Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Brunch at Bintliff's in Portland

Neither Anna nor I are religious, and we were probably going to avoid brunch this past weekend because of the Easter rush... but an extraordinarily long (from our Boston busybusybusy perspective) dinner turned our "day trip" to Portland into an overnighter. Eh... whoops? I'll get into that when I get my Portland pictures uploaded, but since I snapped a cell phone pick of the gorgeous... and gigantic... meal I had at Bintliff's, I thought I'd post some quick thoughts on it.

It's not an "underground gem" or anything... they win "Best of Portland" quite a bit, and if you look at brunch places in the area they'll be in the top 3 on most people's lists. Of course, as you might expect, not every Chowhound poster is a fan... though bad experiences at well regarded places seem to fire people up to comment more than good/decent experiences... see my angry post about Lord Hobo, and how I'm on the verge of sending a spittle flecked e-mail to the guy who gave them four stars for overpriced and sub-mediocre pub food... well, OK, there won't be any spittle, but I would type very angrily if I wasn't too lazy to bother. I suppose when you really want to like a place... and then the experience goes and sucks... it makes what should probably just be a "meh" into quite intense dislike. That's my theory anyway.

Regardless, I have no strong feelings one way or the other with Bintliff's... but did find it pleasant and enjoyable. Since we were staying at the Eastland Hotel around the corner, we were able to get in there before 9:30 when there were still a fair number of empty tables, even on Easter... though it quickly filled up. Early brunch for the win, always. The space is cute, with lots of wood and the architectural quirks of a very old building. The menu is quite large, as is common in many brunch places, and (surprisingly) has a vegan option. I ordered a cup of the seafood bisque and the "Louisiana bayou benedict"... whose gimmick is corn cakes instead of an English muffin, andouille sausage, and a spicy hollandaise. Anna got a single (huge) raspberry almond pancake and their vegetable home fries. The only complaint food-wise for us, was Anna wishing there were a few more potatoes in veggie home fries.

Service wasn't awesome but wasn't bad either... our server didn't initially bring me cream for my coffee or syrup for Anna's pancakes... though in both cases we decided we didn't even want them. She was not Johnny-on-the-spot with the coffee refills either, but she didn't go MIA or anything, so we easily could have flagged her down for anything we needed.

I would definitely go back, though we'll probably try another place we haven't yet dined at for our next Portland visit.

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