Old Pal

Dear Liza,

When you were here in April, we couldn’t take you to our local HobNob because they had closed. The business-killing Pandemic and the owner’s own fight with Covid caused this fun local favorite to close up shop.

But now a new place has opened up in the same building. It is called Old Pal, and is run by Jeremy Larter and Emily Bixler. According to the website, they have an environmental approach to food, using low-carbon footprint, local, organic ingredients.

Co-owner Jeremy, busy on opening night!

Last week, we got to attend their opening. It was delightful and delicious.

The interior has been redecorated to be more modern, with deep blue walls for accent and white ceilings for brightness. The ping pong table is gone, and there is a check-in desk right by the door to eliminate the awkward entrance.

The furnishings have cleaner lines with smaller tables. There are no booths, which makes the space feel bigger, but also creates some echo. The art is very earthy and woodsy, adding to the ’land-friendly’ vibe.

Since we are three, we were seated at “The Godfather Table”which seats four. We were served by Marika, who brought some wine and answered our questions.

I had a Narragansett barratta, which is a creamy cheese wrapped up in mozzarellas, set in a tasty splash of strawberry and basil with pickled rhubarb. Eaten little by little with the crusty bread from Ken’s Artisanal bakery, it was like a very rich cheese sandwich with touches of jam and pesto.

Grandpa Nelson had wine and Auntie Bridgett had a big salad, and we chatted with neighbors as they came and went, eager to hear news and their opinions of the place.

Old Pal is a new friend, and I’m sure we will spend many happy hours there, eating and chatting and watching the world go by.

Love,

Grandma Judy

Author: Judy

I am a new transplant to Portland from Salinas, a small city in Central California. This is a blog about my new city.

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