Some of you may have heard that summer was cancelled in Portland this year. For the time being the sun has decided to come out, but from our experience of 29 consecutive days of gray and rainy weather in May/June, we just pull out the smart wool, rain jackets, beanies and off into the world we go. And where are we going? To have brunch for lunch to cheer us up from this dreary weather.
What's that? A restaurant that serves brunch 7 days a week? Yes and no it's not Asian. From the creators of the mouthwatering Toro Bravo comesTasty n Sons, brunch served tapas-style. Yes, tapas is an over-used phrase and please stop yourself if you start to utter the words "it's like Japanese (or insert other ethnic food) tapas".
Tasty n Sons occupies the space where delicious vegan restaurant Nutshell once was. We came back from our 4 months of traveling to hear that Nutshell had closed its doors, some say due to the recession, but that wouldn't explain the EXPLOSION of restaurants on the same block of Williams Avenue.
Tasty n Sons does a much better job at taking advantage of the odd space, which once was the home to a high-end hand-built racing bicycle company. The once cavernous space has been closed in to create a more intimate and pleasant place to dine in. Mucho Kudos for the long wooden dining bar that faces the open kitchen. Wide, long and perfect for sharing breakfast "tapas". The wood bar is our top pick for a well designed eating area.
If you're going to have an open kitchen, your cooks better know their stuff because the cooking is now the entertainment as well, and Tasty n Sons' staff has their stuff down. Efficient, communicative and focused in their tiny kitchen cranking out an extensive seasonal brunch menu in full view of the dining bar.
Before ordering the staff at Tasty n Sons will provide a bit of background so you can understand how the ordering goes. Items come out of the kitchen as they are prepared not in any particular order, like how say "tapas" would be prepared. The brunch portions are for sharing and had the most ecclectic, and some might say funky, selection of brunch items you will find outside of Singapore.
We may have been smack dap in the middle of those 29 days of consecutive rainy days, which would explain why we decided on a signature bloody mary in the middle of the week. We dubbed this Bloody Pho Mary, made with hoison, sriracha, lime, and tasted like pho - delicious and inventive! Another one please!
We mentioned earlier that the menu is funky, right? Well that made ordering even more difficult for us because we wanted to try everything from the grilled bacon wrapped dates with maple syrup and sweet biscuits with oregon strawberries on the Small Plates menu to the North African sausage over easy eggs, couscous and cauliflower and polenta and sausage ragu with a fried egg on the Bigger Plates menu.
After more consultation than a typical lunch hour would allow we decided on two items from the Bigger Plates menu. First to arrive was the Burmese Red Pork Stew with short grain rice and eggs two ways $9. Smokey, salty and tasting of the char claypot style cooking, the pork was good, but very similar to Vietnamese claypot pork, so nothing too new. Props to Tasty n Sons for adventuring beyond the norm of eggs and bacon for a hearty and distinctive dish. Traditional Vietnamese version doesn't have the perfectly sunny side egg on top, but a hard boiled egg stewed with the savory flavored of the stewed pork.
Since we took a chance on a nontraditional brunch item we decided the other dish would a more traditional brunch dish, the Fried Egg and Cheddar Biscuit with Fried Chicken $8. From top to bottom a winner - flaky buttery biscuit, perfectly fried and seasoned egg and the juiciest fried chicken all ontop of a slice of cheddar cheese. Yummy hearty dish that can chase the blues away.
We applaud you Tasy n Sons, not your typical neighborhood brunch spot. Much like their other restaurant Toro Bravo it will be a place we reserve for special brunches possibly on the weekend where good conversation and company go with the terrific bloody marys and coffee. Another Portland breakfast spot where long waits in the rain seems to be the norm.
Tasty n Sons 3808 N. Williams