Sometimes all you need in the morning is a good bagel and coffee. Other days you want something sweet and delicious and covered in powdered sugar. But on those days that you need a tasty garden fresh scramble, chocolate-raspberry French toast or homemade sausage with red cabbage, you’ll want to check out The Slide Inn, a new Portland brunch spot on SE Ankeny Street.
From the outside it looks warm and welcoming. Full windows in the front let the natural light into the dining area and keeps the place feeling open. There is only space for about 50 people, but the tables are spread apart so that you are not bumping elbows with your neighbor as you chow down on your brunch.
Each table setting has cut glass water goblets, and water is poured out of blue cut glass pitchers, which adds to the feeling that you are at someone’s dining table rather than a restaurant. Tucked to the side of the room, next to the bar, is a seating area with a couch and arm chair. Piled on the table next to the chair is a bunch of etch-a-sketches that you or your children can play with while waiting for your meal.
Mom and I arrived mid morning, about 10 o’clock, on a Sunday, just before a surge of people came in. We didn’t have to wait long for coffee to be poured, and not long after that was our order taken.
The brunch menu consists of the basics: eggs, pancakes, waffles. But each has their own fresh twist. I had the Chocolate-cinnamon French Toast with raspberry syrup. The toast had just enough of a fry on it that the syrup and the whipped cream topping did not soak into the bread.
Mom ordered the special of the day. It was an egg scramble with fresh-picked Swiss chard and yellow tomatoes. The scramble was combined in such a way that all the elements could be picked out, but did not fall apart on the fork. What was even better was that there was no one flavor that overpowered the others.
It was also amazing that we could go back and peek at the garden where the vegetables came from. Things always taste better the closer the kitchen is to the garden.
As a side. we both decided to order the house made turkey sausage on a bed of red cabbage. The turkey was mixed with roasted apples and sage, a combination that I was unsure about until I tasted it and everything made sense. The apples gave it that sweet flavor and the sage the tang you need in a savory dish. The cabbage was al dente, to use a pasta term, with just enough crunch that it reminded me that I was eating a fresh vegetable.
One of the more amazing things about our visit was that chef and owner Eugen Bingham was the only one cooking that morning. He was able to keep the food in good quality while he pushed through the brunch service.
The Slide Inn is at 2348 SE Ankeny in Portland. Online, find them at SlideInnPDX.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner is served nightly, 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.