Pine State Biscuit
3640 SE Belmont St
Portland, OR 97214
Open Monday through Sunday (opens at 7:00 a.m. and closes at 2:00 p.m.)
2204 NE Alberta St
Portland, OR 97211
Open Monday through Sunday (opens daily at 7:00 a.m. and closes at 2:00 p.m.; opens at 6:00 p.m. on Fridays through Sunday, and closes at 1:00 a.m.)
I had been dying to eat at Pine State Biscuits in PDX for a while. I had heard such great reviews from friends/family who live in PDX, and made it a priority to eat there before our trip was over.
The place is small, cute, and quaint. The dining area is cramped, with three or four tables, plus a “long” bar table attached to the wall with stools. We were lucky enough to arrive before the breakfast crowd swarmed the place, which interestingly enough, was already 9:00 a.m. in the morning. So we scored ourselves a nice table for four against the window for a little people/hipster watching.
When you first walk in, you are greeted by someone at the register to take your order. The menu options are listed in a large chalkboard above the ordering station. The person who helped take our orders was extremely helpful, friendly, and patient while we debated between several options. Pick what you want, order, pay, and find a table or wait to take it to-go. If you are expecting to be wine and dined, then you are at the wrong place. It’s essentially a self-service diner. You get your own coffee and water [which we were absolutely okay with because they were serving Stumptown coffee], and get your own food when it’s ready.
Within about 10 minutes after our arrival, the place was hoppin’! Some people were taking their orders to-go, but the others hovered around your table like a hawk waiting for you to finish eating. I understand that they want to sit and eat, too, but we just started eating. It was actually somewhat uncomfortable, especially because I take my time to eat so that I don’t get stuffed too quickly, but also because I really want to taste/enjoy what I am eating. So word to the wise, eat quickly or take your sandwiches to go and enjoy it at your leisure.
Once you are finished eating, you bus your own tables. Now, if you ordered a lot [like us] then you may find yourself traipsing through the crowd of people a few times to clear the dishes. What was really annoying was that the hawks swoop right in for your table as you are getting up to clear the table. And what was even more annoying was that our stuff (i.e., camera bag, jackets, scarves, and hats) were still on the chairs while they sat themselves down. Ugh.
So, the food. You probably want me to get straight to that, eh? The food is Southern but with a creative flair. If your only ever experience with biscuits is at McDonald’s, Denny’s, or some other big chained restaurant, do yourself a favor and get a biscuit or two (or three) at Pine State Biscuits in PDX. The biscuits are buttery, moist, and flaky, but won’t crumble too much when you apply pressure to slather your butter/jam, or when you pick it up to devour the monstrous sandwich that you ordered. It was… well, it was just perfect.
I ordered The Reggie. Are you ready for what it’s made of?! Check this: fried chicken, bacon, cheese, and SMOTHERED with southern gravy. OH EM GEE, right? It shouldn’t be named “The Reggie.” No. It should have been named “The Heart Attack.” That would have been more fitting to describe the sandwich. The fried chicken was deliciously peppery and crunchy. The bacon was a nice thick-slabbed piece topped onto the ooey gooey cheese that melted over the fried chicken. And the gravy smothered over the entire thing. Don’t even get me started on how tasty it was! It was out of this world! Creamy, peppery, with chunks of sausage. I’m drooling.
I also ordered a side of biscuits with jam, just to have it on its own, and it was the biscuit was still really amazing. We ordered a side of hash browns to share amongst the three of us, which was also very tasty. I wish we asked them to smother the hash browns with gravy. That just would have been icing on the cake! Next time. Definitely next time.
If you not into southern fare, I would probably advise that you don’t dine here. One of the other diners with us got scrambled eggs, which was dry and overly done. It just didn’t look good. I guess it’s safe to say that you’d be better off sticking with the menu options.
Pine State Biscuits was amazing. I’d like to try the fried green tomatoes and other biscuit sandwiches next time! Check. This. Place. Out. Now!