Category Archives: portland restaurant review

Foodlandia: Roadrunner Cafe


Photo by Food Mountain

It’s the weekend. You wake up, not sure what you’re in the mood to eat, so you decide it’s best to just eat out. That’s typically the steps it takes us to decide to go out to brunch. But here in Portland, it isn’t always that simple. Finding  a decently delicious brunch spot on the weekends here with a conservative wait time that everyone and their sister doesn’t know about is like trying to find a piece of gold in sand. The number one factor that makes me decide where to go? The estimated waitlist, and my level of patience for the day (or rather, my stomach’s patience). Portlandia has even featured a sketch about waiting in line for brunch. It’s just one of those “Portland things”. It’s expected. This is a foodie town, and the foodies know where the good food is.

Portlandia has even featured a sketch on the phenomenon. Before I moved here, when I’d come up to visit the town for the week every now and then, I’d always make a point to go to notable places (aka. places with long wait times) and sacrifice in order to try something new and exciting. I don’t regret it, but most of the wait times were between 1 to 2 hours. Right after I moved here, I had been having dreams about The Screen Door’s weekend-only brunch (and the place is only a mile away from my apartment thankgod!), and the second we drove up we saw a line about 50 people deep. And it wasn’t even open yet. Maybe you get the picture, yeah?

It’s a hard life we live. We get hooked to all of these delicious restaurants and there’s only so much goodness to go around. It’s a food fight. Literally. I suppose you take the good with the bad though, don’t you? I’ve learned to live. I’ll be alright.

So what do you do when you’re craving a roasted root vegetable hash with parsnip puree, chard, and over-easy egg dish? Or chicken and sweet potato waffles? You make a list. You start a journal. You write down all of the places you’d like to try sometime, particularly those “less popular” ones that no one (yet) knows about. Food carts in hidden neighborhoods, new signs for places you’ve seen driving down the street, typical bars that you wouldn’t expect to be serving brunch on the weekends. So that when you’re stumped and brain dead with low blood sugar in the morning and all you want is a damn good brunch rightthisverysecondthankyouverymuch, you have a handy dandy go-to reference at your fingertips.

I haven’t yet spent much time on SE Division since I’ve moved here, but when I have driven down the street, this particular place continually caught my eye and I knew I had to try it. Roadrunner.

And there was no wait. By the interior and exterior design alone, I fell in love with it. There were horseshoes nailed onto one of the beams when we first walked in, and vintage photographs and paintings decorating the mustard yellow walls. It was adorable. Even the napkins were made out of a nice, soft linen. The menus were splattered with coffee and grease stains, but that gave it all the more character. Upon first glance of the menu, the most exotic looking dish I could find was the caramelized carrot, okra, broccoli and havarti cheese scramble. I debated upon trying the biscuits and gravy or the pulled pork breakfast burrito but found out that the burrito was pretty spicy, which I leave up to the boyfriend to handle (I can’t do it at all). The waitstaff was very friendly and on top of everything, the decaf was delicious and not too bitter, we had nibbles of mini biscuits and raspberry jam to curb out hunger even though the food came quickly, the atmosphere was lovely, but the food was a bit more underwhelming. You could find pretty much anything on the menu for less than $10, but nothing really seemed to do the trick. I ordered the scramble, and added a biscuit (which ended up being heart shaped! cutest thing ever! I appreciate those kinds of details) for 50 cents more. And at least I got to try okra for the first time! I liked it!

Road Runner Café

3570 SE Division St.

Portland, OR 97202

(503) 232-3004
Hours: Wed-Sun 8 am – 2 pm

My First (Official) Meal in Portland: Bollywood Theater


As many of you may know, I traveled to Portland quite a bit and tested out the foodie scene rather extensively prior to moving here. Each trip I planned for myself was full of food. Literally. I’d find out about a new vegan bakery or artisan ice cream shop and plan my life around making sure I tried a few goodies during my stay. When I’d return home, I’d follow Portland restaurant news feeds and blogs to make sure I was on the up-and-up with anything new in store to put on my “must go there” list. Well you can be sure that the moment I found out about this place, I about died.

The Bollywood Theater.



Foodlandia: Broder

2508 SE Clinton St.
Portland, OR
Breakfast – Lunch: Everyday 9AM-3PM
Dinner: Thursday-Saturday 6PM-10PM
Oh Broder. How I love thee. This place frickin’ rocks. The whole menu is glorious. The food is glorious. By far, one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had in my life. Yes. It’s that damn good.
I mean, c’mon, you can’t win my heart over any more by having roasted acorn squash with fried sage leaves as a vegetable side dish. And having humungous cardamom sweet rolls bigger than the size of my face. Over-easy eggs cooked to perfection with funny yolks and sweet apple sausage. Not to mention the hidden apple pancakes below the eggs, mixed in with the luscious sour cream and maple syrup. By far, my dream breakfast. Better than my dream breakfast. Holy crap.
Hipster, casual kitschy Scandinavian decor, cute ceramic dishes, this place is five stars, hands down. I can’t wait to try their aebleskivers. I can’t wait to try out their dinner! Swedish meatballs with lingonberry jam? Yes, please! As Portlander M.Ward would say, “oh, take me back and try me one more time”. Oh boy, it would be more than one more time.
Yes, indeed.
Additional pics: here and here.

Foodlandia: Gold Dust Meridian

Rosie Lee Cocktail, Canton Lemongrass Martini, Classic Mac n’ Cheese, Lentil Soup Grilled Cheese Sandwich & Salad combo, Prawns in some saucy delicious bourbon sauce?
3267 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Portland, OR
We came for happy hour and I have to say I left rather damn happy. Swanky little place on Hawthorne with a nice romantic ambiance and suitable, appetizing food. Very strong cocktails. I’m not much of a hard liquor fan, but every now and again some gin and vodka sets this girl straight, especially if you add some rose petal syrup or ginger liquor to the mix. Give me my own little individual serving of some of that mac n’ cheese (pictured above) and I have no complaints. I used to think that no one could top the mac n’ cheese my preschool teacher used to make. I dream about the day of somehow rediscovering the exact recipe that even slightly mirrors the same aroma that it used to bring about in the kitchen, and the happy song my taste buds would sing every time it was served.
This mac n’ cheese brought me back to preschool.
At least pretty close to it.
(But I’m 22 now and am able to drink grown-up cocktails WITH my mac n’ cheese so not really. I rather like this combination of events together better.)
All of the other food was pretty damn good, as well.
I would totally go here again. Great little place for drinks AND food that will make you happy.

Foodlandia: The Screen Door


After recently returning from my second excursion to Portland within the last four months, stuffing my face full of delicious and extraordinary top-notch cuisine, experiencing the best of some of the best there is, I’ve realized it might be wise to put all of that food photography to use and do some restaurant reviews. Somewhat of an overwhelming task, I have to admit, as I feel as though I’ve covered a lot of ground. But all the more to share with you!

I don’t think I met one meal I didn’t like. I swear, there must be something in the water up there. Chefs are held to a higher standard, perhaps? More creative and precise palates? All I know is that Portlandia = foodie paradise. And quite conceivably the number one reason as to why I want to plant my roots in such a place.
So here goes: I now present to you my foodie restaurant experiences from Portland, OR. Or, what I like to call, Foodlandia.
2337 E Burnside St
Northeast Portland ‘hood
Southern, Cajun/Creole
Oh goodness. The dear Screen Door. How I love thee. My first breaking the fast meal of my stay. And it definitely set the stage. Arriving around noon time for Sunday brunch, the one hour wait was pretty inevitable. Running on practically nothing and ready to eat a horse, I convinced myself it would be worth the wait. After looking at their sample menu online (brunch, veggies) multiple times before I arrived, I would not be discouraged. Talk about dream menu! Every single item on the veggie menu sounded completely GENIUS. Any restaurant that incorporates winter root veggies like butternut squash, sweet potatoes, beets, parsnips, or chard is a winner in my book. GIVE IT TO ME.
The atmosphere was lively, loud, and full of beautiful Portland people: young, tattooed hipster parents with their gorgeous well-behaved babies, groups of fixie-riding hungover friends nursing their Bloody Mary’s, and couples so cute they make you wanna puke.
I knew I was in the right place.

Waitress with arms full of buttermilk fried chicken and sweet potato waffle dishes.
Delivering to a large group of hungover, 20-something year-old males.
They all ordered the same thing. And ate every last bite.
A side order of the sweet potato waffle and maple bacon.
Root vegetable hash with chard on a bed of parsnip puree.
Over-easy eggs.
Alabama scramble? With grits.

Thankfully my eyes weren’t much bigger than my stomach. I was happier than a pig in shit. Pretty much all of my favorite foods coming together in one awesome meal. Words cannot describe the degree of foodie contentment that came over me.
Most delicious comfort food ever.
One of the best breakfasts of my life.
I hope you’re convinced now. What else do you want me to say? Here’s more evidence, if you need it.
If you’ve never had a lesson in patience, this will teach you. The patience was worth it.
PS. The Portlandia television series filmed a scene in the kitchen of this restaurant, dubbing it as the “Porch Light” undercover. Can’t fool me. I recognized that yellow building and blue sign in an instant! Apparently the grandiose gastronomical chef culture of Portlandia has gone to the heads of Armisen and Brownstein. And probably a few others.