The Screen Door has been added to my itinerary for next visit to PDX land.
|Image: Allison Jones|
A massive bombshell from weekend brunchmaster Screen Door. Starting June 11, the Southern fried East Burnside restaurant will open for brunch and lunch seven days a week.That's right: chicken and waffles on a Monday, all the grits and Spicy Creole Bloody Marys you can handle Tuesday, Friday, Sunday, whatever—just throw your calendar away entirely. Also, the restaurant will debut a huge new lunch menu, built around a line-up of 13 Southern sandwiches (muffaletta and brisket to po’boys served on custom Alessio French bread). “It is kinda nuts,” says co-owner David Mouton with a laugh. “But we are so excited.
Along with that big sandwich roster, expect a half-dozen appetizers and a heavy emphasis on salads and veggie specials at lunch to balance out the restaurant’s meaty eats; a nod to the fact that every Screen Door meal need not be a gut-busting challenge.
Screen Door has had the market cornered on weekend brunch for nearly a decade now, with parody-worthy weekend wait lines creeping around the block and a crack team of 50+ staffers, including a handful kitchen pros whose sole job is to handle the 2,200 pounds of chicken the restaurant fries up each week.
The expanded hours and ambitious new menus have brought their own challenges—first and foremost, a lack of space. In addition to the restaurant’s own kitchen, Mouton and wife/co-owner Nicole now rent a commissary kitchen where the crew does all its batch cooking--like stewing collard greens and gumbo and butchering chickens. They also renovated the Screen Door’s garage to make space for a second “micro-kitchen,” where their baker can churn out fresh biscuits and daily shortcakes and its chefs can whip up dinner specials.
With August marking the restaurant’s 10 year anniversary, Mouton says it was the right time to make some big changes. “Over the last couple of years we’ve been tempted to open another Screen Door over the river or open different concepts. But instead of taking our eye off the ball, we’d rather expand our hours here and maintain our institutional status,” he says, crediting the restaurant’s staff for giving him and Nicole confidence to undertake the expansion. “The sentimental reason is that I really want to respond to the neighbors. They’ve been asking us to open for brunch on weekdays for years. You know, we didn’t open the restaurant with fried chicken and waffles [on the menu], that was a customer request. In fact, all of our main menu items were customer requests. We just respond to what people ask for.”
“Screen Door is its own beast,” Mouton laughs. “It’s taken on its own life—we’re just here to steer it."
Screen Door's new hours:
- Weekday brunch 8 am-2 p.m; lunch served 10:30 am-2 pm (Mon-Fri)
- Dinner 5:30 pm-10 pm Tues-Sat; 5:30 pm-9 pm Sun-Mon
- Saturday & Sunday brunch 9 am-2:30 pm
2337 E Burnside St