Walking down 12th Street from Belmont towards Hawthorne Boulevard, there is a rust-colored building two stories tall with a fence around it.
It looks like the kind of place you go to get antiques, the ones given to you by a slightly off, gray-haired person with a beard.
In reality, you are looking at Roadside Attraction, an unusual Portland kind of place; it’s a pub, a restaurant and an interesting gathering point located at 1000 SE 12th Ave.
Roadside Attraction makes the column this week because we’re moving into spring. Both outside and inside, there are unique places to sit and enjoy a pint while talking to your friends.
Sitting outside while enjoying a pint and talking to your friends is becoming a desirable thing to do. The fence in the front area of Roadside Attraction allows one to do this in a different setting while not worrying about random people you don’t know walking up and asking if you want to see them do back flips for a quarter.
There’s a pool table and dartboard inside, as well as a decent bar menu and a nice selection of brews and hard liquors.
Even if you just get a tea, walk around and check out the different interior and exterior locations, it is worth a visit. The wooden fence that surrounds the front area disguises what lies within. Like the Shanghai Tunnel, it takes a little bit of looking around but it’s worth the time.
A little over 12 blocks away is the Rocking Frog. Located at 2511 SE Belmont St., the Rocking Frog is a coffee house and a bistro.
It was once the home of Moody’s Doughnuts, a cool doughnut shop that was only open Saturday and Sunday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The farmhouse kiosks still in the outdoor seating of the Rocking Frog is not the only thing remaining of Moody’s.
The doughnut fryer and recipe now reside within the bistro. It is a simple formula consisting of only four varieties: plain, cinnamon, vanilla and chocolate dipped.
A half-dozen donuts will cost you five dollars, and they’re cooked when you order them. These alone are worth the trip to the Rocking Frog. The antithesis to Voodoo Doughnuts, it is a simple treat.
The Rocking Frog can look like a house as you’re driving up or down Belmont Street. A coffee shop with both indoor and outdoor seating, it’s perfect for sunny days and overcast days. In classic bistro style, the menu can change from week to week; there are staples, however.
It is a good place to study, offering wi-fi and private seating in an interesting atmosphere.
It is also located in a central position. If you walk out and down Belmont, you have unique restaurants to go to; walk up Belmont a little and there are restaurants, bars and other attractions to visit.
The Rocking Frog and Roadside Attraction are architecturally interesting, with lots of nooks and crannies to explore. They also have an atmosphere that is very conducive to friendly conversation and the enjoyment of weather, both sunny and cloudy.