I love a good Sunday brunch. Normally I’ll do a big cook up – eggs, bacon, mushrooms, sourdough toast, maybe a few other veggies. And wash it down with a mug or two of English breakfast tea. If we go out I’ll pretty much order the same – eggs, bacon, veggies, toast. But I’ll order a flat white. And call it breakfast. Regardless of the time I eat it.
This weekend I’m in Portland. Oregon. Not Victoria. Actually I only just found out there is a Portland Victoria when a twitter friend gave me suggestions of places near there to visit. I’ll get there one day, but for now I’m State-side.
And let me tell you, brunch is a big deal here.
Most places don’t open before 9am, and, as I discovered in New York last year, they often don’t open until 11am on a Sunday. However they do serve alcohol with their brunch. Generally in the form of a bloody Mary. However 9am for a cocktail was a little too early for me so I passed.
I’ve asked everyone I’ve spoken to in Portland where I should go to eat. Two places were mentioned with a consistency that couldn’t be ignored.
Tasty n Sons and Tin Shed.
Somewhat fortuitously I ate breakfast/brunch at Tin Shed my first morning here. I had the house special – a massive plate of egg scrambled with chorizo, black beans, roast red peppers and onion, topped with jalapeño coriander cream, cheddar and avocado. Served with a buttermilk biscuit that my American friends in Australia would dream about. Let’s just say my next meal was dinner, and there was a lot of walking in between those two meals!
Doggy owners take note – take your pooch to Tin Shed and it too will be fed – from the Dog Menu. Yes, really!!
This morning I set my alarm so I would get to Tasty n Sons as close to its 9am opening as I could. They don’t take reservations and I had been told to take a book to occupy me during the up-to-two-hour wait for a table. As I was eating alone, I was confident of a short wait. Past experience as a solo diner has had me seated immediately.
Not this time.
I arrived at 9.30am and was told to expect about a 30 minute wait. However it was shorter than the next few groups who were told 45-50 minutes. Luckily I wasn’t completely starving.
I hate waiting.
It was worth it.
The menu had some names I didn’t recognise.
Scafata. Cheesesteak. Yams. Chicken fried chicken. Huevos Motulenos. Cotija.
Communal seating had me chatting to the Jewish literature professor sitting next to me (yes, I told him all about the fabulous Monday Morning Cooking Club women!). He kindly offered me a taste of his scafata. Which turned out to be spring greens (asparagus, snow peas, peas, nettles (I think), creme fraiche, parmesan, topped with an egg – divine.
However I couldn’t go past the chicken fried chicken for my order. With venison gravy. And an egg. And of course, the ubiquitous biscuit.
I’m still not exactly sure what chicken fried chicken is. But it was really, really good.
And the venison gravy? Oh. My. A milk gravy with big chunks of venison and some red peppers. Not remotely what I expected. And nothing AT ALL like Australian gravy.
A fabulous meal and well worth the wait. Thanks to everyone who told me I must go there!
Oh, but what I really loved? That they had a big board listing all their food and beverage suppliers. This list was also on the menu. I love how they share the love – and recognise that their many local providores play such an important role in their provision of such fabulous food.
Definitely stop by if you’re in town.
1438 NE Alberta Street, Portland OR 97211
Tasty n Sons
3808 N. Williams, Portland OR 97227