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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Sandwiches, Southern
Counter service

Daily 7:00am–2:00pm

Features Kid-friendly, outdoor dining, veg-friendly
Bar None
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx


3640 SE Belmont St.
Portland, OR
(503) 236-3346
Pine State Biscuits
A tiny place serving a tiny menu of biscuit sandwiches of epic proportion and mass appeal

Portland is crazy for Pine State Biscuits, as evidenced by the long lines outside their farmer’s market booth over the years. Even the Esquire food editors have deemed Pine State’s “Reggie Deluxe” one of the best sandwiches in America, a fact that chick-headed goofball Guy Frieri latched on to for his obnoxious Food Network show. But we won’t hold that against them.

This cheery restaurant looks like a piece of treated pine covered in a thick blanket of moss. A retro, tinny sign out front completes an alluring picture. How can you not be drawn in? It’s like a darling pâtisserie that you’d stumble upon in a Grimm Brothers fairy tale. Inside, it’s teeny, with only a few tables wedged in and a counter for tightly packed seating. If you eat these drippy, fatty, lardy biscuits often enough, you’re going to have to use a shoehorn to get to the counter.

The menu is the sort that makes people who are really into food giddy. That “Reggie Deluxe” has chicken fried expertly for this composition—not so thick and crunchy as to overwhelm with the biscuit, but not at all soggy. There’s also thick bacon, melty cheddar cheese, and a fried egg. A meatless “Regina” sees braised collard greens and an ample dowsing of Texas Pete’s hot sauce. The “McIsley” has that fried chicken with pickles, mustard, and honey—a spectacular balance that’s like having your tongue lightly bitten while frenching. Another vegetarian treat, a “Moneyball” is topped with shiitake-mushroom gravy with egg inside. It’s savory and drippy.

And that’s essentially it for the sandwiches. Of course, to best experience the buttermilky, slightly salty goodness of these biscuits, you can get a simple “biscuit and spread,” with either butter and honey, fruit and whipped cream, or a homemade pimento spread made with chèvre (what tang!). Oniony hash browns and excellent grits are available to round out the meal, and there’s Stumptown Coffee, “gourmet” chocolate milk, sweet tea, and Cheerwine sodas to drink. When you’re through, call for an airlift to the nearest hammock.

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