The Place: Huber's, 411 SW 3rd Avenue
What Prompted the Visit: Well, there's nothing better than drinking a bloody mary after your company's softball team dominates its rival. Besides, I needed something to cool my heckle ravaged throat. Also, I'd just been to the Bite of Oregon and I needed something to calm me after the mayhem of the event. And another thing... I had a serious Olympic hangover and needed a break from the TV schmaltz. Oh, and I live in the 13th booziest city in the US (only 13th?), as reported by Amy Ruiz in Good Morning News, and who needs a damn excuse to drink at 4pm on a Sunday afternoon, anyway?
The Room: Huber's flung open its doors in 1879 as the Bureau Saloon. The name was changed to Huber's by longtime bartender Frank Huber who became sole proprietor in 1887. After two moves, the great flood of 1894 and the stirring of countless cocktails, Huber's moved to its current location, where it withstood the pressures of prohibition and the steady passage of time. Huber's is a sanctuary, a cathedral to drinking. Its arched, stained glass windows (original fixtures from 1911) add lift and lightness to the room and its dark Philippine mahogany paneling. Huber's is an institution. There is a quietness, weight and comfort to this bar that works well for the sensitive hung-over soul.
The Bloody: Huber's bloody is your basic, straight ahead cobweb clearer. There aren't any gimmicks to this pint sized beauty. It is simple, strong and mixed with efficiency and grace. But there is something to a Huber's bloody mary that can't be found elsewhere. It has the flavor of integrity... But what would you expect. With nearly one hundred years of mixed drinks being passed across the same bar over and over again, there's a whole bunch more than vodka going into that drink.
Effect: Walked into a Sunday afternoon with a wider historical perspective and a slightly weaving gait. Did I mention that Huber's bloody is bloody strong?