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Lauretta Jean's: Biscuit Sandwich Heaven
With an expanded menu, Portland's premier pie shop emerges as Division's dessert destination, breakfast sandwich epicenter, and date night find.
Last year, when pie and biscuit perfectionist Kate McMillen and Noah Cable opened a brick-and-mortar iteration of Lauretta Jean’s, good things were bound to happen. But the Division Street hideaway has been slow to forge a strong identity beyond the cult pies and quiches showcased at the operation’s PSU farmer’s market stall and downtown take-out shop (read my review). Now, with a full menu of biscuit sandwiches and lunch sandwiches to match a growing cocktail list and nine daily pies at last count, Lauretta Jean’s has nailed it, with no small help from kitchen hand Alex MacKay.
First and foremost, Lauretta Jean’s has arrived as a bona-fide biscuit headquarters, with an impressive program of daily biscuit sandwiches, served from 9 am to 3 pm. McMillen’s buttery beauties now bracket everything from pulled pork and apple barbecue sauce to an over-easy egg shouldering shaved Brussels sprouts. The breakfast sausage sandwich is flat-out terrific, plump and porky, slapped with homemade tomato jam and, all the better, stuffed between McMillen’s biscuits.
Even Eggs Benedict gets the biscuit treatment, an open-faced served with quivering poached eggs, folds of smoked ham and thick hollandaise, plus dressed greens for the guilt-prone. I’m eager to try McMillen’s new Biscuit French Toast, each eggy round crowned with maple syrup and bacon.
But lunch is not short-changed. Sandwiches are now available daily, mixing downhome happiness with McMillen’s careful, thoughtful touches and good daily soups. A note: you want the new meatloaf sandwich (at right), pure and simple, thick with chunks of meat glazed with tomatoes and brown sugar in the baking.
Lauretta’s also rocks until 10 pm nightly. Cocktails and the city’s best pie, anyone? Would you like a Cat’s Pajamas (Campari, prosecco, grapefruit and tequila) or a double-crusted pear pie (each flaky pastry crosshatch a window on glistening fruit enshrined in a fresh grind of vanilla beans, star anise, and cloves)? The answer, of course, is both.