​This top Portland breakfast spot has a menu with cajun charm

With all the breakfast and brunch options in Portland, it’s hard to choose which is my favorite. However, one place that keeps me coming back somewhat regularly is Deering Avenue’s Bayou Kitchen. The restaurant with a solid cajun flair has a variety of options for the hungry customer and their laid back, “let’s get you fed” attitude makes for simple service done right.

I love the restaurant’s theme – think gumbo, jambalaya, and crawfish – which is a fun twist on the standard brunch menu, but their inventive daily specials and wall of hot sauce add exponentially to the experience. I regularly order one or more of the three items listed on the wall-hung chalkboard displaying both sweet and savory treats and a few dashes of hot sauce – minimally – are a requirement every time I am there.

As always, we were there for breakfast, and once again the specials got my attention right away. Yes, I really wanted the Homemade Banana Bread French Toast at the bottom, but after a hard workout I was thinking something a little more healthy might be a wise option. On top, I spied The Greek Omelet with homemade Greek chicken sausage, tomato, onion, feta, and topped with olive tapenade. It came with toast and a side and I felt it would probably meet my needs.

My wife ordered an Omelet with spinach, tomato, and onion and chose home fries and blueberry cornbread to go with it. I did eventually opt for the Greek omelet, and got the homies and standard cornbread after considering the jalapeno cheddar version which I remembered as excellent from my prior experiences consuming it.

After a brief chat with a gym friend who arrived unexpectedly only moments after us and touted the Huevos Rancheros as his favorite, we received our food. I appreciated the consistent, large heft of the omelets. Mine had an oval smattering of the tapenade on top. I was ready to get down to business and forked the first bite over to my mouth.

The omelet sported the right combination of meat, vegetable, and cheese. The olive tapenade was a winner. I find it is often hit or miss, but this one was really good. The only issue I had was with the sausage. It was flavorful, but I really needed some heat with it. Enter Lost Woods Hot Sauce. It’s a Maine original and one of the sauces that graces all the tables. A bit of that on the egg was all I needed to complete the protien-laden creation.

Several bites into the egg, I had to move to the potatoes and cornbread.  The “homies”, as they are affectionately named, were beautiful, sizable bites of spud with a nice seasoning, a thorough grilling, and acted as a perfect receptacle for ketchup, hot sauce, or a well-proportioned combination of both. Oh, they were quite good. And that cornbread? Wonderful every single time regardless of the variety ordered.

It wasn’t difficult to finish our food. We needed fuel and tasty nourishment is never tough to consume. Our tab came to around $25 before tax and tip which included a coffee. Quick, easy, tasty, and reasonably priced, Bayou Kitchen hits all the marks. They make simple food including cajun favorites that consistently satisfy and also offer items that shock and amaze – particularly those specials – which might just throw a wrench into your usual brunch order.

Stay hungry.

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