After a boozy wedding in Portland, Oregon, recently, I ended up at fancy Hotel deLuxe’s Driftwood Room. It’s a ’60s-era Rat Pack lounge, whose original wood walls glow, showing their grain beautifully. When I asked how it was possible that the wood was all original, the bartender explained: “We took out all of this wood, cleaned it and finished it, and put it right back where it was.”

But this CHOW Pick is not really about the swanky design of the place. It’s about the Driftwood’s deep-fried cheese curds. Readers, I cannot think of a better drunken food than these greasy, crunchy, elastic curds. They disappeared almost immediately from the paper-lined silver goblet they were served in, and when we tried to get more, we learned that the kitchen had closed. My advice: Get two orders as soon as you arrive at the bar.

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