PORTLAND: Arleta Library Bakery Cafe

An absolutely delightful breakfast place on the east side of Portland.

Featured on Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, the Arleta Library Bakery Cafe is well worth the visit. Located on the east side of town, it offers a limited menu of primarily breakfast items. But what it does, it does extremely well.

My wife and I started with what the menu lists as a "Hunk of Coffee Cake" which, on the day of our visit, was banana-bourbon. It was perfectly prepared, with moist bananas on the bottom and a hint of bourbon throughout.

Although the special of the day was savory pancakes with corn, chives, and zucchini-poblano chili salsa and balsamic vinegar, we opted for the biscuits and gravy. Not that it was at all pedestrian! These were sweet potato biscuits with a rosemary sausage gravy that was perhaps the lightest gravy we've ever tasted. As an extra bonus, each biscuit was topped with a thin slice of pork tenderloin for added flavor and texture.

Coffee was local favorite Stumptown. A second cop of the rich, black brew made an excellent dessert.

The Arleta Library Bakery Cafe is open from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. weekdays, and 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. It's a little hard to find at 5513 SE 72nd @ Harold, and the only parking available is street parking but trust me, it's worth the effort!

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Photos by Carl Dombek
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