June 8, 2008

Me and Benedict Eat Breakfast

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Johns Landing is quiet on Saturday mornings. A few joggers here and there, but overall, it's peaceful and kind of empty. Tucked away from Macadam on Virginia Ave, Porcelli's Restaurant, a former grocery store, seems quaint and homey. And on a Saturday morning, is also peaceful and kind of empty. I opened the door with a little too much force and didn't quite step far enough inside. The door whacked my heel, as well as my behind, sounding a loud THWAP. The one couple eating there stared at me. The waiter just inside the door stared at me. "Sorry... I guess is didn't take a big enough step." I laughed nervously as they all continued to stare at me. After what seemed like several seconds, the waiter finally asked if I was okay. I nodded and made apologies again.

I sat down on the other side of the dividing wall, so that I wouldn't be forced to stare at the couple who was staring at me. I heard them leave a few minutes later. There was soft music playing, but my thoughts were much louder than the music, and I was starting to feel the pressure of solo dining.

The menu was long, but sounded good. There were no words like "fresh" or "organic" or "herbs" anywhere in sight. It was kind of a relief to be honest. I just wanted breakfast without the pretense of the high-end foodie culture in Portland. I ordered orange juice and my good old friend, Eggs Benedict.

It's one thing to eat in a restaurant alone. It's quite another to be the only patron in a restaurant when you are eating alone. There was no people watching. There was no loud music. There was just my thoughts and me. The chef was rearranging glasses at the bar. He stopped just to make me breakfast. Nice of him! Took only a few minutes, then he returned to the bar to finish his task.

Benedict arrived and looked pristine. Creamy, hot. The potatoes were shimmering and spicy. Honestly, it was the best Eggs Benedict I have had in a long time. I enjoyed it and didn't want the taste to end. Though the awkwardness of being the only patron only got worse. Especially when I went to cut through the ham with my knife and fork and my hand slipped. My knife scraped loudly against the plate like nails on a chalkboard and a few potatoes jumped to the floor. Oops.

I hurried and finished my breakfast, rushing out of the uncomfortable feeling as quickly as I could, trying to savor the taste of my Benedict all the while. The waiter came to take my plate and eyed the potatoes on the floor. Damn. He found them. I would have made a joke, like: "Just call me clutzy Carrie!" and then laughed cleverly, but after the door incident, I'm pretty sure he already knew the current state of my clutziness and was not pleased with it.

Slightly flushed and ready to not be alone in an empty restaurant, I paid the bill ($11.75 for Eggs Benedict and Orange Juice), and walked out. They were probably relieved that the awkward, clutzy solo diner was leaving. I know I was.

Add about 10 or 15 people to the surroundings and I'm sure this place is a good place to enjoy the food, which tasted really really good, the little part of the menu that I sampled. So when you are sure you are going to be there, call me, k? I'd like to check it out again, buy my soul can only handle so much solitude under the observation of a chef and a waiter.

Porcelli's on Urbanspoon

Open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Seven days a week


Sara said...

Well, if you ever want to go back, let me know. I'd go with you and deflect some of the clutzy behaviour... and yes, I did just spell that the "british way" on accident, but I rather like it so it is staying. :)