Friday, February 19, 2010

Restaurant Review - Rose's Cafe and Bakery

Rose’s restaurant and Bakery

Rating: 4 out of 5

This past Sunday, my husband (Brandon), his brother Stefan and our friend Jeff (who just recently moved to Portland from California) were hanging out in Portland for the day. As we were driving around near the Lloyd Center Mall we came across a place called Rose’s Café and Bakery. From the look of the sign, it appeared to be an old-time bakery and deli so we figured we might as well give it a shot. As we entered the restaurant, the first thing that called to us were the glass cases brimming with fresh baked goods from 6-layer raspberry poppy seed cake to large, gooey rum balls smothered in chocolate jimmies. Beyond the delectable-looking desserts, the restaurant was clean and updated with flat screen TV’s and exuded a bright and friendly atmosphere.

Now if you’re familiar with the Portland, Oregon area you might already know of Roses. However, if you are not, it is definitely a place worth getting to know. As we sat down in our decently sized booth and perused the menu, we realized that this place was no ordinary café and bakery. Often I have a hard time finding something other than your basic garden salad, veggie burgers or chicken strips, if I’m feeling desperate. I was pleasantly surprised and found myself struggling to choose from a variety of items such as stuffed tomatoes filled with chicken or egg salad, a garden burger topped with provolone, grilled peppers and caramelized onions, or The “Rose City” Sandwich which included turkey breast, cream cheese and cranberry-mustard sauce. The guys were even more overwhelmed by the huge variety of Reuben sandwiches, pastrami topped fries and a plethora of other sandwiches and burgers to choose from (though Brandon often eats the same things I do, he is not a semi-vegetarian, nor are most of our friends).

Needless to say, we had already decided if the food was as good as it sounded, we would definitely be coming back. In my indecisiveness, I decided to get soup and a sandwich, which just happens to be one of my favorite things. Another unique thing about Rose’s is its homemade Matzo Ball soup. I had always wanted to try it so I figured “why not”. I paired it with a grilled cheese with pickles on rye. The matzo balls were gargantuan, but tender and fluffy; the broth was a basic clear chicken broth - which is the traditional way it is served - this allows you to really savor the dumplings. I topped it off with a slice of red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. The grilled cheese in my opinion could have used more cheese, but over all was good with the slight tang of the rye bread and the saltiness of the pickles. The cake was moist and the frosting was laden on thick; it had a light cream cheese flavor which was nice rather than overpowering like it can sometimes be.

If I had to rate it on a scale of 1-5, I would give it a 4. They had a great selection for all types of diets, great service and low to mid-scale prices (my sandwich and soup combo was 7.99, but my cake was 5.99 a slice).

Information: Rose’s was founded in 1956 and now has four Portland locations and one in Washington. You can find all locations and view the menu on their website

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