I know, it's downright shocking. More eggs? More breakfasty foods?
Our trip to Oregon for Logan's triennial family reunion was actually a couple of weeks after the trip back to Austin, so we luckily had a bit of time between these egg bacchanals.
We flew into Portland late at night and stayed at the Hotel Modera, to which I would definitely send people wanting a base near downtown Portland. It's decorated in cool mod style and there are buttons in your room you press that light up do not disturb lights on the wall in the hallway. It's probably the hippest place we've stayed, which isn't saying that much since when we travel our tastes tend to run distinctly downmarket.
In the morning, Logan's brother Brandon came to pick us up at the hotel and we all headed out to Broder for a hearty Scandinavian breakfast (based on a glowing recommendation from our friend Erin of Fearless Critic). Being like an eighth Swedish and an eighth Norwegian, I had to get myself over there. The place is freaking darling, with a facade that brings to mind a country cottage plunked down in the middle of a funky Portland neighborhood.
Inside you'll find a mixture of clean lines and fun tiling, with happy eaters all crowded against each other.
We were lucky enough to get seats in the sunny front window, where we enjoyed the people-watching and the sweet breeze.
In perusing the menu, we quickly learned that there were a series of tough decisions to make. Sweet or savory? Pancake or porridge? What kind of aquavit to drink? How many eggs could we get on the table?
Want food? It's coming after the jump.
The service was slow, but friendly, and we were given more than enough time to figure out what we wanted. Way more than enough.
Here's what we had:
Swedish Breakfast Bord. Brown bread and rye crisp, cured meat, smoked trout, hard cheese, seasonal citrus, yogurt with fruit and granola and daily salad ($12).
One question - what's "seasonal" citrus?
This, with a side cup of strong Stumptown coffee, is EXACTLY my kind of breakfast - is that the Scandinavian blood asserting itself? Slivers of hearty, dense, whole-grain breads and toasts, a few bites of mild cheese, a couple of slices of sausage, a colorful bunch of fresh fruit, and deliciously tart yogurt to aid in digestion. I love lots of little flavorful bites.
Lefsa (daily special preparation) filled with country ham and farmers' cheese, served with fruit (and an egg and salad and maple syrup, though those weren't mentioned on the menu board).
According to the menu, these lefse are traditionally made with potatoes in Blair, Wisconsin (perhaps from Countryside Lefse?). Think of a thick, freshly griddled corn tortilla, but replace the slight mealiness of the corn with the softness of potato. Now wrap that around creamy ricotta-like cheese and a slice of ham. I'd actually subtract the maple syrup, myself; it didn't really add much to the savory dish and was sort of confusing and out of place. Just because something looks like a pancake doesn't mean you need to serve maple syrup with it; think pizza. The lightly dressed salad was a nicer accompaniment. Oh, and there's an egg peeking out - YES!
Every culture has its flatbreads, and I love them all without hesitation.
Baked eggs, served with walnut toasts and your choice of side (we chose potato pancake).
This was easily the BEST potato pancake I've ever had the pleasure of devouring. Crispy on the outside and souffle-like on the inside, full of the flavor of potato, it would have been all mine if those pesky boys hadn't been insistent on stealing part of it from me. You'll notice we also have a bit more of the hearty walnut bread, and in the background an adorable square cast-iron pan with two soft-cooked eggs gently laid therein. I want a collection of these tiny pans; first of all, who doesn't like square eggs, and secondly, it nicely contained all of the yolk for sopping.
We also ordered a Danish Crown, a pastry which turned out to be at least half butter. I'm so glad we split it three ways!
I'm not sure how something with so much butter in it managed to taste so delicate, but it did. The crown also tasted of cardamom and real almonds, and spreading the blueberry compote and lemon curd on it was a delight. (By the way, the colors we chose for our wedding were blueberry and lemon, so this combination always makes us happy.)
Broder also serves lunch daily, and dinner on Thursdays through Fridays. I would definitely come back for the stockholm hotdog, which is wrapped in a potato pancake and can be topped with bay shrimp, or the Æbleskiver, along with a selection of of their aquavits. And I don't think it's just my smattering of Scandinavian-ness that's making me say that; this place is truly fun and tasty, and I love it for highlighting a cuisine not necessarily thought of as one of the world's most delicious and showing just how good it can be. h/t, Broder.
Broder is located at 2508 SE Clinton Street in Portland. 503.736.3333.