What better way to start the new year than over Stumptown coffee and a brunch that’s Southern in roots, but Portland in flavor? I suppose there really isn’t a better way, and that’s exactly what Chris and I did to kick off our 2013 yesterday morning.
We woke up and immediately decided that getting out of the house for brunch was a given. We’d spent the week prior visiting my family in Minnesota and exploring all that America’s highways have to offer between here and there, since we road-tripped there and back. I’ve missed Pacific Northwest cuisine, and couldn’t wait to get back to it.
Chris started researching breakfast spots and asked if he could pick and just surprise me. Duh. Of course, that’s fine. I love surprises, I love food, I love Portland. Can’t lose.
We headed southeast to SE Stark and 79th, where we ended up at The Country Cat. It’s Southern food (fried chicken, grits, collard greens) with a Portland twist (seasonally-focused, with most of the produce sourced directly from local area farmers’ markets).
Since they’re apparently known for their Eggs Benedict (with sautéed spinach, caramelized onions, shaved ham, poached eggs, and preserved-lemon hollandaise on a sweet cream biscuit), Chris (being a connoisseur of those) ordered those and was not disappointed (I snagged a bite of one of the biscuits and can vouch for those being delicious).
I opted for the server-recommended veggie hash with delicata squash, carrots, cauliflower, kale, brussels sprouts, and crispy potatoes under two perfectly poached eggs.
The best part was the stone-ground mustard cream that the veggies were tossed in. HELLO, FLAVOR.
I’ve been CRAVING veggies after indulging all Christmas week in delicious pastas and cookies and casseroles and burgers in Minnesota, and this was exactly what my body needed and my taste buds craved.
They serve Stumptown Coffee here, and brewed yesterday was the Holler Mountain. I’ve started to notice nuances in the flavors of different coffees since I stopped adding things to it (and just drinking it black), and really appreciate tasty, quality coffees like this one.
I can’t wait to get back to The Country Cat. With menu items like fried chicken, caramel apple pancakes, and shrimp and grits, I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to eat my way through this entire menu.
Happy New Year!