A nondescript store front hidden among in an unassuming area, Hale Pele doesn’t seem like a tiki bar from the outside. What greets you inside though is a fantastic little bar. You immediately notice the long deep set bar where the seats are quite low and the bartenders are actually set down low as well to make for a comfortable and inviting tiki experience. I almost didn’t make it out here as I was only in the Portland area for a very short time and the schedule I was on barely allowed for the jaunt down into the city proper. Luckily I made it! And boy I’m so glad I did.
The Mai Tai
The Mai Tai is made by Hale Pele to the Vic’s standard of perfection and had a great frost on the outside on the glass. A good tell right away that you’re going to have a good experience in your Mai Tai is some frost on the glass, mint, and the spent half of the lime adorning the top. That’s the way it should be! Nom. Second beverage was the 151 swizzle. The 151 swizzle is quite close to the Queen’s Park Swizzle which is slowly becoming one of my favorite beverages. Strong and not too sweet, heavy on the bitters, bitters, and more bitters. This one was great. Swizzled perfectly as to require the necessary ‘bib’ on the outside as to not freeze your digits.
Look at this menu though! So many fun things to explore through. Sad I could only come here the one night. Not only was this menu great, service warm and friendly, but whenever someone ordered, what I’m guessing were bowl style drinks, there would be several show events that would happen in the whole bar. For one the lights would start flickering into red and the tiki gods would start chanting; A second had a tropical storm approaching then arriving with thunderous lightning (with lightning fx to boot!). Super fun.
Don’t pass this place up. Tell me how the rest of those drinks are!
…and here is the rest of the menu, good stuff!