Rachel's Food Tourism: The Screen Door

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Welcome back to another segment of Rachel’s Food Tourism (my last one was about The French Laundry, if you want to check it out)! My husband and I took an impromptu trip to Portland last weekend and we had some amazing food (of course!).  There was one restaurant we went to the last time we were in Portland and I knew I wanted to go back.  It’s called Screen Door and it serves comes amazing (or killer, as my husband Derek would say) food!

Screen Door specializes in southern comfort food (you can’t go wrong!).  The last time we went there we had dinner and I still dream about the hush puppies we ate. This time we went for brunch, so we could try more of the menu.

The brunch menu is pretty incredible, so I had a tough time making a decision at first. I then noticed, however, that Screen Door offers the brilliant Build-a-Breakfast option, which I love!  It’s perfect for someone like me who has commitment issues when it comes to making a menu choice because you can try a little bit of everything.  My biggest dilemma at brunch is always sweet (pancakes, French toast, etc.) or salty (eggs, breakfast meats, etc.) and anytime a restaurant gives me the option to have both I am on board! The list of options under the Build-a-Breakfast is extensive, but I was able to narrow it down to the perfect trio: Stone-ground cheddar grits, Praline Bacon, and a Buttermilk pancake.  It was amazing!

The grits were deliciously creamy and salty.  The cheese added a nice sharpness and I could tell they didn’t skimp on the milk, so the grits were silky smooth. The pancake was fluffy and sweet, and served with real maple syrup. It was also just the right size- about 5″ in diameter.  It was just big enough to get a good taste of pancake, but small enough that I could try other stuff without getting too full. The third item was my favorite and something I definitely want to re-create at home.  The Praline Bacon was the perfect combo of sweet and salt.  The bacon was fully cooked, but soft and covered with an amazing praline topping.  The praline had brown sugar, small pieces of pecans for crunch and a tiny bit of cayenne for kick.  It was incredible!



My husband ordered the Fried  Chicken and Waffles, which was also outstanding.  fullsizerender3It was a real looker too! It’s definitely the dish that everyone watches as it’s being carried through the restaurant because it’s HUGE.  The waffle is made with sweet potato and has 3 giant pieces of fried chicken stacked on top- quite the sight!  The chicken was juicy on the inside but still nice and crunchy on the outside.  It was on the verge of having too much black pepper for my taste, but other than that the flavor was really good!  The waffle was fluffy on the inside with a great crunch on the outside.  The sweet potato also added an interesting flavor.  My husband’s one complaint was that there was actually too much chicken.  There was so much that you couldn’t get a bite of waffle with every bite of chicken.  Of course I’m sure this isn’t a problem for some people, but figured I’d mention it. 🙂

If you’re in Portland, I recommend checking out Screen Door for a meal.  I should warn you that we did have to wait about 45 minutes, so you’ll want to plan accordingly.  There is a little coffee shop next door, though, with interesting coffee drinks so you can kill some time there.


If you’ve been to this restaurant, I’d love to know what you thought!  What are some of your favorite southern comfort food joints?

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