Surveying the weekend morning line outside Screen Door, it’s immediately apparent that you’re going to need some reinforcements before you invade this fortress of fried oyster benedict and Bananas Foster French toast. Hot coffee, warm clothing, reading material/conversation skills, and if you have the crushing misfortune to miss the cut for the first seating, some grief counseling and a light pre-breakfast might be in order.
If you have the crushing misfortune to miss the cut for the first seating, some grief counseling and a light pre-breakfast might be in order.
Come Saturday and Sunday mornings, rain, sleet, snow or shine, ‘round the corner and halfway down the block, in twos, fours, and mores, some with entire flocks of children in tow, eager early birds wait patiently (some, semi-patiently) for their dose of Portland’s heartiest Southern brunch. The kitchen incorporates local and organic produce and meat into what’s described as a “survey of the south”—a blend of low-country cuisine, rustic one-pot Cajun cooking, and fancy Creole fare that spawns flavorsome brunch and dinner dishes like cornmeal-crusted fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits, buttermilk-battered chicken with savory Tasso ham gravy, Texas toast, and praline bacon. Yes, praline bacon.
Screen Door’s dining room is lined with cushy booths and accented with homey touches like flowing curtains and jars of pickles and preserves, creating a cheerfully convivial down home dining experience that comforts both soul and belly. A long communal table accommodates large groups and families, even old-woman-in-a-shoe-sized ones, and when the restaurant is full, it’s so loud that even if your little one got up on the wrong side of the crib, their grumblings really won’t make a dent. Service is fast and efficient and the staff is attractive and good-humored, so if you don’t yet have any children to keep you company in the Screen Door line but would like to have some someday, you might want to chat up your cute, friendly server.
Executive Chef: Derek Saner & Matthew Howard
Owner: David and Nicole Mouton
Pastry Chef: Erin Eberlein-Sage
Atmosphere: Down home, cheerfully-crowded gathering place for comfort food fans of all ages; unassuming exterior reveals a big bright country-chic dining room with a view of the crazy-busy open kitchen
Outdoor seating: Good-sized side patio
Best Seat: Booth
Noise Level: Boisterous
Dress Code: Casual
Bring the Kids: Most definitely
Bathrooms: Between the kitchen and the bar
Parking: Street parking is free and can be challenging to find close by during peak times, but if you drive a block or two into the surrounding residential neighborhood, you'll find a spot
Cocktails: Yes, and if you like Bloody Marys, this is one of the best in the city
Ideal Meal: Cornmeal crusted fried green tomatoes, praline bacon waffle, fried oyster benedict, fried chicken, banoffee pie
Vegetarian Friendly: Yes, amazing array of daily vegetable specials
Good for the following occasions: Brunch, Family Supper, Dining Alfresco, Date Night/Brunch If You Need Help Deciding Whether To Have Kids
Reservations: Accepted for groups of six or more, call 503.542.0880