It’s summertime in Portland; the skies are clear and light pashmina shawls are worn not for temperature but to conceal some of the silky sundress induced nips (decipher as you will)
The sun sets late and thus prolongs the night. With the vast majority of my foreign friends being gone, I’ve been spending a lot of time daytime and late night frolicking around NE Portland with my work friends slash David and Anne (who have successfully integrated into the crew that is my work friends and their friends)- in parks, at the bachelorette pads and basements of friends, on patios, the sidewalk, and of course at brunch.
Caitlin has offered me multiple times to crash at her Alberta pad on those 3am nights when I insisted on going home to get my beauty rest (beauty…who am I kidding) because I had a brunch reservation to tend to in the morning. Yes, for some setting a 9am alarm for brunch sounds like a chore, but really there is nothing better than arriving to a classy PDX establishment on a brightly lit summer day- Matthew Williamson shades on (and kept on), one or two missing brain cells, and a glorious menu to pawn over…and then of course stories to recount.
So here I bring forth, not one, not two, but THREE epic Morning After Portland brunches; and I’m saving the best (and most epic of them all) for the end of the post.
The Country Cat is in the neighbourhood of Montavilla, residing far out East on SE Stark and 80th. It’s an interesting dichotomy of a neighbourhood with a seemingly large immigrant population and cornucopia of ethnic grocers and eating establishments (everything from Ethiopian/East African to authentic dim sum hotspots). The particular stretch on Stark where it resides however is abundant with a few notable Portland establishments such as The Observatory, and then of course this homely Southern influenced brunch spot.
Anyone who knows anything about charcuterie in Portland (or perhaps the entire northwest) has heard of Olympic Provisions. Besides being Oregon’s first USDA-approved salumeria, the two locations (the other being in SE Industrial district) also feature an enticing deli and full on restaurant. Since David decided to bail out on our brunch plans this week (for good reason…his grandma is in town), we decided to stay on the westside. After a mere five hours of shut-eye, I put on some shades, a floral romper (though I despise rompers) and my Alexander Wang satchel (to add a semblance of glamour to my diced start du jour) and headed to meet Anne…who predictably looked v glamorous in an entirely Kate Spade/Tory Burch ensemble.
This was the most delightful
breakfast brunch considering my physiological state; plus having had a rather jumbled day of eating on the day before (artisanal cheese plates, slices of bresaola, strawberries, pecorino fries, and several Boot Strap Bucks/El Diablos at Kask); this was the ultimate satiation.
…And now, for the most famous brunch in all of Portland (and perhaps the Northwest)…I present to you Top Chef mistress, Naomi Pomeroy’s…
Just so you know, David, Anne and I had made our 10am reservation at this famed establishment nearly a month in advance. Beast has two brunch sessions each Sunday, one at 10 and one at 12 noon and then they have dinner Wednesday-Saturday nights with two nightly seatings. The brunch is a set charge of $35 and a four course surprise menu with never a single dish repeated. Despite having gorged on a Pine State Biscuit a mere 8 hours prior (that’s for another post) and having indulged in a mere five hours of sleep from another Alberta adventure, I was beyond the valley of stoked for this experience
I love not having to stress about menu choices; in fact I will inadvertently shun any dining establishment with too large of a menu- I do not want to be given a choice; just give me what you’re good at, what’s in season, and what will be delicious (especially during the most debilitated classy meal of the week…I simply do not have the brainpower prior to carbs and Stumptown to make a coherent decision)
Also…David and Anne were quite stoked on not having to wait for me to photograph the food this time since we were ALL having the same thing
While a delightful first course, it was a tad too sweet for my first taste du jour, but that’s really my fault
Yes, Beast is a pork-heavy establishment and I went in realising that as a non-pork eater I would have to do a little picking- but this course was perhaps the single most incredible brunch plate I have ever had. I have developed a new affinity for duck egg- yolkier and more velvety than that of the chicken, and an absolute divinity when drenching a hash of fresh local vegetables.
As much as I adore a fancy, unconventional, and savoury-tinged dessert; at the end of the day there is nothing like a slab of high calibre chocolate cake. At this point I was ridiculously stuffed but as one should know, I am not one to leave a plate in residence
Conclusion: Phenomenal; now I just need to find someone willing to shell out $75 for the dinner here (in my defence I’ll sacrifice two Laurelhurst Market suppers to compensate). Any volunteers?
What are your summer weekend routines?