Genies Cafe – 6/2/13

4stars

Genies Cafe
503.445.9777
1101 SE Division Street
Portland, 97202

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Biscuits n’ Gruvy…

I’d been here one time previously about a year and half ago to met up with some friends before the Portland Auto show and had always planned a return visit with Carly and whomever else wanted a kick ass breakfast, this Sunday was that day. We arrived and parked incredibly easy which has me thinking either I got super lucky or that I’m finally feeling confident in my navigation skills around Portland. We walked in and placed our names on the list and while it wasn’t packed with people waiting there was still about a 20 minute chill time before we were seated. We were directed to the holding zone just past the bar that occupies 1/3 of the restaurant and I figured as long as they weren’t quite ready for us I’d put in an order for something to drink. Carly’s teaching friend Shelly was able to to join us so we would have a cohort to sample more of their menu selections. Genies is apparently well known for their biscuits and gravy (of which they have two, sausage or mushroom) which I sampled last time from a friends meal but this time I planned to let our hipster server pick my breakfast which had worked out in my favor so far over the last few months, he chose the Cajun Benedict that was on special which I had eyed but wasn’t convinced until he enthusiastically endorsed it, I also included a side of the well recommended biscuits and mushroom gravy that Carly and I would share. Shelly went with the biscuit & gravy along with scrambled eggs, bacon and the tiny taters as opposed to the sliced red ones I would be receiving. Carly picked a BLT & tiny taters and would also be sharing my biscuits & gravy. It was really quite loud that morning and every chair at every table was filled with hungry patrons. The orders seemed to flow from the kitchen at a rapid rate and it was only 10 minutes before our buffet arrived hot & steamy. I chomped down on a big bite of the biscuit smothered with the rich smokey mushroom immediately and then begin cutting the tails off the huge shrimp that were on top of my Benedict before trying it. I expected a bit of spice and bite from it being called “Cajun” but it was rather muted even though tasty, fortunately no brunch table in Portland is ever complete without a bottle of Aardvark hot sauce so I added a few shakes over my plate immediately taking it from a solid 6 to an 8.5, the potatoes were also aided by a few shakes of the Vark’ and were super crispy despite they thickness. Shelly & Carly seemed very satisfied with their selections as well and few words were exchanged during the next 5 minutes of initial gorging. It ended up that I couldn’t quite finish all the potatoes of which there were plenty and about 1/3 of the biscuit dish remained after Carly and I had our go at it but both the girls were able to finish off their plates that somehow appeared smaller than mine even which having more occupying them. For my second time here I was very happy with how good it had remained and I look forward to a 3rd, 4th and 30th visit.

GALLERY

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SERVICE
Hipster filled tatty and stache’ but all friendly and approachable
3.5 stars

AMBIANCE / DESIGN
A large three room building with a bar and waiting area occupying one half and the walls covered with locals artwork
3.5 stars

MEAL
All the basics are present as well as kick ass biscuits n’ gravy and the “specials” selections actually are and change often.
4 stars

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