best restaurant in Portland

Girl’s Pint Out

…And ironically, none of us girls actually ordered beer!

Saturday evening I headed out for the evening for my first official “Blogger Meetup”! I organized it awhile ago because I’ve been wanting to meet some of the Portland bloggers that I read every day and follow on Twitter.

The meetup was at one of my favorite Portland restaurants: The Sapphire Lounge. It’s in the trendy SE Hawthorne area and they have an excellent drink menu and really, really good food. The service has always been stellar at The Sapphire. All around it’s always been a fun experience going there.

It was a really nice Fall day in Portland. It sprinkled a little bit during the day but it wasn’t raining much, so that was good. I was glad I got to the Sapphire a little early because it got really crowded really fast!

The other Portland bloggers that joined me were Kalin from I’m an Eating Machine! and my friend Ember from Tigress Fitness. I’ve been wanting to meet Kalin in person for ages. She cracks me up. If you haven’t read her blog, I suggest you do. I suggest this post–it had my rolling on the floor. Kalin is Klassy.

The Sapphire is such a cool place with a retro vibe. It’s the perfect place for intimate conversations.

Ember is the friend that I helped with swimming earlier this year in preparation for her first sprint triathlon. I’m really glad that Ember and I are becoming friends. We ran in the same circles for years but never really “met” until recently.

I love meeting new people–especially when we have tons in common. I’ve successfully met and became friends with another blogger and had a great time! I’m glad this second attempt was also a success.

Did I mention that the drink menu at The Sapphire is extensive? It’s an impressive book of all sorts of drinks to appease anyone’s craving. Their specialties are in the whiskey or martini department but don’t let that deter you if that’s not your thing. They have excellent wine too.

This time I ended up ordering the Nina Simone: Pomegranate & Grand Marnier with something sparkly in it. Mmmm. I loved this drink! It has become my new favorite drink at the Sapphire.

We’d made it there for the happy hour menu but my favorite dish isn’t on the happy hour menu. I decided to go for it and just order it: the butternut squash enchilada.

I love this dish and someday I’d love to try and recreate it at home. I’ve ordered something similar at other restaurants but they were never as good as this one. Ember and Kalin both ordered the Meze plate from the happy hour menu: hummus, tzatziki and tapenade with warm pita and cucumber. It looked really tasty.

Ember, Me, Kalin

We all got to know each other better and talked about running and triathlons, food and other things. Before we knew it, two and a half hours had passed. I’m so glad we all met!

QUESTION: Have you met any online people in real life?