Five Brunches Later…

Today Sunday Funday did not happen. Instead, I saved around $45-60, slept on three occasions, hit up the grocery store to stock up on socks, Listerine strips, and condiments (I can’t believe I just purchased socks at a grocery store…), read the ENTIRE Best Restaurants issue of Portland Monthly back to back, and paid off my entire credit card balance for all the damage that bloody peace of plastic incurred from my social-heavy lifestyle over the course of the past month.


I woke up in NE Portland at the abode of three of my good friends next to a San Pellegrino-less San Pellegrino bottle and my various tidbits of prior night bling neatly arranged on the adjacent coffee table. It had been night two of Halloween festivities and I had so wisely decided to be lazy and pull a “Kim Kardashian Goes to Yoga” outfit…in other words the sort of things I wear the 50% of the time when I fall asleep in something other than a sequined dress. At some point I couldn’t locate a coffeemaker so I stealthily snuck out of the house and drove back to my humble abode to brew an 8-cup pot, send a mass text to Sunday Funday participants hinting at the notion that this weather was really not conducive to gentrified location hopping, and then proceeded to go back to bed. Excuse any grammatical errors of the prior photograph. 


Erica and Anne are my Sunday Funday crew…sometimes additional participants join and sometimes Anne has yoga teacher training or bootcamp so it just ends up being Erica and I. Typically the day commences with gentrified brunch, ends at The Hilt and contains anywhere from two to five locations in between entailing anything from some sort of non-clothing shopping, a distillery tasting, fancy forms of caffeination,  hot yoga, craft cocktails or microbrews and of course foie gras in one format or another.

Now, enough with the words and let’s look at our beacons of Sunday morning glory from the past several weeks:

Ned Ludd, NE MLK Blvd

Brunch Menu
Bloody Mary & Orange Mimosa

Being the Bloody Mary enthusiast that she is, Erica claims that  Ned Ludd has the best Bloody Mary in all of Portland…and believe me, she has tried A LOT of Bloody Marys

Erica: Seasonal Vegetable Hash with poached hen’s egg and smoked trout
Me: Trout filet with charred leeks and cucumber/carrot salad
Absolutely exquisite.

This hidden gem on NE MLK is most certainly a new favourite between the light and innovative brunch fare and homely ambiance. The only complaint: They were sold out of way too many dishes by the time we got there…but then again it was probably our fault for postponing brunch until 1:30 PM

Ned Ludd on Urbanspoon

Tin Shed Garden Cafe, NE Alberta

Erica: Veggie Pesto Scramble with cream cheese and a buttermilk biscuit
Anne: Something with tons of gravy, bacon, eggs, sausage, and biscuits…
Me: Sweet Chix (Chicken Apple sausage scramble with brie and apple)

We wanted biscuits…and the line at Pine State was too long; this was nevertheless a deliciously hearty choice.

Tin Shed Garden Cafe on Urbanspoon

OttoSE Hawthorne

Beignets with caramel and berry preserves

Be wary; these warm puffs of irresistibility will put you to sleep…I took a three hour nap after this brunch.

Anne: Omelette with fresh vegetables and manchego
Me: Spicy Lamb Burger with Olive Pastiche

Otto is a darling little spot right up on Hawthorne near Castagna; there was no wait whatsoever and the food was fresh albeit a tad generic. The beignets were by far the star of the show; my lamb burger could have had more accroutements and I was not a fan of the bun: innards ratio (way too much bread…and not the freshest in my not-so-humble opinion)

Otto on Urbanspoon

MetrovinoNW 11th

Grapefruit mimosa and Espresso-infused Ramazzotti on the rocks
Anne: Pork belly confit hash with sherry cream and wine-poached egg
Me: Baked eggs with arugula, leek, spinach, pimenton-dusted feta, grilled bread

Metrovino recently launched it’s brunch service and such as was the case with Otto, there was barely anyone there when we came in at around noon on a Sunday. Anne’s dish was anticlimactic, mine was hearty but nothing to write home about; however that’s in no way to dis Metrovino. Their bar list is impressive whether it’s the libations or vast selection of wine flights- and for the record they do have a killer cheeseburger and an incredible happy hour both in terms of value and quality.

Metrovino on Urbanspoon

ImperialSW Broadway (At the Hotel Lucia)

Semolina Corn Cake: poached eggs and house smoked bacon, maple syrup
and Imperial barrel-aged hot sauce
Imperial French Toast: seasonal fruit, thickened cream, maple syrup
Coddled Eggs: spicy tomato sauce, warm goat cheese, fry-bread
Imperial Pastrami Hash with Poached Eggs
Fry-Bread: house chorizo and soft scrambled egg, spicy tomato
and avocado salad
Chocolate Ice Box Cake: hazelnut ice cream, candied hazelnuts, toasted meringue
Double Milk Flan: roasted peaches, peach sorbet, brown butter crisps
Sticky Toffee Gingerbread: caramel pudding, candied pecans, baked pears

Famed Portland Chef, Vitaly Paley’s newest endeavour is an absolute winner in every way possible. Imperial is located in the former Typhoon space at The Hotel Lucia on SW Broadway, finally bringing high quality modern American cuisine to downtown Portland. The restaurant is spacious and everything on the menu is a delectable choice. So far, I have only been here for drinks and brunch and while the brunch is delightful and accented with a tinge of Native American influence; I am more a fan of the drinks and salads. Per the recommendation of one of our bartender friends, Erica and I came in one night for some of the impeccable craft cocktails (they also make their own vermouth on site) and perhaps the best gentrified salad we have ever had (think kale with shredded raw vegetables, sunflower seed brittle, and a light goat cheese dressing). And the best part: the cocktails are relatively affordable for their calibre (think $7-$9)

For Brunch, all three desserts were on the house and the clear favourite was the creamy velvety flan. We have also heard through word of mouth that the burger and duck meatballs are to die for…which is why we are planning on going back tomorrow night.

Imperial on Urbanspoon


4 thoughts on “Five Brunches Later…

  1. Suddenly the poached eggs with smoked salmon and toast that I ordered at LPQ a few weekends ago doesn’t seem as delicious! I love how most of these meals step away from the stereotypical brunch options. Although I won’t lie, having so many delicious options would make ordering terribly difficult #foodieproblems

    1. True, Portland is known for gentrifying typical options and elevating them to an entirely new level depending on what ingredients are available at that time of the year…and as can be apparent from the past couple of posts, Portland is really into whole trout nowadays. Fortunately though most of the establishments keep the menus short focusing on a couple of specialities so that if you go with enough people you can go ahead and try everything!

    1. Yeah Al, sure I know the definition of gentrified…it’s my term of choice for a refined/elegant/elevated from a prior basic premise salad/cocktail/what-have-you.

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