Today’s adventures took me to Belmont Street, where I stumbled across the Rocking Frog Café. With a name like that, I couldn’t resist stopping into see what I might find. On the corner of 25th Avenue and Belmont, the Rocking Frog occupies an old green house. Go in, hang your coat on the rack and make yourself at home. At least that’s the feeling I got when I walked in. The café looked like someone’s living room that happened to have a coffee bar where the dining area would normally be. A few vintage lamps hung from the ceiling, and there were books everywhere—on either side of the old fireplace, on shelves next to the fridge and in the alcove that acted as the library, where I sat.
The Frog has a Portland feel to it. I know I keep repeating that, but a number of Portland’s cafés have worn-out hardwood floors and an eclectic mix of second-hand furniture. Rock music frequently pours out of the speakers in these cafés. The décor fit that mould, and today’s music selection at the Frog was a mixture of Motown and late 1960’s/early 1970’s rock.
The café is pretty small—there are a few stuffed chairs in the living room, four small tables in the library and two in the back room. The front porch and the back patio also have seating, so if the weather is good, those are options too. On the weekends from 9am-2pm, Moody’s opens its “donuts on demand” kiosk out back and you can get donuts as they are meant to be—made to order, fresh out of the grease. I might have to come back on a weekend just to try the donuts. If you’re looking for other foods, the Rocking Frog serves waffles and pastries for breakfast and sandwiches and soup for lunch.
The Rocking Frog serves Ristretto Roasters coffee. The espresso I ordered was most likely a blend, as it was fairly balanced and slightly nutty with sweet overtones. It was very different from some of the single-origin espressos that I have tried recently. I hope to visit Ristretto soon. It has a reputation for high-quality coffee, and the espresso did not disappoint me.
The Frog has kind of a quirky feel to it, and with its good coffee, homey atmosphere and off-street parking (for those of you who like to drive places), it is a good place to stop if you’re out on Belmont Street.
Address: 2511 SE Belmont Street, Portland, OR 97214 (map)
Hours: Monday-Friday 7am-6pm
Free Wi-Fi? Yes, and fast
Recommend it? Yes, for a small gathering with friends