Saturday, September 18, 2010

Pine State Biscuits

My eyes creaked open only for them to be drawn shut in the same instant. I curled up in the blanket of fog that loomed over me from the IPA’s I drank last night. Damn, those beers are strong. It was my 3rd day in Portland, OR, and the first two were raining. I cracked the window to see that this day was going to be a beautiful day, but the haze increasing around my head and eyes was weighing me down, luring me back in bed. After squirming around in a mental battle for a bit, I gave myself a pep talk and went straight to the shower to attempt to wash away this feeling. It only washed away a little. Getting dressed proved to be a task and a half as I started throwing things out of my suitcase and trying on about 6 different outfits. “Nothing is right”, I whine to myself, and I settle for wearing the last thing I put on; short black pants and a loose fitting tank top.

My plan for the day is to go to Alberta St., where there are many shops, galleries, bars and restaurants. I emerge from the house and the sunlight and heat hit me like a brick wall. (another pep talk). Alberta St. is about a mile or two away from my cousin’s house where I’m staying, which normally is not a big deal for me to walk. But, between the blazing sun and the aching in my head, the walk becomes long shortly after I start. Not to mention my absolute dissatisfaction with leaving the house on a 90-degree day with pants on! (pep talk). The only thing keeping me in stride is knowing that my first destination will be Pine State Biscuits.

After what seemed like a million years, I finally arrived at Pine State Biscuits. I had already studied the menu, and I knew that the Reggie Deluxe would be my ticket, home free, to non-hangover land. Along with a cup of Portland’s most popular Stumptown coffee, I would be made in the shade in no time. I took a seat at the bar so I could watch the magic unfold. And let me tell you, these guys move like a well-oiled machine.

My Reggie Deluxe arrives and a tear comes to my eye at the sight of its loveliness. A biscuit topped with fried chicken, bacon, melted cheese and a sunny-side up egg, and all of that drenched in sausage gravy. The thing is so big, I don’t even know how to go about eating it. Some how I manage to fork and knife my way to a perfect bite that has a little bit of everything. The biscuit is flaky and buttery, and the chicken is crispy, but like velvet on the piping hot inside, and the bacon is crunchy and salty, all singing in a chorus with the cheese and peppery, creamy gravy. Each element has been well thought out to be sure that all the contrasting textures and flavors come together effortlessly. I added a bit of the common condiment I had seen all around Portland, Aardvark Habanero Hot Sauce. Adding a little heat to this combo makes me feel like me and the biscuit are the only ones in the room.

Before I know, the plate is licked clean and my hangover haze is transforming into biscuit bliss. Thank you, Pine State, you saved my day.

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