Screen Door: tranny biscuits and man-crushes

Screen Door Restaurant
2337 E Burnside St
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 542-0880

I’d been to the Screen Door once or twice over the years (they opened in 2006, I believe), but the brunch had eluded me, as I’ve been eating at Genies way too much, and I tend to stick to what I know when it comes to breakfast. I’ve described adventurous breakfasting as the sport of ‘extreme waiting’, and when there aren’t a lot of truly unique places to visit, I tend not to step too far out of the ordinary. Ok, fuck it, I’m lying. I’ve had rotating mini-crushes on various Genie’s employees over the years, to the point that going there has become kind of automatic.

I knew it was going to be a tough morning. I had one of those nights where you snap awake the second your body metabolizes that last bit of alcohol–4:16am, this time around– and I couldn’t rouse any compatriots for some breakfast until after the ‘pm dawn’ so to speak. We were going to roll out to the normal spot, Genie’s, but the Kosher Twinkie threw a fit and demanded we spend $9 on a plates of eggs elsewhere. We ended up going to the Screen Door, which, for the most part, was a pretty good decision.

The wait was not too bad, but we did stand outside to keep Kosher Twinkie company while he burned one…two…three smokes. It hailed on us. Whoever the weather gods have outsourced the PNW to, they’re fuckin’ it up. Enough of this ‘hail in April’ shit already. We did put the time to good use, making really bad jokes and playing a prank on some friends of ours who live nearby.

The clan of four (me, Kosher Twinkie, NO SMOKING and MC Diz) got a bench and chairs table against the burnside wall, and began our examination of things food related. The Screen Door has a hefty line up of brunch items, including five special egg dishes for the day (scrambles, benedict) as well as baked goods (warm apple crisp, gouda and green onion biscuits). We were late enough in the day that they were running out of things, but it’s to be expected I suppose.

I had the Asparagus/brie/cipollini scramble, which was one of the specials of the weekend, with grits and a biscuit. the Biscuit was $1 extra, which wouldn’t have bothered me if it had actually been, you know, something resembling a biscuit. It was closer to some frankenstein combination of cornbread and bad focaccia, and a bit dry. If they’d called it cornbread, I wouldn’t have minded, but when you claim to be a biscuit, you should at least attempt a passing resemblance to a biscuit. I mean, there aren’t many places around here that are using White Lily flour and making biscuits good enough to make a Southern Belle break her pre-pageant fast, but we at least have some passable tranny biscuits (Pine State Biscuits, for example). The Screen Door’s biscuit was so far from the biscuit ideal it was like staring at a bearded man in a miniskirt and pumps: not even close, and kind of jarring.

My grits were great. These people are sourcing some good corn and cooking it right. Just salty enough, just creamy enough, just great. My scramble was fine, heavy on the asparagus, light on the brie and had some very poorly chopped cipollini in there–they’d simply quartered the onions and separated the layers, so some pieces were undercooked and some overcooked. The eggs were a bit overcooked, but within acceptable range.

NO SMOKING had the goat cheese and spinach scramble, with flowering kale and leeks. He complained it lacked goat. Plenty of cheese, not enough goat. NO SMOKING was obviously the least hungover person at the table. NO SMOKING had also opted for the potatoes, which looked an awful lot like steak fries, and frankly, intimidated my just-past-inebriated little mind.

Mc Dizzie had the Farm Grits, which are a combination of veggies, grits with an over-easy egg on top. He didn’t dig the egg/grits combination, agreed with me about the grits: they’re damn good.

The Kosher Twinkie had the Chicken and Waffles, which were slightly tweaked from tradition: Boneless skinless chicken breasts were fried, piled in a stack and impaled with a steak knife, into a sweet potato waffle. I was frankly surprised the man had ordered it, since he’d spent nearly all of cigarettes 2 and 3 railing against sweet things containing flour. He didn’t disappoint, however, requesting a box pretty early on so he could take the chicken home and eat it with ketchup.

Which leads us to the fun part of this outing: the service. At some point about 5 minutes after ordering, our server decided that NO SMOKING was the only person at the table to whom he wanted to speak. NO SMOKING was the only person at the table showing off his tattoos and acting friendly, but it wasn’t like the rest of us were rude or weird or anything. Our server had the hots for him, I guess. I tried to reject a coffee refill with ‘oh god no, I’ve had enough’ and the appropriate hand gestures, but I got a refill anyway. NO SMOKING had to ask for boxes for each of us, on three different table visits, because the requests from the rest of the table fell on deaf ears. It was just, well, weird.

Verdict: I loved the grits. The rest was serviceable, but we all reflect positively on the meal because it was nice to go someplace new. NO SMOKING really enjoyed the ego boost of picking up another admirer.

others on Screen Door
Da Merc

WWweek
pf.org

About Mark Englehart Evans

Sustainability minded, China based technologist focused on emerging mobile technologies and digital trends that shape our rapidly evolving world. Currently with Blue Hive APA. Techyizu co-founder, cyclist & rabid Portland Timbers FC supporter. Your new best friend

  • Anonymous

    where did you find the picture of charlene?

  • Anonymous

    where did you find the picture of charlene?

  • byiatch

    Yeah, new places for breakie. Genies double charged me for breakfast I found out when I noticed it on my bank statement on day – so no more Genies for me. Thieving waitstaff.

    I tried Jam’s on Hawthorne. It wasn’t bad. But not thrilling in any way.

    I still do CupnSaucer just for the biscuits and the creamcheesejabeneroeggs. The rest is just sad sad sad.
    But the **biscuits**….so good there; get some just to go to try, I recommend.

    What about a review of the NE side ala Tin Shed breaky?

  • byiatch

    Yeah, new places for breakie. Genies double charged me for breakfast I found out when I noticed it on my bank statement on day – so no more Genies for me. Thieving waitstaff.I tried Jam’s on Hawthorne. It wasn’t bad. But not thrilling in any way. I still do CupnSaucer just for the biscuits and the creamcheesejabeneroeggs. The rest is just sad sad sad.But the **biscuits**….so good there; get some just to go to try, I recommend.What about a review of the NE side ala Tin Shed breaky?

  • Fidel Gastro

    @byiatch: did you call genies? sometimes this stuff is unintentional.

  • Fidel Gastro

    @byiatch: did you call genies? sometimes this stuff is unintentional.