Bintliff’s American Cafe

Place: Bintliff’s American cafe

Time: 8:30 am, Sunday, November 23, 2008

With: Sabrina

Where: 98 Portland Street, Portland, Maine


Several years ago (5 or more) Sabrina and I would go to Sunday breakfast at Bintliff’s at least once a month, or as often as my meager means could take me. Then, something changed and we stopped going. I think we discovered other places, and Bintliff’s was lost to memory. Well, for old time’s sake we decided to have Sunday Breakfast there yesterday. Woopsie.

Bintliff’s is located on Portland Street, directly across from the Portland Post Office. There is no parking lot, but you can usually find street parking nearby, as there are plenty of side streets. We had decided to go before 9:00 because we remembered that there was always a line, and very little room to wait in. Luckily, we were sat immediately, in our favorite seat: upstairs, two seater, directly in front of the window.

The decor is quaint and cottage-y. I have always loved the color scheme and the lamps on the hardwood tables and the knick knacks hanging about. Our table had a very pretty lamp on it, with dangly things galore. Unfortunately, I don’t think that they pay anyone to dust, as the lamp was pretty grossly covered. Also, from my vantage point, I could see the window over the stairwell, and it was festooned with spiderwebs and dead insects. Tasty.

Hmm. I’m thinking they went “budget” when hiring painters…

Our waitress was charming and happy and prompt and non-invasive and accessible. She was the high point of out visit, I think.

I started with the Bisque. I saw on the menu that there was a Tomato Fennel Seafood Bisque, but I asked if they still had the Crab Bisque that they used to have. I think I should have clarified that I meant “years ago” used to have, not “months ago” used to have. I will say this: although it was not what I was expecting, it was a good bisque. It had plenty of fish and crab and scallops in it, with a pleasant spicy flavor. It was not too tomato-y. The accompanying bread was perfectly toasted.

When I used to come here, I would get the Eggs Florentine every time. It was an amazing concoction of spinach, bacon, onions, eggs, english muffins, and parmesan cheese sauce. And it still had all of those things. But. Instead of working together to make a delectable dish, it was surprisingly disjointed. The ingredients didn’t make a cohesive whole. It was a plate of individual ingredients, instead of a plate of Florentine. I was disappointed.


You know it’s true.

Sabrina got the Fresh Fruit Bowl. It was granola and yogurt with fruit. And, true to the experience that we were having, it was obviously fruit from one of those jars of fruit. It all tasted the same, and the colors were wierdly pale. Although the granola was tasty,  the dish just didn’t work. Sabrina was diasappointed, too.

I would say that the best thing that we had was our coffees. And you can get a much cheaper cup practically anywhere. This is definitely not the cheapest breakfast in Portland. Or the best.

We left at around 9:45. There was no one waiting. We used to wait up to an hour to get a table here, and now there was no one at all. Also, there was a note on the door that they were no longer serving dinner, in order to focus on private parties and functions. Uh huh. Sure you are.

2 out of 5 stars, if only for nostalgia’s sake.

PS – Please excuse the picture quality. I had to use a camera phone…

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3 Responses to Bintliff’s American Cafe

  1. Sabs says:

    The Fruit Plate at Hot Suppa! is 1000x better.

  2. Sister says:

    This is my traditional birthday brunch place…should I go somewhere else? Suggestions?

  3. Cat Eldridge says:

    Try Mim’s — similar food better done with a great staff and a lovely setting. I;ve never been disappointed in a breakfast I’ve had there. Likewise the Good Egg at the Pepperclub’s well-worth checking out.

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