Breakfast is comfort food. Telltale signs of a good breakfast include savory flavors, delicious smells and a laid-back atmosphere where you can share your experiences of times prior. This is why we decided to use the Arleta Library Cafe in this weeks Taste blog. Not only are you able to relax and feel like you’re at home, the food itself is simple and decadent. With an atmosphere that fits with the city it resides in, this may be a place you should check out.
Located across the street from a park and tucked behind a tree in SE Portland, you’ll likely continue driving right past this place if not for the wad of people gathered outside its doors. Unless you’re the guy who’s wide awake and ready to take on the day at 6:50am, prepare for a little wait. All the space inside is devoted to kitchen and seating so you’ll be making new friends while sitting on a bench out front. The locals tend to be nice and willing to share their thoughts on this and other establishments in the area. Some have suggested the restaurant needs to expand but that might take away the quaint feeling of being only 1 of 9 tables (well, unless the sun is out and the back patio is open).
When your name is called you’re greeted by friendly staff who believe in the local, natural foods they provide. Sitting down will gain you a cup of Portland’s own Stumptown Coffee which is served bottomless in random cups your grandmother might own. Freshly squeezed OJ and a portion of their Amish bread will quench your rumbling stomach.
The menu is kept simple, with everything on one page, and items named after local places and styles – “The Portlander,” “The Hawthorne,” and such. Keeping true to this city all ingredients are fresh, local, organic – with Gluten-free options. The biscuits, quiche, and breads are all made daily. The jams are infused with flavors you would never expect – “Strawberry Bourbon,” anyone? Yum.
This all sounds great, but what if you’re a poor hipster struggling on ‘early retirement’ (aka unemployment)? No worries. Prices are reasonable and most menu items are less than $10 each. With bottomless coffee at $2.50, fresh-squeezed OJ at $2 and fresh baked goods for under $3, feel free to pig out and not worry about your pocketbook.
Overall, Arleta Library Cafe wins a place in our hearts. It’s one of our favorite brunch locations and a great spot to bring out-of-town friends to give them an idea of what Portland is all about. Looking for a new favorite local hang out? Check them out between 8am-2:30pm.