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DC Chowhound needs Sunday Brunch recommendations in PDX area

schoenick Aug 27, 2006 09:30 PM


I'm looking for recommendations on a restaurant for this coming Sunday Brunch (labor day weekend). Does not have to be your typical brunch fare, it's just that we are all meeting at 11:00 - Would like something funky and eclectic in close in Pdx or Lake Oswego area. Brunch is going to be for myself, husband, aunt, her partner, my cousin and her boyfriend.


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  1. JillO RE: schoenick Aug 27, 2006 11:17 PM

    Make a reservation at Simpatica. It's the best in town IMO, and my partner and I are regulars.


    The menu listed is a sample menu. Today there was an amazing shrimp/sausage/roasted red pepper strata with hollandaise and a salad, the pancakes were blueberry, the syrup with the waffles (which are also amazing) was peach. They have a small drink menu, serve local Stumptown Hairbender Blend coffee (yum) and the juices are fresh. You can also get yummy scrambled eggs with meat and potatoes. Much of the meat is made (like the sausage and ham stuff) by them in their butcher store, Viande.

    Today we had the strata, a cheeseburger (my partner's stomach has no clock), a biscuit with their homemade spiced pear butter and two coffees. Bill was $23. Won't have to eat until dinner... ;o)

    3 Replies
    1. re: JillO
      schoenick RE: JillO Sep 3, 2006 03:18 PM

      Just FYI - Simpatica only accepts reservations for parties of eight or more.
      So - my husband and I will go a little earlier than the rest of the party and put our names in for what should probably be about a 45 minute wait on a Sunday around 11....

      1. re: schoenick
        schoenick RE: schoenick Sep 13, 2006 02:55 AM

        Hey all,

        Thanks for the great recommendations. My husband and I went around 11:00 but didn't get seated til noon. The food was awesome though (and the coffee drinkers amongst us, appreciated the free coffee while we waited)! We each ordered something different and were all pleased with the results.

        The only draw back I can mention is that the hall is a little loud. It was hard to carry on a six way conversation on top of the echoing in the hall. Otherwise, it was a great experience and I would recommend again.

        1. re: schoenick
          JillO RE: schoenick Sep 13, 2006 10:48 PM

          So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for reporting back, we really appreciate that around here.

    2. a
      adanzig RE: schoenick Aug 27, 2006 11:51 PM

      I had the pleasure of dining at Simpatica this morning, too, for the very first time. We arrived shortly after 9:30am and had just a five minute wait for a table. JillO has already recapped the menu nicely but I'll add that they also had a corned beef hash and fried chicken on the menu! Woe is being a vegetarian...

      I enjoyed a ham-free eggs benedict (I know, I know) that was scrumptous in its simplicity. My friend had the house-made sausage, fried egg and corn cake dish and said it was heavenly.

      1. extramsg RE: schoenick Aug 28, 2006 12:02 AM

        I haven't tried their brunch, but I imagine that La Provence's is at least decent as is their other food. While I whole-heartedly support a rec like Simpatica, if you don't have the time or inclination to travel, you might try La Provence in Lake Oswego instead:


        1 Reply
        1. re: extramsg
          zippyzop RE: extramsg Aug 28, 2006 08:00 PM

          I love the La Provence for Breakfast/Brunch. Has to be the best straight eggs/bacon/toast in town. $7.25 and it gets you juice and coffee too.

        2. d
          daawgon RE: schoenick Aug 28, 2006 12:13 AM

          This ain't funky, but it is the best food/service in NW Oregon:

          Original Pancake House
          on Barbour Blvd at SW 24th, Portland

          no reservations

          2 Replies
          1. re: daawgon
            JillO RE: daawgon Aug 28, 2006 05:12 AM

            As much as I like the OPH (I try to have an apple pancake with a side of the thick cut bacon at least once a year...and they serve real cream with the coffee!! :o) I can't imagine what the wait would be like at 11am on the Sunday of a holiday weekend - for 6 no less...an hour or two??? If you get there after 7:30 am on a weekday you have to wait! Still, very good food in absurdly large portions and I have always had good service there, no matter how slammed.

            I'd choose Simpatica (which is truly worth the trip into PDX proper) with La Provence as a back-up second if you really don't want to make the trip. It really is too bad that the OPH doesn't take reservations.

            1. re: JillO
              Leonardo RE: JillO Aug 28, 2006 06:09 AM

              I don't get the continued popularity of OPH. They've been coasting on their rep for years, IMHO. Overpriced, surly service, no credit cards, long wait...what's not to love? The '50's "exotic" cuisine?

          2. JillO RE: schoenick Aug 28, 2006 06:59 AM

            I started going to the OPH when I lived in Chicago, there are several locations around the Chicagoland area. When I moved here, I was kinda tickled to learn that the ORIGINAL OPH was actually here. I really like going out to breakfast and going to the OPH (with a huge menu and a bazillion pancake choices) was a neat thing to discover.

            It has always been a more expensive breakfast than most, but the portions are huge. I have never had anything but good service here and at several locations in Chicago and don't really care if a place takes credit cards or not (I don't find cash inconvenient, though I do realize I am in the minority on that one.). The long wait though - that does really annoy me...that's one of the reasons I go so infrequently and go absurdly early and on a week day when I do go.

            Sorry you don't like it and have obviously had bad service there...sounds kinda like you've been scarred by the experience. Don't worry we won't force ya to go there. ;o) I feel that way about the Cup and Saucer (coasting on a rep for years, lousy food and service, yet a long wait (on weekends)).

            1 Reply
            1. re: JillO
              extramsg RE: JillO Aug 28, 2006 03:55 PM

              I didn't even know that C&S had a good rep to coast on. I just thought it brought in the S&M crowd who liked a little punishment every weekend.

            2. s
              schoenick RE: schoenick Aug 30, 2006 03:50 AM

              Thanks for all the recommendations - I think we are going to give Simpatica a go - I'll post a review after.

              Thanks again for your help

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