Sunday, February 19, 2012

Brown baggin' it at Brix Tavern

This weekend was my third visit to Brix Tavern in Portland's Pearl District and yes, I do recommend it! It is a great spot for happy hour and perfect for a casual date.  The atmosphere is fun and upbeat, with live music. It is usually a one man show, but sometimes small bands play too. There are dart boards, a pool table and a foosball table in the back half of the restaurant There are a few televisions, but nothing obnoxious and it is not the focal point of the restaurant.

brown bag brew
One thing that makes this spot unique is their bartender's brown bag beer choice. You can order a beer for three bucks and the bartender will bring over a beer in a brown bag and surprise, you get what you get! It is a pretty fun conversation piece at the table. The guys love it. 

Their dinner menu is extensive with a lot of selections. So far, I have played it safe with the margarita pizza and cheeseburger from the happy hour menu, but there are several other tasty selections. Next time, I will go for the Brix Chips or the Caramelized Butternut Squash & Pancetta pizza. Take a look at their menu online to find your favorite.

But, I need to be upfront and tell you the REAL reason I love Brix Taverm. Take a look at the menu and the house cocktails and you will find one ingredient I am very partial to. If you have read any of my previous posts, you will know right away that it is sweet basil. The lemon basil martini is made to perfection and I can't wait to eat my way through the rest of the basil-inspired menu.

Brix Tavern
1338 NW Hoyt Street
Portland, Oregon

open seven days a week

Monday, February 13, 2012

Brown Butter Chicken Parmesan Pasta

Chicken. That was my inspiration for tonight's meal. I had two chicken breasts that I needed to use but I was lazy and tired and definitely not into trying a new recipe. But, I was determined. Eventually, I discovered a new food blog called How Sweet It Is and this recipe was on her home page - brown butter parmesan chicken linguine. YUM.

I have never made brown butter before, so that was what first intrigued me (yes, I know...who hasn't made brown butter?). I jumped up off the couch and instantly started pulling out ingredients. The only thing I lacked was the mushrooms and dry wine, but I improvised and it turned out pretty darn good. 

Making brown butter was a success! I just loved how Jessica from How Sweet It Is wrote this post because she made me so excited about something as simple as brown butter. Reading her post made me want to find as many dishes as I can with brown butter! :) 

Here was the photo that inspired me to make this dish: 
brown butter via How Sweet It Is
A quick look at the ingredients:
1.5-2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium sweet onion, sliced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 pound whole wheat pasta (preferably noodles)
2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese + more for topping
fresh chopped parsley for topping
Check out her blog for other delicious recipes!