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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Portland
Food
Feel
Price
6.4
8.5
$25
American
Casual restaurant

Hours
Sun–Wed 11:00am–9:00pm
Thu–Sat 11:00am–10:00pm

Features Live music, outdoor dining
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted

www.pdxgreendragon.com

Southeast Portland
928 SE 9th Ave.
Portland, OR
(503) 517-0606
Green Dragon Bistro and Brewpub
An unsung beer hero, with some of the best craft brews in the city

Since Portland’s Green Dragon Bistro and Brewpub opened in 2007, it has become an integral part of the craft beer scene, serving a steadily changing menu of beers on 19 taps. The space is divided into a small restaurant side and a large converted warehouse. In the warehouse, there are two bars—a main bar and a secondary bar that’s used for the pub’s frequent special events. The bar space also hosts a shuffleboard table and several well-maintained pinball machines. Brewing operations have recently commenced, but as of this writing are not yet a regular part of the bar’s offerings.

In 2008, the pub was purchased by the Eugene-based Rogue Brewery (who also operate an eponymous restaurant in Northwest Portland) over the objections of a minority owner; the resulting dust-up in local media and beer-culture blogs is a testament to the niche the Green Dragon had found for itself. A year later, there is little evidence of the transfer. While the menu has shifted from Dutch- and Belgian-themed cuisine to a vaguely Southern approach, the tap list retains its characteristic diversity—on our last visit, only a single tap was pouring Rogue’s fine Old Crustacean barley wine.

The tap selection is international and covers a wider range of styles than most serious beer destinations. Strong ales and barley wines seem to get a significant portion of the list; it’s not uncommon for a third or more of the beers offered to be served in 8-ounce pours instead of pints. Taps change with sufficient frequency that no attempt is made to print the list; a half-dozen chalkboards around the venue list current selections as well as the next ten or so beers “on deck.”

Food is unimaginative, but it’s a passable accompaniment in its secondary role supporting the beer list. Belgian-style fries can’t compare to those offered by the nearby Potato Champion food cart, but make a solid contribution to the selection of $3 happy hour/late night plates.

Visitors should be aware that the Green Dragon regularly hosts beer-culture events and meetings; these events frequently feature rare or new brews and can draw large crowds. While the bar is spacious enough (and often even expanded to the back bar) to accomodate a standing-room-only crowd of drinkers, the staffing levels for table service and food preparation are not always adequate, and food service can be a frustrating and slow affair.

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