I recently had a 16-ounce beer with my workday lunch, because I felt it was the right thing to do.
I had set out that day to try The Greeks of Peaks food truck. But food trucks are mobile, and one has to go where they go. On this day, the truck was at the relatively new Austin Street Brewery on Fox Street in Portland. The brewery has a large, sleek-looking tasting room with big garage doors that were letting in the sunshine and summer breeze. The place also has a shady covered seating area, with picnic tables.
So it would be impolite, if not downright wrong, to eat my lunch in Austin Street’s comfortable digs without at least sampling their wares, I reasoned. So I ordered a tall glass of Patina Pale Ale, an American Pale Ale, for $6. It was crisp and refreshing, with a hint of citrus, and was a good companion for the gyro I ordered from Greeks of Peaks. Plus, it gave me something to do while waiting the five minutes or so for my lunch.
I ordered a gyro with chicken, for $13. It was bigger than most gyros I’ve seen. It came in a very soft, slightly thick piece of pita bread that did a good job of keeping all the ingredients and sauce inside. Besides tender, charred chunks of chicken, the gyro had lettuce, tomato, red onion, Greek olives, basil aioli, feta cheese and tzatziki sauce. I also could have ordered a gyro with lamb for $14 or with tofu for $12.
The menu changes based on seasons, ingredient availability and “what we feel like cooking” according to the Greeks of Peaks website. So you’re favorite Greek dish might not always be there on the day you find the truck. I was hoping for spanakopita, but it wasn’t on the menu that day.
Aside from my gyro, other offerings included a Greek salad of lettuce, tomato, red onion, cucumbers, Greek olives, feta cheese and house dressing, for $7. Tofu was an extra $4, chicken $5 and lamb $6. There also were marinated and grilled souvlaki skewers served with basil aioli ($4 for tofu, $5 for chicken and $6 for lamb).
One intriguing item I might try some time were the grilled haloumi “fries,” described as warm Greek cheese served with marinara dipping sauce, for $7. On the Greeks of Peaks website, other rotating menu items include spanakopita triangles and house-made Greek dips with warm pita bread. Some seasonal specials made in the past have included lobster triangles, watermelon and feta salad and blueberry-bourbon lamb riblets. On its website, Greeks of Peaks also has a calendar showing where it will be day to day through October, including at other local breweries.
As I ate my lunch from The Greeks of Peaks at Austin Street Brewery, I watched people walking through the revitalized East Bayside neighborhood and some kids playing soccer in the park across the street. As I sipped my beer, I reflected on the trend of food trucks parking at breweries and realized it’s really the right thing to do.