Bit House Saloon made its debut on July 31, and the first reviews are out. The mega-bar has a 16-barrel program that features some exclusive, one-off creations by reputed distillers, as well as 28 taps serving everything from cold brew coffee to wines crafted specifically for the bar. Without further ado, here's the word on the street on Bit House Saloon.
The food is carnivalesque - Less than two weeks after it opened, Willamette Week editor Matthew Korfhage reviewed the "cavernous old-time saloon" that "turns out was one of the most underutilized old buildings in Portland." According to article's comment section, it's debatable whether "the liquor shelves fell" on "opening night" shattering "thousands of dollars of rare Japanese whiskey," but there's no doubt that Korfhage enjoyed the "house-blended sherry," which "tastes pleasantly like toffee." He thought the tap cocktails were "mostly sweet" and "very complicated" and recommended the " K23" and the "fancy house slushies." He also described the food menu as "downright carnivalesque." We're leaning toward interpreting carnivalesque as a good thing.
The absolutely amazing burger has too much mayo - Last week, Portland's own Samurai Artist of The New School Beer blog quickly placed Bit House Salon's burger on his Top 10 Burger and Beer Destinations in Portland, calling it a "surprise addition" that "blew us away and was the highlight of our first day of reviews." It has an "upscale Coney Island sort of feel" (again with the carnival reference?). The only negative: The burger had too much of the "mayo heavy secret sauce it was drowning in."
Amateur review websites get a slow start - Bit House Saloon is already known as an underground bar that's about to explode onto the scene. Perhaps that's why so few people have reviewed it on OpenTable, UrbanSpoon, and Zagat, and there are only 9 Yelp reviews: 7 5-star reviews and 2 4-star reviews. People tend to agree that the bartenders are "exceedingly friendly"; the drinks are "exquisite"; the food is "diverse"; and, in general, the bar excels at finding "inventive ways to put booze in things."