A Handful of Hot New Brunch Options for 2015

From Vietnamese-accented Southern fare to Asian-inspired comfort favorites, these 8 additions to Portland's bustling brunch scene are set to bring a world of variety to your weekend morning meal.

By Allison Jones January 13, 2015


28 NE 28th Avenue • 503-232-6652 • tapalaya.com

The scoop: Tapalaya chef Anh Luu adds a Vietnamese spin to this New Orleans-inspired restaurant's new tapas brunch menu, inspired by her childhood in New Orleans and her Vietname War refugee parents. The Asian/Cajun flavors offer a fun, Mardi Gras bead-strewn alternative to another East Burnside Southern brunch favorite a few blocks away (without the two-hour wait).
When to get it:
 Friday, Saturdays, and Sundays, 9 am-3 pm
What to eat: Eggs sardou (poached eggs over artichoke hearts, creamed spinach, and caper hollandaise), coconut pork rice bowl topped with a fried egg, fried chicken and beignets, and Mién Ga (glass noodles in a Vietnamese chicken broth with chicken, cilantro, adn green onions).
What to drink: Bloody Marys and Big Easy-style Hurricanes (light and dark rum with passionfruit, orange juice, lime juice, and grenadine)

Alameda Cafe 
4641 NE Fremont Street • 503-288-8365 • thealamedacafe.com

The scoop: Earlier this winter, Alameda Café, the 30-year-old Beaumont breakfast spot, got a serious facelift. While the space is still reliably unhip and neighborhood-oriented, the new owners bring an unfussy menu inundated with fresh vegetables and updated comfort.
When to get it: Saturdays and Sundays, 9 am-2 pm
What to eat: Wild mushroom, caramelized onion, and gruyere quiche, Fluffernutter French Toast (sliced challah stuffed with peanut butter mousse, battered and pan-fried), and kale and mushroom Benedict
What to drink: One of 5 inventive bloodies (like the Julia Cesar with Clamato, horseradish, smoked oysters, and Tabasco or Mary’s Cousin with sumac, tomato, and grapefruit), mimosas, Spanish coffee, or the Sunday on Fremont with Lillet, vodka, lemon, lime, and soda.

Various Locationslardosandwiches.com

The scoop: Rick Gencarelli's go-to sandwich joint just launched some fast food-inspired morning specials, for when you want your hashbrowns in a paper sleeve and your eggs and meat on a muffin. An Egg Rickmuffin, to be precise—house-cured Canadian bacon, eggs, and cheese on a housemade English muffin. Sign us up.
When to get it:
 All day, every day

801 NW 23rd Avenue • 503-477-9505 • pdxfireside.com

The scoop: Yes, the Fireside is inspired by (you guessed it!) all things fire, from its ax door handle to its floor-to-ceiling smokestack fireplace. Partitioned nooks and booths, all bedecked in buttery leather and fiercely grained wood, give you plenty of options for tucking into the scene: hole up in a dark booth with a group; sidle up to the bar in a tufted, swiveling seat; ogle Nob Hill shoppers at a window seat beside the open fire pit; or kick back with strangers at the front fireplace.
When to get it: Sundays 10 am-3 pm
What to eat: Vanilla churros with smoked salt and chamomile cream, braised lamb hash with pickled squash and brussles sprouts, soft scrambled duck eggs with roasted mushrooms and parmigiano, and a killer fritatta with white cheddar, broccolini, and brown butter bread crumbs
What to drink: Fireside's signature "campfire espresso," Spella Roasters coffee, Steven Smith teas, or cocktails like the Give Me Shelter (Laird's Straight Apple Brandy, Benedictine, lemon, honey, black pepper, and hot water

1937 NW 23rd Pl. • 503-208-2907 • levieuxpdx.com

The scoop: Annette Yang and Brian Leitner—the duo behind Nettie’s Crab Shack in San Francisco—opened this Old World Mediterranean restaurant in the former Noisette space at the end of 2014. Le Vieux (which translates to “The Old,” in French) focuses on dishes from "Eastern and Western Europe, West Africa, with some Jerusalem thrown in.”
When to get it: Saturdays and Sundays, 11 am-3 pm
What to eat: Moroccan yogurt with huckleberries and pistachio, honey amaranth waffles with orange blossom-poached pears, egg scrambles with bottarga and mint, leg of lamb tartine with chermoula salad, and roasted beets with cinnamon and orange. 
What to drink: Internationally inspired Bloody Marys—think cumin and cinnamon in a Moroccan version, lavender and Pernod for France.

Prettyman's General
2637 SE Hawthorne Blvd

The scoop: This high-design bar and hangout with an oh-so-welcoming vibe makes the most of unique vintage finds and modern fixtures, taking its name from Portland pioneer Perry Prettyman, the man responsible for paving the road from his house on upper Hawthorne to the Willamette River—the path that would eventually become Hawthorne Blvd. The major draw of this sweet space? A handful of cozy corners tailor-made for a casual brunch date, a morning game sesh with friends, or lounging with a copy of the latest Kinfolk issue. 
When to get it: Saturdays and Sundays, 10 am-2 pm
What to eat: Among the Willows sandwich (sweetheart ham, fried eggs, smoked mozzarella, Mama Lil’s peppers, and arugula between two hearty slices of rustic Tabor Bread), hand pies loaded with apples marinated in whiskey from Pacific Pie Co, and avocado toast with parsley and sea salt
What to drink: Grapefruit or orange mimosas and coffee

1315 NE Fremont St • 503-477-8106 • verdigrisrestaurant.com

The scoop: NE Fremont's new French-inspired restaurant from former Ringside and Brasserie Montmartre chef Johnny Nunn took over a former wine shop in December with 36 seats, housemade bread, and simple but powerful flavors.
When to get it:
 Saturdays and Sundays, 9 am-2:30 pm
What to eat: Croque Madame on housemade brioche, banana bread pudding with honey chantilly cream, smoked pork hash with butternut squash and brussles sprouts, and house smoked chicken kielbasa with "60 minute" eggs, collard greens, and sriracha.

Bamboo Izakaya
1409 NE Alberta Street • 503-889-0336 • bambooizakaya.com

The scoop: Anchored around a custom-made robata grill, the promising new sister restaurant to Portland’s sustainable sushi franchise is heating up on NE Alberta. Bamboo is an immersive experience: hanging lanterns, bamboo canopies, and tin awnings lend the NE Alberta Street spot’s 64-seat dining room a rustic Japanese vibe.
When to get it: 
What to eat: Green tea cold smoked ocean trout with frisee, berries, coriander creme fraiche, and potatoes, Kushiyaki grilled skirt steak and eggs, eggs benedict with Iberian pork collar or Oregon dungeness crab, and the “bacon flight”—a sampling of five varieties, from Oregon’s own Carlton Farms to Nueske’s bacon from Wisconsin.
What to drink: 

Now it's your turn—where are you brunching this season? Tell us in the comments!

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