Friday, October 5, 2007

Quite Possibly the Worst Bar Name Ever!

Last night Jenni, Fuller and I met up at Maiden in the Mist, on the burgeoning strip along SE Morrison anchored by the renovated and soon to open Grand Central Bowl, which was opened about 6 months ago by the gal that runs the Sapphire Hotel on upper Hawthorne, for dinner and few pints (or in Fuller's case, a few hot toddies; that's his thing, go figure).

Before I go any further, I have to say one thing. "Maiden in the Mist" is, without exception, the worst name for a bar I've ever heard. Before I first set foot in the place a week ago, I had no idea what to expect, but to me the name said "lesbian pirate bar." To others it might infer a gathering place for grown men who play Dungeons and Dragons or collect model ships assembled inside of antique rum bottles. Am I being a bit harsh? Yeah, I suppose... And I do apologize if I've offended any lesbian pirates or scrimshaw nerds. But am I wrong? Is this not the worst bar name ever?

That said, everything else about this establishment is spot on. So spot on, in fact, that I could almost forgive the name and make "The Maiden," as it's come to be known (by necessity as much as by abbreviation), a regular hangout. This place is perhaps best described by what it isn't. It's not a dance club, a meat market, a music venue nor a restaurant. Rather, it's something akin to the Regal Beagle, for those of you old enough to remember Three's Company. Not too loud, not too sceney, just a comfortable hangout with an atmosphere characterized by a perfect mixture of downtown clubby and eastside casual, with good beers on tap, tasty music (old school Sonic Youth... oh yes) and a bar-food menu that's a notch or two beyond the everyday. I ordered the sliders:

Sliders seem to be something of a phemon here in Portland lately. Ten-01 regularly features them on their bar menu, and I've had them recently at the NightLight as well. For those of you not familiar with sliders, they're basically miniature hamburgers. Think of the haute cuisine ethic applied to the White Castle formula. The Maiden's version features caramelized onions and cheese, with a dollop of mayo. The patties themselves were a little over-done, but I can forgive that due to their use of local grass fed beef. Over-done or not, them were some tasty little burgers. And their bread pudding is decent as well:

From there we headed to the Slow Bar (nice place, but we didn't stay long enough for a report), then finished the night off with some shuffleboard in the wilds of Taylor street between 6th and 7th at the Speakeasy, a place known for its colorful regulars. Greg spanked Jenni quite handily (see photo up top).

So for all of you inner SE kids looking for something to do tonight that doesn't involve mackin' on the shorties at Holocene, get with your peeps for a bite at the Maiden followed by shuffleboard at the Speak... Can't go wrong!


Abby J said...

Sorry I missed it, sounds like a lot of fun. We discovered 'the maiden' last week accidentally since the Morrison Hotel Bar was closed, but this seemed far better! Greg forced me to eat one of the sliders (I'm always eating late night snacks with that man). I started the night alcohol free yet somewhere between midnight and 2:00am when we left, I managed to down three drinks. Bad influences all around. In any case, I'm in next time fo shizzle.

tommy said...

Yeah, not sure what's up with the Morrison closing so early...