Gravy for Breakfast

Tofu Scramble

I made it all the way to the North Quadrant with some friends recently to check out the famed Gravy. The wait was long and their area to wait fits 4 comfortably. We were mostly outside braving the windy day. When we finally sat down to order I was a little shocked at how expensive it is to eat here. The place is always crowded and it’s a quick turnover, so obviously the cost isn’t keeping people away. I’m still amazed at how much people are willing to pay for breakfast, the most inexpensive meal of the day…but it is fun to have breakfast with your friends when you are past the age of slumber parties but still miss sharing that hazy morning feeling while eating a plate of grease. I grew up in the land of the diners where my norm was 2 eggs, homefries and rye toast for a price well under $5. Seeing the same thing in Portland for close to $10 I can’t justify ordering that dish so I’ve been enjoying trying out the vegan options that most eateries offer. I’d love to do a biscuits and gravy roundup but most places don’t offer vegan biscuits let alone vegetarian gravy but I digress.

I orderd the tofu scramble and customized it myself with mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, vegan sausage and fake cheese. I got the hash browns which looked so good on everyone’s plate. I thought my meal was good but not anything wonderful. It was pricey but the serving size was monstrous. I got 3 meals out of that plate so the price worked out to be a good deal. The mushrooms were cooked well and the tofu was crumbled and seasoned nicely. I wasn’t impressed by the cheese and have pretty much given up on fake cheese. I think it would have been better without the random rubbery strands in my scramble. I was honestly disappointed by the hash browns. The ratio of crunchy to mushy was not close at all. I like the Waffle House hash browns where it’s mostly crispy bits of potatoes but at Gravy it was the opposite. I just don’t like the texture of the inside of a hash brown.

Vegetarian B & G

The vegetarian biscuits and gravy were good. Not amazing, but I am VERY picky about my biscuits and gravy. So far the only b & g that I would eat again and again are the biscuits and white bean gravy in the Vegan with a Vengeance cookbook. I find that most places when making a vegan gravy load up on the flour and oil and it just tastes like a roux. Gravy’s gravy was not the case but it was unique on it’s own. They throw a mismosh of vegetables (kale, peppers, mushrooms) which is nice to get some veggies with breakfast but it felt out of place. I want sausage or tempeh or mushrooms. Earthy, hearty flavors that make winter bearable. Carrots? No thanks. The gravy had a good consistency and was seasoned well. And it was an amazing ratio of gravy to biscuits. It was perfect, gravy for every last bite of biscuit. But I just didn’t love the gravy. The texture of the biscuits was great, but I don’t think it’s too hard to make a vegetarian biscuit with all that access to buttermilk and crisco. I want to see an awesome vegan biscuit offered somewhere other than my kitchen.

Oatmeal Brulee

A friend ordered the oatmeal brulee which she adored. Who wouldn’t love caramelized sugar on top of oatmeal? She could only eat half of the bowl, as is the case with oatmeal. The fruit ratio in the oatmeal was a little lacking but she was happy and full with no complaints. I hate to be a complainer or a picky eater but I have my opinion and here it is. Overall, their food is great and the dishes are interesting (I still want to try the sweet potato pancakes) but I wouldn’t order the scramble or the b &g again. With all the breakfast/bruncheries in town, I wouldn’t rush back to Gravy due to their long wait line and cost. The atmosphere was cheery but the door was open most of the time, causing an intense cold draft that made dining uncomfortable.

2 Responses to “Gravy for Breakfast”

  1. Becca Says:

    Hmmm. Sounds like a business opportunity to me! I guess I’m glad biscuits and gravy aren’t something I miss. It sounds like most places don’t get them right. I’ve only made really delicious gravy one time. And it was kind of an accident/ridiculous modification. But it was amazing. I’ll have to figure that out again. BTW, nice pix :)

  2. karla Says:

    I wasn’t mad impressed with Gravy’s veg gravy either (i went there when i first moved to the Portland area and hadn’t gone vegan). to me it tasted like cream of veggie soup. a good cconsistency, but not what i’m looking for in a gravy. i like the sausage gravy of the South/Pennsylvania Dutch. have yet to find it. Lisa’s (S-Pea) has come close since hers is a white gravy, but i want some faux sausage in there too.

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