Despite its laid-back vibe and old Vegas charm, it’s not inaccurate to say that when one thinks of the Gold Dust Meridian, one thinks happy hour. (It starts early and goes six hours deep.) There’s a lot to choose from too, including wings that come four ways: bourbon barbecue (with an emphasis on the bourbon), smoked jalapeño, Asian barbecue and Jamaican jerk. The kitchen also pairs house-pickled veggies with four tangy deviled egg halves, and in doing so, mercifully violates the aesthetic rule that kitchens tend to follow (serving items in odd numbers), which means that you and your tablemate won’t have to fight over that final half. But, the Gold Dust’s biggest charmer is its Dungeness crab poppers made with little jalapeño canoes loaded with cream cheese and deep-fried in a paper-thin crust. As is, that would do the trick, but each popper’s also topped with crab salad, capped with a dollop of Sriracha, and drizzled with sweet soy sauce and spicy mayo, which lets it be all things at once: warm, cold, sweet, spicy, crunchy and creamy. Wells and pints are 50 cents off; glasses of wine, a dollar. But if you can spare 24 of those dollars, you can ask for a family bowl, as long as you’re not drinking alone—you need a partner to order one because they’re served in enormous snifters that, once filled with a variety of Odwalla juices and eight shots of booze, may well weigh more than a newborn. Happy hour runs long here: from 2 to 8 p.m., every day of the week.
Gold Dust Meridian, 3267 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503.239.1143
Want more happy hour options? You got 'em.
Gold Dust Meridian
3267 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Portland OR 97214