Life is particularly sweet when it affords you the chance to undo a grievous error you may have made.
One of my gustatory mistakes occurred when I failed to nab food at Moxie RX, that pioneering food cart that was situated on a little empty lot on Mississippi (before the development on the street went bonkers).
Several times I peeked in at the adorable little vintage trailer with the enticing menu, and either it wasn’t open at the time of my visit or I was in the midst of a post-prandial walk and felt no appetite.
And then one day about five years ago I went over with the express desire to eat there and I was crestfallen to learn Moxie was no longer there.
I was crushed. Why had I delayed pleasure?
It took a couple years for me to right that wrong.
I’d been hearing from foodie friends that there was a really interesting cafe that opened up in the ever-thriving North Portland corridor of Killingsworth:
Milk Glass Mrkt.
(photo courtesy m. reedy)
And then when I read in Portland Monthly that the creative genius behind this year-old cafe was none other than Nancye Benson, once owner of Moxie RX, I double-timed over there.
Let’s start with the space.
It’s light, fresh and modern and vaguely European — it looks like something in Amsterdam or Copenhagen.
It’s neat as a pin and so many lovely details are done right, like every single thing was considered and curated so it added something to the whole.
I would love to have a house big enough that I could have a open fridge case like this one for big parties. Help yourself, y’all!
I think I might as well add a serving station while I’m at it — and I’d be proud if I could outfit it like this.
Truly this place is visual eye-candy.
Even the bathroom is full of pretty details.
Here’s how it works. You order at the counter and then take a seat at any of the tables — but I have to warn you; the decision-making process won’t be easy.
Warm scones? Cheddar bacon biscuit with herb omelet? Tartine with white bean spread and watermelon radishes?
Heck, I think anything you get here is going to be superlative.
Just throw a penny at the menu and order whatever you hit.
I mean, just look at the baked offerings.
(photo courtesy m. reedy)
We ended up ordering a couple things.
First, check out how they serve tea — with beautiful cups and vintage accessories.
I’ve never been served honey like that, but this treatment– and every little thing they do, frankly — makes you feel catered to, coddled.
A special of the day, a Mulligatawny soup, was next.
My only quibble was the price; it was seven dollars for a medium-sized bowl (the only size offered) and I thought that a little high (especially compared to the modest prices of everything else).
It was, however, the best version I’ve ever had, and I thought that the dried coconut shavings on top (and were those mung beans?) were pure genius.
Next up, a kale salad with sunflower dressing.
I know, I know, we’ve all been kale-d to death, but every once in a while a new one comes along that makes you fall in love with its leafy righteousness all over again.
This is that salad.
A zippy creamy sunflower dressing pulls together the kale, Le Puy lentils, garlic dates and roasted Delicata squash (what an amazing combination).
And then, as if it isn’t beguiling enough, they throw a “savory granola” on top — little nubbins of crunchy deliciousness that keeps you coming back for more. And more.
My friend kept commenting that she was going to save half her salad to take home, but it was just so good it was impossible to stop.
I asked the gal at the counter if there was one dish we shouldn’t miss.
She was gaga over the Veggie Sando — so that got ordered as well.
I had high hopes for it as I spied the house-made focaccia at the front, and it looked spectacular (I kicked myself for hours afterward for not having brought some home with me).
Let me tell you what’s in this sandwich.
Roasted beets, greens, spicy carrots, roasted peppers, cashew butter and miticrema (a spreadable Spanish sheep’s milk cheese)– and for a dollar more, you can throw that whole vegetarian jacket out the window and throw some bacon in there.
I’m a “gild the lily” kind of gal, so no big surprise here.
Of course I went for the inclusion of some porky love.
First off, just look at that sandwich.
Doesn’t it look like someone with a painterly eye made it?
You also have to marvel at the smarts to put the the two spreads directly on the split focaccia with the wettest ingredients (the roasted peppers) in the middle where it can’t dampen the flawless bread.
Hence combined, the result is sensational: tangy, sweet, smoky, chewy and crispy.
This sandwich is killer.
I can’t wait to go back and order some of the other delights: the Cheddar Biscuit with Herb Omelet (the one Karen Brooks of Portland Monthly singled out in her brunch recommendations), the tartines, some of the other salads that beckon.
Smoked trout salad — oh yes, I think I’m coming for you.
(photo courtesy m. reedy)
And get a load of that that impressive array of cookies that sit prettily on the counter.
Denizens of North Killingsworth — I hope you know how lucky you are to have this as your neighborhood cafe.