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'Get Giddy' at Porters

Cooler temperatures in late summer bring more folks out to dine at restaurants that offer deck and patio seating.

Porters Dining at the Depot in downtown Medford has the ticket for anyone looking for a small plate, a la carte meal or full dinner on its secluded, outdoor patio.

The patio seating is ideal in the spring when the wisteria is in bloom along the back fence, but a late summer repast there also is a welcome treat.

A "Get Giddy for 3 Fiddy" ... or so ... happy-hour menu is available from 4 to 6 p.m. in the bar and on the bar patio, also from 9 p.m. to close and all day Sunday. The restaurant's "Train Fare," a menu of a la carte meals and plates to share, is served anytime. Dinner is served at 5 p.m. 

The folks at Porters have thought past the ubiquitous jalapeno poppers, deep-fried mushrooms and onion rings to offer noshers a happy-hour menu of upscale, small portions. 

Look for skewers of grilled chicken — with buffalo or peanut sauce — served with hefty carrot and celery sticks and ranch dip. There's the restaurant's Rail House Salad with spring greens, tomatoes and lemon vinaigrette or a Caesar Salad with shaved Parmesan and croutons. Hummus is served with tomatoes, sweet pickled onions, cucumbers and pita wedges, and the artichoke, spinach and Parmesan dip is served with baked crostini. The fresh veggie plate includes carrot and celery sticks, cucumbers, olives, grape tomatoes and ranch-style dipping sauce. In fact, more than a few of the selections on the "Get Giddy for 3 Fiddy" menu are gluten free.

For heartier palates, there are Oregon shrimp cocktails and Pacific oyster shooters made with peppered vodka cocktail sauce. The restaurant's Classic Old Town Burger touts 1/3 pound of ground sirloin tips and Thousand Island dressing, add Oregon cheddar for 50 cents. There's a nightly "Giddy" special, and the Chef's Special Pizzette — perfect for an individual or a couple — is topped with something different each night.

These items range from $2.95 to $3.95 in price. Add a pint of regional brew or a glass of the restaurant's signature Gold Cap chardonnay and some good company for a pleasant break after work or on the weekend.

Porters is at 147 N. Front St. The restaurant is open daily. Call 541-857-1910 for reservations and information. 

Laurie Heuston

Fresh spring and Caesar salads, pizettes, grilled chicken skewers and more grace Porters' happy-hour food specials.