Local Eats: Kells Irish Pub and Restaurant in Portland, Oregon

Kells Irish Pub and Restaurant in Downtown, Portland, Oregon is one of those popular spots that everyone has to try at least a couple of times.

They have the traditional Irish Pub food that one would expect, like Sheppard’s Pie, Cabbage  & corned beef, lamb stew, Irish cider and more. They also have burgers and fries if you want American, which was perfect for my daughter since she wouldn’t try either of our meals.

I’ve really only eaten the Sheppards Pie here and it’s been good every time. I don’t know what a REAL Sheppard’s pie is supposed to taste like, so I am only going by what my taste buds know from here since I’ve never been to Ireland to have real Irish food. (Maybe one day I’ll get over there)

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Backwoods Brewing Company in Carson, WA 

Have you ever taken a drive to the Gorge in either Washington or Oregon side? You’ll find this hidden gem in the small logging town of Carson, Wa.

We’ve actually been to Backwoods Brewery quite a few times since its opening in 2012. My husband is from Carson and that’s where most of his family resides, so we try to get up there as much as possible to visit. And since it is a small town, food options are kind of limited unless you drive a few minutes to Stevenson, WA. That is until Backwoods Brewery came along!

I love that they make their own dough and sauce for their delicious pizzas, and brew their own variety of beers. My husband dislikes IPAs which they seem to be fond of, but they do have quite a few good beers that aren’t IPA, like their blueberry wheat (seasonal draft) and the Ridge Run Stout.

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Local Eats: Thai Orchid Restaurant

I never knew Thai Orchid existed until a friend recommended it; and with it being under 2 miles from my home, I had to give it a try! I’ve been here numerous times and each time has been amazing. I even order to go when I just want to chill at home with good food.

I’ve tried the orange chicken which is decent, but they need to be more giving with the sauce since there’s not really enough on the plate covering the entire battered chicken pieces.

And I’ve tried the evil jungle noodles with chicken, which is now my go to for every future visit because I know it’s going to be delicious every time. The curry sauce is amazing (they sell it on its own by the way for like $4.50 a small container). It has just the right amount of heat with a rating of 1 for me, and the big bowl is only $9.50 for dinner. Can’t really beat that cause I usually have leftovers to take home too!

My favorite Thai food dish: Curry evil jungle noodles. . . . . .

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The drinks are so-so for the price. I haven’t really gone during happy hour so I don’t know what type of specials they have. I wasn’t thrilled with that drink in the photo though. Don’t get me wrong, it tasted good since it was fresh kiwi, but it wasn’t even filled close to the top and cost a fortune. So, don’t go for the drinks, go for the food!

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I have to eat here at least once or twice a month since I crave that delicious yellow curry sauce. So if you’re in town and want some good Thai food, head on over to Thai Orchid Restaurant in Downtown Vancouver, WA.

Local Eats: The Heavy Metal Brewing Pizza Co & Taproom

I had heard about this place on facebook from some friends through my news feed, and then I got a Groupon email featuring this local spot, so I figured I would snag it and take a visit.

We arrived on a Friday evening and it was kind of busy, busy enough that most of the tables were being used. There isn’t a sign or anything saying to seat yourself, but that’s basically what you do.

They don’t have too many tables in here since it’s not a super big place, but we did end up getting a seat at one of the long wood picnic tables.

The place from what I recall used to be a convenience store. They still have some of the old coolers in place and they’ve filled it with craft beer and other non-alcohol beverages for the underage crowd. Yes, this place allows minors, which is one reason why I liked it and will most likely return.

You do have to go up to the counter to order your beer, cider, and food, but that’s pretty normal.

We ended up ordering the “a little ain’t enough” pizza, the spiced cider and then the beer flight that was from the Groupon deal. They pick out 4 beers of their choice to put on the flight and then the last 2 you get to choose. My husband said the whiskey beer was his fave, but I am not sure of the name since they didn’t have a list out on the tables, besides the one at the counter. I liked the red looking beer. It wasn’t so bitter and is perfect for those who aren’t big on beer, especially hoppy beer like myself.

The pizza was pretty good too! My 2-year-old daughter has been picky about her pizza lately (we usually get dominos or papa murphy’s which she stopped eating) and she actually ate this. I guess it was that good! I have heard they have their dough locally made and they cook it in a pizza oven so maybe that’s why it’s so tasty.

I had the spiced cider and omg, it was so delicious! I am not a big fan of dry ciders and this was so crisp and tasty. I really want to go back to have the cider and pizza again!

THEY ALWAYS HAVE OVER 25 TOP QUALITY BEERS ON TAP AND OVER 200

DIFFERENT BOTTLES OF BEER, WINE & CIDERS FOR THERE, OR TO GO!

And it may be called The Heavy Metal Brewing Pizza Co but nothing is heavy metal in here, at least the day we came. They had some music videos and butt rock/classic rock playing on them but nothing heavy metal. Since we came on a Friday, they had a band setting up for an 8 pm live show. It ended up being a one-man show and he sang a lot of country music songs. I am only mentioning this for the people who think this place may be blaring with loud, screaming music. You can enjoy your food and beer/cider and listen to all varieties of tunes. My daughter loved the live music so much, she had to dance a little by us.

So for entertainment and food/beer wise, we shall return!

Local Eats: Shanahan’s Irish Bar in Downtown Vancouver, WA

Although we haven’t been able to visit Shanahan’s Bar & Grill as much as we’d like since having our daughter, this is the place that I do love to come to for bar food and drinks.

This is the best place for happy hour in the area, period. Most places happy hour times are from 3-6; Shanahan’s is from 3-8pm every day of the week! WOWzers!

The happy hour menu has been changed since I’ve been going there for the prices have increased a tad, but everything is still inexpensive and both the food and drinks are great!

They don’t skimp on the booze, which is what people like. If we wanted to pay bottle prices for 1 drink, we’d just drink at home.

The only downfall is that the place is packed every.single.day.of.the.week., so you pretty much have to fight someone for a place to sit, or at least wait until one becomes available and pounce on it FAST! I watched a group of 5  take a single man’s booth once he got up to go to the bathroom. He came back to grab his seat and then left because he had no place to sit. So if you’re here and you have a seat, make sure you grab their business cards and turn it over. It reads something like “don’t steal my drink” then people will assume you’re still there and coming back.

It does clear out after happy hour is over on the weekdays. The weekends are still quite busy.

They have updated the outdoor area which is a much bigger space so hopefully, it won’t be so bad in the summer or spring.


My favorite food items are the Steak bites and mushrooms for $5, which can be eaten by a single person, and the shanny fries which consist of green onions, tots, fries, cheese, and bacon. So delish! But don’t expect to finish it alone, the fries are huge for $4.50!!

shanahans bar and grill

 

The staff is all friendly, but when it’s busy, you may have better luck going up to the bar to grab a drink as they seem a little understaffed during happy hour.

I’m just glad this place is only a mile from my house; it gives me the motivation to ride my bike since there’s absolutely no parking available most times. Plus, I’ll need the cardio after eating shanny fries!

It’s absolutely worth it though and is a must visit if you’re in the area.