Portland >Restaurants > The Country Cat Dinner House and Bar
7937 SE Stark St, Portland, OR | Directions 9721545.519309 -122.581772
Sat-Sun 9am-2pm, 5pm-10pm
Neighborhoods: Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Program, Montavilla
Whatever your favorite animal is to eat, it's delicious here. We had legs of both lamb and duck, both wee kickin'. As we're the cocktails.
Adam and Jackie Sappington's brilliant restaurant looks like just another Americana / lardcore joint, but make no mistake: this is nose-to-tail cooking at its most sophisticated. That said, you can't, CAN'T, miss the fried chicken.
Consider the Country Cat Dinner House your gateway to the Montavilla neighborhood. You'll be familiar with the farm-to-table freshness of the greater Portland food scene, with Grilled Idaho Trout and Hickory Smoked Duck Leg, while the Country Cat's diner-style charm speaks to the local close-knit community.
It's hard not to love Country Cat--fresh, hearty, seasonal food made by very sweet people in a perenially-busy little restaurant right in the heart of Montavilla. Plus, they have some serious cinnamon rolls (weekend brunch only).
Chef Adam Sappington was one of the first supporters of Portland's nose to tail dining scene, and his love of meat is still evident on his menu. Check out the “Animal of the Week” specials for primal goodness.
the place kick back and chow down – I went to Country Cat a few weeks ago for brunch for the first time. I loved the interior - contemporary diner setting with a cool color scheme of orange and grey with beautiful wood. It kind of reminded me of the doug fir a bit inside. The menu was simple, with a clear point of view. Adam Sappington, the head chef, was running around with his overalls on - adorable! I opted for the WT - biscuits, sausage gravy and a fried egg on top...mmm. It was delicious!! The gravy was chunky goodness but was not heavy and didn't leave me feeling like I was about the heave over from a heart attack. My partner had the eggs benedict which were good, but I preferred my WT (White Trash?!)
Anyways, I LOVED this place. Good people, great food and warm setting. Definitely one of the best brunches in town!
Hmmm, not impressed – Perhaps I chose poorly from the menu, or perhaps I'm just picky. Either way our dinner at Country Cat last night didn't leave me planning to go back.
Our group goes out monthly to a new restaurant to try it, have been doing this for 7 years now, and this was my first visit to Country Cat. It's worth noting the service was good (not great mind you, but good), very friendly, mostly prompt and attentive. A very minor nit, and one many "open floor plan" restaurants face, the kitchen aromas fill the restaurant; last night when we walked in we were met with a wall of "smell" (I say smell not fragrance or essence because it was an overwhelming 'fishy' odor that initially put me off due to it's strength).
After settling in this is where the real disappointment begins. Our table ordered an assortment of salads, starters and meals along with mixed drinks, beer and wine. Everything showed up in a timely manner and together (+points). First penalty, many (maybe all) the mixed drinks were iced (now i know times are tight, but this does two bad things - 1, it reduces the drink to about 20% of it's volume, and 2, it waters down the flavors almost instantly) - lesson learned, stick w/ beer or wine here. On the appetizer, this is purely a personal taste thing, but I ordered the mushroom ravioli - wow, really NOT good. It's hard to describe it, but the texture was a bit like what i imagine that slimy stuff is on jellyfish on the beach, and the taste... well, it had layers of taste... which just went from bad to worse. Maybe that was an off night for the ravioli, maybe it's just not my palatte... hmm.
Now the main course, for which I had high hopes, I ordered the "whole hog". On a side note, my wife ordered the braised beef and absolutely loved it. Two others in our group ordered the chicken, and had a similar reaction. My meal though - well here are the good points, it came on time... the pork chop was two bites worth, about twice the size of my wristwatch face, the pulled pork portion, average, but the worst was the piece of pork belly - tough and tiny. Oh, and all in all for two of us, our dinner bill topped $100.
So will I be heading back to Country Cat, maybe, sometime in the future, when I don't have anywhere else to go, and I want an $8 beer, sure, but I think that will be a LOOOOOOOOONG time from now. Sorry Adam, I think you have some house cleaning to do here.
downhome food with a PNW twist – I took my family to the Country Cat for brunch. The food and friendly service at the country kitchen was fantastic. I had eggs benedict with smoked steelhead instead of ham and I loved it. My husband said that the Chicken was not southern fried chicken but the taste was just as good with the twist of Maple syrup. We will definitely go back. The only con was that the hostess seemed a bit slow. I was with my elderly father and there are no chairs to sit in while you wait. I saw a table open for about five minutes before she came back to the front to seat us. But I wouldn't let one employee ruin the experience or my review overall.
A new favorite – My boyfriend and I are new to the Montavilla neighborhood, so we were pleasantly surprised to discover the Country Cat on a walk. I am so impressed by the quality and creativity of the food! The fried chicken is amazing, crispy and tender. We have only experienced brunch thus far but I can't wait to go back for dinner. It's a really warm and inviting atmosphere and the staff are all very charming and hip. I very much appreciate that the owner decided to open in our neighborhood when I'm sure he/she could have had enormous success somewhere downtown. (Very lucky for us!)
Good place for birthday dinner – A friend and I celebrated both of our birthdays with a dinner at the Country Cat. Both of us were happy with our meals and appetizers. Portions were good size, so we didn't have room for dessert. I have already recommended this place to other friends.
GRUBBING – Great food, comfortable space, friendly service. They will fill you up in a great way. I will be back for more soon.
Great place for a family breakfast. – We decided to try Country Cat on the recommendation of friends. Our son has some food allergies that are not easy to work with and although they got it wrong on the first try, they bent over backwards to make it work for him. They were gracious and sweet, and the owner came over personally to make sure everything was ok. The food was very good, and I especially liked that the delicious corn muffin came with honey and butter already mixed together. Extra points for the very tasty espresso drink.
Great food, great drinks and great service – My husband and I went there for my birthday. We had planned to go to Portland City Grill, but the review for it only highlited the view, and being French the food for me is more important than some city view ( that I can see from OHSU anyway). Driving by these restaurant to go to work, we decided to give it a try and we were very pleased. My hubby is very difficult for his food and wanted to order the hmaburger; but in the last effort he ordered the Hog plate that he completely finished. We ordered for appetizer the potato duppling that were delicious for such a simple dish. We also had dessert: the Pudding trio: wonderful. The service was excellent, and our waitress was very helpful. I like the fact that it has an open kitchen and you can see them cooking. I'm sure that if this place was located near downtown in a more hip neighborhood they will charge more; but thanksfully their prices are low compare to the quality and the creativity of the platte of meals that they served; kudos to the chef and his wife for giving us such a great restaurant in this area of town. And by the way, we tried the Chehalem "cerise" gamay and merlot mix wine: so much flavor.
YUM!!! – I went to the Counrty Cat with a small group for our "office christmas party" and was very impressed. The atmosphere is great- kind of retro and hip- and very laid-back. Our waitress (I can't remember her name) was very nice. She really took care of us, offering advice on what to order, which plates were good for sharing, etc. She checked on us often and we never had to wait for refills or anything like that. The food was great!! comfort food at its best. The fried chicken is a must, the onion rings were divine!! I was worried when I read reviews saying that it was very loud, but although it was loud, I didn't really notice and had no problem carrying on a conversation (and the place was full most of the time we were there, so I can't imagine it gets much louder than that). The prices were much better than I was expecting, especially since the food was so good and in pretty large portions. We spent around $90 for the three of us (before tip) for starters, dinner, dessert, and drinks. (we didn't have cocktails- so that would have driven the price up a bit). Not bad for I night out.
Disappointed – The first time we ate at The Country Cat (last July) it was delightful. I loved the range of flavors and the skillful execution of my meal. I took my kids there last night and it was quite a different experience. There was still a nice variety of items on the menu and as a vegetarian I really appreciate that there is more than one choice for me among all the meat.
My autumn crostada had a lovely filling but the crust was tough and overcooked. Its burned taste overpowered the delicate filling of sweet winter vegetables. I know that such crusts aren't the easiest thing to execute skillfully but honestly I would have been embarrassed to serve something so poorly executed. My sons' burgers were tiny and were served adorned with slimy brown lettuce much past its prime. And the autumnal salad I ordered, while quite tasty, was wildly overpriced given that it consisted of a few grapes, one quartered fig, a tiny slice of toasted baguette, three leaves, and a smear of a very tasty cheese. Quite good but at $11Ifelt I'd been had.
I understand that times are tough and that restaurants are suffering which is exactly why I chose to splurge and take my family out for a good meal. But I felt that corners were cut and my experience was nothing like my delightful first visit.
One additional comment: I left with a headache because The Country Cat is so loud. It's nearly impossible to carry on a conversation.
If you have tons of money and lots of free time to go out regularly, then do visit The Country Cat often. You have good odds of having a pleasant experience at least some of the time. But if you're watching your money and restaurant meals are a splurge, I'd suggest looking for a restaurant with better odds of providing a satisfying experience.
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