Tales of a wandering lesbian

Waffles, and Hashbrowns, and Biscuits – Oh My!

Every couple of weeks, Leigh and I find ourselves venturing out to one of Portland’s great breakfast spots. There are so many, that we never run out of new places to try. Even when we think we’ve experienced a place, it’ll do something new, like open a take-out window.

Take, for example, the Waffle Window at the Bread & Ink Cafe. I’ve never been a huge fan of the cafe itself, but the Waffle Window is inspired.

It is literally a walk-up window in the side of a building where you order plates of the most amazing Belgian waffles ever.

Waffle Window

You can just see the outdoor seating area to the right of the window.  Families were bundled up, making love to their waffles on the picnic tables.

Leigh and I went a couple of weeks ago to see what the hype was about.

Now, don’t worry.  We still love Flavour Spot.  These waffles are different.  I’m starting to see waffles the way I see pasta.  There are endless, delicious ways to prepare and top these wonderful carbs.  I don’t want to limit myself by having a favorite.

When Leigh and I try a new place, we maximize our experience, so we will often each order something, and then split another item. Despite the size of the plates emerging from the Waffle Window, Leigh ordered the “not-a-waffle” biscuit and gravy, I ordered a fabulous seasonal waffle featuring huckleberries, blueberry compote, panna cotta and fresh whipped cream. Then, just for good measure, we shared a Nutella and Fresh Banana waffle. (It also had fudge and whipped cream.)

Waffle Goodness

Um, yeah.  These were good.  Really good.

The berry waffle was amazing.  Fresh huckleberries and lemon are wonderful together, and the panna cotta and whipped cream sauce were light, sweet and went down like a dream.

I didn’t try the gravy (it was sausage), but Leigh was a fan.  It was a big biscuit and a hefty portion of gravy.  Looked good.

This isn’t scientific, but I have found that anything containing Nutella is approximately 3x as delicious as anything else.  Paired with bananas, and the fresh whipped cream, this waffle was downright yummy.

I’ve neglected to mention that these waffles are coated in sugar.  Yup.  You know, because the waffles themselves and the toppings aren’t enough.  (I totally support this.)

So, in the end, the Waffle Window deserves the hype it’s been getting.  These are super-tasty and not super-spendy.  Go give ’em a try while the weather is still good.  Waffle love-making just gets sloppy in the winter.

This weekend, we headed to Pine State Biscuits on Belmont, another place that we’ve been meaning to try, and that’s been getting a lot of hype.

This place is also deserving of the hype.

Pine State Biscuits

Pretty much anyplace you go to for breakfast in Portland will have a line.  But when you find a place with a line at least half a block long, it’s a pretty good sign you’ve found a winner.

Pine State Biscuits is a small place.  It has exactly three tables and a bar with 5 stools.

Pine State Counter

The Tripple Nickel bar next door has some nasty old picnic benches outside that accommodate breakfast-goers, desperate to dig into their biscuit sandwiches and hashbrowns.  This morning, we were lucky enough to find a place inside, though we’d already ordered to-go.

Today, I ordered the “Vegeterian Moneyball” – a biscuit and shitake gravy with a fried egg on top – and Leigh ordered a simple egg and cheese biscuit.  To share, we had a veggie “hash-up” – hashbrowns with onions, mushrooms and cheese.  Awesome.

Biscuit SandwichShitake "Moneyball"Hash-Up

When we got our food, we thought we’d need all three of the to-go boxes for leftovers.  Truth be told, there wasn’t much left to take with us.  Just enough for each of us to have a couple of bites at lunch.  Several of the folks around us had amazing-looking biscuit sandwiches that included fried chicken and gravy.  Intense.

Being from the south, Leigh can be a little persnickity about her biscuits.  Today, she was happy.  These were flaky and lovely.  I found the veggie gravy to be at least as good as that at Gravy and Tin Shed, two standards in Portland.

Next time we go back, we’ll try the collard greens, grits and sweet tea.  Aparently, these three things will tell us whether the folks from Pine State are really southerners.  I’m not sure why this is important, and I don’t think the people in line really care, but it’s a good excuse to go back.

Bookmark and Share

September 6, 2009   2 Comments