Pine State Biscuits: Biscuits and brunch in Portland, Oregon

Pine State Biscuits located in Portland, Oregon
Pine State Biscuits located in Portland, Oregon

In 2006, a group of three friends, who were transplants from North Carolina, founded Pine State Biscuits in Portland, Oregon.

They aimed to share their love of Southeast cuisine with the Pacific Northwest. The ubiquitous Southern biscuit was the food they craved, grew up eating, and wanted to share with Portland.

After months of trial and error, the group perfected their buttery, flakey, scratch-made biscuit recipe. In May 2006, they started selling their homemade biscuits at Portland Farmers Market.

Their biscuits were an instant success. This success led to opening the first Pine State Biscuits location in 2008 in southeast Portland.

Pine State Biscuits operates six locations today, five in Portland and one in Reno, Nevada. On my recent visit to Portland, I stopped by their location on NW 23rd Ave to try out these famous biscuits for myself.

Interior of Pine State Biscuits

The open interior of the restaurant, Pine State Biscuits, Portland, Oregon
The open interior of the restaurant

The interior of Pine State Biscuits was spacious, with tall ceilings and a narrow but open dining room. The décor was modern and industrial, with exposed pipes, concrete floors, and wooden accents.

The space felt casual and inviting, but it was less cozy than other restaurants in Portland. However, it was bright, with large windows allowing plenty of natural light.

A look into the kitchen
A look into the kitchen

After entering, a cashier was taking orders on the right. The dining room, with many booths, was to the left, extending towards the back.

At the back of the restaurant was an open kitchen where workers prepared biscuits by hand. A few counter seats were against the kitchen, allowing for great views of the chefs at work.

The atmosphere was casual and lively, with music playing in the background, diners’ voices, and sounds from the kitchen. Even with the restaurant busy, I never found the noise level too loud.

I read stories about the lines and wait times at Pine State Biscuits. Luckily, only a few people were ahead of me on my visit. So, I walked right in and ordered with the cashier.

After paying, I sat at an open table and placed my numbered placard on the table. After a few minutes, a friendly worker brought my food to the table and took the placard.

Another thing to note: At Pine State Biscuits, you bus your own tables. So, after finishing my meal, I took all my plates, utensils, and cups to the bus counter.

Busing Tables

Busing my table was no big deal for me. Others might find it annoying, especially when tipping on expensive meals.

I found some of the tables and seating areas dirty, with guests busing their tables. While understandable, I saw no staff cleaning up after one guest left and another arrived.

During a time when cleanliness and sanitation are crucial, the staff should have been more proactive with cleaning.

Pine State Biscuits Menu

The menu at Pine State Biscuits in Portland, Oregon
The menu at Pine State Biscuits in Portland, Oregon
The second page of the menu
The second page of the menu

As the name implies, Pine State Biscuits is best known for its biscuit sandwiches.

Most options on the Pine State Biscuits menu came with a protein, including fried chicken, pulled pork, smoked brisket, and grilled steak.

They also had vegetarian-friendly options. You could also build your own custom biscuit sandwich.

The most popular biscuit sandwich on the menu, which I ordered, was The Reggie. This sandwich came with fried chicken, bacon, cheese, gravy, and the optional egg.

While known for its biscuit sandwiches, the menu had other options, including biscuits and gravy, pancakes, hash browns, shrimp and grits, chicken pot pie, corn dogs, and a salad.

As for drinks, you had tea, soda, coffee, chocolate milk, lemonade, cocktails, and craft beers.

The Reggie Deluxe Biscuit Sandwich

The decadent Reggie Deluxe with an egg, Pine State Biscuits, Portland, Oregon
The decadent Reggie Deluxe with an egg

While there were many great options on the menu, what stuck out was the Reggie Deluxe ($11.50).

Decadent is how I describe this biscuit sandwich made with fried chicken, bacon, cheese, egg, and a sausage or shitake mushroom gravy. If you don’t want an egg, go for The Reggie ($10).

They say you eat with your eyes first. My eyes were hungry when I saw The Reggie Deluxe placed in front of me.

The cheese and gravy overflowing onto the plate below were something else. I hope it tasted as great as it looked.

Being a biscuit restaurant, the most important component of the dish was the scratch-made biscuit. And I had high expectations.

I found the biscuit airy, soft, and fluffy, though not as buttery as most southern biscuits. Though simple, something about eating a fresh biscuit made me smile.

Tucked inside the sandwich was a fried piece of chicken breast. While easy to overcook, this chicken was juicy and moist.

The golden breading stayed crispy outside, even covered with gravy and cheese. The breading wasn’t too thick or thin and coated the chicken without falling apart.

On top of the chicken was an over hard egg. While not dry, I wanted to see the runny yolk flow down the biscuit.

It’s hard to see, but hidden between the fried chicken and egg was crispy, crunchy, smoky, salty bacon.

The bacon and the breading of the chicken added a wonderful crunchy texture to each bite.

The final component of this dish was the shitake mushroom gravy. There was also the option of a sausage gravy.

The gravy was rich with a fresh, earthy flavor. It was viscous while not too thick or thin. My only complaint? I wanted more of it.

Service at Pine State Biscuits

At Pine State Biscuits, I ordered with the cashier at the front of the restaurant.

While never rude, the cashier seemed ready to go home for the day. She also seemed confused and not familiar with the menu.

I was never offered a receipt after ordering. These were all minor issues, but they are worth pointing out. After this, I had no further interaction with the staff.

After ordering, I took the number placard handed to me and found an open table where I waited for my food to arrive. When done, I bussed my plates as posted on the walls.

Conclusion

Pine State Biscuits is the place to go if you want buttery, carb-heavy handmade biscuits or other affordable Southern dishes.

While I can’t complain about a biscuit topped with fried chicken, gravy, and an egg, I wouldn’t stand in line for over an hour for it.

So, if you want a filling, heavy, but delicious meal in Portland, I recommend visiting Pine State Biscuits but during off-peak hours.

Pros

  • Homemade biscuits
  • Extensive menu with interesting biscuit sandwiches
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Some tables were a little dirty, a result of bussing own tables
  • Cashier was ready to go home for the day while ordering

Hours

Thursday - Monday: 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Tuesday - Wednesday: Closed

Address

1717 NW 23rd Ave, Portland, OR 97210
GPS Coordinates: 45.53485,-122.69892

Map



Website

https://www.pinestatebiscuits.com/

Last Updated on April 29, 2024

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Anthony
My name is Anthony and I am addicted to traveling all around the world experiencing new people, cultures, and foods. These are some of my stories.