Two friends were in town. We gathered for Sunday brunch at Goat Town down the street. The subway tile seating was a bit weird… and heat inducing. We shared the buckwheat ricotta pancake which was moist and fluffy, and the pork belly ranchero, which was a true star. I love a bit of sweet and savory at brunch!
If you haven’t noticed, I like sausage gravy and biscuits. Since I was raised in an Asian household, I never knew such a thing existed until I went to college. I used to be a morning person and loved grabbing breakfast at the dorms. So, how could I resist Pine State Biscuits? (WARNING — do not visit the website if you are hungry!) It has multiple locations in Northeast Portland (where most of the good stuff is) and according to Yelp, they were all equally crowded. I called ahead of time and my order was ready by the time I got there. It felt like a waste to just order one thing so I asked for recommendations and put in an order of the fried green tomatoes. Both items were excellent. I also picked up a cup of Coava Coffee, which shares space with a (fragrant) wood shop.
Pictured in order: The Reggie Deluxe (fried chicken, bacon, egg, and cheese topped with gravy), fried green tomatoes, Coava coffee, and Coava’s space.
1) Buttermilk Channel (524 Court Street, Brooklyn; Carroll Gardens)
It takes a lot to get me up before 10am on a weekend. I wanted to go to the Brooklyn designer sale when they opened at noon and I also wanted to eat here without a wait (read: arrive around 10am, Yelp reviews for Buttermilk Channel mentioned a long wait). I am happy to report that there were no lines near opening and I got a fresh pick of the Baggu bags at the sale. The sale paled in comparison with their December sale in selection, but the prices were lower.
Buttermilk Channel refers to the strait between Brooklyn and Governors Island that used to be frequented by dairy farmers back in the day. The cuisine is Southern with a twist. The brunch menu is extensive enough to please everyone. The fried pork chop & cheddar waffles with maple syrup is the perfect dish for those who love sweet and savory. The pork chop was pretty lean and perfectly fried/seasoned. The cheddar waffle reminded me of Cheez It crackers, in a good way. The short rib hash with toast and eggs was well seasoned and simple. Up until this point, I kept on thinking my mom could totally make these dishes. She makes a great pork chop and the short rib hash tastes similar to her Chinese-style rib dishes. Of course we had to try the buttermilk pancakes. They were decadent and reminded me of shortbread cookies.
2) Brindle Room (277 East 10th Street, NYC; East Village)
I noticed SeamlessWeb added a bunch of restaurants recently. I hate figuring out what to eat when I’m really hungry and the plethora of options in this neighborhood, or NYC in general, does not make decision making any easier! Figuring out what to eat often trumps most work-related decisions in difficulty. One can only eat so many toast-and-yogurt meals.
I ended up ordering the Brindle Room burger. According to online research, the burger is made of leftover trimmings from the owner’s steakhouse in NJ, where the steak is dry aged. A Yelper compared it to Minetta Tavern’s Black Label burger, so I had to try it. I’m sad to report that this burger was tasty, but mediocre, and the fries were a massive oversalted mess. The poor spuds died in vain.
More LA… Urth Caffe, Umami Burger, Lark Cake Shop, and a wedding.
Urth Caffe – I met M at her new (to me) home on a sunny Saturday morning. I rarely get up before noon on a Saturday but had to in order to “fit” everyone into my schedule. After admiring the many designer chairs, we walked over to the Melrose location of this popular cafe. The sun was shining a bit too brightly for this pale-faced Asian, so I hid in the shade. Their tea lattes looked very popular, so I started with a green tea latte.
I got the “eggs verde” egg dish, which consisted of poached eggs over arugula, roasted corn, baby tomatoes, and asparagus. The salad was so fresh and delicious!
The line to order snaked around the cake/pie case. Their cake/pies are massive (think Cheesecake Factory grandness). You think I could pass it up? We shared a slice of the coconut custard pie. Delish.
Umami Burger – It was my last few hours of freedom. J and I grabbed lunch at the popular Umami Burger in Los Feliz. We started out with ginger beer and root beer.
The interior had an industrial, Japanese schoolhouse vibe.