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Jonathan Young-Ellis gives the Old Market Pub and Brewery an extraordinarily sincere rating

SUBMITTED PHOTO: JONATHAN YOUNG-ELLIS - Jonathan Young-Ellis gives the Old Market Pub and Brewery an extraordinarily sincere rating.

There are times when we go out to dinner to celebrate in style and look for an exceptional flavor sensation. Portland is obviously one of the very best places to discover such establishments.

However, there are the other times when we're just looking for a good, quick place to get something decent to eat and fast food is not a desirable option. Such was the state of things a few evenings ago.

My wife Georgina and I went to see an early showing of "Black Panther" on a Wednesday night and decided at the last minute to have some dinner before the show. (That, of course, made it a date, which was my evil plan in the first place). We stopped at The Old Market Pub & Brewery at 6959 S.W. Multnomah Blvd.

Like everyone in the neighborhood, we'd driven by the place — which sits in the curve of Multnomah Boulevard — plenty of times without stopping, even when we were hungry (or thirsty), because it always looks so busy. As anticipated, the parking lot at 5:30 p.m. was indeed packed, but we took a chance anyway.

Turns out the place is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. In spite of a fairly large crowd, there were plenty of tables and we were seated immediately. As we entered, we informed the host that we had a bit of a time constraint, and he let our server know before she even came to our table.

Let's just say that the young woman who took care of us earned a hefty tip. She was personable, fast and efficient. Our food — two amazing grass-fed, Oregon-organic, hickory-bacon cheeseburgers — was delivered in record time.

We ordered one of them with a side of really delicious shoestring fries, and the other came with a generous portion of Kettle Chips. Of course, we shared the fries and chips, but the fries won the contest hands down. Thankfully, the fries were on my plate where I could properly defend them.

The atmosphere is light and airy. There are large TV screens, displaying sports of all kinds, all around the dining area and over the bar, and they can easily be seen from every table. Such a place, filled with people as it was, could easily be too loud, but fortunately the TVs are muted and we were able to have an easy conversation without having to resort to screaming at one another.

Discovering unassuming restaurants like this one, particularly those that offer gluten-free buns for the burgers, is a real treat.

The sincerity of a place is not always the food, nor the service or the look and feel of the building. It is all of these things assembled with the idea of conveying a welcome to longtime customers as well as to those who wander in without a clue or expectations of any kind. Having an experience of sincerity is that feeling we walk away with and carry into the rest of our day or night. That's what happened that Wednesday night; we went to the movies with a sense of satisfaction that we were valued customers of a place new to us, one that's just around the corner and down the road.

Evaluation: Extraordinarily sincere!

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