One of the first places Dan and I visited when we moved to Portland is Pine State Biscuits. I've watched this place from afar, as I saw it mentioned on Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. I knew I'd have to try all that down home Southern goodness ironically found in the Pacific Northwest. Needless to say, it was a huge highlight of our experience so far and a place I'd like to return to soon.
Casual, friendly and simple, the atmosphere at Pine State Biscuits exemplifies the Portland vibe perfectly. The menu of biscuit sandwiches is displayed prominently as you come in and you order straight away at the front counter, after which the friendly staff brings you the goods. Dan and I were discussing that we much more prefer this style of dining, as we don't have to wait around for the check, and it generally keeps the prices down.
The seating in the space is great too - really well spaced out and comfortable. A few booths occupy the front of the house, facing a long bar where you can sit too, especially if you come alone. There's also a heated outdoor area, which stays covered in the colder months and while we didn't go out there, it's yet another viable option.
As I mentioned, there's about nine different biscuit sandwiches that all sound enticing, depending on your taste. Additionally, they have a plethora of other comfort food entrees and sides that do a great job of exciting the senses, as I'm about to reveal shortly.
The Regina Sandwich - Because we ate somewhat heavy on the road on our cross-country drive, I opted for a veggie biscuit sandwich featuring braised collard greens topped with an egg over easy. I loved the gooeyness of the sandwich and the way the egg adhered to the buttery, flaky biscuit. Even though I devoured this for dinner, I can see it being a great brunch option.
Shrimp-n-grits - Dan ordered this non biscuit dish and it totally delivered. Loving the aromatics in the shrimp, flavored by lots of garlic, mushrooms and bacon, it was everything we were looking for and then some. The shrimp was cooked perfectly and deeply flavored by all those delicious juices from the ingredients I just described. Since the portion was generous, we took a lot of it home, making for great leftovers.
Andouille Corn Dog - Undoubtedly the standout of the evening was this spectacular andouille sausage corn dog. Unlike the usual connotations behind a corn dog, this was anything but that, as the sausage was flavorful and a little spicy. The best part was the sweet cornmeal batter that crisped up nicely on the outside. A side of ground mustard and honey made for the most spectacular dipping sauce.
Bloody Mary - A simple but delicious Bloody Mary was the perfect way to wash down this exemplary meal. I loved the sharp flavors and all the pickled veggies nestled inside, such as my favorite, the pickled okra.
Service and Cost:
The staff at Pine State Biscuits are as lovely as the food. Friendly, welcoming and a little chatty, we felt right and home and were in good spirits to further get to know our new neighborhood. As I already hinted above, we'll definitely be back.
Costs are more than reasonable and set us back a mere $28 for a hearty dinner with drinks, including tip. No sales tax in Oregon!
Pine State Biscuits - 22-04 NE Alberta, Portland OR 97211