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Bites Nearby: Porter's Pub

The menu at this downtown Easton restaurant, styled after olde European pubs, may surprise you.

Imagine an old-world pub mixed with a contemporary bistro, and just for kicks, throw in a selection of more than 100 beers from around the world. Now you may have some idea of what is like.

In 1988, three brothers bought a partially-dilapidated building in downtown Easton, at the corner of Northampton and Seventh streets, without the first thought of owning a restaurant.

“We really loved the architecture in [Easton],” explained co-owner Larry Porter. “We bought the building and it came with a liquor license… by chance we got into the restaurant business.”

The three brothers--Larry, Ken, and Jeff Porter--remodeled the entire building. The stone walls, the hardwood floors, the beautiful handcrafted mahogany bar and entranceway; really, everything that makes up Porter’s Pub was built by the brothers.

Porter’s, which opened in 1990, features 10 beers on tap, including Guiness, Smithwick’s, and local favorite Yuengling. Their Mug Club consists of 60 different beers, out of a total selection of more than 100, which aspiring patrons drink from pewter flagons.

The prize for completing the list? Your own pewter mug with a personalized engraving. According to Larry Porter, there are more than 3,300 mugs in the Mug Club, most of which hang from the ceiling of the pub.

Probably the most surprising aspect of this small establishment, though, is its menu, replete with seafood like catfish, soft-shelled crab and scallops; an assortment of sandwiches with grilled chicken, crab cakes, and ribeye; and unique bistro salads.

Larry Porter explained, “We don’t have a fryer, so it forced us to be a little more creative.”

With no fried fare, a rarity for a place that most would label a bar, the menu at Porter’s is an uncommon treat. Everything comes in fresh, nothing is frozen. Produce comes in daily from local sources, including nearby of Easton.

According to Larry Porter, the Tuscany chicken with fresh mozzarella and prosciutto is a popular dish.  As is the Sea Gypsy, a Mediterranean seafood mélange that includes scallops, sautéed shrimp, and clams with artichoke hearts over fresh spinach.

“It’s really a full-fledged restaurant,” said Porter. “Our dinner hours get busy.”

Four nights a week, the pub features live music from an eclectic variety of genres, like jazz, rock, Celtic, Americana, and bluegrass, to name a few. Musicians are sometimes local artists, but some come from as far as Philadelphia, New York, and beyond.

“It’s a busy little place,” said Porter. “There’s a lot going on.”

Porter’s Pub is located at 700 Northampton Street in historic downtown Easton. It is open daily from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. and accepts all major credit cards. Stop down for a beer, join the Mug Club, or peruse the menu. You may be pleasantly surprised too.

Pamela Porter August 12, 2011 at 12:53 PM
I've never had a bad or even mediocre meal at Porter's. Their brunch is fabulous; for about the price of a greasy spoon diner breakfast, you can have some really good, elegant food (not to mention a complimentary Mimosa or Poinsettia! Now if they'd just add Bellinis...) :)
Walt August 12, 2011 at 04:53 PM
I agree, never had anything but great food and service at Porter's. My dining companion at most of my meals there was great too! Sit outside on a nice day for "extra" entertainment.

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