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Saturday
Mar172012

Tin Shed, Portland

Breakfast and Brunch in Portland is an institution. Every time I hear about a “great breakfast spot” from friends that live in Portland, the next words out of their mouth are, “but it probably has an hour wait”. Pine State Biscuits, The Screen Door, Tasty and Sons, wait, wait, wait.  The IFC show Portlandia had their season finale on brunch spots in Portland. All true, very funny, and certainly captures the Portland experience.

Tin Shed did have a wait, but only twenty minutes. Considering our first stop was Tasty and Sons and their “probably an hour and a half” wait was too long, Tin Shed was perfect. Now don’t think that I was settling for second or third place on the Portland Brunch Scale, simply because I’m ravenous in the morning. Tin Shed has street cred. 

My guide around town, Mary, claimed Tin Shed had three things that made it different than other breakfast spots, besides good food of course: 

  1. Outdoor Seating
  2. Serve your own coffee
  3. Snuggies

Yes, as seen on TV, Snuggies. I mean, what reasonable restaurant wouldn’t offer their patrons a Snuggie if they were sitting on the patio during a cold and wet Portland morning? If The French Laundry served breakfast on the patio, mere heaters wouldn’t do. But a Cashmere Snuggie would.

During our wait for a table, I looked at as many dishes as possible coming to the tables. Huge plates of food. Mounds of potatoes, eggs, biscuits and gravy on most plates. I’m hungry in the morning, but I don’t think I could have finished anything that I saw come out of the kitchen. 

Something I didn’t see on any of the plates was The Roll Over. Potato cakes are used instead of biscuits in the classic country gravy and eggs underneath name-your-starch. I was sold. I happen to love hash browns and country gravy with bacon seemed like a no brainer. 

When my pile of food came, it was actually a bit smaller than the other plates, but it packed oh’ so delicious flavor. In my experience, country gravy meals, regardless of the starch and protein, tend to be gut busters. Whether it’s a greasy spoon diner or my much talked about experience at Searsucker in San Diego, country gravy equals gut buster. 

The two grated potato cakes where cylindrical, about an inch thick and perfectly browned on all sides. The scrambled eggs were moist. The country gravy with bacon was one of the best on record. Beautiful, tasty, delicious, and kept me satisfied until dinner that night (which was at Laurelhurst Market…yes). 

This marks the second breakfast I’ve had in Portland that tops the charts. The first was The Reggie, from Pine Street Biscuits, not just an award winning breakfast for me, but won high marks on Food Porn Daily as their Food Porn Picture of the Day, several months ago. Maybe there is something magical about Portland brunch spots? 

So get out there, grab your own coffee and eat at the Tin Shed; because Tasty and Sons doesn’t offer you a Snuggie and they don’t have a patio.

Tin Shed Garden Cafe on Urbanspoon

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