First Impressions

Stacked’s New Weekend Brunch Serves Up a Monumental Cinnamon Roll

The rest is still a work in progress.

By Benjamin Tepler December 11, 2017

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Stacked's oxtail hash

When we heard our new favorite sandwich shop was serving brunch, we were psyched. Stacked is, after all, Portland’s sandwich prodigy, turning out oxtail French dips and shiitake-jammed wedge salads that remind us of Bunk’s pioneering early days. But so far things are hit-or-miss, with nothing quite catapulting to the level of sandwich-craft we’ve become accustomed to.

The one undeniable breakfast pleasure? The fresh-baked cinnamon roll. The giant vortex is drenched in sugar glaze, like the eye of a hurricane, with a buttery, yeasty center that pulls apart in feathery spindles. It puts every other cinnamon roll in the city to shame. 

On the flip side, there are some engineering flops. A brûléed grapefruit, flecked with mint and pepper, is a mess to dig into, with eaters jamming oversized spoons into the center, in hopes of getting some actual meat. (A serrated grapefruit spoon, or pre-cut segments might help). “The Classic” breakfast sandwich, meanwhile, is a textural bust—a mushy round of brioche, avocado, and gooey fried egg.

Portland has a rich Dutch baby culture. If you’re going to put one on your menu, you’d better come correct. Stacked’s rendition is totally serviceable, but pales in comparison to the Original Pancake House or Sanborn’s, lacking poof and lightness.

Right now, your best bet for breakfast, beyond the cinnamon roll, is the oxtail hash, which takes the same sweet, luxurious meat from the French dip sandwich, and tosses it with roasted root vegetables, Mama Lil’s peppers, two eggs, and melty Havarti. It’s an intensely savory, filling hangover cure to enjoy while Stacked continues to sharpen its weekend brunch game.

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