March 2, 2012

When It Snows... I Go To Ruski's.

Wait, what what what!? I have never written about Ruski's?!? Shame. I spend enough time there. 

For those of you not familiar, Ruski's Tavern is located at 212 Danforth Street in Portland's West End. This summer, when A1 moved into our current place, I ended up hanging out at Ruski's a lot. Her then-roommate was a regular (his wedding photo now hangs over the bar), so we frequently had the regular treatment spill over onto us. There's always a colorful cast of characters on both sides of the bar. 

Recently, I ended up eating there for a late dinner and then a snow day breakfast the next day. But I have a love-hate relationship with Ruski's... I like its scrappy, dive bar qualities, but sometimes am straight up annoyed by the default shitty attitude coming from *some of* the bartenders (I stress—not all, just some). 

It's one thing to be rude to an obnoxious customer, but when I haven't done anything to deserve the ire, I get a little ruffled. Like, I'm a nice girl, patient, sympathetic to servers/bartenders, usually not too drunk. So check your attitude about little things, please. 

The food at Ruski's is only OK, but frequently serves a greater purpose than quality (soaking up all the booze). Unfortunately, despite being excited about the burger because of a recent glowing review, the one I had on Wednesday night was overcooked. Still serviceable, however. 

Snow day brunches at Ruski's are always fun, especially if there's day drinking involved. Last snowstorm, there was a big crew of mustachioed Portland firefighters in there, consuming loads of Miller Light. I prefer the brass monkey (cheap beer and orange juice), made with a Miller High Life. 

The Hangover Special ($8.95) with two eggs, corn beef hash, hash browns and a side of toast (biscuits in this case!) always hits the spot. Their Eggs Benedict is surprisingly good, and the pancakes always come out right, fluffy and rich in a way that can only be achieved through aged batter and a hot griddle.

I honestly can't say I'd recommend Ruski's for the food, but I enjoy drinking there. If you stay long enough, order something that comes out of the fryer; they'll even make you gangster poutine, by adding brown gravy and cheese to your fries. 

But really, the people watching is my favorite part.