Sunset Reservoir Brewing Company is a casual brewery/gastropub in the Outer Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco. The atmosphere and the decor are great – high ceilings and wide open space, it’s got a very lofty feel to it. The bar has a beautiful wall with a multitude of liquor bottles on display and there is a glass wall that lets you peer into their beer brewing operation. They’ve got bar seating, dining downstairs as well as upstairs seating. Need to catch a Giants or Warriors game? They’ve got plenty of TVs!
WHAT WE ORDERED:
Sunset Reservoir Brewing Company | 1736 Noriega St. San Francisco, CA 94122 | 415-571-8452
The Brazen Head | 20 Bridge Street Lower, Dublin 8, Ireland | +353 1 677 9549
The Old Jameson Distillery is a top attraction when traveling to Dublin, Ireland.
It’s called The Old Jameson Distillery because, while whiskey has not been made here in nearly 50 years, it is the original site where Jameson Irish Whiskey was distilled until 1971. Now, it is a tourist attraction that provides a guided tour, whiskey tastings and a complimentary drink at the end of your tour.
The tour costs about $16USD and lasts for about 1 hour. You are first guided into an auditorium where you watch a 10 minute film about the history of the distillery. From there, you walk through the different sections of the distillery and learn all about how Irish whiskey is made.
Towards the end of the tour, you’re taken into a tasting room where everyone is given a chance to sample and compare three different types of whiskey: Jameson (Irish), Johnny Walker (Scottish) and Jack Daniels (American). They all taste so differently! I’m a fan of both Jameson and Johnny Walker but I would be lying if I said Jack Daniels didn’t bring me back to my college drinking days!
After the tasting, you’re ushered into an open space with plenty of seating and given a choice of either Jameson on the rocks or a Jameson ginger. There is also a restaurant on-site as well as a fun little gift shop.
This is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon but I probably wouldn’t do it on the same day as the Guinness Storehouse (see blog post here)!
WINGS! WINGS! WINGS!
We were told that Elephant & Castle had the BEST wings in all of Ireland and we just had to find out for ourselves…. Coming from the US, I did not expect much when ordering the chicken wing basket. I mean, how good could chicken wings be in Dublin? Probably just okay, right? Nope! These might be some of the best wings I’ve ever had. I stand by my statement.
The wings themselves are small (not a bad thing), they are perfectly fried and crispy (because nobody likes soggy chicken wings) and the sauce is distributed evenly and downright addicting. They must use loads of butter but I am not complaining – nobody orders wings as a healthy option anyway. The sauce is rich and just the right amount of spicy.
My dining companions both ordered the roasted garlic burger and let me have a couple bites. This is a great choice for garlic lovers; not only does it have whole roasted garlic cloves but garlic butter and garlic aioli as well! Really solid choice.
Not only was the food phenomenal but the service was impeccable. We were promptly seated, our server was very friendly and she even gave us some local insight on spots to hit that were less touristy than Temple Bar.
Overall: Great Food + Cute Spot + Awesome Service + Reasonably Priced
Check out this video I made of the food we ate!
Elephant & Castle | 18-19 Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland | +353 1 679 3121
Visiting the Guiness Storehouse located at St. James Gate Brewery in Dublin is a total must-do! The brewery tour at the Guiness Storehouse is unlike any brewery tour I have ever taken. You walk inside and pay an entrance fee of 18 euros (translates to a little less than 18 USD). The entrance free includes a self-guided tour of the facilities with a complimentary pint of fresh, velvety Guiness at the end of the tour with the best view of the entire city of Dublin.
The tour itself, as stated earlier, is unlike any brewery tour I’ve ever taken. This tour had more of a beer amusement park or beer museum feel than anything. The history of the brewery was shown through various exhitions, installations and videos.
Each level of the modern storehouse was themed differently and at the end of the brewery, we were taught how to pour the “perfect guinness”, were allowed to serve ourselves from their taps, given certificates and had our photo taken.
From the complimentary tasting, you then head up to their Gravity Bar – a circular glass room with a 360 degree view of Dublin – to enjoy a fresh pint of Guinness beer included with your admission price of €18.
Check out my YouTube video below to get a better view of Ireland’s claim to beer fame!
Last month I had the opportunity to finally visit the Land of Ports aka PORTLANDIA.
(Do people from Portland hate it when non-portlanders call it that? ……oops.)
I was only there for 3 days but if we happen to share similar tastes then you, my friend, will have a wonderful time following my guide! I will be back in September of this year, so be ready for a “10 MORE THINGS TO DO IN PORTLAND” post.
The biggest difference I noticed was mobility.
In LA, food trucks may have a set of spots they go to each week but for the most part they are roaming around the city and going to a wide array of events throughout the year. If you’re craving a specific truck, your best bet is to follow them on twitter and hunt them down.
In Portland, the food carts – which are essentially food trailers, or one could even say, little food shacks – remain stationary. They stay parked in what are called food cart pods – empty lots where the carts congregate and tables, chairs, and sometimes even tents may be set up.
My favorite part is that the food is SO CHEAP. A $20 bill will get you quite a bit of food from many different vendors.
Map of all food cart pods in the PDX area – click HERE!
Gravy holds a very special place in my tummy. I wrote a blog post about it and even made a video – check it out HERE! But if you’re feeling to lazy to click on that link, I’ll give you a short recap:
The portions are HUGE; show up with a matching appetite. The biscuit-donut balls dubbed “frycakes” are a MUST, along with the biscuits and gravy – I mean, the place is called GRAVY. It is situated on Mississippi Street where you’ll find a bunch of adorable stores that you can walk to and try to sweat out your delicious food baby. Price range? Very reasonable. You can get food from $1.25 to $15 – such a STEAL.
Gravy | 3957 N Mississippi Ave Portland, OR 97227 | (503) 287-8800
Ever had Swedish food? Me neither – until I went to Broder! Killer Danish pancakes + Danish Mary (their version of a bloody mary!). Check out my highlight video above.
Portland is known for their culinary scene but it’s not just their savory foods that are making a splash. Salt & Straw scoop shop is a new and edgy creamery that pushes the envelope with their outstanding mixes. With bold and creative flavors like Pots of Gold and Rainbow (a play on the Lucky Charms cereal), Salted Caramel Cupcake and Pear & Blue Cheese Ice Cream, it’s no surprise to see how popular they’ve gotten and why people are showing up in droves. When you get to the front of the line, the friendly workers are more than happy to provide you with as many samples as you could possibly want – no judgement from them 😉
For all my Angelenos who aren’t planning a trip to Portland any time soon – don’t worry! Salt & Straw has a location here in LA.
Salt & Straw | 3345 SE Division St, Portland, OR | (503) 208-2054
Dove Vivi is our friends’ go-to place to take people who are visiting from out of town and, to be honest with you, it would probably be mine too. As my friends put it, “This isn’t the place to come when you’re craving pizza, because it is so much more than just that. It’s a different experience.”
I had never even heard of cornmeal crust pizza, and I didn’t know what to expect. Well, now that I’ve been there I can tell you exactly what to expect, besides obvious deliciousness… The crust is what I would imagine the offspring of a perfectly baked slice of cornbread and a puffy and delicate biscuit would taste like. The slices are reminiscent of a chicago-style deep dish pizza with a wide array of fresh, vegan (or non-vegan) toppings to choose from. I am an avid meat-eater, as you can see from the photo above, but my favorite pizza at Dove Vivi just so happened to be 100% vegan!
RECOMMENDATION: Corn Cashew Pizza
Cuban food is ♥ and Pambiche is the place to get it. There are only a few cuban places in Portland but Pambiche surpasses the others by miles. They’ve got got amazingly, complex and traditional zesty flavors. Don’t be scared of all of the options you’re given. You’re pretty much guaranteed to get a killer dish, no matter what you decide to get.
MY RECOMMENDATION: Lengua en Salsa Verde con Platanos Maduros.
Pad Thai, Pad See Ew, and Chicken Satay – These are all of the dishes that come to mind when one thinks about Thai food and these are all dishes you WON’T find at Andy Ricker’s Pok Pok in Portland.
Pok Pok focuses on the lesser known Northern Thai cuisine, a style of cooking that uses a lot of dried spices and has strong Burmese influences. The smells are funky, the dishes are spicy and the taste is an unbelievably grand reawakening for Thai food in the States.
MY RECOMMENDATION: The Fish Sauce Wings
Interested in learning more about Andy Ricker and his growing spicy & delicious Thai empire? Check out Vice’s Munchies channel episode HERE!
Pok Pok PDX | 3131 SE Division St, Portland, OR | (503) 232-0102
With the incredible amount of craft breweries to choose from in Portland, it’s hard to decide which ones to go to. Hair of the Dog Brewery is a solid choice for anyone that is a fan of barrel-aged beers – it’s their specialty!
FUN FACT: All of their ingredients are sourced from a 350 mile radius from their brewery!
Check out my blog post + video review I made about this brewery HERE.
Hair of the Dog Brewery | 61 SE Yamhill St. Portland, OR 97214 | 503-232-6585
All I had to hear was that they did a collab with my new favorite creamery, Salt & Straw! Check out my blog post + video review HERE and don’t forget to order the Salted Caramel Stout and their award-winning triple IPA.
I personally love going on brewery tours. I love hearing the story behind the people that have worked their tails off to get us a nice buzz with good, quality product. Did you know the Widmer Brothers are personally responsible for creating the first American-style hefeweizen?
Check out my blog post + video review of this brewery HERE!
It’s easy to get caught up frequenting bars & restaurants, but Portland has some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever laid my eyes on. Laurelhurst is a great park nestled in between a great neighborhood in the Sunny Side neighborhood of Portland. Expect to find geese, birds, and people getting their sweat on.
Laurelhurst Park | 3756 SE Oak St, Portland, OR 97214
This park gives you an absolutely stunning view of Portland. It is the perfect place to come and have a picnic. Since Portland doesn’t get a lot of sunlight and beautiful weather year round, like Los Angeles does, Portlandians really cherish and take advantage of the beautiful sunny days they do get.
Mt. Tabor |SE Salmon St, Portland, OR
SOME OTHER COOL STUFF TO CHECK OUT…
After hearing how many breweries there are in Portland (50+), I was determined to drink my way through as many as I could in the 3 short days I was there. Unfortunately, beer is HEAVY on the belly. So, as much as my mind and mouth were set on drinking my weight in brews, my expanding waistline and tight-fitting pants were refusing.
Now, I’ll be honest. I don’t like hefes. You’re probably asking yourself why I would be going to a place that is KNOWN for their hefes…. Well, first and foremost, I am a lover of food and beverage and I try my absolute best to give everything I taste a fair chance. I figured if I was going to give hefes a chance, I would go to a place that makes award-winning hefeweizens and, most importantly, the place that was single handedly responsible for creating the American-style hefeweizen.
I will report back that my favorite types of beers are still IPAs and Stouts but I am now a lot more open to ordering a hefe every once in a while – especially if it was a beer coming from Widmer. When you come to Portland and visit Widmer Brothers Brewing Co., you can’t leave without signing up to do one of their brewery tours. It only costs $5, you’re paired up with a knowledgable tour guide, and you get to try 4 different brews in a souvenir taster glass you can take home!
Brewery Tour Schedule (pulled from their website here)
Mondays – Thursdays at 3pm
Fridays at 2:00pm & 3:00pm
Saturdays at 12:00pm, 1:00pm, 2:00pm & 3:00pm
Sundays at 1:00pm & 2:00pm
ALSO – If you’re hungry, they’ve got a pub right across the street. I didn’t get to try their food, but I did order a flight. 6 5oz. tasters for a cheap $15!
Check out my Tastemade video review below. CHEERS!