Tin Shed Cafe

1438 NE Alberta St
(503) 288-6966
get there via trimet
find a bike route
breakfast, lunch weekdays, dinner and late night

Tin Shed
Tin Shed porch
The Tin Shed has long been one of my favorites for breakfast. However, it's so damn popular that I don't even bother trying to go to breakfast there unless it's before 8:30am. Not surprisingly, I don't get there so often.

But I've been motivated to get over there lately, now that I am completely infatuated with grits, and I know Tin Shed's got 'em. Unfortunately, I was a little undercaffeinated, so I didn't take a lot of notes.

The inside is a nice, but small and crowded space. The outside, under a giant roof, and backed by a giant fireplace, is almost twice the size of the interior, and really pleasant on a nice day. That patio is a great place to dogwatch, as many folks bring theirs with them. Inside or out, you serve yourself coffee and water.

They have a big new breakfast menu that debuted 4/29/2006. We ordered Huevos Ranchitos, Roll Over, and two sides of cheese grits.

Now, we habitually order the You Gotta Have it, which is eggs any style, meat, toast or homemade biscuit, and potato pancakes or grits. I love potato pancakes (really, I just love carbs), so that's what I always end up ordering. It's good, solid, great biscuits—what's not to love?

Huevos Ranchitos is just like the ranchero version, except there is no ranchero sauce, there are 2 layers of tortilla, as well as jalapeno-stewed black beans and rice, scrambled eggs, homemade salsa, sour cream, and green onion (they own stock in green onion). It was tasty but it would have been better if everything if the things that should be hot: like beans, rice, and eggs, actually were. The rice was all clumped as if it had come out of the cardboard carton in your fridge. The beans were not spicy at all, but they did have a nice cumin flavor.

The Roll Over starts with a layer of potato pancakes, then a layer of scrambled eggs & sausage, then a layer of bacon gravy. I expected this to be a conflict of interest, what with the sausage and bacon, but it tasted great. However, nothing on my plate was consistently hot either. The gravy was the warmest element, but it had hot and cold spots (ooogh).

The grits were most disappointing. They're plain grits with grated cheese added almost as an afterthought, and the grits were so not hot that the cheese wasn't melting. Butter, also not melting. I finally sent them back to be nuked.

To their credit, we complained, and they comped us for one meal. We saw some other plates going back to the kitchen, so maybe someone was having a bad bad day?

Unfortunately, we had a really lackluster dinner there recently as well.

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May 4, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)


allysha said:

I was actually extremely impressed with this place, i showed up around 5pm on a freezing thursday night, and stayed warm under the space heaters in the outside covered area, and the fireplace made it very cozy. The waitress was pleasant and attentive, did forget a drink for a while, but it happens, and it did get very busy around 6.

I had something called Baby Beluga, which was the wierdest thing on the menu, and the best thing i've ever tasted. Fresh spinach, then black lentils, yam and avacado chunks, light curry sauce, and a bunch of other things that i just cant remember, it sounds wierd and not that great, but i want to take everyone i know there and make them eat that, because it was amazing.

Burgers were good, and they have the best Bloody Mary's i've ever had.

I will definately be a return customer, and i will drive from Battle Ground, into Portland, just to eat there.

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