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Auntie Paula’s French toast

When renowned Toro Bravo chef and owner John Gorham announced plans to open a brunch spot in March 2010, it was as though Pavlov’s bell had chimed—appetites across the city were immediately whetted. And for good reason: at Tasty n Sons, Gorham and right-hand man Kyle Prewitt are serving up some of the most inventive brunch in town, spinning classic dishes into unexpected delights.

Tapas-inspired dishes are served family style here, allowing diners to split, share, compare, and sample as many offerings as possible. Small plates like griddled bacon-wrapped dates drizzled in warm maple syrup or “toast and jam”—two thick, impossibly soft slices of toast smeared with a spreadable, feta-like teleme cheese and seasonal jams—are simple in preparation but stunning in taste. Larger plates range from your classic fried egg with a cheddar biscuit and fried chicken to a North African sausage over couscous, draped with a perfectly runny over-easy egg. Auntie Paula’s French toast, served with tangy strawberry-rhubarb maple syrup and whipped cream, makes a good bid for the best French toast in Portland. And a light, fluffy frittata packed with farm-fresh vegetables (recently it featured asparagus, English peas, olives, and feta) arrives at your table still sizzling in a cast-iron skillet.

The communal table setting allows you to see and smell exactly what your neighbor has ordered, which will undoubtedly tempt you to try new things. And that’s a valuable habit at Tasty n Sons, where an adventurous spirit is always rewarded.