So, you think you know Portland brunch? Infamous lines and ecstatic morning creations are found weekly across the city. But there’s only one weekend a year where you can chow on brunch bites from nine Portland chefs amidst wandering goats and chickens, pose in a “Breakfast in Bed” photo booth, and picnic on the lawn at Portland’s 4H-dreamy Rossi Farms while soaking up live tunes from the JuneBugs. (Plus, cast votes in two contests that encapsulate the Portland way of life: Bloody Marys and fancy ice cream.)
That’d be at Country Brunch, Portland Monthly’s seventh annual ode to all things a.m. and edible. It all goes down Sunday, July 15. This year’s event is actually part of Cowabunga, our new three-day food festival, which brings together butchers, farmers, spirited food creators, and, natch, even more spirited eaters over the course of three days at Parkrose’s idyllic Rossi Farms. (Don't miss Barn Bash on Saturday evening—more on that here—and check out the whole weekend lineup here.)
This year’s line-up includes perennial favorites: Besaw’s (Americana classicists), La Moule (mussel mavens), and Fried Egg I’m In Love (which pretty much sums up Portland). Among the newcomers, fresh Simpatica project La Luna Café plans to bust out house hempseed granola with coconut cream, while Tapalaya chef Anh Luu mashes up Thai basil shrimp with Bob’s Red Mill grits.
The ever-popular Bloody Mary Smackdown returns: a tomato-steeped, booze-soaked affair that pits local bartenders in a contest to produce the city’s most perfect morning quaff. Suffice it to say, Portland mixers have never met a baroque garnish they won’t consider, pickled quail’s egg to candied bacon and fried chicken skin. Last year, Olympia Provisions’ blossoming “Farmer Mary” took the top jury prize. This year’s competitors will fight just as fiercely, pitting established veterans from Headwaters, the Solo Club, and Red Star Tavern against first timers Nong’s Khao Man Gai (the cult food cart turned empire) as well as Hey Love, the new bar/restaurant/indoor jungle inside East Burnside's just-opened Jupiter Next hotel.
Meanwhile—because we are nothing if not pushers of excess—Country Brunch is launching a second food competition, with both Judges and People’s Choice awards. Meet the Ice Cream Scoop Off, featuring three worthy spots with three flavors each. Stepping into the ring this year: Scoop Handmade Ice Cream, a popular push-cart at the downtown farmer’s market; SE Woodstock experimenters Cloud City Ice Cream; and SE Division Street’s critical darling Pinolo Gelato.
Come hungry. Just sayin’.
COWABUNGA: A Farm-To-Table Festival benefiting Oregon Food Bank and Parkrose School District
July 13–15, Rossi Farms, ticket prices to individual events vary, starting at $45 and up. Country Brunch takes place 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Sunday July 15. Tickets: $50 21+ all inclusive, $25 brunch bites only for ages 6–20, ages 5 and under are free.