Having grown up in Portland, I’ve always thought of Papa Haydn‘s as a dessert place. Well apparently since the 80s things have changed. Papa Haydn East, the original location, now has, in addition to brunch, lunch, and dinner menus, a Cocktail Hour menu, which is to say a happy hour menu (3-6pm 7 days a week!). And a report came in recently that upon this happy hour menu (and lunch menu too, sometimes I think), there is an item called . . .
Hand-cut Kennebeck fries, pulled chicken, thyme gravy and cheese curds
Saturday, you may recall, was a beautiful day. We ventured to Southeast Portland in the afternoon and secured a table on the patio (after getting confirmation from our hostess that indeed, poutine is on the menu). An old friend, Lise, joined us. We ordered drinks, salads, and a plate of poutine.
Papa Haydn serves up one of the prettiest poutines in town.
The menu on the website is a sample menu; it changes up a lot. As you can see the poutine we were served was topped with parmesan cheese, not cheese curds. And the chicken gravy contained spinach. These are unorthodox changes, and we were tempted to relegate this poutine to the poutinesque category. However, upon further deliberation we decided that if the three required ingredients were in play, we would call it poutine. Fries, cheese, gravy. Yup.
And damn, if this wasn’t one of the best unorthodox poutines I’ve tried in a while.
I have no idea what Kennebeck fries are, but I like them. Look at that beautiful golden brown! The gravy, though it could have handled a bit more seasoning, had the right viscosity – it clung nicely to the fries. It also contained chunks of perfectly moist pulled chicken. The spinach was an odd addition, but not off putting. And the zip of parmesan made up for the slightly drab gravy. All in all a delicious, though unorthodox, Portland Poutine.
Papa Haydn (Eastside)
5829 SE Milwaukie Ave
Portland, OR 97202