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Hopheads heaven has more than beer

Bar of the Week: Green Dragon
by: KATIE HARTLEY, For serious beer hounds, the ever-changing taps are the real draw at Green Dragon, but the pub has offerings to attract eaters big and small, too.

If you're a microbrew connoisseur, you have probably at least heard of this place. At 4 p.m. on a recent Monday, nearly every seat was taken at the long, L-shaped bar, and a dozen or more drinkers were studying their brews of varying hues with the intensity of Gary Kasparov at a world championship chess game.

Serious ones order their beers in small glasses, so they can try more of what's on the board before reaching their saturation points.

A couple of chalkboards list the daily kegs, and they change faster than Miley Cyrus' reputation. I've been three times, and each time my first choice had 'just blown,' no pun intended. No matter, I left the choice up to the server and wasn't disappointed - though you may want to consider the percentage of alcohol. A shortie of Bear Republic's Crazy Ivan made my head spin.

The industrial warehouse space near Grand Central Bowl is bisected into bar and bistro, but both offer a full menu. The bar has a few tables in addition to the counter seating and a bank of pinball machines.

If you're there for happy hour, try the crackery-crusted pizza of the day - a deal at $6. The daily panini with fries (frites) is $6.50; crowd-pleasing Swedish meatballs are $5 (and post-happy hour they're only available to the under-12 set off the kids' menu).

On the restaurant side, there are surprising kid-friendly touches - chalkboard topped tables for drawing on, a real changing table in the bathroom, highchairs and the kids' menu.

Grown-ups can choose from high-end sandwiches like a smoked-salmon croque-madame or goat cheese, fig and walnut (and if you want to discuss whether it's better matched with a pilsner or a porter, you'll find an informed beer steward). The unusual dinner menu also includes beet gnocchi with walnuts in gorgonzola cream, country beef stew and Cajun meatloaf.

But in additional to the standard brewpub crowd, people come here to sniff and sip and swirl the beer. Visit the Web site to sign up to learn about its special brewers events.

- Audrey Van Buskirk

928 S.E. Ninth Ave., 503-517-0606, www.pdxgreendragon.com, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday-Saturday, happy hour 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily