Back in the Spring of 2010 when the idea for Portland Food Adventures began to gel, I decided to make a concerted effort to check off the list of many places in Portland I was curious to try but hadn’t yet. Sure, I had a good knowledge of many incredible restaurants, food carts, coffee spots, etc., but we all know the prolific food scene here is almost impossible to conquer in its entirety. Portland Food Adventures attempts to make that process really fun. So, Broder was the first of my visits after I realized I’d better round out my knowledge if I was going to do this business. Although part of the fun is that I get to make new discoveries and share them with all of Portland. Broder is one such place I am so glad to have discovered. I have brought many people there–from clients of my ad agency, to friends in Portland. And whenever someone visits from out of town, I love to take them to Broder for something completely different–something completely Portland. And in each and every case, I’ve been thanked.
Our “First Meal of the Year” Breakfast in Bridgetown with Paul Gerald Portland Food Adventure was no exception. I was excited to have Portland’s definitive King of Breakfasts to be there to sign his books and share some of his favorite breakfasts with hungry, excited and appreciative foodies, who came from as far away as Salem to the south and Vancouver to the North to kick off their year of culinary adventures with us. It appears everyone loved the idea, and were glad they jumped out on New Year’s Day to come and start their year out on the right fork.
Broder is a beautiful and inviting cafe and easily one of my favorite breakfast spots in a city where great breakfasts are everywhere. (They also serve dinner–and it’s a gorgeous spot in the evening).
It’s in a fantastic neighborhood on Clinton Street. Easy to park, and inviting.
Peter Bro, Broder’s owner, and Joe Conklin, its wonderful GM, were gracious and skilled hosts and put together an amazing menu for us. I thought Broder would be perfect for a multi-course breakfast, because their menu is so diverse, it relies on flavors more than it does quantity (although it doesn’t fall short there), and the menu made it easy transition from breakfast to lunch in the span of our three hours there.
The menu delivered. We started with a beautiful Swedish Breakfast Bord with homemade brown bread and rye crisp, wonderful meats and the most delicious smoked trout anywhere (I would have been satisfied with just this plate!), potato salad and a fantastic starter–a cinnamon cardamon roll. Orange and Grapefruit wedges balanced it all out.
After our starter, I introduced Paul Gerald to talk a bit about his experiences with breakfast in Portland and his book, Breakfast in Bridgetown.
Coffee was poured.
Aquavit Bloody Marys from House Spirits were served.
And just then, the aebleskivers came out of the oven.
When I arrived at Broder in the morning, Michael introduced himself to me as the former partner in the recently closed Hash, which was a destination on our previous adventure at Tabla. I had always thought it would fun to do an aebleskiver throwdown between Hash and Broder, and on this special morning we were being treated to these delicious balls of doughy love prepared by Portland’s hands-down expert at making them. No need for a throwdown. The winner was before us.
Paired with lemon curd and lingonberries, they were absolutely delicious. (Pardon the less than professional camera images–but they do capture the moments!)
Next up, the across the bord (intended spelling) favorite, the Smoked Trout swedish hash. This sweet dish of finely diced potatoes, complemented by perfectly smoked trout, was simply devine. Top it off with a baked egg and some diced beets. Magnifikt!
Then came the Swedish Meatballs. Next time you’re at Broder, make sure to order them on their brioche! But for this meal, and the hearty fourth course, they were fantastic served with the lingonberries and toast.
Everyone was in Broder heaven….
To finish us off–as many waved the flag in surrender — the Swedish Creams were served, along with one absolutely delicious chocolate cookie…
We handed out packets with a small insert of Paul’s new favorite places since his last edition, along with the unique treat every Portland Food Adventurer gets, gift certificates to go to some amazing places. At every other Portland Food Adventure, it’s been the chef’s favorites. At this one, however, author Paul Gerald chose three of his favorites, Cocotte, Helser’s, and Sanborn’s. Paul talked about each, and what to order (Personally I can vouch for his recommendation of the Scotch Egg at Helser’s!), prepped and encouraged everyone to use their certificates to continue their adventure, keeping the memory of this first meal of 2012 alive for the rest of the year.
Next up: An Aviary Portland Food Adventure in two weeks with chefs Sarah Pliner, Kat Whitehead and Jasper Shen. While each Portland Food Adventure is unique and special in its own way, we set the benchmark really high right off the bat with this wonderful and memorable brunch. Of course, everyone has high expectations for Aviary. That’s why it was sold out — 30 people — over a month in advance.