Biscuits & Gravy at Portland’s Screen Door

I’ve always been a bit of a biscuits and gravy connoisseur. It started back in college, thanks to a little locally run family restaurant called Colonial Kitchen. It’s not open twenty-four hours, and it doesn’t have anything special like the Grand Slam or thirty different kinds of pancakes. It’s even a bit old school, with withering vinyl seats and utensils that have seen better days. It’s the kind of place that only college students could love.

The best part? The biscuits and gravy. It’s a simple gravy – not too spicy, not too oily – covering biscuits that are probably closer to store-bought than homemade. But the plate is yummy, with the dish consistently delivering biscuits and gravy goodness every time. Even at my graduation brunch.

Since moving to the West Coast, I’ve been on the hunt for great biscuits and gravy. I was happy with the dish at Seattle’s Blue Star Café, but at last visit (and obviously after a change in the cooking crew) it left me quite disappointed. It’s certainly a do-not-miss at The Dish, but I’m usually too hungry on a Saturday morning to make the wait.

So I was quite pleased to stumble across Portland’s Screen Door for breakfast this week. Rave internet reviews, and my need to explore Portland’s food scene a bit more, led me at the front entrance, and a knee-deep wait only a half-hour after the restaurant had opened for business. Luckily I slid in at the bar, and ordered the biscuits and gravy.

My standards were high, and I can pleasantly say that they were extraordinarily met. The biscuits aren’t your traditional biscuits – spongy, and closer to their sister, cornbread – but the gravy was fantastic, and the combination of the two was a wonderfully pleasant surprise. I ordered a plate of roasted potatoes, and a sweet iced tea, and my Saturday morning was complete. Even better? The staff and service were
both commendable. The steady stream of folks lined up at their door showed that I wasn’t alone in my thinking.

If you’re in the Portland area, I highly suggest checking out the Screen Door for breakfast. The doors open at 9am, and as I mentioned, the place gets pretty packed quite quickly. The advantage, however, is the ample seating area and free coffee. The open kitchen even makes for a wonderful distraction as well while you’re waiting for your order.

Screen Door
2337 E. Burnside
Portland, OR