Arleta Bakery & Cafe

"Have you heard of Arleta Bakery & Cafe?" Snake was curious since I had mentioned to him I was heading down to Portland. Funny that he mentioned it because it was one of the places I had planned to hit up while I was there. In fact, it was featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. However, that was not the reason I wanted to try the place out. In fact, I never even watched that particular episode. Seeing how there were favourable reviews on Yelp and Urbanspoon, it seemed like a good bet. Yet, the main reason it made my list of restaurants for our trip was the availability of grilled cheese. Grilled cheese? Huh? Yes, the humble grilled cheese is one of my son's "approved" foods. Thus, this destination was highly dependent on my son's preference. So, after a hectic morning at Oaks Amusement Park and their kiddie ride special on Tuesday, we headed over to Arleta. The place is quite small and non-descipt. So much so, I drove right past it. Once inside, the prime window seat was occupied. I was reserved to sitting at another table where the lighting was crappy at best. When all of a sudden, the people got up and prepared to pay. I swooped in and took the table, even though it had not been cleaned. Anything for better lighting!

Viv was originally eying the special (which was featured in Triple D's); but they were sold out. She finally settled on The Florentine which consists of a three-egg scramble with spicy greens, basil, ricotta, Parmesan, and breadcrumbs with Library Fries and toast. She didn't really care for it. It was bland. Really needed more seasoning. For myself, I had the other lunch special which was the Blue Cheese Burger. The homemade, unseasoned beef patty was very meaty in texture and flavour. It wasn't really all that juicy; but it wasn't dry either. Although I could've asked for it be done more rare, I settled on medium since there was a full day left (didn't want to make any unnecessary pitstops...). There was plenty of blue cheese which resulted in a pungent flavour (I love it, Viv hates it). Combined with the hugest slice of tomato I've ever seen, the burger was good. In theory, the Library Fries should be good. Much like roasted potatoes, they are fried up golden with spices. They tasted great; but the exterior was chewy rather than crisp. Made it hard to chew through.

Now for the main event, the one thing that brought us here in the first place. The kid's Grilled Cheese. As advertised, it was gooey with crunchy bread. It came with a bag of Kettle Chips and mixed fruit. He ignored the fruit and headed straight for the chips. My daughter had the Turkey & Cheddar sandwich. I liked how they used real roast turkey with real cheddar cheese. In fact, we could really tell that the raw materials used for the food here is of good quality. There was nothing that made me want to yell out, "That's Money!"; but solid eats nonetheless.

The Good:
- Friendly staff
- Quality ingredients
- Cozy place

The Bad:
- I know we didn't have the signature items, but the things we tried didn't blow us away
- Quite stuffy on a warm day

Arleta Library Bakery & Cafe on Urbanspoon

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