2013's New Brunch Players
The ten latest additions to Portland's vibrant brunch scene deliver plenty of new options for your weekend morning.
As if we all needed ten more reasons to hit the town for bacon and Bloody Marys on a Sunday, these Portland restaurants recently launched a.m. menus, boasting everything from full Irish breakfasts to egg-laden sandwiches bigger than your face. Set your alarms, folks:
1. Dot's 2521 SE Clinton St
Under new ownership as of summer 2012, this SE Clinton mainstay launched brunch service in April of this year, offering hearty omnivore and vegan friendly nosh to cure the hangovers earned at Dot's the night before.
When to get it: Saturdays and Sundays starting at 10 am
What to eat: Pulled pork eggs benedict with salsa verde and hollandaise on cornbread; Biscuits and gravy (veg or meat) with kale and eggs or fried chicken; Tempura battered belgian waffles with lemongrass ginger syrup.
What to drink: Bottomless mimosas for $10.
2. Raven & Rose 1331 SW Broadway
Former Park Kitchen chef David Padberg mans the LEED-certified kitchen at this massive downtown renovation, touting homey flavors from England and Ireland. That emphasis on old country fare finds its way onto the new brunch menu as well.
When to get it: Saturday and Sunday, 10 am to 2 pm
What to eat: Full Irish Breakfast with housemade black and white puddings, back and belly bacon, two eggs, roasted mushrooms, tomato confit, and fadge (a rustic potato cake); A beast of a bison burger topped with caramelized onions and house pickles on a potato bun; Decadent buttermilk nutmeg "cake muffins" dipped in melted butter and cinnamon sugar.
What to drink: Barman Dave Shenaut's "Full Irish" spin on the bloody, loaded with Hot Monkey Pepper Vodka, barrel-aged worcestershire, Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, Guinness, Damnation bitters, and celery bitters.
3. 2nd Story 2005 SE 11th Ave
Erin McBride's small plates eatery above neighborhood coffee roaster Cellar Door launched brunch service in April, serving shareable morning dishes.
When to get it: Saturdays and Sundays fron 10 am to 2 pm
What to eat: Eggs benedict atop a crispy potato cake; Pecan coffee cake; Crepes filled with rhubarb and lemon curd; fried duck egg sandwiches.
What to drink: Cellar Door coffee roasted on the first floor, or a dry hopped hard cider.
4. Radar 3951 N Mississippi
This stylish 36-seat neighborhood restaurant launched weekend brunch service in March, offering Scandinavian specialties alongside American breakfast staples. Check out photos and first bites from their brunch launch on Eat Beat.
When to get it: Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm
What to eat: Swedish pancakes with huckleberries: Creamy baked eggs with kale and pickled onions alongside a bowl of extra-crispy fried potatoes; Smoked bluefish plate with hardboiled eggs and house pickles.
What to drink: Ristretto Roasters coffee or a Voddie Mary with roasted garlic and peppercorn, Karlsson's Gold vodka, tomato juice, Cholula hot sauce, and lemon.
5. Mama Mia 439 SW 2nd Ave
After quietly gaining a following serving seasonal takes on Italian-American classic and high-quality cheap eats on their $2-$3-$4 Happy Hour menu, Mama Mia broke onto the weekend brunch scene in February.
When to get it: Saturday and Sunday from 8 am to 1 pm
What to eat: Baked eggs with housemade pomodoro sauce and red peppers; Brioche French toast topped with caramelized apples; Rosemary romano scones topped with house-made sausage gravy.
What to drink: Fresh-squeezed orange juice mimosas or the "Portland Speciale" with caramel infused whiskey and Stumptown coffee.
6. Tasty n Alder 580 SW 12th Ave
John Gorham's downtown follow-up to the insanely popular North Portland Tasty n Sons dropped in February, bringing the lauded chef's small plate, family-style fare to Southwest Alder and 12th.
When to get it: Seven days a week, from 9 am to 2 pm
What to eat: Duck…Duck….Steak! (Piedmontese beef over duck-fat potatoes topped with a fried duck egg); Chorizo Verde Omelette with roasted poblanos, onions, and cotija; The Cowboy Breakfast with baked beans, skirt steak, and an over easy egg; Bim Bop bacon and eggs.
What to drink: Water Avenue Coffee, a Chinato Cup (Cana's Feast chinato, Ransom Old Tom gin, lemon, demarrera sugar, and soda), or The Drivers Seat non alcoholic cocktail with elderflower, mint, lime, and ginger.
7. Oven & Shaker 1134 NW Everett
Cathy Whims' Oven & Shaker began weekend brunch service in February, offering mid-day variations on the Pearl District eatery's wood-fired pizza and NW-inspired Italian fare menu.
When to get it: Saturday and Sunday, 11:30 am to 4 pm
What to eat: Gravlax with preserved lemon on pizza flatbread; Duck egg and ham pizza; Frittata Puccia with potato, smoked mozz, and house-cured ham.
What to drink: A cocktail, what else? Try the White Lady with Gordon’s London Dry Gin, Cointreau, egg white, simple syrup, and lemon or the Brown Derby with Elijah Craig 12 year Bourbon, house made clover honey syrup, and fresh-pressed grapefruit juice.
8. Lily Day Cafe 3524 SE 52nd Ave
Sisters Jennifer and Monica Ransdell fed crowds at Dot’s Café for two decades before selling the space (see brunch No. 1) and opening this charmingly retro diner in February. Regulars tuck into snug red booths, sip old-school Kobos coffee, and dive into monstrous toasted sandwiches.
When to get it: Every day but Tuesday, starting at 9 am
What to eat: Sandwiches with creamy baked eggs nested between soft slabs of grilled, buttered sourdough topped with pepper jack cheese, corn nubbins, and an addictive house-made green chile sauce; Sweets like funky butterscotch cornflake cookies and pineapple-packed carrot coconut cake (which come courtesy of Monica’s 19-year-old daughter, Violet VanDell).
What to drink: The “Red Eye Flight,” a glass of vodka on the rocks served with side shots of Bloody Mary mix and grapefruit and orange juices.
9. Honey Pot 4290 SE Belmont
Good Food Here's pie-centric food cart has expanded beyond crust-bound delights and is now offering breakfast items with a bakery bent (like savory hand pies and homemade pop tarts).
When to get it: Saturdays and Sundays starting at 9 am
What to eat: Homemade raspberry nutella and cinnamon apple butter pop tarts; Prosciutto egg cups; The Aristocrat, a puff pastry marvel filled with pork, spinach, sage, and cheese.
What to drink: A latte from neighboring cart Da Pressed Coffee.
10. Verde Cocina in the Pearl 524 NW 14th
Okay, okay, this one isn't technically a 2013 newcomer, but Chef Noé Garnica's dedication to morning-time meals loaded with farm-fresh veggies and eggs make Verde Cocina list-worthy despite its December 2012 launch. Bonus for special diets: the menu is 100% gluten free and vegan/veg items abound.
When to get it: Saturdays and Sundays from 9 am to 2 pm
What to eat: Huevos rancheros (two eggs from Egg It On Farm served over-easy on top of handmade corn tortillas, layered with white bean-garbanzo mash, ranchero salsa, local cotija-style cheese, topped with veggies); Chilaquiles (eggs scrambled with pieces of handmade corn tortillas, topped with veggies, white bean-garbanzo mash, and ranchero salsa).
What to drink: Seasonal margaritas or colorful agua fresca.