Portland is mad for brunch. What could be better on a Sunday morning: sunny patio, friendly servers, a posse of friends. That rosy glow, however, may include long waits and lines that creep toward those pecan waffles and buttermilk biscuits. Once a spot has been Yelped, Tweeted, or FBed, it becomes one of those places you can’t go to anymore cause everyone’s there. Pine State Biscuits, a small, unpretentious local restaurant, is one of those. When I was looking for a bite at the Saturday Portland Market, I noticed the seemingly endless line in front of their food stall and thought I’d like to skip the wait, so yesterday I drove to their Alberta Street location.
I have a batchelor friend who will be joining the ranks of the happily married next summer. He and his fiancé love brunch and have floated the idea of a biscuit bar for the post wedding celebrating: biscuits and gravy, biscuits and ham, cheese grits with a biscuit, fried green tomatoes on a biscuit, biscuits and fruit preserves, biscuits and cheese, the list is endless. Wish they could visit Portland and get a few ideas from the Pine State Biscuit Cafe.
When I worked at the Dahlia, Isles, the baker, made these heavenly biscuits. Can’t quite remember how they were served—must have been something brunchy.
- 2 c. flour
- 1 T. baking powder
- 1 t. salt
- 1 T. sugar
- 1-11⁄2 c. heavy cream
- 1⁄2 stick melted butter
Sift dry ingredients together.
Combine lightly with cream. Gather into round and let rest in refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Dust board with extra flour and roll to even. Cut into twelve biscuits and brush each one using the 1⁄2 stick melted butter.
Bake 12 minutes in 425° oven.
There are probably as many recipes for pimento cheese as there are pimentos. Here’s one.
Southern-style pimento cheese
- 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup grated sharp cheddar
- 1 cup grated Monterey Jack
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 to 3 tablespoons pimentos, smashed
- 1 teaspoon grated onion
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Bake 1/2 cup chopped pecans at 350° in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Cool 20 minutes.
Stir together cream cheese, mayonnaise, jack and cheddar, diced pimiento, and toasted pecans.