Breakfast in Bridgetown is part guidebook, part entertaining travel narrative through the Portland breakfast scene. While entire guidebooks could be written on each genre of breakfast places, from Mom and Pop diner to classy see and be seen brunch spots, author Paul Gerald touches on a wide variety of early meal dining options, but with no ratings (of which he explains why). In a quirky anecdotal fashion, Gerald provides a solid assessment of the restaurants in the areas of: menu, seating, expected wait time, and most importantly, what type of coffee they serve. Basically, he’s saving you from showing up at Pattie’s Homeplate Cafe expecting crab cake benedicts or dining at Fenouil when you’re craving eggs and hashbrowns.
The restaurants are all broken down into easily identifiable categories (old school, classy, hip, mom and pop, etc.) as well as by location. While you can flip through the book to find a review on that place down the street you’ve been meaning to check our or to find a place to take your parents when they visit, it also reads very well from cover to cover.
Like many Portlanders, I take my weekend breakfast options pretty seriously, and have my own list of favorites. Of course, I jumped ahead to see whether his opinions jived with mine, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that they did. I chuckled at, “shot a curious glance at the line outside Cup and Saucer,” in the Autentica write-up, because Aaron and I have been wondering about that ourselves. Menudo is Aaron’s comfort food, while I am more partial to their chilaquiles, so we have spent many a morning at Autentica. Their Menudo recipe is a bit different from his families, but mi Mama Geek gave it her stamp of approval.
Breakfast in Bridgetown is an entertaining read and a practical guide to have on hand for when you need fresh ideas on where to go, have houseguests to impress, or are undecided on which of the ninety-five profiled restaurants to choose. If you’re feeling indecisive, choose Gamer Geek style; get out your D10 percentiles, and give ‘em a roll. If you roll 96 or higher, re-roll; but know that you now have to buy breakfast for your dining party. Cheers!