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Wednesday
Mar252009

Bread, Ink and Wine in Portland's Hawthorne District

By: Valerie Brockbank  East-side Portland, Oregon has been getting a hip makeover the last few years, and the SE Hawthorne District was one of the first to lead the way. Known as the “bohemian hub” of Portland, the Hawthorne area is an eclectic mix of craftsman houses in various stages of upgrade, neighborhood pet- friendly pubs, retro design shops, and a vibrant restaurant scene.

The Bread and Ink Cafe is just down the street from the historic Bagdad movie theatre, and has been on the corner of 36th and Hawthorne for twenty-five years. They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

At Bread and Ink, every dish is created using as many locally sourced ingredients as possible. They serve only natural meats, poultry and wild seafood, local vegetables, and breads and pastries that are baked fresh daily in their bakery. Some of their suppliers include Walnut Hill Farms, Queener Fruit Farm, Veridan Farms, Spada Farms, Groundworks Organics, MEO Farms, Draper Valley Chicken, Carlton Pork, and Strawberry Mountain Beef. Their comprehensive wine list features local Oregon and Washington state selections.

I wandered into Bread and Ink Cafe because it beckoned to two things I love in life—bread and printmaking. I felt sure I could get a good sandwich and an art experience at the same time. I wasn’t disappointed. I ordered the black bean burger with mango salsa on ciabatta, a curry lentil soup and a pecan mixed green salad, and paired the lunch with a glass of the house Cabernet Sauvignon. The walls were full of lino prints, acid etchings, and lithographs by local artists. The service was friendly and fast. The server asked me if I wanted ketchup or mustard; I hemmed and hawed a bit, and said “sure” and I’m glad I did. The condiments are homemade, and the ketchup was fresh, chunky and tangy.

The waiter said the Cabernet Sauvignon was from Tunnel Hill Winery in the Lake Chelan Wine Valley, in Washington State. It had enough tannin to stand up to the spicy lentil soup and enough herbal, dark red fruit flavors to match the earthiness of the black beans.

Prices are reasonable with many dishes under $10; portions are large and the décor is upscale casual, with linen napkins and tablecloths. I will go back to try their breakfast crab bruschetta, and their Bailey’s Irish Cream and Chocolate Mousse.

otv rating (0 to 20)

food: 17
service: 16
vibe: 16
price: Breakfast/lunch $  Dinner $$

Bread and Ink Cafe
3610 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, Oregon
(503) 239-4756

 

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