Morning Glory

Four delicious reasons to crawl out from under the covers this weekend.

By Bart Blasengame May 19, 2009 Published in the May 2008 issue of Portland Monthly

LONG BEFORE Sex and the City made it fashionable—way back in the 1890s, actually—the British were staging a culinary revolution throughout London. Steak AND eggs? At noon? Balderdash! Minds sufficiently blown, they dubbed their invention “brunch.” Weekends haven’t been the same since. But late-rising colonials aren’t the only ones with a flair for this essential Sunday afternoon event. From dim sum to menudo, our city is graced by myriad restaurants with diverse takes—be they Mexican or Mediterranean—on that scrumptious in-between time of the day that requires a bit more than breakfast, but should taste even better than lunch.

5507 NE 30th Ave; 503-287-7555
The mere existence of this authentic Mexican restaurant is all the reason you need to order a margarita at 10 a.m. After all, what better way is there to chase down a bowl of spicy menudo? (That’s tripe soup to you, and yes, it’s the tastiest hangover cure in town.) Or—should you be more of a Hungry Man sort of bruncher—a hefty plate of chilaquiles with either a juicy steak or a couple of fried eggs? The answer, of course, is none.

Country Cat Dinner House & Bar
7937 SE Stark St; 503-408-1414
This Montavilla eatery may look mod-
ern, but its food is rib-stickingly retro. Both the buttermilk pancakes and the biscuits and gravy are delicious, and the Cat’s maple-glazed Southern fried chicken gives the Colonel a good throttling, but it’s the accompanying pecan spoon bread that will have you hootin’ and hollerin’ like the countrified connoisseur you really are.

250 NW 13th Ave; 503-226-3394
Yes, this Pearl District institution is upscale, but its elevated Mediterranean and American offerings are surprisingly affordable. High-end ingredients like smoked trout, taleggio cheese, black truffles, and oysters form the marrow of most dishes, but it’s Bluehour’s ability to go blue collar with sensibility and style—as with the fried egg and pork loin sandwich—that makes it worth braving the white tablecloths.

Wong’s King Seafood
8733 SE Division St; 503-788-8883
At this gargantuan palace of tiny Chinese bites, where carts laden with steamed pork buns, succulent spareribs, and shrimp dumplings roll by every minute, it’s perfectly acceptable to let the whims of your growling stomach do the ordering. If you don’t like the first dish, it’s easy (and cheap) enough to move on to the next. And the next. And the next.