Posts Tagged ‘Cafe’

Bridge City Cafe is not our (my husband and my) ordinary kind of lunch stop.  Especially the Bridge City Cafe in the Lloyd Center Mall.  We generally avoid the mall food court because it seems like they’re usually more expensive than other lunch stops.  After all, they do have the high overhead costs for their prime location in the mall, and they’ve got to recoup those expenses. 

But, because we were going to be in the mall anyway (we had to rent a suit at the Men’s Wearhouse for my husband), and there was a great deal on LivingSocial, we decided to “break the rules” and visit Bridge City Cafe in the Lloyd Center Mall.  We enjoyed it so much that when we had to return to the mall the next day, we stopped in again!

Location:  2304 Lloyd Center, Portland, Oregon

Order:  The Living Social voucher entitled us each to a sandwich of our choice, a bag of chips, a drink and a cookie.  On day one, I ordered the Steel Roast Beef sandwich, and on the second day, I ordered the St. John’s Turkey Cranberry sandwich.

What I Think:

The atmosphere … well, you know the atmosphere.  This Bridge City Cafe location is in the food court in the mall.  Kids running around and screaming, babies crying, mothers yelling, cell phones beeping, and generally a lot of hurrying and scurrying around.  As an agoraphobic, it isn’t my favorite kind of atmosphere … not at all conducive to a comfortable place to dine out.

But, sometimes, when one is hungry and time is short … my daughter was getting married in a matter of days and I didn’t have a lot of time to go out and enjoy myself.  So, we picked up lunch where we could and how could we NOT take advantage of the LivingSocial voucher!  We each got a whole sandwich of our choice, a bag of chips, a drink and a cookie!

The word of this paragraph is FRESH.  That’s because everything about the sandwiches is FRESH!  The sandwiches are all made fresh to order, the bread is fresh (and soft and amazing!) and all the trimmings were fresh.  The lettuce wasn’t wilted, it was crisp and … yes, fresh.  Everything looked really appetizing.  The one exception was the tomatoes, which were a bit more on the pink side than the red so I picked those off of the sandwich.  I usually only want a tomato on my sandwich if it’s really ripe and tender.

Truly the best part of these sandwiches IS the bread.  I love that I had a sandwich made with bread that was baked in the shop that very morning.  The sourdough used to make the Steel Roast Beef was soft but with enough of that sourdough texture to give it some real substance.  The St. John’s Turkey Cranberry was made on a honey molasses bread and it was sweet, soft, and delicious, and really complimented the tart cranberry and the mild, juicy turkey very well.

We also got our choice of cookie, and I chose the lemon cookie.  Let me tell you something, if you’re ever near a Bridge City Cafe and are hungry for a fresh, homemade cookie … stop in and TRY the lemon cookie!  It tastes like a lemon bar!  You know the kind with the shortbread crust and the lemon curd-like filling?  Yes… it tastes just like that… with the shortbread and the lemon curd baked right in.  It’s amazing.  If you’re a fan of lemon-y baked goods, these cookies ARE NOT to be missed!

My Final Thoughts:

I really enjoyed both visits to Bridge City Cafe.  Sure, I’d rather not eat in the mall – the atmosphere is a bit much for me and tends to make me anxious.  But, if I happen to be in the mall and find myself hungry, I know where I want to go.  This is definitely one of the best stops at the food court!

Bridge City Cafe on Urbanspoon

One of the things I like best about Living Social is that it offers a new deal every week day, and quite often those deals are 50% savings (or more!) for local restaurants.  This is a great opportunity to try someplace new without a large financial commitment … in short, it is an affordable way to explore Portland’s gastronomy.  If not for Living Social, I probably would have never discovered Bumblekiss … they offer “ridiculously tasty” breakfast, brunch and lunch seven days a week.

Mini Muffins

Location:  3517 NE 46th Avenue in Portland, OR

Order:  I ordered Coconut Pancakes w/ Strawberry Sauce (from the special menu board), these pancakes came with two eggs, which I ordered over-medium.  My husband ordered the Cinnamon Swirl French Toast.  We also ordered a plate of mini-muffins to share.

What I Think: 

The first thing that I noticed about Bumblekiss is that this is not the run-of-the-mill cafe.  You can’t miss this place, with its burnt orange exterior, it’s a stand-out in the neighborhood.  It is a home that has been turn into a business, and when I walked into the main entrance, it felt cozy.  It’s not an upscale dining establishment, rather, it felt like I was visiting a good friend’s home.

Coconut Pancakes with Strawberry Sauce

I was happy to see that they offer Mighty Leaf tea.  Sure, I’d rather restaurants offer loose leaf teas, but, if they have to offer bagged tea, then Mighty Leaf’s sachets are about as close to loose leaf as bagged tea can get.  I ordered Orange Dulce, which is one of my favorite teas from Mighty Leaf.

We ordered a plate of mini muffins ($2.75 for a plate of six mini-muffins) to get things started.  There were 2 banana muffins, 2 lavender coconut, and 2 “muffins of the day” which happened to be a carrot-walnut type of muffin.  I thought that the banana would be my favorite, but I actually preferred the carrot-walnut.  It was moist, nutty and sweet, but not too sweet.  The lavender coconut muffin seemed to be more like a chewy coconut-oat cluster cookie that was heavily saturated with lavender than a muffin, but, since I love lavender, coconut and oats, I actually quite enjoyed it.  The banana was also quite tasty, but I found it to be a bit dry, which was a surprise to me, because typically banana breads tend to be rather moist.  It was still delicious, but, I was expecting a moister texture.

It didn’t take me long to decide what I wanted to order.  One glance at the special menu board told me that Coconut Pancakes were the special of the day and that sounded too good to pass up.  And they were!  These pancakes were heavenly.  It was like eating cake for breakfast.  Incredible!  They were fluffy and loaded with shredded coconut.  Sweet and very substantial – they filled me up fast!

I didn’t try the syrup that was included on the plate until toward the end, and I really wish I had tried it sooner.  Because the pancakes had been drizzled with the strawberry sauce, I didn’t really feel they needed additional topping… but the syrup at Bumblekiss is amazing!  It is like a sugar syrup that has been heavily infused with a masala chai spice blend.  It is absolutely delicious, so good, in fact, that I think I’m going to try my hand at making some at home (I have plenty of spices on hand!)  As much as I love strawberries (and this strawberry sauce was delicious), I would have rather not had the pancakes topped with the sauce, and used the syrup instead.

Cinnamon Swirl French Toast

My husband ordered the cinnamon swirl french toast ($7.50 for three pieces of french toast) and they were tasty, although I must admit that in themselves, they weren’t anything extraordinary.  It was the syrup, in my opinion, that made them special.

 

My Final Thoughts:

I enjoyed my visit to Bumblekiss.  The food is indeed “rediculously tasty” and comforting, and I appreciated the cozy, friendly ambiance.  The service was good, our server was attentive and made the experience all the more enjoyable.

Bumblekiss on Urbanspoon

Recently, my husband, my youngest daughter (she’s 9) and I visited the North Portland location of the Cup & Saucer Cafe.  Instantly comforting with its artsy, urban-retro kind of vibe, I expected equally as comforting food…

Location:  8237 N. Denver Avenue in Portland, OR

Order:  I ordered the World Famous Garden Scramble with a scone ($8.50) and Dragonfly Chai ($3), my husband ordered a cheeseburger ($8.25), while my daughter ordered pancakes and a fruit cup from the children’s menu.

What I Think:

I was instantly charmed by the atmosphere of the Cup & Saucer Cafe.  It has a very Urban-Trendy feel to it, with a little bit of retro mixed in for that feeling of “home.”  The burnt orange walls featured interesting (and quite inspiring!) mixed-media art light boxes by local artist Jackie Meldrum (I included a photo of one of my favorite pieces below).

"Vines & Khaki" from Portland artist Jackie Meldrum.

We were greeted promptly by our server. We took a few moments to review the menu as there were many tempting items, but since the Garden Scramble was “World Famous” I decided that I needed to try that. My husband, ever the adventurous type, ordered the cheeseburger. My daughter ordered pancakes. After tasting my Garden Scramble and also taking a bite of his cheeseburger, I wish I had been less adventurous and gone for the burger, which was tasty. Or perhaps even the pancakes, which were incredible:  light, fluffy and delicious.

The Garden Scramble included a side of potatoes and I selected a scone as my “bread” part of my meal. The fried potatoes were cooked through with a well-seasoned, crispy exterior and a fluffy interior, and these tasty morsels were very home-y and comforting.

The scone was the best part of my meal. It was light and fluffy and flaky. There was a subtle hint of vanilla to the scone, and I liked it. The vanilla gave it just the right touch of sweetness. Delicious!

The "World Famous" Garden Scramble

The Garden Scramble was certainly edible, but not something that would make me want to visit the Cup & Saucer Cafe again any time soon. This dish includes a variety of garden-fresh vegetables and “garden” sausage, all scrambled together with eggs. The eggs were a little overdone, in my opinion. They had a little bit of that ‘rubbery’ kind of texture, and while it was a little off-putting, it wasn’t a complete loss. The vegetables that were scrambled into the eggs had a pleasant, toothsome quality to them – tender but with just a little fresh “snap” to them. I wish that there were more tomatoes (my scramble only had one piece of tomato in it) and more mushrooms, as they were my favorite part of the dish. I also found myself quite enjoying the garden sausage.

The Dragonfly Chai was also rather delightful. I found myself enjoying it so much that I ordered a second one to take with me when we left. It was sweet and creamy but not overly so. The spices were relatively mild although I found that the flavor of the ginger really sort of sneaks up on you and hits solidly at the tail of the sip.

My Final Thoughts:

I might visit the Cup & Saucer Cafe again, but I probably will never order the Garden Scramble again.  I don’t know why it was dubbed the “World Famous” Garden Scramble.  This moniker leads to high expectations and does not deliver, and the Garden Scramble is over-hyped in this reviewer’s opinion.  However, the burger was certainly good and the pancakes were delicious.  And, of course, the scone was out of this world!  I wouldn’t mind revisiting just for the scones and the Dragonfly Chai.

Cup & Saucer Cafe on Urbanspoon