July 24, 2009

Chow it down, Lady.

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The cafe on 14th and Glisan is colorful and bright. Chow, it's called. The lady in front of me ordered a breakfast sandwich in a hesitant voice. The animated counter girl was enthusiastic. "Would you like some biscuits for your dog? We make them here. They're really good." The lady behind the counter was excited about the biscuits. "I was making them all day. And they have bacon fat in them so my hands stunk really bad." I was standing there thinking, how does she know they are good. I pictured her tasting them.

Then it was my turn to order. I ordered the Egg and Tillamook Cheddar sandwich, with red onions and tomatoes and bacon. The order-taking girl behind the counter said the word "lady" probably 50 times. "What would you like, lady?" "I'll bring it right out to you, lady." "There you go, lady." It was amusing. She was bubbly and very smiley.

I took a seat outside, perused the Willamette Week and enjoyed the breeze. My food was ready in about 10 minutes. I lifted the top a little. No tomatoes or onions. Oh well. "I forgot the onions and tomatoes! I made it and I forgot to put the onions and tomatoes on. I'll be right back." Order-taking girl grabbed my plate and brought it back with the tomatoes and onions. It's nice to not have to bring errors up, when the restaurant takes care of it on their own.

When I order an egg sandwich, I always imagine that the egg part is fried. With a yolky, sunshine yellow yolk running over the sides. So I was a little disappointed when I saw a giant scrambled egg disk on the sandwich. It tasted good - fluffy, light. I understand why - it's easier to make a scrambled egg mixture and use that, instead of frying eggs. But there's nothing quite like a fried egg on a sandwich.

Everything on the sandwich was good. The tomatoes bright red, crispy bacon, pungent onions. The cheese had melted into the Bridgeport Bakery bun, so the taste was muted, but the bun was really chewy, warm and perfect.

I wanted there to be more seasoning. A sauce that made the sandwich special. Something. It was a good sandwich, but it was just the ingredients put together, nothing to pull it together. Something was missing. I wonder if they could make a sauce called Chow sauce. I would like that, I think. Like aioli with lemon and rosemary. Then the sandwich would be perfect.

"Thanks, lady!" I waved good-bye, full, but still wanting.

505 NW 14th Avenue
Portland, OR 97209
503.274.CHOW (2469)


chelsea said...

You have GOT to go to Little T American Bakery on Division. I had a BLT there yesterday with Sally Lunn bread.. I've never tasted bread that fresh before. Holy cow it was good.