I went to hit some food carts today, and it was too damned cold. I guess my cut-off point, temperature-wise, to dine al fresco atop a garbage can, newspaper stand, or parking meter is about 72 degrees.
Standing on Third and Washington looking at carts, Huber’s caught my eye. I’ve been meaning to stop by here, after all, it is Portland’s oldest restaurant, and that’s a good enough endorsement for me.
Inside, it’s my type of old man’s paradise. Dark, wood paneled walls, terrazzo floors, largely untouched, decor wise, for years. They opened in 1879, moved to their present location in 1910, a saloon first, they used to give away turkey sandwiches and their double x secret recipe cole slaw to drinkers. That was common back in the day, and many bars were especially fond of giving out salty snacks, to get you to drink more.
Prohibition could have crushed them, but a group of civic-minded denizens somehow persuaded the restaurateur to sell the sandwiches he had been giving away, and so he did, eventually adding other roasted meats like ham, steaks, and veal to the menu.
Their specialty is roasted turkey. Which means you can have Thanksgiving dinner every day of the year! Damned nice!
They even have burgers on the menu, including buffalo, but no turkey burgers. (Whot?!) I could have gone for another burger, it had been twelve whole hours.
Few of you know that next to burgers, dogs, and pizza, there are few things that tickle my taste buds like a good club sandwich. And what better place to try one than at a turkey restaurant.
Screech, back up. I have to say that after my ‘bad service’ experience last nite at another place, the service at Huber’s was OVER THE TOP. From the drink guy to the waitress to the maitre’d to the bartender, everyone was smiling, cordial. It was great.
My sandwich was out in short order, and was accompanied by a side of their special slaw. There are very few slaws I like, but this one goes to the top of the list. Creamy and tart at the same time, with the vegetables diced instead of chopped, so that the salad had a very smooth texture and nice tang to it. Sixteen thumbs up!
What makes a good club for me? The traditional recipe, turkey, bacon, lettuce, mayo, triple-decker on white toast. If the toast is a little coarse and thick, all the better. But the lettuce has to be crisp, mayo deliciously creamy, the turkey real, and roasted, the bacon crisp, and if thick, even better.
As one would expect, or at least hope, Huber’s exceed my expectations. This has to be in the top 3 club sandwiches I have had anywhere on the planet.
My waitress, and the guy serving coffee, had the friendliest attitudes and nicest smiles, made for a great experience. I over tipped, with great pleasure.
And who can’t love the decor, and the bar? It’s my new man cave, downtown PDX version for sure.
Footnote: Huber’s “Signature Drink” is Spanish coffee. They are the largest user of Kahlua in the State, and one of the largest users in the country. The drink is prepared table-side “with great flair,” according to their puff piece.
Sorry about the pic. Not sure what went on with the color. Too lazy to tweek it!
Hubers Portland Review