Phil, Eric and I went for a little drive out to Arleta Library Bakery & Cafe this morning. Well, this afternoon I guess. We were still in time for brunch (they are open until 2:30pm on the weekend), and we only had to wait about ten minutes for a table. Time we spent looking over the menu by the front door, and gulping down a cup of french pressed coffee. Arleta Library is very very small (even smaller than Juniors I think), so I bet there's a pretty serious line during the more normal breakfast hours, but I'd still say it's worth a much longer wait. Once we were seated, the specials were presented to us, including the quiche of the day, which was a wild mushroom and local greens mix. I was hell bent on trying as many things as possible, since Saba and Owen recommended it so highly to us. The Sicilian Hash was an instant pick after having watched the Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives episode that featured Arleta Library. Since there were three of us, and we were all pretty hungry, we went with four items, plus a side of bacon. In addition to the bacon and the Hash, we devoured an order of the Pane Dolce, Portland's Best Biscuits-n-Gravy, and The Tuscan. The Tuscan and the Hash each offer a side of either toast or a scone, so we had one of each. The Hash and the biscuits and gravy both came with a side of potatoes, which were large wedges, heavily seasoned and crispy on the outside, with steaming hot, gooey middles. In other words, amazing. We completely annihilated our plates of food (which impressed our server) by eating for a few minutes, then trading plates clockwise until they were gone. After we finished what seemed to be an impossible task a half hour prior, we all realized how "not overly full and sick" we felt, despite the amount of food we had just consumed. I chalked this up to being directly related to the lack of grease in our meal. Whereas most places serving up similar items would be dripping in animal fats, and greasy oils, Arleta Bakery somehow manages to pull off these incredible dishes with minimal greasiness, which left me feeling full, but really refreshed and happy. (I've been known to eat to the point of illness on more than on occasion.)
Although Arleta Library is a 12 minute drive from home (not sure on the bike length), I'm stoked to go back for more, and I can't wait to take more friends there.