Opening the Screen Door

So my whole idea with starting this thing was to track where I've been, what I've done, but at the same time you have to start somewhere, right? How far back do I go before I just cut it off and have to hope the memories still resonate in my head somewhere?

Apparently, that date is last Saturday. Before that, who knows what happened. I mean, it was almost a week ago.

So last Saturday some friends came in from out of town - Shameless Plug: if you are in Seattle, you have to do this! - and we agreed to meet for a brunch/lunch at a place called Screen Door. After reading about the place we decided we should probably get there a little early because there is always a line, so we did. Our friends were delayed, so we had some time to kill, and it turns out there is this little place nearby called the Waffle Window. Well, who doesn't love waffles, right?

Since we were having lunch soon, we split a Razzle Dazzle - and wow. Wow! They aren't that big, but it was plenty for two people to split for a little snack. There was just enough lemony goodness to go with the raspberries and cream, but the waffle was super good just itself. At $4, you can't beat that. We'll absolutely be going back...

So we still had some time to kill, so we drove by Screen Door and there wasn't much of a line. Figuring that was a good sign, we drove out north and stopped at Pix Patisserie for a yummy treat for later. You know, because we weren't eating enough stuff that is detrimental to the goal of being trim. After browsing the treats, we picked out something called a Shazam! - good choice by us. Good job us...very nice move. This was our second foray to Pix...if you like chocolate and pastries, 12 thumbs up.

So after this we got back to Screen Door. We were still a little early, but now there was a line, so we put our name on the list. We waited about 15 minutes for our friends, then about about another 45 with them, before finally getting a table. Outside in the 93-degree sun. Oh well, we got to sit down, right?

Screen Door serves Portland's Stumptown Coffee. I don't know what blend it was, but it was excellent. I've now had Stumptown about 7 different places and the only place it wasn't good was at...wait for it...Stumptown! I have heard this is true, but it seems a tad counterintuitive doesn't it? Well, it's true. I have resisted buying their beans because of a bad experience at their coffeeshop downtown - and by bad experience I mean the mocha wasn't good, not that they beat and berated me for being a coffee novice among the realm of the truly better than me - but I may have to re-think that. Maybe after the Theo's blend runs out.

So Screen Door serves SoCo food (Southern Comfort - like the whiskey, sort of) and is well known for their chicken and waffles, so that's what I got. My better half ordered a fried chicken biscuit and gravy, which came with pan fried potatoes.

Since it was busy it took awhile to get our food, but the coffee and conversation was good so no big deal. As we were chatting the waitress brought something to another table, something huge. Apparently it was what I had ordered - a Belgian waffle with a mountain of chicken. Oh, with a steak knife jammed through it (steak knives scare me, but that's another story) to make sure nothing fell off the plate. Our friend leaned in and said, "Oh my god...I think that's what YOU ordered!"

A few minutes later it became apparent she was right. There were four chicken breasts on top of my waffle. Yep, breast meat - none of that cheap brown meat here, and absolutely no bones. About damn time someone made fried chicken from good meat - and the seasoning mixed into the breading was perfect, a nice blend of savory flavors. I was surprised, but absolutely in a good way. It came with a nice maple syrup that tied it all together with the seasoning.

Yes, the breading came off the chicken when it got cut, but with no skin it doesn't have much to adhere to. Some people may not like that, but the fact it was breast meat and had no skin is much better in my mind. Oh, and the meat was so juicy! None of that overdone crap here.

My better half's meal was excellent too. Her fried chicken had a little less kick than mine, but the sausage gravy was amazing, the biscuit fluffy and yummy, and the potatoes seasoned just right with a good amount of crunch.

It should probably come as no surprise after reading all of this we loved it and will absolutely be going back. 14 thumbs up for brunch...next time we might tackle dinner.

Now, you might think we'd call it a gastronomical day after that, but no, not us. As if we hadn't had enough coffee, we stopped by Coffeehouse Northwest on the way home. They serve Stumptown, though the owners are reportedly starting their own little roaster soon. Either way, this is the best coffee in Portland, with all due respect to Barista, which is also good. The Cluziel mocha at Coffeehouse NW is just chocolatey goodness - best dark chocolate mocha I have had.

And it wasn't just coffee...

See, there is a bakery in the Pearl District called Nuvrei. They have a tiny place to buy pastries, but they also provide baked yumminess to coffee shops all over the downtown and NW Portland area. Yep, including Coffeehouse NW. So, since it was the 4th of July and Nuvrei was unfortunately closed, we could still get our treats. We picked up an almond crossiant, which we had never tried but is supposed to be Nuvrei's specialty. It was yummy - big shock. We also got a berry scone, which is basically the best scone I've had that didn't come out of our own oven. It's hard to put it into words - just get it.

After that we decided to call it a day. In completely unrelated news I had gained three pounds when I woke up Sunday morning. No idea why.

Oh, and in case you are wondering, no, we didn't eat it all. I think it ended up being something like four meals, or parts of four meals. Not bad for $30...

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