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Oct 7, 2006 04:52 PM

PDX: Screen Door Slam

I'd been looking forward to trying the Screen Door for breakfast, as I live not too far away. Today I had a massive yardwork task ahead of me, so it seemed a good time to go in for a hit of grease, salt, and sugar. I got there a little early (they open at 9 on weekends). They eventually opened the door about 9:05. (Luckily, Blend -- next door -- made me a lovely latte to while away the time, and as always I had a book.) I went in. I was the only customer at that moment, so there couldn't have been a strain on the kitchen.
I like to order simply to check out a new place, so I asked for two eggs over medium (always a tough one), a side of wheat toast, and some of their signature praline bacon. After a decent and appropriate interval, the food appeared. The eggs were over easy rather than medium -- not an infrequent occurrence -- but, more unpleasantly, they were just at room temperature. So was the toast, which was not only dry and crumbly, but consisted of ONE SLICE (cut in two on the diagonal) of the most pedestrian Safeway wheat bread imaginable. Really quite shocking, for $1.95 (for a slice of tan balloon bread??!?) I hadn't known just what to expect from the "praline bacon," but so that you do: decent bacon smeared with a sweet sauce and crumbled praline. I was hungry and had work to do, so I cleaned my plate. The waiter came to clear, beaming, and asked how my meal was. (Amusingly, he had not asked earlier -- a question that usually annoys and interrupts me, but which, this time, I had fervently hoped for.) I told him.
Soon thereafter, a pleasant woman came out from the kitchen. She said that she had heard that I had not enjoyed my meal, and offered to comp it. While I appreciated the graciousness of the gesture, I declined, and insisted on paying for it (and leaving a good tip). After all, I had ordered it, they'd cooked it, and I'd eaten it. Comping me was not going to prevent this post, nor ensure my return visit.
Just thought the 'Hounds might like to know. Thanks for letting me vent.

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  1. Too bad you didn't like it, but before all other 'Hounds write it off, I have to say we've been there three times for brunch so far and found it excellent on all three visits.

    The dissatisfied customer might describe the praline bacon as above, but a better description might be that it's grilled in maple syrup and covered with toasted pecans (the pecans were whole on our first visit, crushed on a later -- I think the whole pecans were better). Yum.

    A lot of people seem to hate Gravy for their gravy. I'm guessing those people would probably like Screen Door's. A mushroom scramble is served topped with the vegetarian gravy, which has a deep mushroom character and is quite light.

    Other points to note: The side of sausage is two large, plump pork apple sausages. Eggs benedict are exactly what they should be. They've had some pastry specials that have changed over the course of our visits -- a cinnamon roll once, a scone with a gooey orange glaze another time. You get your choice of breakfast potatoes or cheddar grits with many items; if I had one thing to say hasn't been a standout item, it was the breakfast potatoes.

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