Review: Pine State Biscuits

Reggie Deluxe

Reggie Deluxe

Witness the humble American biscuit. It’s not very big, it doesn’t store well, and it’s not particularly attractive. I think it’s safe to say that you won’t see biscuits at your local Boulangerie any time soon. Biscuits just don’t get that kind of respect.

Enter Pine State Biscuits, who have come to Portland on a mission. Any discussion of the new restaurant must of course begin by making mention of their booth at the PSU Farmer’s Market. Created by Walt Alexander, Kevin Atchley and Brian Snyder, the Pine State Biscuits booth has become so popular over the last several years that customers have often found themselves waiting in line for over an hour to get their hands on one of the hundreds of sandwiches these North Carolina transplants punch out over the course of a day. (Trivia Note: Like “Tar heel”, “Pine State” is a nickname for North Carolina)

The amazing thing is that customers have been consistently willing to wait in line this long. Indeed, in a town with no shortage of serious bread, it’s impressive to consider how popular Pine State Biscuits have become, and just how quickly they have pulled it off. And the attention hasn’t just been local. Esquire magazine recently chose Pine State Biscuit’s “Reggie Deluxe” sandwich as one of the best sandwiches in the entire nation. Take that, Mr. fancy-pants Boulangerie.

To see if the guys could translate this success to their new restaurant on Belmont, I went four times over the course of several weeks. Since I am porcine-impaired (I don’t eat it), and since we both have southern roots, I asked Cuisine Bonne Femme to meet up with me there so that she could give me her opinion. In particular, I was curious to see how she would react to the infamous Reggie Deluxe. More on that below.

Let’s begin with the obvious. This is a really small space. There are only four tables in the dining room, and that should probably be three. If you want to get up and refill your coffee, somebody’s going to have to move. There are also five booth seats against the wall, but again that’s probably one or two more than there should be. Let me put it this way: if you’re nickname is bubba, you might want to consider a to-go order.

But while the restaurant itself may not be built for comfort, the food surely is. The boys have kept it simple, with a menu that currently has only about a dozen choices. If you are a biscuit purist, you can order a “biscuit & spread”, which comes with either jam, butter & honey, fruit & whip cream, or a house-made pimento spread ($3-$3.50). The legendary biscuits & gravy option is of course in the house ($5), as are six different biscuit sandwiches ($4-$8 each). To go with that you have a choice of only two side dishes, hash browns or grits ($2 for either). To drink there is a “bottomless” cup of Stumptown Coffee, southern style sweet tea, or Cheerwine soda ($2 each). That’s it.

It’s safe to say that you are in no danger of suffering menu fatigue at Pine State Biscuits. But don’t kid yourself that this will make your choice easy. If you just want a biscuit fix, you’ll do fine with the biscuit & spread option. The jam (I tried the Huckleberry) was great, but if you don’t require something that sweet on your biscuit, let me recommend the pimento spread. Pine State Biscuits makes it with Chèvre instead of mayonnaise, and the result is an extremely satisfying spread that bears the signature tang of goat cheese while maintaining the restrained sweetness of the pimentos. It’s a winner.

If you are a vegetarian, try the “Moneyball” ($7). The Moneyball is a biscuit topped with shitake mushroom gravy and an egg. When the egg yolk seeps down to merge with the thick, flavorful gravy & biscuit, the taste combo is amazing. This may not be tradition, but it’s umami on steroids. Want to skip the egg? No problem, PSB also offers a Moneyball sans egg ($5).

As for the meat-eaters among us, Pine State Biscuits offers numerous sandwich combinations that include sausage patties, heritage bacon, and/or fried chicken. Chicken aficionados will want to check out the “McIsley”, a biscuit sandwich with fried chicken, pickles, mustard and honey ($6). I found the slight saltiness of the pickles to be a perfect accompaniment to the sweetness of the honey and bite of the mustard. My only complaint is that while the chicken was tasty and moist, it wasn’t very crispy. How is it that some upstanding North Carolina boys are foisting non-crispy fried chicken on us? That ain’t right. That ain’t right at all. Something needs to be done about this.

In all fairness, Cuisine Bonne Femme thought I was wrong on this point, and liked the chicken just fine as it was. We “agreed to disagree” as they say, so try it and decide for yourself. And if you want to do that, you’ll have no problem, because the fried chicken finds its way onto a number of sandwiches, not the least of which is the infamous “Reggie Deluxe”.

The Reggie Deluxe is of course the sandwich. It is the Big Kahuna, the Mac Daddy, the Ozymandius of biscuit sandwiches. It is the sandwich chosen by Esquire magazine as one of the best in the nation, and it is one serious tower of biscuit power. Picture this: nearly a half a foot of biscuit sandwich, filled with fried chicken, heritage bacon, Tillamook cheddar, sausage gravy and a fresh-cooked egg. One look at this thing and your cardiovascular system will begin weeping and begging for mercy. Your libido will, I think, take a somewhat different view.

And the actual experience of eating one? I watched in anticipation as Cuisine Bonne Femme took her first, cautious bites. Pausing for a moment, she looked up at me and said, “best breakfast sandwich in the nation”, and then went back to work on the beast. Cuisine Bonne Femme is not prone to hyperbole, and I was impressed. Her only complaint was that the egg was cooked a tad too much. One of the guilty pleasures of this sandwich is having the runny yoke explode down through the layers of the sandwich and onto your chin, and that won’t happen if the yoke is hardened by over cooking.

Pine State Grits

Pine State Grits

Bottom line – there may be enough cholesterol in the Reggie Deluxe to bring down a water buffalo, but it’s worth it. As with many things in life, the prize does not go to the meek, so suck down an extra Lipitor and have at it. And if it makes you feel better you can always share with a friend. I couldn’t help but notice that Cuisine Bonne Femme was barely able to finish half of hers. She told me that she was going to save the rest for dinner, but apparently her dog got a whiff of the thing, went batshit, and ripped it right out of its to-go container. Those with dogs take note – if you bring a Reggie Deluxe home, your best buddy may become temporarily insane. Similar results have been observed with roommates.

So what about those two side dishes? Pine State Biscuits may only have two sides at the moment, but we can console ourselves with the fact that they do them really well. In particular, their grits are crazy good. That’s right. I said it. Good grits.

Now this being nearly as far north in this country as you can go before you have to show someone a passport, I know that many of you have never eaten grits. Or worse, you have suffered the indignity that is “instant grits”. But I beg you to set aside any past experiences or preconceived notions you might have. Order the grits. No, wait a minute. You’re skipping ahead. Stop it. Order the grits.

Locally sourced from Ayers Creek Farm in Gaston (an Oregon Tilth certified organic farm), the grits at PSB may be the best I have ever eaten. I was beginning to wonder if I wasn’t overreacting, but Cuisine Bonne Femme also thought that they were amazing. In fact for about five minutes we cut into the grits like two archeologists on crack, trying to figure out exactly how Pine State Biscuits does it. Screw it. We don’t know. Get the grits. You’ll thank me.

The hash browns do not rise to the level of the grits, but they’re really good. The order comes out as a single large, circular plate of potato. I couldn’t help but be reminded of Swiss “Rösti”, although Pine State Biscuit’s version was much thinner and lighter than that. Happily, they avoid the leaden, greasy fate of so many other restaurant versions of this standard. This, even though I saw them reach for a big container of clarified butter when they cooked them. Sweet.

Pine State Biscuits does have a few issues, but nothing particularly dire. The fried chicken issue needs to get worked out. That’s a big one for me, but your mileage may vary. The eggs are not cooked consistently, so sometimes you get a nice runny yoke and other times less so. They need to keep an eye on that. On one visit, they had completely run out of their two sides, and I’ve been hearing that this is happening with some regularity. It’s counter service only, so you’ll be getting your own water, coffee, etc. (I should add here however that the staff is very friendly, so if you need help with something, I’m sure you’ll get it)

Oh, and no dessert. What’s up with that? I suspect that the absence of dessert is due to the fact that they still see themselves as mainly a breakfast joint. But they do serve lunch as well, so I hope they soon add a little something nice to the bottom of the menu. [Editor's Note: You had room for dessert?]

All in all, Pine State Biscuits scores high in most categories. The food is fresh, locally sourced, thoughtfully prepared, and inexpensive. Most importantly, everything tastes really good. Their grits, along with a number of their sandwiches, are the best of their type in the city. This combination of quality and pricing will no doubt quickly endear them to the Belmont neighborhood, but their limited hours may make it difficult to draw customers from other parts of town. That would be a shame, because Pine State Biscuits is a solid and unique addition to this city’s food scene, and as such, deserves attention. Portlanders have a fine record of seeking out good restaurants, even if a little work is required. Here’s hoping that Portland beats a path to the door of Pine State Biscuits.

You can read our interview with the Pine State Biscuits Owners here.

  • Phone: 503-236-3346
  • Address: 2204 NE Alberta, Portland OR. 97211. Also at Portland Farmers Market in the South Park Blocks every Saturday morning.
  • Hours: as of April 4, 2013: Mon-Wed 7am-2pm, Thursday 7am-11pm, Fri-Sat 7am-1am, Sun 7am-11pm.
  • Happy Hour: 3pm-6pm.
  • Website: pinestatebiscuits.com

Pine State Biscuits on Urbanspoon

Your thoughts are welcome

  1. says

    This was a good review. I enjoyed reading it.

    I understand the egg on the Reggie is an accessory option. Are you able to add an egg to the McIsley? Is the McIsley something you can pick up with your hands? The Reggie looks like a knife and fork affair.

  2. says

    I’m gathering this is the location that was recently a coffee shop, and before that Ollie’s skate shop, right? It’s a pretty quick shot down the street, so I might just have to check the place out later this week. Can’t wait to try those grits!

  3. Microfoam says

    The Reggie Deluxe appears to be a fork and knife affair, but it is indeed edible as a cohesive sandwich. I am living proof.

  4. Pappy says

    polloelastico – The McIsley doesn’t come with an egg, but you could ask them to slap one on it and I’m sure that they would. They offer a number of “build to order” options anyway, so I’m guessing that anything you can come up with they would be willing to put on a plate for you. And yes you can pick up the McIsley with your hands. As for the Reggie Deluxe, you’d need to have some pretty big mitts to pick that bad boy up, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying. Don’t forget the wet naps.

    tswchopp – Yes, this was the location that was a coffee shop for about 10 minutes. Which begs the question, how the hell does a coffee shop on BELMONT go out of business? I didn’t even know that was possible.

    bandita – The biscuits are very good, but they are not quite as light as I had hoped they might be. At first I was a little disappointed by this, but CBF pointed out, and I agree with her, that this is probably intentional. These biscuits are, after all, mostly used for sandwiches, so they need to have a little more “structure”. After all, if you made biscuits as light as little pillows and then tried to build a “Reggie Deluxe” with them, all you would end up with is something that looked like Foghorn Leghorn exploded on your plate.

  5. one swell foop says

    I’m kicking myself for not having been by there yet, but soon, I swear! A note on good grits: for those of you willing to wait for them to be shipped, try Anson Mills’ grits. Have them shipped to you, and refrigerate them. They’re so fresh that they’ll sprout if you don’t. They also grow Carolina Gold Rice, and heirloom lonig grain that is rich, buttery, and just damn yum.
    What we really need to bring up here from the south is three full months of perfect tomatoes. Then portland really will be perfect……
    Maybe fried okra too.

  6. Mumonkan says

    i gotta check it out. will bring my grandmother, who at almost 90 and born and raised in kentucky, is my measure for grits and biscuits. (and i know she will want sorghum, so i will bring my own, so she wont be disappointed.)

    i feel lucky to be a few blocks from moxies on mississippi cuz nancy there can cook a fine biscuit, too. just the right dryness/moistness balance. i feel a bike ride over to belmont coming on. replenish the calories burned, right?

  7. Jill-O says

    OSF, I think that Foster & Dobbs (the cheese store at NE 15th and Brazee) used sell Anson Mills grits. I haven’t been there in a while, you’ll have to check to be sure.

  8. says

    Its funny, because there are just so many different styles of biscuits out there. Coming from a “Suth-un” family with mountain folk on one side and more landed gentry on the other I’m familiar with the different kinds.

    Pine State’s biscuits are what I would call “Country Style” as opposed to my Nanna’s Sunday Supper biscuits made with light as feather soft White Lilly flour and then layered. Pine State’s are good old buttermilk drop biscuits – thick with a nice crust, and strong enough to hold up to sandwiches and thick country gravy, but still very fresh and tender.

    Go Tar Heals!

  9. thesmallviking says

    i drive all the way from nopo to belmont to get a sandwich on my way to the mountain. they are true southern biscuits, good sweet or savory. every out of towner i took to the farmer’s market still recounts the goodness, and every local came back with me the next week. go by, it will make your day.

    and… go wolfpack!

  10. hermes says

    I thoroughly enjoyed the biscuits & mushroom gravy but my experience with the grits and hashbrowns was almost the opposite of Pappy’s. I thought the grits were pretty good texture-wise but awfully bland. The hashbrowns however, were very tasty albeit they were a tad on the greasy side and for the price, I would have liked a bit more.

    I’ll definitely be back though. I make a mean mushroom gravy but my biscuits usually turn out more like brickscuits!

  11. Pappy says

    Hermes – sorry to hear about your experience with the grits. I found them very flavorful myself, and I’m kind of surprised that you found them bland. I’d be curious to know if others have experienced this as well.

    As for your “brickscuits”, I may be able to help you a bit there. When it comes to making biscuits, the devil is in the details, and in this case the devil’s name is “gluten”. Gluten, as you probably know, is the protein “web” that gives breads their structure. If bread is a building, gluten is the rebar. Not surprisingly, gluten formation is a very good thing for pizza dough, bagels or croissants. For biscuits, not so much.

    This is why people in the south use “White Lily” flour. Not, as some people think, because it’s ground finer, but because it is made from soft winter wheat and therefore has less protein. Less protein, less gluten. This is also why southerners use buttermilk instead of regular milk. Buttermilk is more acidic. Higher acidity not only reacts more with the baking powder (to increases the rise a bit), but it inhibits gluten formation.

    So if you want to punch out some non-brick biscuits, use soft winter wheat (it doesn’t have to be White Lily, but put the box of bisquick back on the shelf) and buttermilk. And once you have a dough don’t go spanking it around like you would bread or pizza dough. Kneading also forms, you guessed it, gluten. This is why pizza guys slap, and toss and twirl, and do everything short of having sex with their dough; they want a tight, structured dough. And this is why pie dough “rests” in the fridge, so that the dough/gluten can “relax” and the dough is softer and flakier.

    So be REALLY gentle with your biscuit dough. When combining ingredients don’t overwork the dough. Then roll it carefully. And finally, when you cut out the biscuits push the cutter all the way down before you turn. Place the biscuits fairly close to each other so that they don’t expand, and don’t overbake. Oh, and don’t use a dark pan to bake them on. Dark pans rarely work out well for baking. A regular half-sheet aluminum is the way to go if you’ve got one.

    Good luck.

  12. one swell foop says

    Don’t use a dark pan, or a non stick pan of any color. That teflon will burn the bottom of anything you cook on it. Rose’s restaurant supply on SE Clay, 200 or 300 hundred block, has half sheet aluminum pans on the cheap ($7 I think).
    The best solution for bland grits is always more butter. Unless you’re making shrimp and grits, and then I always cook my grits in a blend of chicken stock and water. Some diced bacon in at the end never went wrong either :-)

  13. BreakfastGuy says

    When I interviewed Kevin for my piece on LivePDX.com, he told me those grits are a seasonal thing (Ayers Creek stops making them in about a month) and that he’ll be looking for a new source. So that makes it even more imperative to get those grits, because the next type might not be as good — and you’re right, they are amazing. The country ham (an occasional special) is also the best in town, though still not as salty as the real thing.

    Also, he told me they’re planning to add more lunch items, like “meat and three” options, blue plates, and shrimp and grits. I didn’t get the timeline on that, but it sounds like Pine State will only be getting better.

    He also said there’s no shortening at all in the biscuits; that, of course, was all he’d say.

    My piece on it is here: http://www.livepdx.com/Articles/Portland-Restaurants/?launch_pg=AritclePage&launch_sel=1009166&title=The+Portland+Breakfast+Guy+Goes+to+Pine+State+Biscuits

  14. says

    I’m thrilled PSB has established a permanent location and popularity—it’s so well-deserved. The only downside is this, selfishy speaking: now I won’t be able to enjoy biscuits & mushroom gravy on-site after a morning of volunteering at the Farmers Market. Great review!

  15. Pappy says

    Siobhan – don’t worry, Pine State Biscuits has no plans to shut down their Farmer’s Market booth. The thing is just too popular.

  16. eatingfortwo says

    Thanks to this review, my husband and I enjoyed those fabulous grits this morning. They were truly amazing. I was also really impressed with their huckleberry preserves – way more fruit than most, mostly fruit in fact. Mmmmmm. Husband enjoyed his Reggie Deluxe to the point where I was still hearing yummy noises about it hours later, though he did comment about the egg yolk being set instead of gooey. The one weak spot for us was that the hashbrowns were kind of greasy. Overall a big hit and worth it to make the drive across town.

  17. monzu says

    A note on grits. As indicated above, Anson Mills makes an excellent product. Another standout is Falls Mills grits from Tennessee. Both places will ship. For the grit impaired desiring more info, there’s a good article on the topic in food writer John Thorne’s collection of articles from his web site, “Mouth Wide Open,” available at local book stores. There was also a good “grits” piece by southern food writer John T. Edge in the November 2003 issue of “Saveur.” And of course there’s the “Good Old Grits Cookbook” by the late and well respected Bill Neal. Craig Claiborne called Neal’s shrimp and grits one of the finest dishes he had ever eaten, and that recipe is in the book. As to the biscuits issue, Pappy covered all the bases. I might add that since soft wheat flour is hard to obtain here, a reasonable approximation is to mix AP and cake flour in a 3 to 1 ratio, but really, with White Lilly as with Porsches, there is no substitute.

  18. whimsy2 says

    I’m a big biscuit-and-gravy fan and I was looking forward to Pine St. Biscuits. My first (and only, so far) visit was disappointing — they apparently put SUGAR in the gravy. Bummer. But I’ll try again.

  19. one swell foop says

    Whimsy2, at least you didn’t have the misfortune of eating at the Delta last night. I did, and the “red eye gravy” on my mashed potatoes had neither pork fat nor coffee in it, but was regular gravy.

  20. tenntarheel says

    +1 on the Good Old Grits Cookbook. I just brought the Jalapeno Grits Casserole to an Easter Brunch; it never fails to get rave reviews. I was lucky enough to be in Chapel Hill in the early 90′s while Bill Neal was still alive and elevating southern comfort food to an art form at Crook’s Corner. I bought the cookbook just to learn how to make his famed Shrimp and Grits, which is so different than the gravy-based lowland style from South Carolina.

    As for sourcing grits out here, I was excited to hear about the Ayers Farm grits, then disappointed to learn they are seasonal. However, since I’ve lived out here I’ve ordered my grits from Callaway Gardens in Georgia. Their Speckled Heart Grits are excellent.

    I would be interested if anyone has a source for White Lilly flour here locally; I was beside myself to discover recently that WinCo carries Martha White cornmeal, both white and yellow. White Lilly flour would be great to be able to find.

    As for PSB, I plan on going this week some time. Can’t wait to try it out. And it’s about time someone uttered the words “Meat and Three” out here. Look forward to the expansion. And I won’t even hold it against them that they’re for the Wolfpack. So long as they’re not Dukies.

  21. Pappy says

    Monzu – I’ve also had Anson Mills grits, and I agree that it’s a good product. As for White Lily, you’re right that there’s no real substitute per se. White Lily is kind of it’s own animal. But the AP & cake flour combo you mentioned will give a good approximation. You’ll probably need to experiment with different ratios, depending on what you’re making and the particular combination of flours you use. (One caveat – most cake flour is bleached, which can impact gluten formation, and it’s sometimes even bromated.)

    Whimsy2 – One thing that becomes clear almost immediately about PSB is that their approach is influenced by tradition, but certainly not bound by it. As such, they put their own spin on much of the menu. As for the sugar in the gravy (did you ask about this btw?), if it tastes good so be it. See my note to OSF below.

    OSF – Have you heard about the “redeye gravy” that David Chang of Momofuku makes? Mark Bittman had Chang on his “Best Recipes” show (the episode about pork), and it turns out that Chang, the king of pork, doesn’t actually use any pork in his redeye!! Since ham drippings are not at hand Chef Chang instead makes the gravy out of 2 barely poached eggs, instant coffee, sherry vinegar & soy sauce. That’s right – SOY SAUCE. Apparently it’s really good though. Go figure.

    Tenntarheel – I don’t think that there is any local source for White Lily. The just don’t sale their product out west. They do however have an agreement with Smuckers, and I think that you can buy it and have it shipped to you through the Smuckers online store.

  22. hermes says

    Pappy,
    Thanks for the pointers. I’ll definitely try out some of of your suggestions (though probably not the buttermilk). BUT not before I check out another place that just started serving a daily brunch called Red Flag. From the menu I saw, it looks like they’re specializing in biscuits and eggs. They also serve grits and something else I can’t wait to try called the “Handbanana” -a fried banana with peanut butter and honey on French toast , served as a sandwich. I’m going for lunch today!

  23. Lunchlady says

    A long review about a biscuit place, ironically no mention of the biscuits themselves. Personally I’ll take the reggie over the reggie deluxe. Absolutely delicious. And I would call that chicken crispy.

  24. Davis Woods-Morse says

    After two visits, I decided that Pine State was an asset to the neighborhood and to Portland. I enjoyed chatting with the owners and staff. The biscuits delivered a down home heartiness.

    Then, on my third visit, I tasted the Reggie Deluxe. It was the finest culinary experience of my life.

  25. Schmoo says

    Having grown up in the Tar Heel state myself (NC for those not familiar with the term), I have a love for good buttermilk biscuits. My first visit was to pick-up two country ham (sugar cured is the term, but fairly salty…not sweet) biscuits, plain and simple. I have not had something like that in many years..excellent!!!!

  26. Taylor says

    Ate there for the first time recently and tried the fruit-with-fresh-cream on top of a biscuit. Fresh blackberries and cream on top of an almost short-bread like buttermilk biscuit. It was delicious and I plan on returning for a more serious inspection of their gravy-making skills.

  27. says

    Just went for the first time – yum. McIsley – double yum. Beautiful, not-too-sweet blackberry cobbler for dessert (thanks, Kevin!), at noon. Works for me. And what a great spot. Perfect for Portland: great idea, done well, and clients who get it and support it.

  28. teamsplashi says

    As a fellow Pine State Transplant I was thoroughly unimpressed with the biscuits and the pimento cheese. You need Duke’s mayo for proper pimento cheese and the biscuits, well, the less said about their similarity to hockey pucks the better. Maybe it was a bad day but it’s not worth waiting in line to find out. Too bad because I miss my southern food and while I can crank out some mean biscuits, I don’t always feel like it on the weekends, ya know?

  29. Prone to Hyperbole says

    Teamsplashi,
    I hope you see this. Not sure how to private on this thing.
    I wanted to tell you that I was excited to see your comment about Duke’s. Which is, absolutely, the only proper choice for pimento cheese. I also don’t think goat cheese belongs. Makes it WAY to hippy / NW. That said, I am a hypocrite because I tend not to boycott things that taste good, solely on principle. But trying to explain that to people who haven’t lived in the 4 or 5 states that retail Duke’s (or if they don’t know to order it online like I, and many of my friends do) just sounds weird to people. They think mayo is mayo. Bless there hearts. I give away most of my shipments regularly to convert others. I have yet to fail in blowing their minds, and changing their habits.
    Even people who “don’t like mayonnaise”.

    OKAY, so what my main point is is that you NEED to get the pimento cheese at Belly Timber on Hawthorne at 31st. He doesn’t use Duke’s, but he DOES keep it very real. No fancy herbs or seasoning, no goat cheese, no gourmet ANYTHING. Just hand grated tillamook, mayo, pimentos, and I think that’s it. It makes a legendary topping on their stellar burger with excellent bacon, on a basic sesame seed bun. It fills all my needs for great burgers (and pimento) I grew up on in FL, GA, NC, TX.

    But since this is a Pine State thread, I’ll say more about them. I hear you about the hockey puck-like biscuit as well. But give them another try. I had to get past expecting light, tall and airy, and have since learned that their sort of flat, heavy, dark, greasy style is intentional. Not a flaw. It’s not a tall, airy baking soda type biscuit. It seems to be a lard type. (?) Or something of that nature. It really makes a great foil for the sandwiches they build. And that said, they’ve gotten less heavy/dense and greasy as of last time I had one. See the current pic of the Reggie on their website. It looks more like what I remember from my Grandma’s farm in Georgia, and less like the finger coating salty grease bomb I first had from them 2 or 3 years ago.

    I am thankful to have them! They are SUPER nice guys!! And passionate. They get better every time I eat their food. I even enjoy the mushroom gravy, though I cringe thinking that it was no doubt designed for vegetarian-heavy PDX. Politics never fared well in my food background in the South. But I realize it’s different here, and the gravy tastes good. You could probably go half and half pork and shitake I assume. Yum… :-)

  30. PestoGal says

    They had a nice segment on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives last night. It was a pretty good length and covered several of their offerings.

  31. Becca says

    I actually really, really didn’t like the pimento cheese. I’m a Texas transplant, and I was so excited to eat at this place .I got a biscuit with pimento cheese and fried green tomatoes… and was disappointed with both. The fried green tomatoes were cut too thick and the breading wasn’t at all right. The biscuit was okay, but I certainly didn’t brag to my momma about it. And I really, really hated the pimento cheese. I normally love chevre, but not in my pimento cheese! It was also almost inedibly salty when I had it. I’ll try this place again, but I was all sad and disappointed that it wasn’t a taste of home.

  32. Prone to Hyperbole says

    Yeah, Becca. I feel your pain. Being from FL, TX, NC, I feel the same way about the pimento cheese. I was sort of vague and mellow about it in my recent, previous post. But really, there is NOOOOO excuse for chevre in pimento cheese. It pains and shocks me that these authentic NC transplants would even dream to put chevre (or any non cow cheese, fancy or not) in pimento cheese. It’s just not okay. But I love their cause, and most of what they do. And they’re super cute ;-) So it’s all good. Just never, ever eat the pimento abomination again and you’ll be good to go.
    Stick with the basics. The gravy is pretty good.

  33. NYC-PDX says

    I tried Pine States chicken biscuit a while back and thought it was tasty, but found the biscuit was a bit on the dry and tough side. Then we went to Tasty and Sons this past weekend and had THE best chicken biscuit I’ve ever tasted. The only thing T&S doesn’t put on it is the sausage gravy, but the thing is so rich without it, adding gravy would probably put someone into cardiac arrest. Fluffiest, buttery biscuit; juicy, crispy chicken — amazingly good. Sorry, Pine State, I’ve found my biscuit heaven…

  34. Devin says

    Tar Heel is two words, even as an adjective. (I go to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the home of the Tar Heels, and I worked at The Daily Tar Heel, the student newspaper.)

  35. jerry says

    I thought the biscuit was good, but the gravy…OMG. That sausage gravy is to die for ! It wouldn’t matter what you put that gravy on; it would taste amazing. Next time I go there I am going to just order a bowl of gravy !!! My friend and I went there to try it out, and since then, all we can talk about is how amazing the gravy was. I’m going back tomorrow; from Newberg.

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