Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Nick's Coney Island

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:
I'll give Nick's community-service points for pouring the S.O.B. porter. I've seen it a couple times at the Green Dragon, but it's an interesting choice for a small diner like Nick's to serve (leave a comment if you know other good places in Portland where Southern Oregon beer is served). I didn't notice the 22 oz. Coney Island bottles until we were leaving, otherwise I probably would have tried one of them -- Schmaltz is the brewery that makes the He'Brew beers, which are gaining a little following.

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.


  1. 3rd Street Pizza in McMinnville is serving SOB Old Humbug. I know it isn't Portland, but we get decent beer here too! Especially with GVB and Heater-Allen in town.

  2. I dig the new Coney Island set up even as a Red Sox fan. Great memorabilia. It was the first place I had the Bud American Ale. I was happy to see they had Smaltz Coney Island beers in bottles, too.

  3. Saraveza (N. Killingsworth) had something from SOB on draft the other night.