825 North Cook St.
Portland, OR 97227
Nik and I actually started out with plans to go to breakfast, but I did something I normally never do: going out before deciding where I’m going to eat. The result was a complete failure, as it was a Friday morning and most places I wanted to go to were closed until lunch. We wandered around aimlessly downtown before abandoning our running parking meter to peruse Belmont street, before finally giving up and deciding to just do lunch, because at this point it was already noon. We decided on Ecliptic Brewing, and I’m so glad we did.
The huge industrial building sports the iconic Ecliptic Brewing logo and nothing else. It stands out from the freeway and beckons you in with the promises of craft beer and bar food. Only I was wrong about the bar food. This place has an impressive seasonal menu that changes according to the old world calendar. (This I like, because it gives me an excuse to go back every six weeks!) All the craft beers by brew master John Harris are named after various stars, constellations and moons, which I think is so creative and sets his creations apart from the rest
First off, the beer was fantastic. We sampled the Procyon Pale Ale and the Rigel Sparkling Ale. We liked the Procyon a bit more, but both were incredibly delicious! Usually I try to do just food, but you can’t go to a brewery and not try the beer.
We started with the Finger Steaks, which are like popcorn chicken but with the juiciest, most tender steak inside. They were delectable, and only $7, which is a steal for such a decadent appetizer. The presentation was a little lacking on these, but the flavor easily made up for it! The fries were some of the best I’ve had as well. Very crispy, fresh, and perfectly seasoned!
The cornmeal-crusted Trout Po-Boy caught both of our eyes and we had to try it. Nik actually didn’t like this one as much as he thought he would, but says it’s because he wasn’t expecting it to be fried, which I understand. A little fried fish goes a long way, and this sandwich didn’t skimp on the fish! I loved this sandwich. The trout was so juicy and flavorful, and the crunchy cornmeal crust added a little kick to an otherwise bland fish. The jalapeno mayo added to the spice in a very delicious way. I loved the crunch together with the creaminess of the mayo and the sharp acidic bite of the pickles. The bread was also spectacular, and reminded me quite a bit of a mild sourdough. We had the sandwich with the soup of the day, which was a white bean soup that was very good. I can’t remember what else was in it, so you’ll just have to believe me.
I knew I had to get something off the seasonal menu so I decided to try the Goat mole rojo. The presentation on this one was spectacular! I love that you get to assemble your own tacos based on your own personal taste. It makes it so much more fun and I fully enjoyed the experience this dish gave me. The goat was braised with dried chili and was very tender. I found mine to be a little too mild for me, so a dash of salt easily fixed that. The goat flavor was not overwhelming, so if you’ve never tried goat this is the perfect meal to try it without fear. I’ve come to really love mole, and this one was no exception. I liked that it was not too chocolate-y, and the goat flavor remained the star. The meat came with four corn tortillas, some pickled onion and cilantro, and crema. I loved the pickled onions with the goat. The vinegar really played well with the sweet chocolate and the very savory goat. If you have a chance, definitely try this dish!
I dined with Ecliptic Brewing entirely by chance and now I’m happy to say it’s probably one of my favorite spots for lunch. It’s incredibly casual, has something for every person of any age, and the service was excellent! It’s perfect for a snack, or a full meal, and if you’re not a beer drinker, they also have a pretty good selection of wine and even some pretty yummy-looking cocktails. The finger steaks were $7, the sandwich was $12, and the goat upped the ante at $16. Beer was around $4.50 a pint. There are plenty affordable options on the menu that make it worth a second or even third trip! I’m definitely getting the feeling I may or may not become a regular here…we’ll see.