Come On In – Screen Door (Portland, OR)

They say that Sunday brunch is an institution in Portland.  The proper way to brunch, according to locals, is to put your name on the waiting list, go home to eat a bowl of cereal or to a donut shop, and then come back about an hour later. In other words, be prepared to wait for a while, so grab your favorite friends/family and enjoy the company. In our Portlandia adventures, we chose the most popular brunch spot, Screen Door, for the experience.

We arrived at 10:30am, and as promised, the wait about about 1.5 hours and we were seated just past noon. We had a table of four, so we had the opportunity to share a few items. Otherwise, expect to take lots of food home.

Screen Door - chicken and waffles

Fried Chicken and Sweet Potato Waffles – a 6 oz. chicken breast that is still surprisingly juicy bursting with peppers and breading that isn’t too crispy; enjoy this classic combination of sweet and savory kicked up a notch with sublime sweet potato waffles to add more just a touch of sweetness without needing maple syrup. This is the mini-version; it usually comes with THREE chicken breasts for a total of 18 oz. of meat. It could be some of the best leftovers you’ve ever had.

Screen Door - fried chicken biscuit sandwich

Fried Chicken Biscuit Sandwich – with sausage gravy. This is a monstrous biscuit sandwich, but you’ll find a fluffy biscuit, flavorful gravy, and juicy fried chicken that is worth all the space in your stomach.

Screen Door - bananas foster french toast

Bananas Foster French Toast – with maple whipped cream; dessert masquerading as breakfast. Flambed bananas and an airy brioche are the star of this dish.

Screen Door - fried oyster benedict

Fried Oyster Benedict – with cheddar grits. A taste of the south with creamy hollandaise and perfectly poached eggs. Add cheesy, extra smooth grits and you’ll forget you’re in Portland on a rainy Sunday.

Screen Door - bacon hush puppies

Bacon Hush Puppies – appropriately gritty corn meal that is fried with crispy outer layer without drying out the insides too much. The bacon gives it a little more depth and savoriness to meld with the maple syrup.

Screen Door - breakfast corn dogs

Breakfast Corn Dogs – hush puppy batter stuffed with a sausage link. It’s breakfast on a stick, but still somehow grown up with a fancy sausage inside!

Screen Door

The Wait – 1.5 hours

Screen Door - menu


Screen Door is known for their large portions of southern food, and they do not disappoint. They deftly combine variations of sweet and savory and then add maple syrup for good measure, as if to emphasize this is brunch! This is southern inspired cuisine, and it speaks to the usage of fresh, local ingredients.

Lots of people will ask, is it worth the wait? Well, I’d do it again. But really, asking if the wait was worth it, is missing the entire point of the brunch experience. Good food is worth waiting for and good company makes the wait welcome.

Overall: Happily ever after
Highlights: biscuits, fried chicken
Footnotes: they do not take reservations and you will need to stand outside, so dress warmly and in waterproof gear; Heart coffee down the street has great coffee to sip in the meantime; half orders of a lot of their dishes are available and are a good option if you want a more reasonable amount of food
Screen Door Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Leave a Reply