2811 Northeast Glisan Street
Portland, OR 97232
We didn’t originally plan on going to Pambiche this morning for brunch, but our first choice had an hour wait and our second choice hung up on me when I called to ask for the wait time.
Jerks. We had given up on a nice breakfast before more apartment hunting in Vancouver and decided to just find a coffee shop, but we drove past an insanely colorful building and I recognized the name of the restaurant from one of my facebook friends recommending this place. (Thanks, Ginnie!) We stopped in to see what the wait was, and to our surprise they were able to seat us immediately, and our orders were taken and served to us within ten minutes. Talk about great service! We ordered a couple drinks, one of which was a new menu item with rum and grapefruit juice (not my cup of tea, but good) and a mimosa made with pineapple juice instead of orange juice. That one was delicious, and much lighter and more refreshing than a typical mimosa, especially because the pineapple juice was obviously freshly squeezed that morning!
I’m on a new things kick, so I ordered Huevos a la Cubana, which came with two eggs any style (over-easy ALWAYS), Moros and Cristianos (beans and rice cooked together), two croquetas and fruit salad. This dish was delicious! I had a choice of croquetas and I chose to go with the codfish and potato variety, because why not. They were delicious! They were very crispy but creamy on the inside, and the fish tasted great while also not being too fishy. I tried them with the house-made banana ketchup (probably the weirdest sounding thing I have ever heard of, but trust me, it’s great) and the flavors worked so well together. The banana acts more like a natural sweetener to the ketchup more than a flavorant, so the result is a natural tasting, almost tropical ketchup. My eggs were perfectly cooked and the Moros and Cristianos were probably my favorite part. I’ve never had beans and rice that’s been cooked together, which almost seems silly seeing as I’m always mixing the two together on my plate. DUH. This is why I’m going to culinary school.
The Bistec de Palomilla (Cuban steak and eggs) was also very good. The sirloin was tender and it was pan-fried with red onions. The result was very thin pieces of tender steak with amazing flavor. None of us could keep our forks out of poor Dad’s breakfast! It came with everything that the Huevos a la Cubana came with, with the addition of ripe plantains. They were so sweet and caramelized on the outside. Even though I don’t like bananas and the flavor of these were very similar, I found them extremely delicious and they were very good with the steak. We also got the Picadillo Cua-Cua, (pictured at the top) which was a Cuban beef hash of sorts. There were green olives in the hash, so I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it, but they surprised me by being very subtle and adding to the great flavor of the beef, which I believe was marinated in a sherry of some sort. It was definitely very different than a traditional hash, the main difference being there weren’t any potatoes. It ended up being one of my favorite dishes of the day!
I’m not usually a fan of scrambles because I’m not a huge fan of scrambled eggs, but I was pleasantly surprised by the Revoltillo de Chorizo. This scramble included bacon, sofrito, yucca root, and chorizo. It was actually awesome. I couldn’t pick out what was giving the eggs such a good flavor, but somehow they were the highlight of the dish to me. It was definitely unlike any scramble I’ve had before! I’d definitely recommend this place. I had no complaints, and usually I can manage to scrounge up some dissatisfaction from the depths of my heart. Not this time. It was very well priced. The bistec was the priciest dish at $11.50, and most were under $10. You literally could not have fresher juice if you tried. The atmosphere was funky and cheerful, and the portions were absolutely perfect for a nice brunch to warm you up on a drizzly Portland day! Until next time, amigos! For those of you that are overwhelmed with all the cultural food I’ve been reviewing lately, I think you’ll be pleased to know that our next review will most likely be something closer to home. You’ll just have to wait and see!
Oh, and I’ve got some great news. We were approved for an amazing apartment in Vancouver, Washington, so as of February 12th I will be eating nothing but the best food and sharing it with you all! I cannot wait!