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Portland Day Trip: A “Tasty” Brunch & the Japanese Garden

The Wandering Dragons

When you just want one of those chill days in Portland, you might just head to the Japanese Garden where you can saunter around in a peaceful environment – but not before you brunch! Although it’s hard to resist returning time and again to your favorite brunch spot, I highly recommend trying someplace new often, especially in Portland where the options are seemingly endless! In this case, we finally made it to Tasty n Sons. Expected wait time – one hour. A likely story, Portland! Have no fear, there’s plenty to do in the the neighborhood to pass the time whilst you wait for your impending hunger satisfaction.

Stop One - Lompoc Brewing

After you put your name on the wait list for Tasty, head down over to Lompoc Brewing for some breakfast beers to pass the time of the brunch wait. This was a new brewery for us, and I love the casual vibe of not only the tasting room but also the neighborhood. We ordered some tasters and sat outside at a picnic table on an absolutely gorgeous, sunny spring day in PDX.

We tried out these beers:

  • The 36th Chamber of IPA
  • 2009 Merlot Barrel Aged Brussels Stout (when they say “big flavors,” they mean big flavors…almost too big!)
  • Spring Bock
  • 2013 Batch 69 Baltic Porter
  • 2014 Peachy Keen

Not your usual round of IPA-forward beers, but still pretty good! Not a bad way to pre-game brunch if I do say so.

Lompoc Brewing
3901 North Williams Avenue, Portland, OR 97227
http://lompocbrewing.com

Stop Two - Brunch at Tasty n Sons

There are those brunch spots in Portland that always pop up at the top of the “Must Eat” lists and Tasty n Sons might just be one of those that makes an appearance on multiple lists. The question is – is it hype or is it for real?

It’s real you guys. Queue food awesomeness.

As the pescatarian of the group, I opted for the smoked salmon hash with potatoes, veggies, and horseradish cream topped with a fried egg. I’m not normally a huge egg fan…and I will admit that until this very day, I had no idea what a fried egg tasted like. But, not having too many “veggie” options, I decided what the heck…let’s go with it. I have to say the fried egg was quite interesting. When the yolk runs out over the rest of the meal, it enhances it with a genuinely rich flavor. Not sure that I could go for that all the time, but I don’t know why I was so afraid of it all of these years!

The guys (hubby and bro-in-law) shared the biscuits and gravy and loved the flavor. I longingly eyed the plate wishing there was a vegetarian-friendly version…because if you’ve read any of our other brunch posts on this blog, you would know how seriously I take my biscuits and gravy.

Okay fine…so I couldn’t have biscuits and gravy…but I could totally eat dat chocolate potato doughnut with crème anglaise! A nice little bite of something sweet – but not too sweet.

The dudes got this shakshuka to share which I think was the favorite meal at the table for them. Shakshuka is a Middle Eastern/African tomato stew topped with baked eggs and this one had merguez sausage added, with a side of crispy toast. Based off reviews of the restaurant, this is probably one of the most popular dishes at Tasty and the guys can totally confirm this!

Next was Tasty’s steak and cheddar eggs atop a cornmeal pancake with jalapeno butter. Jalapeno butter guys! I tasted the cornmeal pancake (very much like cornbread) and it was, for lack of a better word, tasty

Last but not least was this panna cotta that the server brought to us because we had to wait a little bit for her to bring our bill…rhubarb panna cotta to be exact…which pretty much rivaled what we had in Italy, folks. Wow. Getting a panna cotta right is a pretty rare feat, in my opinion.

The verdict? This was Micah’s favorite brunch in Portland, by far. I have to agree that what I had was pretty amazing (although I’m a vegetarian at heart and Jam on Hawthorne still gets my top vote).

Tasty n Sons
3808 N Williams Avenue, C, Portland, OR 97227
http://www.tastynsons.com/

Stop Three - The Portland Japanese Garden

I’ve written about the Portland Japanese Garden before, but revisiting a place always makes me see it in a different light. When we had visited in May, they had just recently reopened after completing a $30 million+ renovation. The recent renovations weren’t necessarily to the garden itself, but more to make it ADA compliant which was a challenge due to it’s hillside location, as well as to expand it’s acreage to accommodate educational facilities and areas for people interested in Japanese-style gardening.

This waterfall always has been and always will be one of my fav spots in the garden. I cannot get over the different textures and colors in this one scene. It never disappoints!

The garden itself was just as I remembered it. It’s quite large so even if there is a lot of people visiting at the same time, you don’t quite feel that you are sharing the space with a ton of people (except for a few spaces where people tend to congregate a little more).

If you visit the gardens, just take your time to walk through it and explore all the different areas. Take in the sights (all the beautiful plants and flowers, waterfalls, koi fish) and the smells – think mossy and damp.

My favorite flora to admire in the Japanese Garden are the maples. I love the way they twist and turn, and the way the sunlight catches the different colors of the leaves (if you’re lucky enough to catch the Portland sun, that is).

The Wandering Dragons

The Portland Japanese Garden is actually located within Washington Park and admission will set you back about $15.00 (unless they are running some type of promo at the time), but I think this garden is well worth the price to spend a couple of hours of your day at.

Portland Japanese Garden
611 SW Kingston Avenue, Portland, OR 97205
https://japanesegarden.org/

If you want a different perspective of our little day trip, check out our vlog for the day!

I’m so sad to say that this was one of our last Portland adventures for a while as we recently relocated back to California! Although, there are plenty more Portland posts to come!

We hope this gave you some good ideas of what to do when you are out and about in Portland. The possibilities are really endless!

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