Tasty n Sons
Chef John Gorham’s newest endeavor: Tasty n Sons
Back in early 2008, when I first was writing a Portland restaurant piece for Seattle Magazine, I visited Toro Bravo during my six-restaurants-in-two-days schedule. Here’s a snippet of the what I wrote about chef John Gorham’s food:
“…We anticipated a wait, so arrived at 4:50 p.m. on a Tuesday—only to be greeted by a line of eager eaters ahead of us. When we finally made it in, we sidled up to the bar and ordered a subtly spicy Casa-Rita cocktail with Guajillo chili-infused tequila, orange liqueur and fresh citrus juice ($8). A dish of salty chickpeas hot from the fryer appeared as we perused the menu—an ever-changing list tapas inspired by Gorham’s recent 10-day whirlwind eating tour in Spain. The boar rillettes ($5), arriving warm and slightly crisped from the oven, and pillowy sweet butternut squash dumplings with a hearty lamb stew ($9) and braised lamb done in a sweet fig sauce with chewy griddled couscous ($12) followed. Our second round of orders included the “drunken pork” and beans (pork served medium-rare and absolutely juicy) ($7) and the venison terrine with pistachios and cherries ($7). Our favorite dish of the night, the oxtail croquettes ($14), burst forth with a melty, creamy interior flecked with braised oxtail, and each of these lovely fried parcels were sauced with more braised meat and topped with spicy mayonnaise. Gorham doesn’t claim to serve authentic Spanish tapas, but every dish I had that night sang of his love and dedication to executing solid, flavorful food. Toro Bravo is what I hope Belltown’s new Txori will someday become—a great tapas joint serving creative, delicious food in a buzzing room that feels more intimate and welcoming, less hipper-than-thou…”
Since that meal in 2008, I’ve made it back to Toro Bravo on several occasions. While the oxtail croquettes never again reached that height of tasty-ness (more potato, lighter on the braised meat on subsequent visits), I’ve always left feeling very satisfied with my dinners there. When I read that chef Gorham had left Toro Bravo to open a new restaurant called “Tasty n Sons”, I put it on my list for our most recent trip.
cheesesteak and fries
What’s unusual about Tasty n Sons is that it’s billed as a “brunch” restaurant–open everyday from 9am til 3pm. A glance at the menu sees most dishes a step beyond the typical pancakes and frittatas offerings, with items like their Burmese pork stew and Shakshuka rounding up numerous acclaims on Portland food boards and publications.
probably the most written-about dish here: the Shakshuka
As much as I wanted to try both the Burmese pork stew and the Shakshuka, my husband opted for the cheesesteak sandwich. Given the amount of food we’d consumed the evening before at Pok Pok (and Whiskey Soda Lounge), I didn’t quite have the stomach space to consume two mains on my own. While my husband’s cheesesteak was fine, the sweet/tangy/deeply roasted vegetable flavor from the Shakshuka was a revelation. (You can also add on chunks of merguez–of course, that’s what I opted to do!)
A friend was kind enough to send along chef Gorham’s recipe for Shakshuka. (As good as the recipe looks, I am quite sure the restaurant uses more olive oil than 1 tbsp per serving, so I will be adjusting according at home.)
Tasty n Sons is located at 3808 N. Williams in Portland, OR; 503.621.1400
Posted: July 8th, 2010 under Uncategorized.