[Homeroast] Portland Cafe reviews

Justin Schwarz houstini at comcast.net
Mon Jan 31 22:55:50 CST 2011

While in Portland earlier today I stopped in a few shops that were notable, yes I know there are many.

Barista/NE Alberta: 
I had a SO Sulawesi espresso that was very nice and my wife had a macchiato with a guatemalan (not a person) that was delicious as well.  I forgot the roasters of those two, but they did have 3 SO espressos on the bar and it was a nice experience to get to choose from multiple roaster's offerings.  The atmosphere was okay, but I must be getting old or something because I just felt out of place with my family in a coffeeshop full of hipsters with macbooks, I guess it can't be avoided in Portland though and I will put up with the "scene" for good espresso. Only 1 serious gripe though, a big -1 for knocking the portafilter THREE times after building the portafilter.  Overall impression: worth checking out, a great experience for anyone serious about espresso.

Red e/1006 NE Killingsworth:
This was not my first visit here, but it is one of my favorites so I thought I would comment on today's visit.  The barista was very friendly, and took some time to talk to me about coffee and poured some very intricate latte art on my macchiato.  I was under the impression that he truly cared about the beverages that he put out and there was a passion that had developed for his trade.  They had a Nicaraguan from Coava as their SO and they also have Intelligentsia Black Cat on the bar.  I have spoken with the owners on previous visits and they are very easy going people that really love being there.  The space is set up well and even when they are busy it doesn't feel crowded. Overall impression: Excellent prep, good people, it's going to be hard to beat them and that's why I try and come back even though it was completely unnecessary for me to consume more espresso.

Random Order/NE Alberta:
Okay, so I didn't actually drink any espresso here because they are basically across the street from Barista but they do serve Vivace so that is where that part of my review will end.  Pie is their thing, really delicious pie, I mean sinfully delicious pie. We shared a piece of brandied pear and chocolate, a piece of banana cream, and a slice of a mixed berry pie.  Not very much seating, but I would probably stand at the counter and eat it if there was no room.  My advice: go out of your way to stop here and get pie, I promise it's worth it.

Next time I am in Portland I would like to try Heart on east Burnside and Coava on SE Grand, both of which have been on my list for too long.  Also a trip to Vancouver or Beaverton may be in order, I need some Delerium!


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