Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Brunch in Portland

One of my favorite things to do on the weekend is to go out for a big brunch, and luckily Portland has a ton of great options! Since we're halfway to the weekend already (woo!), I thought I'd share a few of the more popular spots that we've visited (and enjoyed) for brunch in the past few months.

Located in NE Portland, this place is very popular! They serve Southern-style food and having lived in the South for a bit, I can attest to the fact that they do it well. As the name would suggest, they are known for their delicious biscuits but they've got a variety of great dishes on their menu. I've only ever been to their location on NE Alberta, but apparently they will be opening a new location SE Division next year! (They also have a tent at the PSU Farmer's Market, just FYI!)

There is usually a line out the door on the weekends, but it seems to move pretty quickly!
 For some reason, the color/contrast on the food photos I took at Pine State was really off--sorry about that! I ordered the Pine State Fried Club, which is a trio of fried grit cakes topped with fried chicken and spiced honey, pimento cheese and a fried green tomato, and country ham with white cheddar. It's a great thing to order if you want to try a little bit of everything!
Obviously these photos are from our visit to Pine State quite a few weeks ago now (I'm way behind on blogging about a lot of the restaurants we've visited!), but they do have both indoor/outdoor seating.
Delicious biscuits and marionberry jam!
At Pine State, you wait in line, go up to the counter and place your order, take a number, find a seat, and then they bring your food out to you. I tried to inconspicuously take a picture of the menu, but judging by the look on the cashier's face I failed. Awkward.
One of the biscuit sandwiches--pretty sure this one is the Reggie!
(I realize the awful color on this picture makes it look kind of gross...but I promise, it's delicious!)
Edison lighbulbs inside mason jars--doesn't get much more Portland than that.
Hash Ups, which are delicious hashbrowns smothered with ham, mushrooms, onions, and cheese.
Pine State is an awesome place to go when the weather's nice :)
Hushpuppies, which are actually pretty spicy!

If you like biscuits and gravy, then you definitely need to check out Pine State!

Pine State Biscuits on Urbanspoon

When people talk about where to go for brunch in Portland, Mother's is a spot that always seems to come up in the conversation. Located downtown, I had heard that the wait for brunch on the weekend at this place can get really crazy. I decided to finally give it a try when my parents were visiting last month; we went on a Friday morning around 9:30am and only had a wait of about 15 minutes, which wasn't bad at all. I really liked the decor at Mother's, which I'd describe as sort of cozy yet glamorous. I also liked that their liked that their style was a little bit more traditional than brunches at other restaurants (aka they call it breakfast) and I thought that the prices were very reasonable relative to the quality of the food and the nice atmosphere.

Mother's actually has their own blend of Stumptown Coffee, and it's such a perfect breakfast coffee...
I definitely enjoyed multiple refills during our visit!
My mom got the Greek Frittata which had lots of spinach, kalamata olives, and feta cheese.
My dad got Mike's Special Scramble, which featured prosciutto, tomatoes, and basil.
I couldn't resist going for my favorite breakfast food--chocolate chip pancakes!
They were super light and fluffy and seriously delicious!
The bright dining room is such a perfect setting for a brunch, especially on a rainy Portland day.
I loved all the beautiful chandeliers everywhere!
We were stuffed from our breakfast, but I'd love to come back and try their awesome baked goods!
Mother's has a full bar and it seems like it would be great for lunch or dinner as well.

After trying out Mother's, I can definitely see why it's so popular. I enjoyed the more traditional vibe of the menu, and my parents and I each loved what we ordered. I loved the pretty yet relaxed decor, and it's definitely a place I'll be going back to for brunch. I'd just advise going early to avoid the wait!

Mother's Bistro & Bar on Urbanspoon

Slappy Cakes
I have passed by this place on SE Belmont so many times, and I've always wanted to check it out...mainly because I'm a sucker for cute names/signage/branding. We finally decided to give it a try after Cameron picked me up from the airport after my trip to Florida; it was an absolutely gorgeous fall morning and this place had their giant garage doors open to enjoy the nice weather!

The whole concept of this place is that they have tables with griddles in the middle where you can cook your own pancakes. So basically you're paying money to go to a restaurant to make your own food (and a food that's super easy to make at that), which I realize is pretty gimmicky. But honestly, I though it was adorable! Because of the concept, it does tend to attract a lot of families with kids vs. the trendier brunch places, which I suppose is either a good or a bad thing depending on who you're talking to. However, I enjoyed the clean yet whimsical decor and the relaxed vibe.

We actually opted to sit at the bar during our visit because we didn't feel like waiting for a table, and it ended up being great. They have lots of other menu options (that they will cook for you) beyond the make-your-own pancakes, so don't rule this place out if you aren't interested in a DIY breakfast.
Cameron and I ordered a few different things to split, starting with one of the specials--an apple fritter drenched in pear butter. Really yummy, but really sweet.
We also got an order of candied bacon with hazelnuts, which was really sweet and chewy!
We ordered one chocolate chip pancake, and honestly this was probably our least favorite dish out of everything we ordered. It wasn't a bad pancake by any means, it was just ok.
However, on their menu they have a bunch of different types of pancake batter you can choose from, along with lots of different add-ins/toppings, so next time I go here I'll probably experiment with something a little more creative!
Finally, we ordered the Pork Belly Benedict which we both loved!

Overall, I found this place to be really charming and thought that their food was pretty good. Is it the best breakfast place in Portland? Probably not. But it's definitely a cute place that would be fun to go again, especially with my nieces or a group of friends for a low-key breakfast.

Slappy Cakes on Urbanspoon

I've still got lots of brunch places in Portland on my list to try including Broder, Screen Door, and Roost, to name a few! Cheers to the weekend (in a few days)!


  1. oh yum! i've done the pine state biscuit market stand for brunch! so good. my favorite breakfast food so far has been at bakeshop pdx. handpies to die for

  2. Man you've really made the rounds! Everything looks delicious!! My personal favorite is Mothers--but I also love Pine State's HH :)

  3. Screen Door is amazing:) I've also gone there for dinner! I just went to Jam with some friends and that was pretty good and had great drinks!

  4. We love Pine State Biscuits & Luke loves the Reggie! :) Mother's is a classic & I've never actually been to Slappy Cakes. Some other good spots are Besaws, Tasty n Sons & Cafe Nell... actually there's A LOT more as you are finding out :)

  5. hit up mothers a few weeks ago. always good and worth the wait!

  6. Nothing against Pine State but I went to TILT on Swan Island over the weekend, and the breakfast biscuit sandwiches are so so goooood!

  7. Great places you recommended and have on your list to do! I would humbly also submit Meriwether and the food carts The Big Egg and Flavourspot! I also hear good things about Olympic Provisions

  8. What is it about brunch? I just love it!! Pine State is worth the wait, although we went really late one night and there wasn't one which was nice. I am not into collard greens but I'll eat them there, and now they're the standard by which we judge all other collards, ha! They may kick us out of Portland for this, but we still haven't been to Mother's Bistro :( Or Slappy Cakes, that looks like so much fun!

  9. your pictures are amazing! I am so sad we didn't wait in line at Pine State. The line at their booth at the Portland Farmer's market was pretty short! I need to go back STAT

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