Tasty n Sons
Jay-Z touts the Empire State of Mind, Steinbeck opined that Texas is a state of mind, and here in Portland, well, Brunch could probably be declared the official state of mind. So when some of us heard that the team behind one of Portland’s culinary bests, Toro Bravo, was opening a new brunch spot, Tasty n Sons, we dropped in a delighted faint, very nearly losing our spot in the Screen Door line.
The frittata, delivered to the table in a cast iron pan, is stuffed with local produce like fava beans, green beans, and caramelized onions, and anything involving biscuits is a must–Tasty n Sons biscuits are as light as a feather and as flaky as the last guy you dated.
Bookending the block of North Williams that boasts EaT oyster bar, Lincoln Restaurant, and Ristretto Roasters, the restaurant is beautiful, with a massive roll-up door and soaring skylights that allow ample natural light to flood the sleek L-shaped dining room. Sit at the bar and watch the kitchen work their brunch magic, relax at a table for two/four/12 across along the south wall, or make new friends at the communal table perched between the bar and the front window.
Like its sister restaurant, Tasty n Sons is all about spreading the foodlove, so plates come in two sizes, smaller and bigger, and as your server will explain, they are intended for sharing. And who wouldn’t want to share the Breakfast Board–a something-for-everyone spread that includes a dollop of chicken liver mousse, pickled beets, a six-minute egg, thick chewy bacon slices, seasonal fruit, and a generous smear of olive oil-drizzled housemade labneh–a wickedly thick and creamy strained yoghurt that will have everyone at the table fencing for the last bite with their butter knives.
Other standouts include everything, I mean, Auntie Paula’s French Toast–which is dredged in ice cream batter before hitting the fry pan and, depending on the season, may come with a positively swoon-worthy rhubarb compote, or a positively swoon-worthy strawberry cherry maple compote. The frittata, which is delivered to the table in a cast iron pan, is stuffed with local produce like fava beans, green beans, and caramelized onions, and anything involving biscuits is a must–Tasty n Sons biscuits are as light as a feather and as flaky as the last guy you dated.
The menu is nothing if not diverse–step outside the realm of what might be considered traditional brunch fare and try the Shakshuka, a savory red pepper and tomato stew with merguez sausage, the pork cutlets with sauteed spinach, the Monk’s Carolina Cheesesteak, or the luscious, juicy, blue-cheese topped House Bacon Burger. And since there’s no reason you shouldn’t have dessert with your brunch, try the house chocolate chip cookies–a trio of just-baked, slightly gooey, better-than-Mom’s chippers surrounding a ball of vanilla bean ice cream, or the panna cotta, topped with brandy-soaked local berries.
Tasty n Sons takes their brunch drinks seriously–a selection of champagne cocktails tops the list, followed by a serious Bloody Mary list that includes the tequila-kissed Tasty Maria, the gin-based Tasty Snapper, and the Tasty Jerk, which boasts a side of housemade beef jerky. Or, you know, just have orange juice–they’ve got that too.
Executive Chef: John Gorham
Owner: John Gorham and Ron Avni
Sous Chef: Kyle Prewitt
Atmosphere: Hip, mellow little North Portland brunch spot with great natural light and a happy brunchy buzz
Outdoor seating: No, but if you sit at the communal table when the roll door is up, it feels like you're sitting outside
Best Seat: Depends. Kitchen oglers will want a bar seat, families will want the tables against the wall, people who enjoy fraternizing with strangers and a street view will enjoy the communal table
Noise Level: Enthusiastic
Dress Code: Casual
Bring the Kids: Yes
Bathrooms: Yes, go through the restaurant's back door and down the hall a few yards, they're located on the right
Parking: Ample and free street parking on surrounding side streets
Cocktails: Yes, a full bar and well-rounded selection of brunch-friendly specialty cocktails
Teetotalers: Juice, sodas, iced tea
Coffee: Ristretto Roasters
Ideal Meal: Auntie Paula's French Toast, Chocolate Potato Doughnuts, Glazed Yams With Cumin-Maple Glaze, Fried Egg & Cheddar Biscuit, Cast Iron Frittata, Chocolate Chip Cookies
Vegetarian Friendly: Yes
Vegan Friendly: No
Good for the following occasions: Brunch, Family Meal, French Toast Craving, Small Plates
Reservations: Accepted for six or more, call 503.621.1400