Yesterday, Carla and the girls and I trudged up Hawthorne in the snow and had lunch at Nick's Famous Coney Island. It was the kids' first time there, and they liked the old-timey atmosphere -- even our family vegetarian, who survived happily on an order of nachos.
We were really aiming for the Bridgeport Ale House, since we had spent a very cozy lunch there Saturday, watching the falling snow and the strolling shoppers, enjoying imperial pints of root beer and Raven Mad barrel-aged porter. We were dismayed that the weather kept Bridgeport from opening yesterday -- Angelo ran into the same problem, though his solution was more ambitious than ours.
The gut-bomb chili, excellent french fries, and friendly service and surroundings are the reasons to go to Nick's. Sometimes you just gotta have a hot dog smothered with chili, cheese, and onions. It's not really a beer destination: the beer of choice there is Bud, though to their credit they throw a bone to the Portland beer snobs:
The TKO Amber is brewed on contract for Nick's by RedHook (WARNING: noisy website). I wasn't impressed; it had a dark color, but the light head and macro-lager flavor gave it away as a beer made for people who don't like beer yet. It is cheaper: $3 a pint vs. $3.75 for the S.O.B. or Widmer Hef. In the picture above, TKO is on the right, the Southern porter on the left.