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14 November 2005

I Got Schooled in Portland

Welcome_2Welcome to the Kennedy School in Portland Oregon.  To help you enjoy your stay, the school offers a theater, a restaurant, several bars, and a soaking pool (megasized hot tub).

On a recent trip to Portland, I wanted to stay someplace unique.  And unique doesn't begin to describe McMenamins' Kennedy School.  It opened as a primary school in 1915 and educated the young uns of Portland's northeast suburbs until 1975.  Then it was condemmed to the rubble heap.  The McMenamin brothers saved the school and revitalized it - infusing it with historical artwork reflecting the histories of Kennedy's students and teachers.




Edgefieldsyrah_1It is now, in my opinion, one of the swankiest hotels in Portland.  The school is part of the McMenamins stable of places for "families and friends."  The concept is unique, and quite enjoyable.  Additionally, for the wine lover, the brothers M also operate a winery - Edgefield Winery

I was a bit concerned that the winery was simply a novelty to be served at the McMenamins' restaurant & bars.  To my surprise, several of the wines were fine examples of Northwestern U.S. vino.

I sampled:
2002 Black Rabbit Red - mostly Cabernet & Merlot with some Pinot, Syrah, and Grenache as accent spices.  The perfect house red.  It's smooth, with subdued fruit and a little spice

2002 Chukar Ridge Vineyard Syrah
- Very good new world Syrah.  Black cherries and a bit 'o pepper

Edgefield_pinot_11999 Winemaker's Reserve Pinot Noir
- Sadly, I think age has sapped this Pinot's strength.  Structureless and underwhelming

2004 Pinot Gris
- P.Gris of the simple persuasion.  a pleasant enough wine to drink while you're waiting for your heirloom tomato salad

2004 Yamhill County White Riesling
- Just a bit over the line in terms of sweetness, yet enough acidity to save it from syrupville.  Another good white to sip at the bar

If you happen to find yourself in the Northwest, check out one of the McMenamins' fun & funky properties.


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Believe it or not, the McMenamins are cousins of my mother's family (which makes them *something* to me, but I haven't worked it out). They have quite a thing going on in the Pacific NW.


Indeed they do. I admired the balance between hipness & easy-going neihborhood hangout. I never saw any atitude. I'm curious to visit some of their other spots and see if a similar atmosphere exists.


I haven't been to the Kennedy School, but for the most part, the McMenamin's properties are fairly consistent in atmosphere, despite the fact that they range in size from pub-in-a-strip-mall on up.

How they manage to maintain such consistency while keeping each location unique is a mystery.


I admired the balance between hipness & easy-going neihborhood hangout. I never saw any atitude.
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