Review: Broder

A quiet and quaint Scandinavian oasis of a café awaits.

By Camas Davis May 19, 2009 Published in the November 2007 issue of Portland Monthly

Broder soder aebelskiver mxdoim

Image: Kelly Clarke

To satisfy a Swedish meatball craving, you could drive out to the blue-and-yellow home warehouse known as Ikea, run through a hamster-track maze of aisles and eventually locate the hot-food line at the store’s big-box cafeteria. Or you could simply head down to SE Clinton St, where a quiet and quaint Scandinavian oasis of a café awaits. There, in the long, skinny dining room, you’ll be seated in bright blue modern chairs that face a line of even brighter yellow stools and a wooden bar that hides the kitchen behind it. It’s the sort of friendly, Euro bar-cum-coffee shop where, were you traveling alone, you’d probably manage to find a date. Once seated, settle on a Swedish breakfast “bord” ($10), a wooden tray laden with salami, smoked trout, slices of pink grapefruit, a cup of yogurt with honey, hard-rind cheese, rye crisps and tart homemade lingonberry jam; or try a sandwich bord ($10), which offers a variety of open-face rye bread sandwiches (perfect for sharing) topped with things like a mayonnaise-y shrimp salad or pickled beets with sheep’s or goat’s milk cheese. For sweet tooths, there are Danish pancakes ($8) known as aebleskivers, golf-ball-size puffs of airy batter that have been baked in a hot skillet and come served with lemon curd, lingonberry jam or maple syrup. And of course, if your case of meatball craving is particularly dire, the rich and herbaceous meatballs ($8) are served in a buttery sherry cream sauce, one that’s far from the uninspired brown variety served at Ikea.