, but interesting selection of Belgian beers available on draft and bottle. Presently they have 4 taps lines going and I gave the place extra points when Ms. Stewert indicated with enthusiasm that they planned to get rid of Stella ASAP. Otherwise, the night I was there they had on the Kasteel Bruin, Goliath Geants and the Duchess De Bourgogne, along with some 20 different Belgian beers in bottle. The bar area is not huge so I'm not sure how much more room there would be to put in any more tap handles, but I would expect over time they will increase the current bottle selection.
The night I was here the service was first rate. I'm assuming we were served by Jim and Kelly, both of whom were friendly, attentive and clearly very interested in our opinion and impression of the place. I'm guessing that the food here is still a work in progress, and Jim mentioned that we were the first one's to try the Belgian meatballs. They were fine, as were the frites (in fact Jim brought out a small free sample of the frites when we first arrived). I also sampled the carbonade, which I quite liked and would recommend. It was labled as a type of Belgian stew, and was both hardy and filling. My friend got the brussel sprouts and I was told they were excellent (hate the things myself).
Prices here struck me as quite reasonable and you won't go broke eating and drinking at the Belgian Embassy. All in all, this is a very nice addition to the Portland beer scene, and is a place I won't hesitate to return to. Best of luck to Jim and Kelly with this latest venture.
12-30-2007 17:04:01 |
More by johnmichaelsen
More User Reviews:
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3 | $$
Had the steak and fritz along with two friends. A large, comfortable, converted house that seems huge from the outside and small within. Food was ok but cold when we got it, beer selection was good but not outstanding when compared to Concordia Ale House or Belmont Station . . .which are the other two place I seek out Belgian beers when in Portland so tough competition.
12oz glasses of Rose de Gambrinus, DeProf Wild Ale in 750ml bottle, Abbot 12 on draft - which may be fresh but I always seem to enjoy it more in the bottle. Something I've noticed with other Belgian beers - they are designed for bottle serving right? Maybe just too cold on draft, maybe I'm accustomed to stale bottled Belgain beer, I'm not really sure.
I dinged them for below average service to do the cold food and scattered nature of our server. It is a tiny place that was not full so I don't think expecting warm steak and fritz is too much. Given it out of the way location, I will give it another try, but not real soon.
03-11-2008 13:40:31 |
More by BrewnZ
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$$
This new Belgian-themed restaurant and bar opened in mid-November with modest fanfare here in Portland, a city that loves both its beer and its food. Housed in a cozy, century-old two-story (with an eye-catching exterior painted vibrantly in pink...think 'Delirium' elephants...), the 'Embassy' is sited midway between N. Mississippi's Amnesia Brewing and N. Interstate's Widmer Bros. World Headquarters...but it's a world away from either, style-wise. Credit Jim Parker (see 'Green Dragon') and Kelly Stewart for bringing the Ardennes and Payottenland to Stumptown...
Recently, a couple different restaurants have vacated the old home, including a local favorite called 'Lovely Hula Hands' and the short-lived 'PurpleTooth' wine bar; the space was probably move-in ready with a few tweaks. A handful of tables fit snugly in the front room and a 4-seat bar fronts the small kitchen in an adjacent space, creating a convivial atmosphere that gets loud, without being obnoxious, when full. An ascent up the tight staircase reveals another small bar with a pair of tables tucked in the corners. Lighting is fairly low and decor is warm and retains a domestic charm, with glowing candles and draped fabrics - certainly not the typical 'beer bar'. Sadly, there is little, if any, reference to Belgium, or beer for that matter, but maybe that's ok - it says something for this place to be comfortable enough in its identity to NOT display the ubiquitous Tripel Karmeliet placard, Chimay medallion or La Chouffe gnome anywhere I could see. Still, I kinda miss that 'beery' stuff... A Belgian flag will fly outside at times, but not on this rainy and blustery late December evening.
On to the beer...taps are limited to just four, served at the right temperature and poured into proper glassware. The current choices were: Duchesse de Bourgogne, Goliath Tripel, Kasteel Brune and Stella Artois; list supposedly changes frequently. Bottles numbered about 25, all Belgian imports or US-made, Belgian inspired. The gamut runs through all the styles: from geuezes and krieks to strong pale and dark ales, including quadrupels. My perusing of the list was limited, because my wife and I were visiting with another couple; suffice to say it's good (although prices did seem a little high...). I had the Duchesse, my wife had the Kasteel and a friend pounded down both a Kasteel AND Goliath...his wife was the DD. One thing I did notice was that the beer list was simply that - a list. No listing of style ABV or anything for those less familiar with Belgian beers.
My wife and I visited Belgium in 2006, so we've enjoyed the excellence of the cuisine at the source. I'm pleased to say The Belgian Embassy does a pretty good job recreating the flavors that captured our hearts and taste buds there. The Sprouts, married with bacon and shallots, were divine. The savory beef and onion Carbonade paired beautifully with a side of golden, root vegetable-filled Stoemp. The Croque Monsieur our friend ordered looked good, but didn't 'wow' her . A warm Duchesse-soaked poached pear, sided by vanilla bean ice cream was a nice finish, but the dessert menu was limited to just a couple options. Food was all good, some borderline great - with the odd exception of the bland and forgettable 'complimentary' pommes frites. Items are priced ala carte and range from about $5-15 (sides in the $2-5 range)...good for sharing. Total for the four of us with a beer each was $90 pre-tip.
Service was quick, friendly and attentive. Our server was helpful with answering questions and excited to elaborate on future tasting dinners, brunches, upcoming dishes and seasonal menu changes.
We all enjoyed The Belgian Embassy; based on first impressions, it's definitely earned return visit(s). Recommended!
12-28-2007 05:29:09 |
More by msubulldog25
The Belgian Embassy in Portland, OR
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