2337 E Burnside St., 542-0880, screendoorrestaurant.com

[WAIT HERE] I've got bad news and good news. The bad news is that, yes, that block-long mass of humanity has successfully sussed out the best Southern-fried brunch in town. The good news is that the line is not as bad as it looks. Not more than an hour, probably. When you finally get a seat near the kitchen, you'll understand. Nicole and David Mouton have assembled a crew of stone-cold killers who can cook you a fried-oysters Benedict as fast as they look at you, and who put out those famous fried chicken-and-waffle plates ($14.75) as easily as you or I might make toast. Most impressive is the tight control on quality, which seems to stop anything below excellent from clearing the kitchen. The specials are strong, including a smoked brisket hash ($12.75), a mix of chilies, sweet onions, cilantro-inflected crema and roasty tomatillo salsa. Meanwhile, the fluffy buttermilk biscuits ($1.75) are reliably excellent, and depending on the season, the generously appointed fruit bowl ($6.95 for the massive large) can be just the dose of vitamins and minerals your heart needs to continue beating after that chicken and waffle. MARTIN CIZMAR.

Pro tip:

My only gripe? The cocktails—including a brandy milk punk and spiced rum hot cider—which tend toward fluff and sugar. Stick with coffee.

5:30-10 pm Tuesday-Saturday, 5:30-9 pm Sunday-Monday; brunch 9 am-2:30 pm Saturday-Sunday. $$