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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Baked goods, Sandwiches, Vegefusion, Coffee

Mon–Fri 7:30am–6:00pm
Sat–Sun 8:00am–6:00pm

Features Outdoor dining, veg-friendly, Wi-Fi
Bar Beer
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx

923 SW Oak St.
Portland, OR
(503) 222-4495
Crowsenberg’s Half & Half
A famous coffeeshop that’s not as good as it thinks it is

Crowsenberg’s Half & Half is a green little spot for coffee and sandwiches with a totally skinny-jeans-indie vibe. The whole block feels terrifically Portland, especially for this otherwise buttoned-up part of downtown. A little sparrow silhouette—part of the nature-as-silhouettes movement denoting hipster status—is stamped on every to-go cup, and latte comes in a yellow ceramic mug emblazoned with a creamy little heart on top.

But this tiny, noisy spot isn’t really a coffee mecca. The Courier coffee is fine, but espresso drinks are just so-so, and coffee geeks tend to aggregate over at Spella Caffè on trailer-restaurant row. Still, the drip coffee is very cheap, and the vibe is just want you want when you’re on a break from that downtown cubicle zoo to which you’ve sold your soul. The proliferation of zines from next-door Reading Frenzy will help keep you weird.

Sandwiches look scruffy, like the staff who makes them, and they’re bursting with flavor. At breakfast, scrambled eggs and tomatoes are good; for lunch, there’s grilled cheese with tomato soup, plus plenty of vegan options like a tempeh, lettuce, and tomato sandwich. Sweets like pies and scones are just what you want. Deviled eggs, those haute-nostalgia darlings, are cheap and tasty. Homemade “Oreos” are cute and tasty in that I-know-what-all-these-ingredients-are sort of way.

Surprisingly, for all this überhipness, there isn’t a speck of attitude. It’s much more My Morning Jacket than Magnetic Fields. If you understood that reference, then this is your coffeeshop.

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