Dinner at McMenamins Power Station Pub.

The main reason Keith and I went to out to Oregon — aside from it 1) being a great state, and 2) being home to some friends — is because it was where my lovely friend Lydia was getting married to her just-as-lovely fiance Andy. Of course, I was excited to attend the ceremony and celebrate at the party afterwards, but I was also really anticipating our stay at a McMenamins, a Portland-based chain of brewpubs, hotels and music venues. I had heard a lot about the converted elementary school and the renovated and glamorous movie theater, so the idea of staying in a former nursing home/farm was something I was looking forward to.

I definitely wasn’t disappointed with the lodging at McMenimins; our room featured a series of interesting murals, and each guest room’s doors were painted with woodland scenes or something similar. While it’s not typically my aesthetic, it was all still very charming.

I just wish I could say the same about the food.

There are three places that serve meals at McMenimins Edgefield: the Black Rabbit Restaurant, the Loading Dock Grill and the Power Station Pub. Marcella, Keith and I chose the Power Station — well, I should say we ended up at the Power Station because the drizzly weather forced us to go indoors, and because we didn’t want to pay Portland prices for a meal at the Black Rabbit.

The three of us were all starving, so we decided to split the spinach and artichoke dip ($6.90). Theoretically it was a blend of three cheese and jalapeños, along with the spinach and artichoke; also, I think the word “creamy” was used to describe the dip. In reality, the dip was grainy, and oddly flavorless. The highlight, for lack of a better word, were the tortilla chips, about which I can only say one thing: “salty.” Oh, and “red,” so make that two things. Neither of which add up to much.

As usual, I couldn’t make up my mind as to what I wanted to eat — but this time, it was because nothing at all seemed remotely appetizing. I went with the cheeseburger with Oregon’s own Tillamook cheddar ($7.75), for lack of desire for anything else. When my plate arrived, I again was forced to think in singular words. In this case, that word was “sloppy.” Honestly, I can’t even come up with a second. Though, well, I suppose there’s always “orange.”

I know I’m being harsh, but the fact of the matter is that — actually, I suppose it’s pretty clear what I think. It’s disappointing, of course, to not only eat but also pay for a meal that makes you unhappy, but sometimes I guess you just don’t have a choice.

Power Station Pub at McMenamins Edgefield
2126 SW Halsey Street
Troutdale, Oregon 97060