Posts Tagged ‘Portland Breakfast’
I like “greasy spoons”, and more especially, those American diner type restaurants that have some kind of connection to the Greek culture. Such is the case with the Overlook, which I would pop in every day if I lived in the neighborhood. Instead, it’s only my second time in four years.
It’s your standard diner fare, with daily specials, and a full bar to boot.
They don’t call me “Burgerdogboy” for nothing, so breakfast for me, when it’s offered, is a hamburger patty with eggs, hash browns, and toast. If I am in a “devil-may-care” attitude, I’ll order an additional side of some other meat, and yes please, extra butter on the side.
I wasn’t ordering extra today, but the ample weight of the burger patty made extra meat not required.
The breakfast, in its entirety, was served precisely as ordered: meat medium, potatoes extra crispy, eggs over easy.
I lingered……and enjoyed the meal, two crosswords, and lotsa joe. A welcome respite from hotel dining, for sure.
Overlook Family Restaurant Review
One more ‘old-timey’ diner and bar knocked off my to-do list. I’ve been meaning to get her for awhile, because rumor has it, it’s Greek-owned, and that group of restaurant owners just seems to get breakfast “right” (and chili dogs, as well).
Mrs. Burgerdogboy treated me and I went straight for the Italian sausage and eggs, with crispy hash browns, and rye toast. I asked for the sausage to be “a little charred”, and we had different definitions of “a little” but no matter, it was all tasty, and considerably less money per plate than either Sheri’s or the Black Bear.
Mrs. BDB dove into the Bacon Skillet, seasoned potatoes, bacon, peppers, onions, mushroom, cheese topped with 2 eggs. She went for it in a big way.
Her biggest apprehension about coming to a place like this, is she says the coffee is always awful, but such is not the case at Antoni’s. Coffee was A-OK.
I won’t be back, as I am hitting the road kinda permanently. But I do recommend you trying it out if you are in SW.
Menus are online.
I love ’em. Whether you call them dives, diners, greasy spoons, those all night places that dish up bacon and eggs 24/7? My second home. I have lots of favorites: Mickey’s in St. Paul. The Hummingbird (RIP) in New Orleans.
The Tik Tok was one of the first places we had brekky out after we moved here – bumped into it by accident while doing something else over that part of the world.
I got up at the end of the meal and told the chef his breakfast was “art.” And my opinion hasn’t changed.
No “brunch episode candidate” of Portlandia is this.
Just hearty, cooked-to-order meals (tho I have never had anything but breakfast) and on weekends? A bloody mary bar. Yowzers.
The occasion of this visit was the arrival of Mrs. Burgerdogboy’s sis from Los Angeles on an early morning plane, and we had kicked around going to Tasty, Eat, or Slappy Cakes, but sis wanted plain old crispy hash browns, so off we went to the Tik Tok (the outlet on SE Division).
I went with a burger patty (natch) and eggs, home fries, rye toast; Mrs. BDB went for the breakfast sandwich, and sis took up the giant biscuits and gravy with a side of deep-fried pickles. (?!?!)
Both the ladies imbibed in the bloody mary bar, and put together some pretty fantastic adult beverages with nearly an entire salad bar in each glass.
My breakfast was superb, and it’s a great value as well. I was happy as a pig in you know what, so I really didn’t care what the others thought!
Oh Tik Tok, land of 24/7 breakfasts, I will return again and again.
On occasion, Mrs. BDB gets a bug in her craw (WTF does that mean?) about breakfast out on the weekends. We usually make an elaborate production of breakfast at home on either Saturday or Sunday, an homage to my family tradition of same.
Saturday breakfast was a meal my family almost always enjoyed together, and usually it was a family production, with my dad leading the effort. This was the only meal he cooked during a given week, with two exceptions: he was in charge of the grill, on the few days a year that Northern Minnesota summers allowed that – and he was in charge of (most) fish, of which there was plenty served in my household.
The exception to his fish manipulation was Friday nite dinner, usually fish sticks or blocks of frozen haddock, which fell under my mother’s normal purview, and one of the 26 or so meals she had in the family rotation.
As you probably know, Mrs. BDB has been big on Groupon and Living Social promos lately (in fact our Saturday afternoon socializing was courtesy of her and Living Social – ceramics painting), so we thumbed through our coupons looking for a breakfast deal, and of course, as it usually goes, all of our BOGOs and such for breakfast had expired the previous day.
So we ran down the street to the Golden Touch Family Restaurant, a place we had visited once before for a weekday lunch.
We knew we’d get standard diner breakfast fare, and we’re about to have the patience (or at least she knew I wouldn’t) to hit the popular PDX weekend places, nor would I have the lack of intelligence to once again hit the Original Pancake House, which is also nearby.
We were seated in the back again, and by coincidence, we were waited on by the same veteran server that had taken care of us on our previous visit. We knew service would be above most people’s reports for this establishment. Our waitress has been at Golden Touch forever, and is accomplished and joyful in her work choice.
Mrs. BDB went with Swedish pancakes (another homage to my father? LOL), the Scandinavian version of the crepe, thin cakes, usually served with a dollop of sweet or savory toppings and whipped cream. She opted for blueberries, and passed on the cream.
I went with Chicken Fried Steak, accompanied by two perfectly done over easy eggs, white toast, hash browns of the shredded variety, the steak bathed in sausage gravy. The taters at Golden Touch are served crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, without any special seasoning.
The “steak” is ample in size, maybe 6 oz, with a light breading, and mildly seasoned. The toast comes butter with a couple choices of food service preserves.
It’s an adequate meal, tho the best Chicken Fried Steak in Portland is served up at Slappy Cakes, in my opinion.
I dutifully jabbed and mopped my yolks with my toast (my mother would have had a fit witnessing this), and devoured the steak, barely touched the potatoes (I am trying to watch carbs).
They were trying out a new blend of coffee that day, and we thought it was pretty OK, which is a big deal, considering Mrs. BDB thinks diner coffee belongs in the category of “warm brown water.” She got her jones for fancy caffeine later in the day at Chuck’s in Lake O. (Vanilla latte, if you must know). Chuck’s is a purveyor of our most favoritest brand, Illy, from Trieste, Italy.
Breakfast for two, about $24, including tip. I am sure we will return.
If you haven’t hit Slappy Cakes in SE Portland, because you think it’s just for kids, you’ve missed one of the best breakfasts in town.
Although children of all ages will enjoy the concept of making their own pancakes right at the table – choose from a type of batter and a wide selection of both sweet and savory toppings, the full-service menu offers hidden breakfast gems the quality of which are rare on the Portland breakfast scene.
We ventured over on Wednesday morning (because we hear it can be a madhouse on weekends), with visiting nephew in tow, and he delighted in squeezing buttermilk pancake batter (out of a ketchup style condiment bottle) onto the griddle and tossing in chocolate chips and raisins.
The batter and griddle are perfect for cooking up a batch of virtually no fail flapjacks, and the buttermilk cakes are great just on their own.
But delve into the full service menu offerings (adult beverages as well), and you’ll find great finds like chicken fried bacon with a caramel sauce; country fried steak with potatoes, crispy on the outside, pillowy soft inside, reminiscent of New Orleans famous “Brabant style” potatoes. Cover all that with sausage gravy. Man oh man.
Mrs. Burgerdogboy went with the Huevos Rancheros, and offered me a smidgen of a taste as she scarfed up her plate. I have to say, it was delicious. The concoction rests on a pile of ‘secretly-seasonsed’ beans which are to die for.
Other interesting choices include congee, pork belly benedict, and an interesting sounding mushroom scramble. Yes, veggie offerings as well.
Slappy Cakes, where have you been my entire breakfast life? I am in love!
This one’s short and sweet (well, consider the source!). Mrs. BurgerDogBoy texted me yesterday that she had to kill some time up on Mississippi Avenue, waiting for a client, and decided to have some breakfast – a rare occasion for her. I was happy, knowing I would get to live thru the experience vicariously.
So she wandered into Gravy, and promptly ordered herself some ham and eggs (I would have done the same).
She reported it to be an excellent experience all around, and raved about the ham, which of course, made me feel sorry for myself.
Comes the morning at the BurgerDogBoy house, and what do my wondering eyes appear in the frig? A couple o giant slabs of that ham! Thank you Mrs. BDB!
Check out the menu at Urbanspoon.com
A nooner of a different color – I love the days when Mrs. Burgerdogboy calls from the road and says “wanna go to lunch?” Oh yeah, sez I.
We wanted something tasty and nearby, and she had talked about Marco’s Cafe in Multnomah Village before, so we headed over there. There was a slight wait for a table, but that was fine, we caught up on what each other had been doing for the morning.
Seated, we were promptly offered menus, including the day’s specials, and our drink orders were taken. Marco’s has a fairly standard breakfast and lunch cafe menu, with all the favorites, and works hard at the sustainable/local aspect popular with restaurants these days.
It was tough deciding what to have: I had my selection narrowed down to a) breakfast, b) club sandwich, c) French dip…….and that was before I even noticed they had burgers!
Mrs. BDB went with a half sandwich (grilled cheese for grown ups) and a half salad (some wild thing with dried cherries), and I went with the French dip, fries on the side. Another side option is house-made chips, a mixture of regular and sweet taters.
The food arrived and we dug in, Mrs. BDB was “starving”, and I was….hungry. The dip was on a very nice, crusty, toasted French roll, ample in size, melted mild cheese, REAL roast beef, (not pressed, chopped, and formed), and a good size bowl of au jus which I will assume was made in house as well – it didn’t have that undercurrent of flour taste the package mixes have, and it was noticeably pleasantly peppery. The fresh cut fries were dandy as well.
I’m guessing we’ll make Marco’s a regular stop…..it’ll be for breakfast next time. Prices were more than fair, as well.
The other day, one of my reviews on Yelp was called “mean and sarcastic” by a reader. I am known to be a sarcastic person by nature, but I tend to soft soap a lot of these posts, and really look for the good in each place I visit, and talk about it, regardless of the entire experience. Well, spoiler alert for the Original Pancake House – I’ll try not to be “mean” or “sarcastic”, but in general, in my opinion, this is one of the most overrated places in local food lore.
Started in 1953, and having now spread across the country to dozens of locations, I have to admire the owners and management of this company – they have extracting cash out of the customers and operation down to a science! Whomever owns this chain now have to be some of the most successful business operators to ever come out of Portland!
The assets that the company crows about are invisible to the customer – fresh home made recipes, quality ingredients – while what is not stated, but is obvious, contributes to the downside: embarrassingly high prices, apathetic service, skimping on basics in order to boost profits.
Where else in Portland can you pay $3.25 for a cup of filter coffee? And have to beg or shout for refills? Meat sides from $5 and up? TOAST $5.50? WTF? $5.50? I passed on ordering, but for $5.50 I better get a whole damned loaf of bread!
Mrs. BDB was up for treating me for breakfast, and we live nearby the Original Pancake House but have never stopped by. A Saturday morning visit requires a 45-60 minute wait to be seated, another 20 minutes to be waited on, 20-30 minutes for the food to come, and so it goes.
These guys are SO cheap, they have chosen not to even spend money on a reservation book, for fear they would have to constantly resupply the hostess with pens, I suspect. Instead, they give each party one-half of a numbered ticket, and call your number when a table is ready. But of course, since they have also chosen not to spend the money on a P.A. system, and the crowd frequently spills outside, you can easily miss your chance at your table, since the hostess doesn’t wander outside to repeat what number is in the queue.
Being outside waiting isn’t so bad – it gives you the chance to wander next door to the 76 station, or across the street to 7-Eleven to hit the ATM, because, although the owners are TOO CHEAP to print a side for the door that says “Cash only,”, if you have gazed at the menu while you are waiting for your table, you’ll note that little tidbit in small print at the bottom of the menu. Yep, cash only. No plastic. No ATM machine in the lobby. I don’t understand them skimping on not installing an ATM, hasn’t anyone told them they would get PAID to have that facility there?
Obviously trained in the European fashion of food service, waitresses are slow to serve (even tho the place doesn’t seat that many), and water is furnished to each diner sans ice. (Ice machines cost money).
Specialty syrups are extra I noted, you are not offered a carousel of toppings as other pancake houses supply.
There are lots of reader reviews on the various food sites that talk about how tasty the pancakes are – and I will concede that point, these are pretty tasty pancakes, but that’s just the point. THEY ARE PANCAKES! They cost practically NOTHING to make! $6 for 3? or even pricier options? You’re joking, right? $6 for a side of corned beef hash, which is the taste and consistency of Dinty Moore? Oooooooh, ouch.
The menu also boasts about the restaurants ‘special recipe sausage’, and as a “sausage guy”, I was less than impressed. Considerably less.
The nothing special coffee at $3.25, damned near impossible to get a refill on, despite a gaggle of help wandering around, no one person was simply dedicated to drinks (couldn’t the hostess do this?) – it reminds me of the Simpson’s episode of the “all you can eat” buffet. The management has apparently decided one cup of coffee for breakfast is enough for me, and have laid down the law on that policy.
Final gripe. Where do you buy your eggs, the midget chicken farm? These were the smallest fried eggs I have ever seen.
The bottom line – two diners, pancake breakfasts and coffee, in the north of $30 range????? Jokes on me, right?
I started this post talking about trying to “find the good” in each place I go.” The “good” at the Original Pancake House, as I said, is my appreciation for the owner’s ability to squeeze every last farthing out of a customer and processes.
Food? Eh. Service? Double Eh. Prices? Yowie!
There are so many great places for breakfast in Portland, and so many inexpensive choices….there’s no reason whatsoever to patronize this “legend.”
As a regular reader, you know it is my habit to place a map in each post. Not today. If you insist on visiting, find it yourself.
Here tell this be the go-to spot for brekky goodies in NE PDX. Mrs. BDB was at a business meeting there today (she is in charge of bringing home the bacon!) and did bring home the bacon, well, pork anyway, in the form of the “Pig Newton” – two link breakfast sausages inside of a biscuit dough roll. It was mighty tasty. The sausage is mild, and the biscuit flaky! I’ll have to do a personal investigative road trip to check out more of Jim & Patty’s menu. BTW, those are ample sized breakfast sausages, not the tiny brown & serve kind!