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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Casual restaurant

Mon–Wed 9:00am–3:00pm
Thu–Sat 9:00am–3:00pm
Thu–Sat 6:00pm–9:30pm
Sun 9:00am–3:00pm

Features Date-friendly, outdoor dining, Wi-Fi
Bar Beer, wine, liquor, BYO
Credit cards Visa, MC
Reservations Accepted


2508 SE Clinton St.
Portland, OR
(503) 736-3333
Brøder Comfort Food
Hip, brunchy, airy, and fun—the very essence of Southeast

Ah, Sweden. Vikings, herring, and Greta Garbo. Is there anything coming out of this country that isn’t cool? Brøder captures the aesthetic and spirit of Scandinavia, with its seamless marriage between minimalist furnishings like robin’s-egg-blue aluminum chairs, and the efficient craftsmanship of the kitchen is put on display for all counter patrons to see. It’s airy inside with good natural light, and there are a few outdoor tables, as well. Presentations are equally artful, balanced between rustic and eye-catching.

Maybe because of the vulnerability of just-waking humans, breakfast is the most exciting meal here, with quaint boards and trays of homemade breakfast breads, excellent Danish pancakes, and smoked trout hash. Most important is the good, strong coffee. Though Brøder is more often regarded as a sunny breakfast and lunch joint, the hipsters are also filing in for dinner, Thursdays through Saturdays. (The kitchen seems glad to stay open until 10pm on those nights, if you just let them know you’re coming.) Service can be a bit distracted, but it’s fun to sit at the bar and watch the cooks deftly juggle orders.

As the hinterlands are renowned for their pickling, it’s fitting that pickled veggies here are superb, with flavors bright and clear. Pickled beets perk up a well-browned potato pancake, which is by itself slightly underseasoned. A Brøder club sandwich pairs moist, crispy bacon with subtle gravlax, which is interesting—cured surf, meet cured turf—although a superfluous avocado makes it a bit mushy. We’d swap out the avocado for the roe and pickled onions that come on a separate plate. In general, recipes are simple and good, but nothing too exciting—and yes, this food can get exciting. For instance, where’s the bleak roe? Swedish meatballs with very rich Sherry cream sauce and lingonberry jam is good, but surprisingly ordinary.

There’s a really decent little showing of mostly Old World wines that pair well with this food—Blaufränkisch, sparkling Jura, and so on—and the prices are good, if a little closer to dinner-appropriate than lunch. The beers offer a rare opportunity to traverse not only Belgium and Germany, but all of Scandinavia, as well. There’s an Oregonian beer on tap, too, and Portland’s own Krogstad Aquavit. It’s not hard to see why this place is well loved.

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