A couple of nights ago, a few friends and I headed out for dinner. It had been a hectic week, and we wanted to celebrate the start of the weekend (not that we had anything planned for this weekend, haha). We started the night off wanting to devour something Italian, but after coming to the conclusion that we wouldn’t find seating as we hadn’t made any reservations, we headed out to the Oregon Public House on Dekum. A lot of people had recommended this place to me in the past, so I was excited to finally see what all the hype was about.
We walked in a little after 7PM and I was so glad we did because right after we placed our orders, patrons just kept pouring in throughout the night. Before I begin talking about the food and ambience, let me give you guys the story behind the place. The Oregon Public House is a non-profit pub with volunteer cooks, waiters/waitresses, cashier’s etc. working during their open hours. It has been titled as the world’s first not for profit pub, and they wear it well. The pub raises awareness for charities and the proceeds from money you spend on food and drink goes into these charities. You get to pick your charity of choice, and if you’re feeling generous, they welcome donations as well.
The moment you walk in, you’re greeted with friendly smiles. With one wall filled with booths and the rest of the space with tables for two, three, or more people, it has a warm, homey feel. The soft yellow lights are a cozy touch to the place as well. The walls have a few blackboards mounted on, with specials and other items on the menu for that day. They have a pretty extensive list of beers on their taps as well (no surprise there, Portland is known for its craft beer!). For a volunteer-run pub, they are pretty darn self-sufficient. It’s minimally structured so that the place can run as smoothly as possible. You place your order at the bar, take a number and choose wherever you want to sit. They have pretty fast service considering the amount of mouths that need to be fed at the pub. The staff are ridiculously friendly, as are the patrons that come in. In fact, a gentleman at the table next to us overheard us talking about a place for dessert around the area and joined in on a friendly conversation for a few minutes!
The food was just as great! Obviously, knowing my insatiable craving for burgers, I went for the cheese burger topped with peppered bacon and Oregon mushrooms. My friends got the Garden burger! I cannot begin to tell you how mouth watering-ly delicious the burger was. The patty was succulent and the mushrooms tender and the bacon crispy, it was every dream come true. Their house sauce drizzled over just took the whole experience to another level. I always remind myself to take it slow and savor my food, but it was near impossible with this one. The food disappeared not even 10 minutes after the server placed it under my nose. The veggie garden burger was just as divine. The patty, made from mushrooms, chia, quinoa, and all other healthy variations, was perfection in your mouth (I know this because I stole a bite from his burger!).
I had an absolutely great experience here and I would definitely recommend going there. If not for the food and drink, go for the charity aspect of it!