Broder calls itself “Sweden in Portland,” a distinction that used to belong to IKEA, but I don’t mind at all that Broder’s taken the title. Lit by the glowing metal branches of the unusual tree-like light fixture that runs the length of this minimalistically funky and exceedingly popular Clinton Street cafe, the long narrow confines let you get cozy with your neighbors–so be friendly and keep an eye on your æbleskiver.
The tight-tshirt-clad boys in the kitchen never disappoint, hardly pausing as they calmly and swiftly turn out smokin’ hot cast-iron skillets of freshly-made æbleskiver.
Thanks to the intimacy of it all, you get a front-row seat to the making of your meal–and the tight-tshirt-clad boys in the kitchen never disappoint, hardly pausing as they calmly and swiftly turn out smokin’ hot cast-iron skillets filled with potato-studded smoked trout hash, baked duroc ham and Swedish farmer’s cheese scrambles, hot little pyramids of freshly-made abelskivers–pleasantly dense little pancake orbs accompanied by tiny dipping bowls of lemon curd, lingonberry jam and maple syrup.
Traditional Breakfast Boards abound–wooden planks loaded with a barely abbreviated smogasboard that might include a soft-boiled egg, ham, soft and hard cheeses, fruit compote, a grapefruit half, a hunk of hearty brown bread from nearby Little T American Baker, Nancy’s yogurt with honey, and even gravlax (cured salmon, if you aren’t up on your Swedish). The grapefruit mimosas, served in plump stemless wineglasses, are the perfect balance of freshly squeezed citrus and sparkling wine, and soon render the sometimes prohibitive wait for a table a distant memory. It also helps that you can step next door to the Savoy Tavern and sip hot complimentary coffee until Broder comes a’ callin.
Not just a pretty brunch face, Broder also serves dinner three nights a week. Try the meatballs in sherry cream sauce or the choose-your-own smorgasboard adventure, and I promise you that moving to Sweden WILL cross your mind.
Atmosphere: Loud, hip, cramped, busy, happy, delicious-smelling
Outdoor seating: Yes, a few tables out on the sidewalk overlooking SE Clinton Street
Best Seat: I like to sit in the front window, the tables are bigger and not quite as intimately positioned, however, this means the eavesdropping opportunities aren't as good
Noise Level: Energetic–Boisterous, but conversation is possible
Dress Code: Casual
Bring the Kids: Yes
Bathrooms: Yes, straight through the toothpick skinny dining room and all the way to the back, can’t miss it
Parking: Free and plentiful on SE Clinton and surrounding streets
Cocktails: Yes, and a great Aquavit selection
Beer: A very nicely rounded selection of Belgian, German, Polish, English, Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish beers ($4-$12)
Wine: Compact but nicely chosen selection of mostly French whites, reds and dessert wines ($24.50-$61.25). Be sure to get a grapefruit mimosa with brunch (or breakfast, or lunch), they are excellent—perfect ratio of juice to champagne, and served in nifty stemless wineglasses.
Teetotalers: Juices & sodas
Tea: Jasmine Pearl Tea Co.
Ideal Meal: Smoked trout hash, abelskivver, grapefruit mimosa
Vegetarian Friendly: Yes
Vegan Friendly: Yes
Good for the following occasions: Out With Friends, Family Meal, Brunch
Group/Private Party Details: Yes
Deals: To "keep you from crying over the wait," Broder offers Baby Spanskas on weekends, their $4.50 take on Spanish coffee. Oh boy.