June 17 2021
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  Restaurant review   Bullard Restaurant and Bar  

Story by Janey Wong - Story Source
Published on Tuesday March 16, 2021 - 3:23 AM
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PORTLAND, Oregon - Bullard Restaurant and Bar at 813 SW Alder St in Portland, may be located in a hotel, but it's not yo mama's hotel restaurant. The Tex-Mex-inspired shrine to meat is a chef-forward destination even for locals. Top Chef alum Doug Adams' first restaurant opened in 2019 following a celebrated run at highly-lauded Imperial, a pioneer in the nouveau hotel restaurant scene which was headed by Adams' mentor Vitaliy Paley. Named after Adams' hometown, the upscale smokehouse joint has been weathering the pandemic with "hot n ready" and "reheat ready" service, slinging a slew of mouthwatering rotating specials that switch up weekly.

On the bar side of the operation, the cocktail menu underwent a full refresh a month and a half ago by former lead bartender Lindsay Baker. Stalwarts like the Bullard Michelada and Margarita haven't gone anywhere, and are now joined by popular Texan quencher "Ranch Water," a "Cactus Cooler," and more. Cocktail standards are also on the menu to represent Abigail Hall, the hotel's currently shuttered bar.

With a fitting name for this era, the "Lost My Marbles" swirls together Hendricks Gin, Ancho Verde liqueur, strawberry, lime, and celery bitters. The menu acknowledges that it may sound a little weird, but it tastes great! Baker built the drink (it's her fave on the menu, if that sells ya) around the Ancho Verde, and it shows. The poblano-flavored liqueur is definitely the star here. A pleasant waft of spice hits your nose on the cocktail's way to your mouth, followed by a warmth that awakens your tastebuds.

Baker describes the kitchen as the hook of Bullard with the bar being the accessory, so she very much draws her inspiration from the food. "Chili peppers, crushed and dried, are ever-present in our kitchen, so I tried to utilize [the liqueur] to mirror that. The strawberry keeps it feeling a little lighter and brighter. I think cocktail menus in the winter tend to go a little dense and a little more spirit-forward, but there's no reason in my mind not to have those bright summer flavors, especially right now."

I am unashamed to say that my Taco Bell consumption isn't restricted to drunken nights. Any other Sausage Breakfast Crunchwrap enthusiasts out there? The Bell may be hot garbage, but it's lovable garbage, okay?! Anyway, when I saw that Bullard was doing their version of a Crunchwrap, I pre-ordered immediately. My sincere apologies, readers… this menu item was a special that was only available for two days last week. If you're really jonesing for one, keep a sharp eye on Bullard's "gram, because this is the third time it has popped up and I'm almost positive the fan favorite will return again.