Tag: Portland

Restaurant Review: Brunch at Expatriate in Portland, OR

Expatriate for Brunch | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Expatriate for Brunch | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Expatriate for Brunch | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Brunch in Portland is an event. Choosing a place, deciding whether the wait is worth it, picking a dish off the often expansive menus. So I always appreciate finding restaurants that aren’t packed and have smaller menus where every dish looks like a star.

Such was the case when, on a sunny Sunday, Jonah and I decided to walk to Expatriate. Usually a bumping late night cocktail spot with Asian-influenced small plates, the vibe is a bit more laid back during their weekend brunch. For just four hours on Saturdays and Sundays you can start your day with what was, in my opinion, one of the tastiest and most unique brunches I’d had in quite some time. There was no huge laminated menu, just seven dishes whose descriptions all made my mouth water.

The show-stealer for me were the the hash browns, “covered and smothered” in pho sour cream, cheddar, aromatics, thinly sliced eye of round (like every good bowl of pho), and hoisin tamarind sauce. These were crispy, saucy, and packed with flavor, so much so that I had a hard time sharing! But splitting dishes was worth it because the rice waffle and hot fried chicken strips were easily the best variation of the now-ubiquitous dish. The rice waffle was exactly how I like my waffles: airy and crispy and not too sweet, and it went perfectly with the lightly spicy chicken. The honey and chili butter swirled together, melting in the pockets of the waffle and perfectly smothering the chicken.

I may be biased, but between the Asian-inspired dishes, the proximity to my house, and the somehow-secret status of this brunch, I will most certainly be back for Expatriate’s brunch.

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Weekend Finds 3:19:17

Weekend Finds 3:19:17 | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Weekend Finds 3:19:17 | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Weekend Finds 3:19:17 | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Weekend Finds 3:19:17 | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Weekend Finds 3:19:17 | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
  • It’s Portland Dining Month and WHOA are there a lot of good options. I hit up Urdaneta last night and it was DELICIOUS. I’ll definitely be returning.
  • Spring is starting to creep up, and it is getting me in the mood for a crunchy, refreshing bowl of vegetables. This is my favorite right now.
  • Brooke is back and I couldn’t be happier. I am loving following her adventures as she launches into her boat life, and I can’t wait to read more.
  • I just made this baked pasta from Smitten Kitchen to take to a friend with a new baby (because new babies mean no sleep means how do you even have the energy to feed yourself), and now I would like to make it for myself all the time please.
  • Now that I’m back, I’m hitting up all my favorite places and all the new places that have opened since we’ve been gone. Wares falls into both of those categories, and we went for brunch this morning. I was not mad about it. (GET THE FRIED KALE.)
Weekend Finds 3:19:17 | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Weekend Finds 3:19:17 | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

And Now for Something Completely Different

Seattle Skyline | Travel | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

If we’re being honest, I am a homebody. I like having a home base, a place I can return to that is comfortable, a little oasis, a space that is mine. I like to know where my belongings are, to sleep in my own bed, to light candles in the evenings, to cook dinner. When I don’t have that I feel… off. I feel like my footing is uncertain and that, even if I know where I’m sleeping that night and even if I have  a room that is “mine,” it might not last.

Jonah and I moved out of our house a month ago, and we are now floating around until we leave for Thailand in two weeks. What does floating around mean? It means we are “living” in our dear friends’ guest room, stowing boxes in their crawl space. In the past month we have been to NYC, Chicago, Seattle, and McCall, ID. I have had a total of 9 nights in my own bed, and for someone who is a homebody, that’s a challenge.

I suppose I’m writing this partially to begin the transition of this blog. Over the next seven months or so, I’m not quite sure what this space will become. As I live abroad, I know I’ll want to write. But I’m not sure how often I’ll be able to, or about what. I assume I’ll want to tell you about the food I’m eating, the adventures I’m going on. But it also may become more of a journal than it has been in the past, since I know that this trip is going to challenge me in a lot of ways and I’ll need an outlet for that. I hope that’s ok with you.

New York City Skyline | Travel | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Chicago Skyline | Travel | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

So, the itinerary as it currently stands:

On October 4th we fly from Seattle to Bangkok, where we’ll spend three days getting our feet under us again before heading to Ko Lanta, an island off the southwest coast of Thailand. We’ll spend about ten days there before heading north to Chiang Mai where we’ll meet friends, rent an apartment, and live our lives for another two months. In mid-December we fly to Germany, where we’ll spend a few days with friends before heading to Stuttgart to be with Jonah’s extended family for Christmas, and then around New Year’s we’ll head to Portugal. The plan is for Portugal to be our home base for about four months, but we’ll travel from there, hopefully to visit friends in London, the Netherlands, and Morocco. I’m also crossing my fingers for a stop in Iceland on our way back to the U.S.

It sounds like a lot – a lot of places, a lot of time. But truthfully, I know it will fly by. Or at least that’s what everyone is telling me. Let the countdown to departure begin: 2 weeks.

McCall View | Travel | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Weekend Finds 6:30:16 Summer Eats

Cannon Beach | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Y’all! It’s been a minute since I’ve written! But don’t you fret, I’ve still been cooking up a storm and eating all the good food. I promise. But there’s a lot of other stuff that’s been going on too!

  1. I’m moving! Where? Good question. In October, Jonah and I will be taking advantage of our ability to work remotely. First we’re heading to Thailand for a couple of months, then we’ll be in Germany for Christmas with Jonah’s extended family, and then we’ll be in Portugal, where we’ll hopefully stay for about 4 or 5 months, and traveling from there to visit friends in London, the Netherlands, and Morocco. Exciting? Of course! Terrifying? You bet!
  2. It’s summer, and summer in the PNW means spending all the time outside and on the beautiful Oregon coast. Last weekend was spent at our friend’s beloved beach house, and the week before that was spent at Cannon Beach at a mini family reunion. Which brings me to…
  3. We’re engaged! While we were in Cannon Beach Jonah popped the big ol’ question and I said yes (duh). If you have any wedding planning tips or tricks (especially for weddings that take place in Chicago) I’d love to hear them!

Ok, back to the good stuff. I’ve been doing my fair share of eating out these days too. Summers are perfect for happy hours outside, and putting on that cute new sundress to hit up that restaurant you’ve been wanting to try. All the incredible flavors and ingredients of summer are out in full force. Here’s what I’ve been eating lately:

Renata

P.D.T cocktail at Renata | Summer Eats |Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Jonah took me here to celebrate our engagement, and while I only took a picture of my cocktail (it was a phones-free-dinner after that), the meal was fantastic. The highlights were my cocktail (the P.D.T aka Peas Don’t Tell) and the albacore tuna conserva served with tomatoes and peaches.

Hat Yai

Braised Beef Cheek in Curry with Roti at Hat Yai | Summer Eats | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

You guys, Hat Yai is seriously at the top of my list as far as new openings in Portland go. They serve southern Thai food, and it is perfectly executed and complex and satisfying and just SO DAMN GOOD. Go eat here immediately and get the fried chicken, roti, and curry. You will not be sorry.

Lincoln

Blogger happy hour at Lincoln | Summer Eats | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Chef Jenn Louis hosted a very fun blogger happy hour for at her N Williams restaurant Lincoln, and it did not disappoint. How can you go wrong with a bunch of food-loving ladies, cocktails, and delicious food with influences from cuisines around the world? Highlights included asparagus hummus with labneh and flatbread, grilled dates with marcona almonds and lime, and the fried chicken with white barbecue sauce. This happy hour is fantastic, so make sure you check it out!

Le Pantry

Deviled Eggs with Trout at Le Pantry | Summer Eats | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Perhaps the fanciest food cart around, Le Pantry is relatively new to Pod 28 (on SE 28th and Ankeny). The menu is very sweet, and I can’t wait to go back to try more of their dishes. We enjoyed the deviled eggs with trout, and the salad with fried calamari was filled with bright flavors like nectarines, corn, and some crispy potatoes.

Lechon

Happy Hour at Lechon | Summer Eats | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Jonah and I stopped into Lechon for happy hour before heading to the Waterfront Blues Fest to see Chubby Carrier. I had been hearing great things from both my roommate and blogger friends, plus it’s just across the street from the waterfront, so it worked out perfectly. The prices were great (as were the cocktails) and we seriously enjoyed a small salad, the ceviche, and clams with chorizo.

Where have you been eating lately? Any place I have to check out before hitting the road in October? Let me know! I hope you’re enjoying these beautiful PNW summer days!