For my last meal on my recent trip to Portland, it worked out to be another brunch.
Tired of making all the decisions, I left it up to my sister and brother-in-law, who guided me to Clyde Common on the edge of downtown Portland not too far from the hip Pearl District.
Clyde Common, which is also next door to the boutique Ace Hotel, has been around for five years and considered one of the early local ingredient-driven restaurants in town with its open kitchen and changing menu. Ironically, it never served a brunch menu and only introduced one last month. (Brunch is now served Friday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
The comfy (read “wood furnishings”) yet stylish (read “dark wood”) European tavern was a warm and welcoming oasis from the rain. We sat next to the open kitchen, where we saw several large chunks of meat slowly lowered into big stewing pots.
The brunch menu from Chef Chris DiMinno is an interesting mix of savory and sweet, often on the same plate. My eyes zeroed in on the chicken-fried beef tongue ($15), mostly because I’ve been obsessed with beef tongue lately. The pan-fried plate of tongue slices were nicely breaded and tasty with countering flavors such as the pickled red onions and buttermilk hash browns and smoked onion puree.
The servings can be quite generous and filling for brunch, such as the plate of duck hash with bearnaise sauce and fried egg ($16) that my sister got, or the biscuits and clam gravy (available in small or large size) that my brother-in-law ordered.
Overall, Clyde Common proved to be another welcomed addition to the Portland brunch scene, with its creative menu and community atmosphere. Surrounded by several large picnic-like tables, I felt like I was having brunch with the entire city.
Rating: 2.5 out of 4 camera snaps
Clyde Common, 1014 SW Stark St., Portland, Ore. PH: 503.228.3333. Open for brunch, Fri.–Sun., 9 a.m.–3 p.m.; lunch, Mon.–Thu., 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m.; and dinner daily, 6–11 p.m. Major credit cards accepted, reservations only for parties of six or more. www.clydecommon.com