Happy New Year everyone! I am sorry I haven’t posted in a few weeks, but I took a little time off over the holidays. To get back into the swing of things Mark and I popped into a place we hadn’t been in over a year—Duckfat. There is simply no reason that we haven’t been there in so long, aside from the fact that we always just seem to lose sight of it…that is, until now.
The place was packed when we rolled in at 5:45 p.m. so we had to wait about five minutes for a table, but it was worth it because we ended up in the front window. It was also perfect timing because every day from 4-6 they have half-priced pounders and wine. I wasn’t planning on drinking, but this was such a good deal it lured me in. So, Mark ordered his standard Brooklyn Lager and I ordered a Narragansett Porter.
We also ordered the large fries ($5 during Happy Hour, another good deal!) with Thai Chili Mayo and Curry Mayo.
The fries were incredibly crunchy and substantial. The fat they were fried in gave them a richness and texture that makes fries other restaurants serve seem like health food. We preferred the Thai Chili Mayo over the Curry Mayo. The curry mayo was just too overpowering. It masked the rich, fatty flavor of the fries instead of adding to them.
After the fries we were ready for more (duck)fat. Unfortunately the panini’s don’t get a special happy hour price, but we ordered them anyway. Mark decided on the Meatloaf Panini. It comes with bread and butter pickled veggies, horseradish mayo and cheddar cheese.
Mark absolutely loved it. The pickled red peppers on it were extremely fresh and delicious. While it didn’t have an overwhelming wow factor for me (there are just so many amazing choices) he just can’t stray away from this panini. He has gotten it every time he has eaten here, proving why it has lasted for so long on the menu.
I went for something I haven’t had before, the Corned Beef Tongue Reuben. I have been really into beef tongue lately, so I was extremely excited to try this.
First of all, let me say, the beef tongue was so tender it was melting in my mouth and fusing with the amazing flavors of the swiss cheese and sauerkraut (which they get from Morse’s in North Waldoboro). Top all that off with just a small dab of 1000 island dressing and you have a meal fit for the Gods. It was incredibly filling, so I think next time I would just get one and split it, but it was so good I ate the entire thing. Between that and the fries, I will be on Lipitor by June.
Overall, I think this is great high brow pub grub in Portland. Its ever-so-slightly off the beaten path location only adds to the charm of it. The laid back vibe of both the staff and the patrons is contagious, and no one seems to be in a hurry for anything here (though I will say food comes out fast and hot). The exposed brick walls are lined with magnet boards to come up with your own magnetic poem or phrase to just while away the hours drinking and eating great food. Rob Evans has certainly succeeded in creating a neighborhood joint for the budget conscious consumer. After all, Hugo’s doesn’t figure into everyone’s budget, but everyone in Portland certainly deserves a taste of his culinary creations.