A trip to Portland is not complete without a visit to this Portland institution. I had first heard about Pine State Biscuits when it was featured on one of Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives episodes a couple of years back. Despite being situated in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, Portland, ironically, has quite a few places famous for their Southern fare, from fried chicken to biscuits & gravy. One of them is Pine State Biscuits, which started off as a booth at the Portland Farmer’s Market. They were so popular that the owners decided to open their first brick-and-mortar location on SE Belmont Street. This location was really small and with only four tables in the dining area, it’s no surprise there were constant line ups out the door. They then expanded and opened a second location in Northeast part of Portland on Alberta Street two years ago. This second location is a much a larger space with more seating and they now have even extended their hours to evening and late-night on weekends.
On this visit, I went the original shop on Belmont Street. We arrived around 1:30pm and luckily did not have to wait long for a table since most diners were just finishing up as Pine State closes at 2pm daily.
My friend C wanted to try the Pine State Fried Club ($6), which consisted of a trio of fried grit cakes. One was topped with fried chicken and spiced honey, another with pimento cheese and a fried green tomato slice, and the third with country ham and white cheddar. She loved the grit cakes as they were nice and crispy on the outside with a gooey center. This dish is really not for me as I’m not a fan the texture of grits to begin with but I would say this is one of the better versions that I’ve had nevertheless as I enjoyed the crispy exterior. The fried green tomato slice with the pimento cheese was really tasty. The fried chicken was crispy although I did find the spiced honey to be a bit too sweet for my liking. I personally wasn’t too crazy about the ham and white cheddar as it was quite salty.
Pine State Biscuit’s claim to fame is their Reggie Deluxe biscuit sandwich which consists of a biscuit, fried chicken, egg, cheese, bacon and topped with gravy. I would have ordered it except that I’m not fond of Southern-style gravy. So instead, I ordered The Chatfield ($7), which consisted of a tall, golden biscuit that was layered with fried chicken, bacon and cheese and topped with apple butter. The biscuit was fluffy and had a nice buttermilk tang. The chicken had a well-seasoned, crispy coating while the meat was tender. The cheese was perfectly melted. The apple butter was rich and thick, almost like an apple chutney. I found the apple butter to be a bit too sweet for my liking and would have preferred if it was a bit more tart. Overall, I did enjoy this biscuit sandwich and would recommend it to those who enjoy sweet and savoury flavours together.
Pine State Biscuits (Original location)
3640 SE Belmont
Pine State Biscuits
2204 NE Alberta