Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Batter Up with Fried Chicken & Falafel Waffles

Since the weather proved to be gorgeous in Portland this Saturday, Dan and I ventured to brunch at Batter, a new waffle dedicated restaurant in the Northeast.  I've been eager to try it for some time, but just haven't had the time to drop in so I was grateful to finally get the opportunity.  Still in its soft opening, the restaurant has a few kinks to work out but it's undeniable greatness shined through.

Located on a bustling block on NE Fremont Street near 44th Avenue in the Beaumont-Wilshire neighborhood, Batter completes an area of culinary greatness with Bang Bang ThaiSmallwares among others.

The restaurant itself is spacious and open, with an unfinished industrial look.  While this looks like a part of its charm, a few elements inside prove to be a true work in progress which I hope will be tidied up before their official opening.  However, there's many positives including a mix of different sized seating arrangements which suit any kind of party, as well as plenty of outdoor space for nice days.  Even though we didn't sit inside, the whole front of the restaurant was open, so you felt like you were dining al fresco anyway.

I love the generously large menu of specialty waffle dishes (some traditional and some not) as well as their pancake offering.  Everything about this speaks to me, as I love me some carbs for brunch and all the dishes sound inherently comforting.  Here's what we tried last week:

Chicken and Waffles - Being staunch chicken and waffle fans, we couldn't pass this up.  Happy to see a generously sized portion, Dan and I quickly realized we could've easily shared this between us and been totally satiated.  The chicken was tender on the inside but perfectly crunchy on the outside and to our surprise boneless.  This was a big plus, as it allowed us to seamlessly dig in and enjoy big forkfuls of the savory chicken and sweet waffles, which we generously doused with sweet syrup.  It provided a perfect brunch combo that I'd order again in a heartbeat. 

Waff-lafel - A more non-traditional dish, the waff-lafel actually consisted of chickpea batter waffles topped with generous scoops of hummus, a side of tzatziki and a Greek salad.  The chickpea batter was innovative, giving the waffle an earthy taste and if you closed your eyes, you'd almost not know you were eating brunch.  Because of its hearty ingredients, a little went a long way and we ended up taking a lot of it home, which made for delicious leftovers.

Dan also ordered the Bloody Mary cocktail you see above, which he praised as being flavorful, peppery and delicious.  I liked the unique touch of a pickled asparagus, which I'm not sure I've yet seen in a Bloody.

Service and Cost:
As I mentioned above, Batter is still getting its footing in this initial soft launch phase.  Our waitress was friendly and did her best, but due to the steady crowd (which is a great sign for a new restaurant) got a little overwhelmed. I can't say that the service wasn't affected but when we did get our food, it was delivered to us in a cheery, pleasant manner.

Costs are affordable and offer great value at just $10 and $9 for the respective dishes above.  Together with tip, we walked out of there for under $20 per person.

3 Mmmms

Batter PDX - 4425 NE Fremont Street, Portland OR 97213

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