Friday, October 19, 2012

When in Portlandia...

You must brunch! Portland has a huge brunch culture. With a recommendation from Aaron's friend, we went to brunch at Urban Farmer Restaurant. Believe me, I was a little skeptical about brunch at a hotel restaurant, but that concern was quickly put to rest. We took the elevator up to the modern lobby, where the restaurant was situated in the well lit atrium. You would've never guessed that it was a gray, overcast day given all the natural light.

In recent years, I've come to recognize the importance of eating seasonally and locally for political, environmental, and culinary reasons. Like one of my Chicago favorites, Perennial Virant, I loved the display of canned jars that were incorporated into the decor. It's a sign that we'll be eating well.

While in the Pacific Northwest, I highly recommend eating as much Dungeness crab as possible. Given the crab omelet that I enjoyed in Anchorage, I wanted to try a different take on it. I'll have to give the nod to Anchorage for their crab omelet. Urban Farmer's version was a little rich for my taste, with an herbed hollandaise that overpowered the crab. The potato on the side was nicely crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside.

Another thing that sets Portland apart from Seattle and Vancouver is its love for meat. The cheddar bacon biscuit was quite thorough in covering multiple meat groups: a fluffy biscuit is studded with bacon and baked with cheddar on top. It is split in half and filled with a crispy chicken leg, greens, pickled red onions and a fried egg. For the final touch of decadence: the sandwich sits atop sausage gravy.

We somehow rolled out of the restaurant after our rich brunch and squeezed in some quick tax-free shopping before returning to Seattle. Even though we were only in Portland for less than 24 hours, we liked what we saw and vowed to return for a longer weekend.

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