In Portland, brunch and long lines are all too often inextricably linked, with popular spots exceeding wait times of 90 minutes. Montavilla, the charming neighborhood lining SE Stark just east of Mt Tabor, is no exception. Until now.
Redwood opened its doors in early 2013, a project of Broder alum Susie Blue and her business partner Austin Putnam, and launched a new brunch service in July.
The morning menu offers an eclectic array of sweet and savory options that will please any palate. Oatmeal waffles are fluffy and arrive with a well-developed crust and sans the dish's too-often-predictable sweetness. Add the accompanying bacon and eggs, and you’ve got a solid solution for any AM hangover (I mean hunger).
For lighter and slightly leaner options, go for the scrambles, which are filled with flavorful, fresh ingredients like spinach, basil, and tomato and come with Yukon potato hashed browns, cooked until crunchy and crisp-edged.
Where does Blue show her true culinary colors? In the bites that began South of the Border—chilaquiles and huevos rancheros—where she spent much of her childhood.
The chilaquiles (also available on the dinner menu) offer unprecedented layers of flavors: tender roasted chicken ensconced in firm tortillas that soak up housemade roasted green chile sauce and salsa rioja. The spicy and sweet flavors are kept in check by the dish’s unctuousness, due in large part to a healthy dose of sour cream and two perfectly prepared sunny-side-up eggs.
If a little spice leaves you thirsty, don’t deny yourself an opportunity to indulge in one of the brunch cocktails like the Indian Summer. While chronologically incorrect—at least for a couple more weeks—the drink boasts bright, balanced flavors from its components: Campari, St Germain, and fresh grapefruit. At $7, their Bloody Mary, spicy, salty and garnished with homemade pickles, may be the best bargain in town.
With hearty comfort cuisine and budget-friendly booze, Redwood is worthy of a spot on our list of Portland’s best new brunch players. Check it out for yourself Wednesday through Sunday from 9 am to 2 pm.
7915 SE Stark St.