Sure the Bloody Mary gets all the pub, but you should seriously consider a Cava cocktail to accompany your next brunch. While staying in Portland, Oregon, I was a short (but rainy) stroll away from Irving Street Kitchen in the Pearl District. It was here that I enjoyed this brunch-tastic cocktail, named “What She’s Having“. A blend of Aperol, Cynar, and grapefruit juice topped with Cava (Spanish sparkling wine), it was the kind of drink that made you think, “One is not enough and three are too many.”
Food-wise I went for the smoked chicken chile relleno with guajillo mole and a pecan quinoa salad. It was excellent. (The quinoa salad is served slightly chilled, which was a nice temperature contrast.) And thought the tables at the restaurant were full, the bar was surprisingly empty. Score!
Other food and drink highlights from a short weekend in Portland:
- Little Bird: I am not a fan of frisée, but I had a knockout salad that was perfect. The aforementioned green was mixed with citrus segments, lemon-pepper pistachios, and olives in a creamy sheep’s cheese vinaigrette. The chicken-fried trout was, sadly, sold out but crisis is another word for opportunity. The goat cheese gnocchi with beef tongue, english pea purée, and shaved truffled were stupendous. And taken to extraordinary heights with the greatest expression of Chardonnay in the history of the world, Chablis. (The 2012 Côte de Lechet from Domaine Bernard Defaix.)
- Sizzle Pie: I’ve now visited both locations and I can say I am addicted to their Spiral Tap slice: creamy caramelized onion spread, house marinara sauce and a light dusting of nutritional yeast. A ton of vegan options. Full disclosure: I came here after Little Bird for a slice and a Rainer tallboy.
- Yur’s Bar and Grill: My kind of bar. Dark, no natural light, friendly staff, great booths, cheap beer, and a clientele ranging from 20-somethings to couples in their 60s in for beers and sandwiches.
Like Champagne? Check out Ambonnay.
What are your favorite eating and drinking spots in Portland?