Restaurant: Pine State Biscuits
Last visited: August 19, 2011
Location: Portland, OR (Sunnyside or Alberta)
2 store locations in Portland & 1 stall at the Farmer’s Market
Sunnyside is first store front serving breakfast/brunch only, Alberta serves dinner
Address: 3640 SE Belmont Street (Sunnyside)
Price Range: $10 or less
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!
Service: n/a (Pay at cashier/self-serve)
- Started in 2006
- Locally owned
- Featured on Diner, Drive Ins & Dives
- Local & tourist favourite
- Famous for freshly baked biscuits
- Local ingredients
- Home style Southern grub
- Very popular/long lines
- Budget friendly/cheap eats
- Family friendly
- Limited seating
- Patio seating
- Stumphouse coffee
- Accepts Visa/MC
- Eat in/Take out
- Open 7 days a week, 7am – 2pm
**Recommendations: The Reggie Deluxe Biscuit Sandwich, The Chatfield Biscuit Sandwich, BBQ Biscuit Sandwich with an egg, Butternut Squash Bread
Target: Pine State Biscuits. It’s a proud Portland tradition famous for a Southern “delicacy”. Famous for their biscuit sandwiches, these buttery beauties have been replicated by others throughout the city, but there is no substitution for the real deal.
It was a must try and the first stop on my foodie itinerary for Portland. But little did I know that it closed at 2pm and had to resort to plan B, which was Pambiche. (The absence of a line-up should have been a dead giveaway it was closed though.)
I’m not sure if you know what it’s like to crave a crispy fried chicken, bacon and egg biscuit sandwich smothered in gravy, and then not get it… it f-ing licks. Almost in tears I put it at the top of the list for the next morning.
We got there at around 10am hoping to avoid line ups, and we waited only about half and hour which was much better than the anticipated one hour long line-ups we had heard about. Regardless thirty minutes or one hour, it was worth the wait and I hate line-ups.
There was nothing gourmet about this divey little breakfast joint and there was nothing like watching the boys behind the counter baby these tender buttery biscuits and attend to them at every cry, also known as the oven buzzer.
I didn’t even take my intended whiff of the air before I was hit with the wonderful aromas of a rich and hearty breakfast, which was also once featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. I could smell the intense butter coming off these famous freshly baked biscuits, followed by the smell of fried chicken and sausage patties hot off the griddle. As indulgent as the food is and sounds, everything is made in house with fresh and local ingredients.
I was in heaven and a good old fashioned Southern brunch was about to be served by a team of modern day hippies… with a swag. (Come during clean up time and you’ll know what I mean)
If I could pluck a place and bring it back to Vancouver, this would be one of them. We’re not a biscuit culture, but I’ll gladly trade one of our salad bars for this. I estimate 80% of Follow Me Foodie readers would agree.
Pine State Biscuits is hands down a must try if you’re in Portland. It’s a true taste of Southern goodness without the accents, and it’s possibly the furthest South you’ll get without actually being in the South. It was everything I dreamed of, everything I wanted it to be and so much more. It was everything bad, and yet oh so good!
On the table:
- Choose from: apple butter, whipped butter, local honey, local jam (marion berry or strawberry), or house made pimento cheese spread $3
- The plain biscuit is a must try if you want to really judge how good a biscuit place is.
- I was with a biscuit connoisseur and apparently these biscuits are 100% legit.
- They’re authentic and traditional and exactly how they make them in North Carolina.
- We ordered them with honey, which was very good quality honey bee farm honey, and I could taste that grainy raw sugar texture which was fantastic.
- These biscuits are made with buttermilk, but they’re noticeably more buttery and savoury before they are tangy.
- They’re fluffy and incredibly moist, soft and tender, more doughy than flaky, but not crisp, sweet or greasy, and just incredibly well layered with buttery flavour. Delicious!
- It was a very rich old fashioned biscuit, and not a fancy sweet scone that people sometimes pass off as a biscuit. They are different.
- I was actually very surprised they didn’t have a crispy top because I watched as they brushed them with melted butter and bake them for an extra few minutes before serving. Apparently authentic Northern Carolina style biscuits don’t have the crispy top though.
- Personally I actually enjoy the “modern” day gourmet biscuits with the crispy top like the ones from Urban Solace (see here), or the ones I had the night before at Tasty n Sons (see here).
- However when it comes to traditional, there’s no messing around. These are the real deal Southern style biscuits that are notorious in North Carolina.
- Tin Shed Cafe, another popular diner in Portland also offers biscuits, but those are more representable of the ones in Maine and they’re not as moist as these.
- Fried chicken, bacon & cheese topped with gravy and an egg $8
- Holy sweet baby bejeezus, this was worth the wait! Don’t you just want to bite the screen? Or dip your fingers in that gravy?! If you don’t, I will!
- This is their most famous and popular biscuit sandwich that was featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. It’s Triple D approved and Follow Me Foodie approved!
- Anyone that has a full one for breakfast, likely won’t be hungry until dinner. This was delicious “heart attack waiting to happen” food!
- Having it smothered with sausage gravy is definitely one of the winning factors and added bonuses to all the other ingredients already making it amazing!
- Your teeth sink straight through the tender and soft buttery layers of the fluffy biscuit and then you’re hit with crispy thick cut strips of salty bacon and a crunch of fried chicken topped with melted cheddar cheese.
- The fried chicken was perfectly fried and crisp and likely pre-brined as it retained so much moisture and flavour.
- It was a thick piece of good quality chicken breast and the batter was a solid old fashioned traditional flour batter well seasoned with salt and black pepper.
- The batter wasn’t too thick, soggy, floury or bready, and it stayed in tact with the chicken, as it always should be.
- The meat was incredibly moist and juicy and nothing about this sandwich was dry. I didn’t even sip my glass of water through it.
- The sausage gravy gave it that saucy factor that makes everything taste better.
- It was a creamy rich gravy that was peppery in flavour with juicy crumbles of fatty pork sausage and some sauteed onions.
- It’s the type of gravy you want to pour over mashed potatoes, or anything for that matter.
- It’s not really a meaty gravy and it was almost like a bechamel sauce.
- The only thing is that the egg got very lost.
- I wish the yolk was still runny so that it would drip down and absorb into my biscuit like a sponge and accompany the gravy as a natural sauce.
- A runny yolk is the only thing I wanted that would have blew my mind and made it even better. It would make it messier, but who the heck cares?
- Fried chicken, bacon and cheddar cheese topped with house made apple butter $7
- I actually really enjoyed this one too, but I also really like sweet and savoury flavours together.
- This was the only sweet and savoury biscuit sandwich.
- Again the fried chicken was solid with a crispy well seasoned batter and juicy tender chicken breast that was likely brined first.
- It was nice and cheesy, although I wish the cheese was a bit more melted, and the two strips of thick cut salty bacon stood out as much as the thick piece of chicken.
- It was generously layered with house made apple butter which tasted like a sweet buttery chutney with perhaps a bit of honey.
- I could actually taste the texture of creamy caramelized apples, but it wasn’t smooth like baby food either, and more like a fresh puree of preserves or cooked fruit.
- The apple butter was more sweet than tart and together with the hot chicken and warm soft biscuit it all melted in my mouth.
- I could taste every layer of ingredient and the sweet and savoury balance was bang on.
- Podnah’s smoked pork pulled and mixed with Carolina style BBQ sauce topped with cole slaw (Available as a plate or a sandwich) $7
- I love pulled pork, so naturally this called my name.
- This was a Northern Carolina pulled pork and it wasn’t saucy. I actually couldn’t taste the BBQ sauce at all.
- Typically it is vinegar based, and it was a lighter style pulled pork and it wasn’t sweet or even very tangy.
- It wasn’t aggressively seasoned with a dry rub, but just well made pulled pork with a mild spice.
- I usually love saucy pulled pork with molasses and bold flavours, but this one was just intense with natural pork flavour and I loved it.
- The meat wasn’t that lean so the fatty pork juices really stood out and each shred of meat was juicy and tender.
- For a non-barbeque house, this was very impressive pulled pork and it had a very smoky flavour, and I question if there was any liquid smoke used. It was delicious regardless and I was shocked I didn’t miss any BBQ sauce.
- The very fresh and crunchy slaw was mayo-free and and lightly dressed with a vinaigrette and seasoned with black pepper.
- There was a nice tang and crunch from the slaw and together with the slow roasted juicy pork it was unlike most pulled pork sandwiches I’ve had before.
- I’d order this as a plate because it didn’t really need the biscuit and the other biscuit sandwiches were better.
- This was more of a lunch sandwich, and for breakfast I would add a fried egg … a thin layer of apple butter would be nice too.
- Fried chicken, fried green tomato, a wedge iceberg lettuce, topped with house made ranch or blue cheese dressing $8
- This was the biggest of all and almost double the size of the others due to the wedge of iceberg lettuce giving it much height.
- It was the only one that didn’t work for me although it was still good.
- It was reminiscent of a BLT salad in a sandwich form with added fried chicken.
- The fried chicken is amazing here, so anything with fried chicken will always be good.
- This was probably most typical and I couldn’t taste the fried green tomato.
- The blue cheese dressing tasted like Ranch and I question if there was any blue cheese in it at all.
- The dressing was more like a plain creamy buttermilk dressing.
- The flavour was closer to Ranch meets a Caesar dressing because instead of blue cheese it was mixed with some shredded Parmesan or Asiago cheese.
- There was just too much dressing, and the dressing wasn’t great, and it seemed more like an overly dressed green salad on top of fried chicken.
- Golden hash browns with chopped country ham (or) flank steak, grilled onions, mushrooms and melted cheddar cheese $6
- The hash browns were pretty good and intensely pan fried in lots of butter that just absorbed into every shred of potato.
- There was just a lack of all the other ingredients and most of it was just potato.
- I would ask for these extra crispy because they were mainly soft, but still very flavourful and rich.
- This was delicious and I’m surprised nobody talks about it. I would order this again for sure!
- It was an ultra moist loaf and suitable as dessert.
- It was sweet and almost creamy and melted in my mouth. It was so moist it would even make the biscuits seem dry, which is crazy.
- I could taste the warm spices of nutmeg and cloves and it was made with pureed butternut squash, so it was naturally sweet.
- I could see some clear thin spider web like strands as I pulled the loaf apart and it was either the natural sugars from the butternut squash or maybe added honey or agave syrup. It was sweet, but not overly sweet, wet or syrupy.
- It was very rich and it’s the kind of bread that would leave a big grease stain on a brown paper bag. I like to think of that mark as “moist” rather than “oily”.
- As bad as that sounds, that “grease stain” quality is something I like in some of my favourite kinds of loaves, and this one was amazing!
- Nougat, caramel and pecans covered in chocolate with or without bacon $3
- After my recent blog post celebrating bacon and desserts (see here) I had to order this! With bacon please!
- I was expecting a home made chocolate granola-like bar, so little did I know it would actually be so little!
- Although it was good, I found it very overpriced.
- The nougat was thicker than a Three Musketeers chocolate bar and the chocolate used was actually very good quality bitter sweet dark chocolate.
- The caramel was rich and buttery but it was also sticky and chewy and I like the fresher caramels that melt in your mouth.
- I couldn’t taste much pecan and it was almost like a salted caramel with smoky flavours from little crispy bits of bacon.
- It was more salty than it was bacon-y, but I could taste the bacon.
- I’ve had this combination before so it wasn’t particularly new for me, but I still liked it.
- It was a very good chocolate, but just not good enough to justify the price in my opinion.