Compote – 5/6/13

4stars

Compote Cafe & Bakery
503.234.5689
2032 SE Clinton Street
Portland, 97202

Latte Boozy Soda Poached Stack Breakfast Sandwich  Biscuit with Creme and Compote Sweet Potato pancake Biscuit and gravy Hash browns

Neighborhood Bakery Cafe…

A friend at work had mentioned Compote months ago and I we had plans to eventually get over there but I was told Saturday night to pick a place that a couple of our friends  could meet up with us and rather than pulling out the breakfast book I dredged my memory for the name of the recommended cafe. Getting there was relatively easy and we got to trek over the rarely traveled (for us) Ross Island bridge. We wove back and forth through some sleepy neighborhoods before turning a corner and finding ourselves at Compote. We sat out front street side and pursued the menus while we waited for our friends Katie & Drew to arrive with their 1 year old baby in buggy. The neighborhood is quite aside from the sound of bicycle bells and birds chirping and I actually started to nod off for a bit just as our brunch dates arrived. We shuffled inside to the rather small ordering counter and waited in line to place our orders and then decided the sunny courtyard out back of the restaurant made for a better spot to sit and dine.

I ordered the Poached stack with Gravlax and has browns as well as a single sweet potato pancake, Carly & Katie both chose the breakfast sandwich as well as the biscuit with cream & strawberry rhubarb compote while Drew picked the chalkboard special of the morning biscuits and gravy. I hungrily eyed the stacks of fresh baked goods in their display case up front but decided a latte would be enough to silence my grumbles while we waited Katie & Drew both got boozy soda, I forget which flavor now but they seemed quite thrilled with the taste. We sat and chatted for about 20 minutes before the first biscuit plate arrived and we all broke off a bit of biscuit to enjoy with our drinks. A few minutes later Carly and my order arrived followed a few moments later by Katie & Drew’s. My poached eggs we perfect as I had hoped and the two small round hash brown rings we very crispy and resembled more a potato pancake than the normal mass of shredded starch I am used to. On top of the hash brown coasters we two small piles of cold smoked salmon which was an option aside from the toasted greens that are the default. The flavors all blended quite nicely and I only wished I had 1 more egg to sop up with salmon and potatoes who’s saltiness complimented the naked poached eggs very well. Carly finished about 3/4 of her breakfast sandwich so I tried that as well and it was very smooth and tasty which is a weird way to describe a sausage biscuit but the home made wheat English muffin they served it on is very soft and and had a wonderfully comforting flavor. Katie & Drew seemed equally enamored with their meals as nothing but crumbs remained. Compote is far enough away that it’s unlikely we’ll accidentally find ourselves by it again but I wouldn’t mind a trip though the neighborhood on a bicycle and a stop in for a latte and some baked goods to enjoy at one of the many nearby parks.

GALLERY

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SERVICE
There was a bit of a backup so it took about 25 minutes for our meals to arrive and you bus your own table.
3 stars

AMBIANCE / DESIGN
Seating out front and back and a nice light colored interior as well as a grove of bamboo to sit under in the rear.
4 stars

MEAL
Pickled red onions come on the side of most dishes and really compliment nicely, the sweet potato pancake while tasty shouldn’t count as a pancake
4-5 stars

Honey Toast Cafe – 4/27/13

3-5stars

Honey Toast Cafe
502.747.2712
12520 SW Farmington Road
Beaverton, 97005

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Honey Toast Hangover…

We’d driven by The Honey Toast Cafe many times over the last few months and figured at some point we’d be too sleepy to go to the other side of town and opt for something in our neighborhood and today was that day. We were both hungry around 9:30 am but the cafe doesn’t open until 11 so we had to linger at home until it got a little later in the day, upon arriving it was apparent that there was a line of people waiting to get in as soon as they opened because every available seat in the rather small establishment was filled and we had to wait about 8 minutes for someone to finish and leave. The cafe is inside a converted bank and has giant 2 story arched windows along one side and a second level that looks like it’s used for evening entertaining. We sat along the front at a tall table and waited scanned the menu while waiting for the waitress to come for our order. At first glance it doesn’t look like a large selection since 1/4 of the double sided menu is devoted to the restaurants namesake “Honey Toast” but there is actually quite a bit too choose from when you include the appetizer section and even though there was no daily special present they did have a lunch special which included a half panini with a salad and an app of your choice along with coffee or tea all for $6.95! We had already decided we would be ordering one of the original giant honey toasts so it seemed like the lunch special would be the smartest option to keep from having much in the way of left overs. Carly selected the Roma Panini with sweet potato fries and tea and I chose the Roast Beef with salt & pepper fries (since they happened to be out of Honey Ham) as well as a large Latte.

The panini’s arrived after just a few minutes and I was glad we had selected half sandwiches because of how large they were. The dressing on the salad was good and a nice compliment to the salty fries even through they were just average. Carly’s sweet potato fries were very decent and managed to be quite crispy which is always difficult with a yam. The meals were served with a trio of sauces and a mix of salt and pepper to dip in. We were both quite satisfied with our meals and had almost forgotten about ordering the restaurants namesake until the waitress brought out the giant mound of toast and ice cream. We chose “The Original” since it was our first go around but they had about 5 different flavor and fruit topping options for us to try on any return trips. In the end is really is a big hollowed out block of toasted bread with two lumps of ice cream and honey drizzled on top. While tasty I immediately wished we had some raspberries or other fruit compote to go with it since honey and vanilla ice cream only goes so far.

GALLERY

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SERVICE
Food arrived very quickly and the waitress was attentive
3.5 stars

AMBIANCE / DESIGN
Cool paint job, modern lighting, and giant windows but not a-lot of seating
3-5 stars

MEAL
Excellent paninis and lunch specials but the regular fries are only so/so
3-5 stars

Stepping Stone Cafe – 1/20/13

3 stars

Stepping Stone Cafe
503.242.1916
2390 Northwest Quimby Street
Portland, OR 97210

Banana Nut French Toast

Chicken Fried Steak & Eggs

You eat here because we let you

I had heard of the Stepping Stone quite awhile ago I think on the Food Channel and it always stuck in the back of my mind as a place to visit. The time finally came to hunt it down and try out the chicken fried steak I had heard about. I ordered that & two poached eggs with potatoes and swapped the toast for a giant home made biscuit while Carly chose the banana nut French toast with a plate of sausages. It had taken almost 40 mins to get a seat even though there were only 4 other groups ahead of us, I hoped this spoke well of the restaurant as a whole. Our breakfast arrived pretty quickly taking only about 8 minutes and I was eager to plow into some delicious home made biscuits n gravy. While It was certainly a better meal than you’d get at a Denny’s it really didn’t have any of the “special quality” to stand it apart from the rest. Carly’s banana nut French toast was literally that, slices of banana nut bread coated in egg and pan fried with extra nuts. I thought it was quite tasty but she had hoped it would be crispy and maybe a bit fluffier (something quite difficult with a dense nut bread) the sausages were tasty but really nothing more than the norm. My biscuit was decent but a bit “yeasty” and doughy rather than light and fluffy.

GALLERY

We're next! Streetfront Scolded Surroundings Wrap Around Breakfast Bar Lunch Waiting for brunch

SERVICE
Our meal came quite quick but they were super busy so we barely made eye contact with our hosts.
2.5 stars

AMBIANCE/DESIGN
Snarky & in need of a good scrubbing but I think that’s part of its overall charm.
2.5 stars

MEAL
It’s hard to go wrong with fried chicken covered in gravy but I have had better.
3 stars