Sunday, September 21, 2008

Doug Fir Breakfast

Nommed at the Doug Fir for the second time Saturday morning. This will go down as one of my better recent breakfasts.

Decor: Think upscale vintage Denny's. Comfortable brown vinyl covered booths make for pleasant seating. The whole bank of windows allows a lot of natural light in, but there are some darker nooks towards the doors. The logs used in the construction make the whole arrangement seem rather homey without giving up any of their hipster cred.

The wait staff were pleasant and attentive, although I think the girls ought to be just a wee bit more conservative with their miniskirts. When you bend over to bus a table and I can tell what color underwear you have on (I hope they were flesh-colored...) that might be too short. Our waiter was a burly ex-skater with a surprisingly cultured demeanor who was really on top of things. Our coffee never got low, and we never felt pestered. The concept of leaving a wine bottle of water for the table to top up their glasses is interesting. Although, I think some of the clientèle might be too limp-wristed to lift a magnum safely...

The Doug Fir is known as an excellent venue for music shows, and it doesn't surprise me that they put on a decent mix for the morning crowd. No screamers, no drum'n'bass, no top-40 pop. Just a pleasant blend: some classic rock seasoned with both new and old indie rock.

I tried their bloody Mary, per my usual M.O., and was pleasantly surprised. My expectations for the restaurant bloody Mary were RUINED by a delicious fireball I was served at Genie's once upon a time. Since that pleasantly painful event I've been disappointed by every bloody Mary I've been served, even my return visits to the Genie's. Francis put up a good one for a bit, but has since returned to a mediocrity that is comparable to everywhere else. The Doug Fir Bloody is a horseradish spicy, with a seasoned-salt rim, and very very good olives. They put a lime on it, but I don't think it adds anything. It woke up my appetite something fierce.

Food was traditional breakfast fare. I had the Logger's Breakfast, with a chicken-fried steak and two eggs over medium. The eggs were just right. Their oven-roasted rosemary potatoes are excellent and well seasoned, but I don't really go for the breakfast spud these days for some reason. The chicken-fried steak was monumentally good. I was pleased that it was relatively small, versus the ones I've had previously that drooped off the side of the plate all the way around. It was perfectly fried, tender and moist on the inside. Not a hint of toughness anywhere. I also really liked their gravy. Very rich and deep flavor.

I got to try a couple bites of the Satyricon Scramble, and it was fantastic! It really smacks you around in the mouth, with some kalamata olives, feta cheese, and whole cloves of roasted garlic. Wow! I'll be going for this on the next visit, for sure. On the same topic, I guess Satyricon is back open again? Bizarre!

My first visit to the Doug Fir wasn't as memorable. I got the smoked salmon Benedict, and it was just okay. After this visit, I'm sure I'll be coming back more frequently. It's strange to me how few really good breakfast places Portland has. You'd think we could do better than Elmer's, right?

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