Tasty n Sons
3808 N Williams Ave; 503-621-1400
Smaller plates $4–7, bigger plates $7–11
In this breakfast-obsessed city, chef John Gorham has boisterously redefined the genre with his new NoPo dreamscape, Tasty n Sons: fun, loud, tightly seated, serving a mold-breaking daily brunch menu led by firecracker North African sausages and spicy stews. Located in the warm space he designed in the booming Hub complex on N Williams Avenue, Tasty offers big flavors, big portions, and crafted meats galore—all dished out daily and mightily affordable, in a warm, loose place that runs as smoothly as the bikes zooming by on the commuter corridor outside.
Gorham has long specialized in the menu as personal biography: his Southern roots, his six months in Ghana, and his one-time life as a butcher. He’s stirred these ingredients together before at Simpatica, the brunch and supper club he co-founded, and Toro Bravo, his wildly popular, pig-happy take on Spanish tapas. But at Tasty n Sons, he’s gone off the leash. A friend’s treasured recipe for French toast, for instance, originally called for melted Häagen-Dazs, but Gorham “lightened” the formula with an outrageous soak of custardy crème anglaise—just one element of his knock-you-down parade of rich, intense food.
Some dishes miss the bull’s-eye, and eggs can feel like a party guest who won’t leave, seemingly served on top of everything. But this is food with personal pride, down to the homemade granola—a rare healthy nod from the chef who famously lost 100 pounds last year and transformed himself into a triathlete. But the norm at Tasty n Sons is more post-training indulgence: a fried-green-tomato BLT with house-cured bacon, cumin-glazed yams (panfried in butter), and handsome frittatas holding hot balls of fried feta, all in a setting that shouts, “Share the food and join the party.” —KB