769 Congress Street, Portland, Maine
Prohibition era cocktails are all the rage in the bar world today but no one in Portland really does them better than Bramhall. If you haven’t been to Bramhall since the 90’s you’ll be in for a surprise. They’ve completely remodeled, embracing their subterranean location and filling it with glittering bottles, rich wood accents, and lots of candles. All of this set against the brick walls makes for a super cozy place to hang out with friends or a romantic place to take your date.
Happy hour at Bramhall includes $4 red & white house wines, $5 draft special, $2 High Lifes as well as food specials. You can snack on the Frito Pie, Deviled Eggs, or Rice Krispie treats for half price. All this occurs from 4-6 pm Monday through Friday. If you happen to be a hospital worker, you can also enjoy happy hour Monday – Friday from 7:30 – 9:00pm.
Bramhall has an excellent selection of beers, wines, and spirits so you are sure to find something to please your palate if you aren’t enthused by the happy hour specials. I was tempted off the list by the Four-Five-Six cocktail. It is a mix of Johnnie Walker Black, spiced vanilla honey, Raygun orange bitters and hops bitters. It was easily one of the top cocktails that I have ever had! It is well balanced and and somehow stays tasty even as the ice melts. It was so good I had 2! My companion opted for the draft special which was an Allagash white that evening.
I ended up staying for dinner. The food at Bramhall is delicious. It’s pub fare but fun and well crafted. I ordered up the loaded crisps. These are house seasoned chips smothered in nacho cheese, bacon, and sour cream. SO good. The crisps are delicious. They have a hint of mesquite barbecue but the spice level is just right. I also decided to grab a grilled ham and cheese which featured apricot jam. I love a place that embraces my jelly/jam on grilled cheese aesthetic. It also is supposed to have jalepenos, but I asked to have them left out. My dining parter had the cubano. We were both immensely happy with our food. With a cold wind blowing outside it was amazing to be cozy and enjoying some great food.
If you miss the days of the old Bramhall, never fear. They embrace their history and still feature the Jerks of Grass at least once a month. They also have some great specials at other points in the week including their Power to the People Whiskey Wednesday pour which allows you to sample some rare and expensive whiskey and scotch for a reasonable price. The selection changes weekly. Check them out and follow them on social media. You may find a secret password unlocking happy hour prices all night long.
If you’re looking for a great place to hang out, have exceptional cocktails, and enjoy some fun food go check out Bramhall.