Blink as you’re driving along Greenwood between Sixth and Seventh Streets, and you’ll miss Rockin’ Daves Bagel Bistro. And that will be your loss, because Rockin’ Daves is a whole lot more than a bagel joint.
My friends and I settled outside on the patio with our five (!) dogs and ordered Bloody Marys (one with chipotle and bacon), a Chai drink with vodka and Irish Cream, and a grapefruit breakfast beer (delicious by the way). Our Saturday afternoon was looking pretty good already, and was about to get better.
Since Rockin’ Daves serves breakfast all day long and Eggs Benedict on the weekends, we decided to share one of the Bennies. After evaluating the six options on the specials list, we agreed on the Dungeness Crab Caprese Bennie, with tomato, fresh mozzarella, caramelized onion, spinach over hash browns. I’m usually an Eggs Benedict purist, but this may have changed me forever. The crab was fresh, fresh, fresh, without even a trace of fishiness.
The eggs, from Great American Egg in Powell Butte, were cooked medium, which was a hair too much for me. I would have wanted those bright orange yolks to be just a little runnier. But the zesty hollandaise and finger-lickin’ good dots of arugula mint pesto easily made up for that.
When you go to a place that calls itself a bagel bistro, you have to have at least one bagel, especially when they’re all made in house. The Oh Nelly, featuring house-smoked lox and dill cream cheese on a soft, chewy jalapeño bagel (our choice from some ten options), was spot on. Delicious.
Opting for a healthy interlude, we tried the Veggie Market Scramble next. That day, our three (or was it four?) eggs were served with eleven different roasted vegetables, including cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, tomatoes (two kinds), spinach, zucchini, Brussel sprouts and mushrooms. Add a bed of perfectly roasted, creamy seasoned potatoes underneath and a sprinkling of goat cheese on top, and you’re looking at a tasty bargain breakfast for two that’s also served as a breakfast burrito if you’re on the go. (By the way, Rockin’ Daves has entire separate menus for vegetarians, vegans and those who are gluten intolerant.)
Deciding we’d been healthy enough, we switched gears and spilt two sandwiches: half a Royal Reuben with house-braised corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing and half a house-smoked hot pastrami with Swiss cheese, house-made sweet pickles that pack a hint of heat, grilled onions and Dijon mustard, both on rye. If you’re looking for a New York deli, this isn’t it. But man is it good! Between the corned beef that’s house-braised until it’s pot-roast tender, the house-smoked pastrami, the gooey cheese and the cooked onions, these sandwiches define comfort food.
“What could we do better?” owner Dave Flier asked when he came out to check on us. The only thing could come up with was that a cool-looking, upcycled fence would shield al fresco diners from the traffic noise and help to draw attention to the restaurant. Rockin’ Daves, we all agreed, deserves all the attention it can get.
Rockin’ Daves Bagel Bistro
661 NE Greenwood Ave.
Open Monday–Saturday 7am–3pm, Sunday 8am–2pm