Biscuits and gravy (b&g) are not hard to find. In fact, they’re ubiquitous. But Portland’s best?
Arleta Library (5513 SE 72nd) claims to have Portland’s Best Biscuits-n-Gravy.
Slow roasted pork loin comes thinly sliced, nestled between two sweet potato biscuits and smothered in rosemary sausage gravy
They are pretty damn good, but the best? I would label them the best non-traditional b&g I’ve tried. Sweet potato biscuits though, that’s kinda weird (though delicious).
For typical ginormous portion, diner white and fluffy sausage gravy-style b&g I strongly recommend Kelly’s Olympian (426 SW Washington). Kelly’s Olympian’s b&g (a full order contains your calorie needs for the weekend) and a Bloody Mary chased by a pint of Old Speckled Hen are the perfect hangover cure, look it up.
The b&g of Overlook Family Restaurant (1332 N Skidmore) is a solid choice too.
For a Chinese-American variant of b&g, you can’t go wrong with the Maple Leaf‘s (7129 SE Foster) breakfast egg foo young. When I lived in the neighborhood I used to frequent the Maple Leaf, an amazingly undiscovered gem out on 72nd and Foster, home of inexpensive American and Chinese food and great service. Last time I visited you could get a massive portion of the breakfast egg foo young and a constantly re-filled coffee for under $5.00.
Apologies to vegans, but Paradox Cafe‘s (3439 SE Belmont) vegan biscuits and gravy are inedible. It’s impossible to make good biscuits without butter and/or cream. My ex used to make a fantastic non-vegan vegetarian b&g, however (Gimme Lean Sausage Style is a remarkable thing).
In my sights
I’ve tried the vegetarian b&g at Gravy (3957 N Mississippi Ave), but haven’t tried the regular ones yet, so I’ll withhold judgement there. Their vege b&g is second only to my ex’s. (But the best use for their vegetarian gravy is in the gravy fries!)
After seeing this post, and photo, at altportland I’m looking forward to trying the b&g at Podnah’s Pit.
The write up about The Tin Shed Garden Café (1438 NE Alberta) on PortlandFoodandDrink.com also has me salivating:
. . . solid, down-to-earth stuff like biscuits and gravy, done very well. And that’s the word of two former Southerners. The biscuits are crunchy around the edges, fluffy in the middle, and if you prefer, they also have apple wood-smoked bacon gravy.
Inexplicably I have yet to patronize the Tin Shed.
One of the highlights of my nascent blogging career was locating poutine in Portland. So I’m optimistic this post will pay dividends. Help me find the best b&g in Portland!
*Overheard on the 4 Fessenden a few months back. I didn’t catch the context, but the sentiment is clear, and irrefutable.
I know you aren’t a fan of vegan B&G but let me tell you that Vita Cafe’s version is off the charts!
Thanks Megan! – I’ll try Vita Cafe’s . . . I’ve had successful vegan gravies, but the biscuits . . . I’m still searching for a vegan biscuit that tastes like a biscuit!
I stand by Podnah’s. Simpatica is pretty good, as is Roux, but Podnah’s is the master recipe.
I haven’t been to Gravy in years, but I’ve had a little trouble with how greasy they are (and I have a fair tolerance for grease). Still, that’s your stomping grounds and you must investigate!
Oh, and Podnah’s grits are pretty darn good too.
It’s been awhile, but I recall Hannah Bea’s being quite nice, rich, and darn serious. The best that I ever had in Portland were at Bertie Lou’s back in the early nineties under a previous owner; the new owners (back then) moved away from the greasy spoon towards a house ‘o scramble though.
I gotta put in a good word for Fat City Cafe in Multnomah Village. Delicious b&g and corned beef hash.
urban pedestrian says
What is this biscuits and gravy you speak of? Do you mean people actually eat like tea biscuits with gravy all over them? What’s in these biscuits that makes them non-vegan? Is there any meat or anything in this gravy or just gravy? Do you eat it with a knife and fork or spoon or do you just dip the biscuits in the gravy? Is this the whole meal or just part of a meal?
Wow, I love discovering these regional differences . . . I thought b&g were ubiquitous in North America, but apparently not . . . here’s what Wikipedia has to say about them:
urban pedestrian says
Gah! Sorry. It sounds revolting… but I’m obviously in the minority in thinking that. Canadian poutine is just as revolting and people love it to death (literally in some cases).
Give me some of Besaw’s B&G any comfort needing day.
They have scratch biscuits and an finger-licking andouille gravy topped with scrambled eggs. I write with my tummy still full.
Thanks to y’all I now have a list of places to try:
Vita Cafe (for another Vegan try)
Fat City Cafe
Dang, this’ll take me a while . . . gotta watch the cholesterol 😉