The next few posts will be of restaurants we visited during a quick day and a half trip to Portland, Oregon. We went at the beginning of May, and enjoyed ourselves immensely! The weather was beautiful until we headed home, and we saw loads of sights. Most importantly, we discovered Happy Hour! Why Vancouver doesn't have similar deals makes me sad to contemplate, but I now know to make sure I check out happy hours across America when traveling!
As for Jake's Famous Crawfish Restaurant, check out the picture for more information, and join me after the break for what we tried!
The happy hour itself made me happy, just in its prices. Seeing how low they were made me believe that we would be getting reduced sizes in the meals themselves, so we ordered a few.
My drink was the most expensive thing we had.
Moscow Mule ($8.00)
My only issue with this drink was that it disappeared to darn quickly, and I was hesitant to order another. Vodka, fresh lime juice, and ginger puree, with a splash of soda for good measure. The ginger added just the right bite, and went really well with the lime. I'll have to look for these in Vancouver, if they aren't too expensive. Probably have to make my own though!
On to the good stuff.
Oyster Shooter ($1.95 each)
I'm not a huge fan of oyster, and for some reason, just couldn't bring myself to eat one. I tried some of the sauce, and it was quite good. However, the look on my wife's face while she ate them told me all I needed to know: they were delicious. I don't think it's possible to get oysters for that price in Vancouver, even at a supermarket.
Chilled Spiced Crawfish ($1.95)
I couldn't believe the size of the plate that came out. I'd never seen a crawfish before this, and didn't really know what to expect. For less than two dollars though, I didn't expect this.
They were really a lot larger than I thought, and the plate was more than enough for one person's entire meal. We started by eating the tails, and figured that was it. Then as an experiment I cracked open a claw, and discovered an enormous amount of meat there too! We dug into the shell pile and started eating the claws. They were absolutely delicious; even better than the tails!
Northwest Seafood Gumbo ($3.95)
After the thrill that was the plate of crawfish and the oyster shooters, we were a little let down by this gumbo. The fish was cooked quite nicely, but I wasn't a big fan of the okra in it. It gave it a really odd flavour, and one which I have to admit, we preferred not to handle. I had a few spoonfuls to make sure I was really not impressed, and then simply gave up, due to the amount of food on the table. Won't order this again, especially not when you could get two plates of crawfish for the same price!
Fried Calamari ($4.95)
I've had great calamari, and I've had terrible calamari. I've had fresh, alive -> dead in front of me calamari (which rated amongst the best, to be honest). Jake's Fried Calamari was right up there in the top 5 (at least until it got cold, and then I'd have to downrank it a little). It was perfectly cooked, not too squishy, and not too chewy, and the batter was brilliant - it really was there to provide a little texture I think. Some restaurants serve you batter with a bit of squid... definitely not Jake's! And the portion size? Amazing! Enough for 3 people, easily. I'd highly recommend this: probably looking at a $15-18 plate in Vancouver!
Jake's Cheeseburger ($2.95)
Less than $3. A darn Big Mac is more than that. For just the burger. A Teen Burger? $4.59 or something crazy. Without the fries.
This burger was incredible. It was so big that my wife wouldn't even try it (her mouth couldn't open wide enough). The toppings were really fresh - I hate when restaurants give you old lettuce / tomatoes on a burger. The fries were great too - they were unsalted, which was nice.
Overall, we were astonished at what we got. For less than $30 (which included my $8 drink and my wife's pop) we had more food than the table could really hold. We ended up with four giant plates on the table, and received looks from all the passers-by, thanks to being situated at a sidewalk table. We did the correct thing though, and really tried hard to finish the food (an impossible task, but we tried).
In the end, if you ever go to Portland's downtown, make sure you head to Jake's Famous Crawfish, 3-6pm daily, 9pm-close Sunday-Thursday, or 10pm-close Friday/Saturday!! It's too good to miss! In fact, it's almost worth the gas to get there if you go a couple of times!!