Times Visited: 2
Sckavone’s is another hip neighborhood joint in SE Portland that I’d love to see up their vegan options.
That being said, I really like being there. The restaurant is styled after the Sckavone family’s original soda shop in the 1930s, which was opened a couple blocks away on SE Division St. There are clean wood paneled booths, a row of middle tables with spacious isles, and the open bar has an old-fashioned meets modern-hipster look to it that reminds this reviewer of Vita Café.
It’s a restaurant that you walk inside, sit down, open the menu, and hope for enticing vegan options. New neighborhood dining in SE Portland should bring something vegan to the table, right? Truthfully, Sckavone’s doesn’t offer many vegan options, and what they do have is fairly forgettable – so why am I am even going to this place?
If I don’t recommend the food itself, what does it take to bring me back?
In this case, the appeal of Sckavone lies in it’s location and atmosphere. There’s a comfortable, open feel, local history and abundance of board games that make it a welcome addition to SE Division and 41st, an area formerly home to Food Fight!
Breakfast wise, tofu is free to sub into any scramble. However, for a vegan to enjoy said scrambles, cheese must be omitted. I don’t know about you, but it bothers me that while cheese was included in the cost, vegans aren’t exactly offered extra spices or vegetables when they leave it out. Back to the real world, my eyes automatically omit it when I’m reading my options, and hope I won’t be charged more if I daresay want to add garlic to liven things up.
On my first visit there was a close call of tofu shortage, but fortunately it was available. Two scrambles stand out in vegan-adaptivity against the rest: the Mediterranean and the Veggie. The names certainly aren’t going for any creative recognition, so I wasn’t too excited about the food. It’s substantial, but nothing memorable enough to bring me back. The tofu is was firm and cubed, which I am a fan of, but it wasn’t quite cooked. There was no browning. The vegetables fare a better, and the fun addition of avocado to the Veggie Scramble and olives to the Mediterranean bring something extra to your plate.
However, pushing the ‘forgettable’ card are the hashbrowns and the cute but non-vegan scones. Ask to substitute vegan-friendly dry toast for the scones and reach for the table-side jam. It was briefly forgotten that I subbed tator tots for hash browns on one visit, and I received two for the price of one. The hash browns themselves lack flavor, but the plate full of crispy tator tots was the best food I’ve eaten there , which doesn’t say that much – but I do like tots and you’ve read the rest.
They also bring another hummus plate to the world for $7. During happy hour, which is all day on Sunday, there is a discounted $3 plate of hummus, olives and pita bread.
Let’s move on past the food because I do give this place credit besides the location, atmosphere and decent tator tots?. No, these are not things to entice a cross-town visit, but Sckavone’s has a wall of board games and excellent cocktails. They also have discounts for bike-riders once a week. If you live in the area and have non-vegan friends, go hang out and eat some tots. Breakfast wise, Genie’s offers similar options with tofu and drinks, yet their fresh, versatile ingredients, cooked tofu cubes and excellent roasted potatoes make them my preferred SE Division St. stop (and their house smoked-tomatoes = love).
That being said, spending summer evenings at Sckavone’s with a Southern Cooler drink or an old fashioned vanilla cola and a game of Clue is pretty tempting. Enough said.
Sorry for the less than great photos this time around!
Rating: 2.75 out of 5
Address: 4100 SE Division St. Portland, OR 97202
Hours: Mon-Thu 10 am-12am, Fri 10am-1am, Sat 8am-1am, Sun 8am-12am