I heart Random Order coffeehouse. I do. And here’s why. This is a coffeehouse with attitude, and it makes me laugh.

From anatomically correct sock monkeys that used to be perched on the shelf to corned bread muffins with jalapenos and bacon to the fact that you can bring a dog into the coffeehouse – as long as its little paws are not touching the floor, which would be some kind of violation. When the NY Times did a feature on how design saved this NE Portland street, it was the photo of Random Order’s brick, cornerside facade that was the poster child of funky Alberta. And, of course, there’s the pie. There are so many things to like about Random Order that coffee is lower down the list than most places we frequent.

Notes on Random Order…

Location: Random Order is at 1800 NE Alberta in the heart of the electic Alberta Arts district. Rain or shine, morning or night, this is the corner where the neighborhood gathers.

Coffee: Stumptown is the coffee served at Random Order, and they serve it strong and on the bitter side. I personally prefer a milder, Italian Roast style, but that doesn’t stop me from swilling the coffee at Random Order. It just goes down better with pie.

Cool stuff: Pie, pie and pie. I didn’t even know I liked pie so much until I had a piece at Random Order. Buttery crust, local organic flour and fruit. It’s become our staple at birthday parties, Thanksgiving and the occasional skipped dinner in favor of pie and coffee. It’s also cool that Random Order is a supporter of the Portland Fruit Tree Project, a great non-profit that harvests and shares urban fruit among the community. Other cool stuff: Random Order is obviously a beloved coffeehouse in the neighborhood. It is always buzzing with people, babies and dogs. In addition to pie, the coffeehouse offers an array of other delicious baked goods, from panini with arugula leaves and dry salami to muffins filled with local berries. And they serve cocktails, too.

Not so cool: The fact that when we discovered Random Order about four years ago, I mistook their signature red ostrich logo as a rooster and called it (mainly to myself) the Red Rooster café. The mistaken identity came out when my husband and I were making plans to meet, and I kept saying let’s meet at the Red Rooster and he was like, where? Embarrassingly random.

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