Digestion. The breaking down of food, which is made up of complex organic molecules, into smaller molecules that the body can absorb and use for maintenance and growth. http://www.dictionary.com/

What the dictionary does not include in it’s description for this process is how it sucks all the oxygen from the rest of your body and your brain.

After a quick walk post-meal, I am sitting on the porch ending a mildly hot day here in Portland, my belly stuffed and active in the process of digestion, while my brain runs dry and I really want to go take a nap.

I just might have to return to Sckavone’s for a cuppa joe (and it is something I need to try anyway in my quest for good joe here) so that I don’t completely obliviate into slumber after dinner there.

Sckavone’s is one of those classic family spots – completely unpretentious. Simple décor, good solid food with a slight nod to Italian immigrant ancestry. The history of this place is significant in the annals of SE Portland. My Mum remembers being a little girl, visiting her grandmother on SE 41st, sitting at the ice cream counter for a shake (omg – I’m back in the land where they call them ‘shakes’!).

Owned today by Jon Finley, grandson of the founder Nick Sckavone, this place just became my ‘regular food’ spot. Of course, that it’s only a few blocks from home makes it that much easier.
There are a few items that I consistently start with when I try a new restaurant: French onion soup, Reuben and crème brulee. As a professional chef, I can pretty much tell if they know what they’re doing or just hacks by trying these three items.

Parental Guidance and Politically Sensitive Warning

Through the years when I’ve trained line cooks how to make a Rueben, I’ve always told the guys this: a good Rueben is like a good American woman – hot, juicy and sloppy. Ladies, please forgive me for this method of instruction. It clearly communicates to a guy just how a Rueben should be. And mine was at Sckavone’s. Perfect!

Combined with strawberry lemonade that was delicious and French fries that I will assume are a standard McCain fry – this was classic American family independent restaurant fare. Simple and good.

I think, but I’m not sure, my server’s name was Chrissy – anyway, she is the one with the really sexy dimples and bright dark eyes. Service was great! She even remembered, after getting my lemonade refill, my request for no ice, straining the ice out before returning. Her presence was table-side fun and just a tad sassy 🙂

Observing the entire operation; service was quick, friendly and efficient. The dining room and restroom were clean, as were the menus (pet peeve – dirty menus). My only real critique is that from our table we could see under some of the equipment in the kitchen. Jon – you should check out that view.

I’ve already voted on Urban Spoon in recommendation! I’ll be back.