Each week the Orient spotlights different aspects of the arts and entertainment scene in Portland. This week's installment focuses on restaurants that specialize in brunch.

Everyone knows that brunch at Moulton or Thorne offers one of the best meals around, but when Bowdoin students begin to tire of the tried-and-true weekend lineup, Portland beckons as a brunch haven.

For this week's City Scene, I checked out two Portland restaurants that regularly serve this heavily sought-after meal: Bintliff's American Café and The Good Egg.

Bintliff's is situated in the West Bayside section of Portland in a pleasant, primarily residential area. Surrounded mainly by brick apartment buildings and the occasional small store, Bintliff's appears as a small blue and white storefront on Portland Street.

"One of the things that customers seem to really love about this place is it's warmth," owner and manager Joe Catoggio said of the way Bintliff's is nestled into intimate neighborhood architecture—a sentiment that is reflected in the building's interior. "A large part of what people love about this place is the building itself."

Established in 1990, Bintliff's has been known for its brunch by Portlanders for years. The restaurant is decorated with antique chandeliers and framed paintings hanging on dark red walls.

"We inherited this place, we didn't just build it," said Catoggio. "And part of what we inherited was this really eclectic ambiance—we try to really keep up on that. We don't want a generic or sterile environment, we want that warmth."

But Bintliff's fame as one of the top brunch spots in the city is not just surface-deep.

Rather, Bintliff's is unique in the emphasis they place on the importance of brunch as a meal.

"One thing that sets us apart is that we offer brunch every day which is very different than most places," Catoggio said. "Here you can have breakfast, lunch or some combination of the two anytime between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m."

Bintliff's extensive menu is also of particular note.

"In addition to your brunch staples that we always have, we have specials that change daily," Catoggio said.

The famed House Smoked Salmon Platter is one of these specials that I've found to be especially favored by Bintliff's patrons.

"Really though, what we emphasize is the fact that everything is homemade and everything is fresh. The portions certainly aren't small either. What we shoot for is really high quality in everything we make."

Senior Annie Hancock, a student originally from the greater Portland area, also emphasizes the treats Bintliff has in store.

"[Bintliff's] ingredients are fresh and fun. And you know you can't find bistro steak, capers, lox or hollandaise sauce in the dining hall."

"Also its an adventure. People don't go to Portland nearly enough, and a brunch trip is definitely a legitimate reason."

Something else to keep in mind:once brunch is over at Bintliff's, Bowdoin students should fret not for lack of activities available just outside this brunch establishmemt. Portland's Deering Oaks Park is a short walk away, as are downtown shopping locations and entertainment venues.

Closer to Portland's waterfront but still in central Portland we find the Pepperclub Restaurant, known during breakfast and brunch time by its alias: The Good Egg Café.

Modeled after a restaurant of the same name that was popular in Portland in the '80's and '90's, the new version is an attempt to recreate the good food and friendly atmosphere that made the original so well-liked.

The Pepperclub Restaurant that houses The Good Egg prides itself on serving worldly cuisine for dinner every night of the week, and The Good Egg's breakfast and brunch menu also strives to channel international flavors.

Senetra Chhloeum, a waitress at The Good Egg, emphasized the extent of the café's homemade selections.

"We make homemade toast and homemade hash," she said. "There are a few different Asian dishes—scrambled eggs with veggies and Thai coconut curry sauce."

Chhloem also had recommendations for Bowdoin students seeking items to share.

"Pancakes are really big," she said. "People share that a lot. Plus there is a back room here that can accommodate up to thirty people."

While the wait staff at The Good Egg also works in the Pepperclub Restaurant during dinner hours, the cooks are specialized for either breakfast or dinner.

"For breakfast, we have three cooks: one prep and one cooking," she said.

While Chhloem characterized the environment as "really bright and fast-paced," I found it to be relatively laid back in comparison to some of the busier Portland restaurants. The walls and angled ceiling of the Café are painted different colors, with earth-toned décor hanging in every section of the restaurant that you look.

While the back of the restaurant can house a large number of customers, the front of the restaurant is spread out and relaxed.

Both of these brunch spots offer unique spins on brunch and are situated in interesting sections of town.

While driving to Portland for brunch is not a common activity on a lazy Sunday morning here in Brunswick, mixing it up at one of these restaurants might be just what you need to get your day started.

-Rachel Goldman contributed to this report.

Call for reservations on the weekend.

Bintliff's American Café

98 Portland St.


Every Day 7 a.m. - 2 p.m

The Good Egg Café

78 Middle Street


Sunday-Thursday, 5 p.m.-9 p.m.

Friday & Saturday 5 p.m.-10 p.m