Thursday, November 28, 2013

Urban Eats @ Block + Tackle, Portland

Chef Trent Pierce is a third generation restauranteur and his new casual restaurant, Block + Tackle in Portland, Oregon features local seafood with small sharing plates. You'll find all your favourite classics like clam chowder, fish & chips and jumbo peel & eat prawns on the menu here.
I caught a cab out of Downtown Portland for the short 10-minute drive over the Willamette River for a visit during my recent trip to this foodie city. The term Block + Tackle for which the restaurant is named, refers to a system of two or more pulleys with a rope or cable threaded between them, used to lift or pull heavy loads.
The hanging glass lanterns above definitely make it feel like you're under the sea
We started our dinner with a local beer and a BnT Bloody Mary ($9) with Sauza blanco tequila, tomato juice, ceviche shrimp, spice, cayenne salt rim. They were out of the ceviche shrimp that night, but I still decided to go ahead with this spicy beverage. It was a nice pairing for the oysters we had ordered.
Block + Tackle hosts a pretty mean Happy Hour from 4-6 pm from Wednesday - Friday. If you can get in during this time, oysters are $1 off and Rainier Tall Boys are only a $1! Well drinks are $3 and with selected wines and a daily cocktail coming in at $5.

Oysters on the Half Shell ($2-3.25) are a must, especially when the ones from the Pacific Northwest that come in from Washington and Vancouver. We treated ourselves to a mix from the menu and all of the oysters were fresh and delicious.
My absolute favourite dish of the night had to be the Salt & Pepper Calamari ($12) which came garnished with a sweet chili sauce. It's not overly battered that the calamari really shines through. The crispy coating is light but still crunchy and the simple seasoning made our tastebuds very happy. I find with calamari restaurants either get it so, so wrong or in this case - absolutely perfect.
How do they make Roasted Brussel Sprouts ($9) taste SO good? I'm not sure what they've done here but the combination of bacon and preserved lemon threw this one over the top for me. It was one of my favourite dishes of the night. If you do order a vegetable dish at Block + Tackle - this is the ONE.
We were told the Oregon Cod Fish & Chips ($16) were a very popular menu item and we could see why. Golden and crisp battered fish with fresh-cut fries comes in a very generous portion. It was easy to share and I recommend doing so, just so you can try as much off the menu as possible.
My least favourite of the night was the Dungeness Crab ‘Louie’ ($12) with avocado, grapefruit, radish,  iceberg wedge, deviled egg and Louie sauce. It's the first time I've ever tried this dish and I think I'm just not a fan of the combination of crab and iceberg lettuce. However it was artfully presented and I'm sure Crab Louie fans would be pleased.
The Happy Hour Menu + Oyster Board

I definitely recommend you get over to Block + Tackle for a casual seafood dinner or to kick back a few oysters and drinks. The staff are incredibly friendly and the vibe is comfortable yet hip at the same time.

Block + Tackle - Portland

3113 S.E. Division Street
(503) 336-0205

Wed-Sunday 4p - Close
Closed Mon and Tues

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