Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tin Shed Garden Cafe

2 comments
Portland, OR. Now where can I find that garden tea party spot? Or maybe just a place that could come relatively close? With its casual yet comfortable outdoor patio, picnic-like decor, those feel-good family BBQs and pot luck memories easily round out the dining aesthetic to this little eatery in Alberta District.  It was as though I could walk a few steps further and run into an old neighbor or childhood friend. I could easily see groups, large or small, fighting it out for a table at this place.
Cream of Mushroom Soup, Shed Salad
Tin Shed is primarily known for its breakfast and brunch yet this place ALSO serves dinner. A relatively new concept to the frequent goers of the brunch fare, but in learning there was something 'new' here of course I had to give it a go. When I asked locals for dinner suggestions this eatery never popped up into anyones' mind. Either way, there was food to be had.

Dinner items were listed on a pager menu, and one of the first things anyone may notice is the significant amount of vegetarian options. From such a food approach it could be quite tough to pick your one (or two) entrees to eat!

For the sake of simplicity, we asked the waitress for a few popular items and this was the result:
  1. Starter I: Mushroom Soup - made on-site with local ingredients
  2. Starter II: Shed Salad - simple side salad with crispy onions
  3. Entree I: Heartless Artichoke Sandwich - veggies sandwiched between grilled sourdough
  4. Entree II: Berry Garcia - alternative version of a quesadilla
The first two items were mild in flavors with an expected taste - a bit too mild for me, but good for the intolerant palette. I appreciate the "green" influence throughout PDX and I could certainly taste the freshness in their simple salad and soup, but I was more curious about the entrees...
Heartless Artichoke Sandwich
Heartless Artichoke Sandwich - included their dip - artichokes blended with spices, red pepper, and parmesan cheese - and was folded between a grilled slice of sourdough bread with pepper jack cheese. It was a great mixture and great taste that took a blend of subtle spice and cheesy goodness to a new level. No one flavor outshone the other in this particular dish.  I was tempted to order another, but knowing I was venturing onward to a dessert restaurant, I had to talk myself down.
Berry Garcia

Berry Garcia - is their version of a quesadilla. It was nice in theory, but with the berry jam sitting mostly at the folding line, the taste didn't come through in the entire dish as its title would imply. I wasn't planning on deconstructing the dish to fix its fault, but when I could taste the combination of sweet and savory, I did experience their aim - which in some way compensated for the inconsistency of each bite.

I wish I had gotten the chance to try their highly ranked breakfast, but there is always next time. The variety of flavors, interesting twists to common choices, and cool interior and exterior design readily lands this place as a suggested spot for nearby patrons to try. With so many recommendations to chip away at during my stay in the food-centric northwest, I just had to keep pluggin' along to the next of the Portland eateries.


Tin Shed Garden Cafe

1438 NE Alberta St
Portland, OR 97211
(503) 288-6966

http://www.tinshedgardencafe.com/

2 Responses so far.

  1. So the sandwich had like an artichoke pesto?! That sounds very yummy! I was wondering what were the crispy onions on the salad all about? Because that sounds like potential right there!!

  2. Andrew Y. says:

    I wouldn't call it an artichoke pesto as much as artichoke heaven, haha. It was incredibly good, and surprisingly so.

    I called the restaurant about their fried onions and sadly they are what either one of us would use in a traditional Thanksgiving green bean casserole. It was a great combo for a simple salad, but also simple enough to duplicate at home for a similar feel, with the winner of that dish being the lettuce - crisp, green, luscious.

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