grand-central-portland

As usual, I am marking the passing days of my life by the food that I eat. It has been a whirlwind of a few weeks with the sale of our condo (yeah!), the purchase of our new house (double yeah), preparations for our annual trip to visit family in the Netherlands and Greece (phew) and my current trip to Portland, Oregon to visit a dear friend. I have learned in the past few days that doing other people’s dishes and chores can be very cathartic in busy times.  And, as always, I am finding satisfaction in providing love to those in need by cooking for them.   

This morning, I was up at 6 am, charged with the care of my favorite new little 6 week old baby for a few hours.  I put her in a sling, leashed up my friend’s dog and headed out to wander north Portland. Within a mile, I had passed two microbreweries, half a dozen cute eateries, an awesome non-profit salvage shop, I’d learned about storm water drainage systems thanks to an informational sign, marveled at a plastic quilt making project meant to inspire people to live plastic free and was finally lured into an amazing bakery.   Smells of their fresh-baked treasures and locally roasted coffee were flooding the street and beckoned me forth the like the Sirens to the rocks.  

I scanned the offerings in the case and on the menu, flicked the $5 bill in my pocket and asked, “Do you take credit cards?”  The affirmative answer started my usual uncontrolled bakery binge.  One irish soda bread, a jam filled scone known as a “jammer,” bread for panini making, coffee and a breakfast sandwich.

The breakfast sandwich deserves a paragraph of its own.  Last time I was in Portland, Maine, I blogged about the best bagel sandwich of my life.  Well, this West coast Portland has just earned the title for the best biscuit sandwich of my life.  It is the little things… they had split the homemade biscuit and toasted the open ends just slightly before melting white cheddar against a farm fresh egg and disk of sausage.  

Thank you Portland… for providing unexpected treats on every corner.  If measured by my culinary delights, this trip has been a major success so far.

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19 Responses to “Portland, Oregon – Grand Central Bakery”

  1. Sarah Jackson Says:

    Oh, I love love love Grand Central. Did you try a cinnamon roll? Swoon…. My baking goal is to make one as good as theirs. Whenever I go home to Portland, I make a beeline right there. Thanks for the homesickness! :)

  2. Emily Says:

    This might just be my favorite thing I read today :) I too witness the days going by following the food I ate (or plan to eat) on them. Your line on dishes and cooking was beautifully put too.
    Must now add Portland to my list of places to visit. I have heard so many good things about it lately!

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  4. Kath Says:

    Caroline, I hadn’t heard you sold your condo!! Congratulations. Seems too ironic that so many of us are moving around the same time. It definitely is a good sign…

  5. olive Says:

    I really enjoy reading your blog for the recipes, but when I saw this, I just had to comment.

    As a Portland native who now lives in Europe, I can honestly and wholeheartedly say that I still long for Grand Central Irish Soda Bread and Jammers! Even the European bakeries can’t eradicate my nostalgic love for those pastries.

  6. Sues Says:

    There is nothing better than an a well-made breakfast sandwich. I had an amazing one this morning, but yours looks about a million times better. Beautiful photo too!!

  7. Cakespy Says:

    oh my god oh my god you got my FAVORITE, the jammer!!

    Now…I hope it’s not a breach in etiquette, but I am going to post an (appropriate, I hope!) link back to something I did on my site not long ago: I was actually invited to go do the morning bake at one of the Seattle locations of Grand Central, and I thought it might be of interest! Here it is!

  8. Kate Says:

    Blackberries! I’m so happy they found their way into your picture (and your breakfast.) My husband and I moved to Portland two weeks ago, and we can not stop eating blackberries. I think we were starved for them back in KS.

    Enjoy your trips to the Netherlands and Greece, and keep writing your wonderful blog!

  9. Paula Says:

    I love your post today- but now crave a delicious pastry & strong coffee. Congratulations on your condo sale & house purchase- so great!

  10. Caroline Says:

    Thank you all for your kind comments, encouragement and sweet wishes. I suppose this is why I blog… on busy days like today, you all brought me a warm smile. (as warm as a fresh morning pastry :)

  11. Casey Says:

    Oh, my favorite! I lived next door to the Grand Central in downtown Seattle….i blame them for my extra 10lbs! :)

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  13. Piper-Grand Central Bakery Says:

    It is so nice to hear people who enjoy the fruits of our labor. For all you home bakers who long to bake GCB Cinnamon Rolls, Jammers, and Soda Bread, The Grand Central Baking Book will be released October 6th. I hope you enjoy it!

  14. Larry in PDX Says:

    I used to work downtown in Pioneer Square and only a block from Grand Central. The morning walk over to grab a cinammon roll and coffee was a treat.

    They were the closest rolls that I’ve ever had that compared to my Aunt Polly’s creations. Unfortunately, the recipe was never written down and it passed with her. I’ve been wanting to recreate them for a long time. I look forward to getting the Grand Central Baking Book in October!

  15. Sarah Says:

    I LOVE Grand Central. It’s one of my favorite places for breakfast. I’m glad you got to visit Portland – it’s a wonderful place!

  16. Briana Says:

    Ooh, I love to see people discover things I already love. It feels validating somehow. I work less than a mile from here and it is my go-to coffee break stop. Yum. The best thing I ever had from Grand Central though was a fig tart. It was a seasonal thing, so I only had it the one time, but it was simply to die for…

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  18. Grand Central Bakery – Portland Says:

    [...] As usual, I am marking the passing days of my life by the food that I eat. It has been a whirlwind of a few weeks with the sale of our condo (yeah!), the purchase of our new house (double yeah), preparations for our annual trip to visit family in the Netherlands and Greece (phew) and my current trip to Portland, Oregon to visit a dear friend. I have learned in the past few days that doing other people’s dishes and chores can be very cathartic in busy times.  And, as always, I am finding satisfaction in providing love to those in need by cooking for them Whipped – Read More> [...]

  19. pasta maker Says:

    I have never been to portland yet. I think i should one day. Then I’ll visit this grand central bakery

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