Portland Variety is hipster brunch heaven down in the no man's land near King and Bathurst. The bright, airy space and plentiful windows are a great way to start the day. Jian had a dentist appointment (you need a clean mouth to test all this brunch!) so Tatiana was joined by Emily, friend and fellow brunch aficionado.
The restaurant is also much bigger than it looks from the outside, meaning that it's a good place for larger groups (and you likely won't have to wait as long for a table). Be warned, though: it fills up fast... and for good reason.
The girl sitting beside me was eating these pancakes, and the delicious lemony smell made me determined to try them. Happily, the taste lived up to this promise. The lemon-blueberry combo was exactly the right mix of sweet and sour, and both the creamy mousse on top and the pancakes themselves also had a hint of lemon.
The portion size was also good: I left satisfied, but not stuffed. Although the pancakes looked thick, they were quite fluffy and light. (Although I'm sure my two cups of cream-filled coffee also helped.)
Overall: pancake perfection
I've come here a few times, and I always order this dish. It has sentimental associations from the times I've tried it in Mexico, and I like the spin they put on it. The combination of crunchy tortillas, creamy guacamole (which they definitely don't skimp on) and scrambled eggs is a classic. It's a little spicy, but this just accentuates the rest of the flavours.
Overall: tangy and tasty
The main downside was the obnoxious pop music that played throughout our time there (although, in all fairness, there were times we couldn't hear it above the chatter of the crowds). The service was also very slow (we had to ask multiple times for coffee, and then another time for cream) but, again in all fairness, it was quite busy.
These were minor flaws, however, compared to how delicious our meals were. We'll definitely be back!
Portland Variety brunch at a glance:
- You can find their menu here (it's slightly out of date, however)
- Good for: couples or groups
- Parking: on the street only
- Vegetarian-friendly but not vegan-friendly
- Brunch hours:
- 10-2 Saturday
- 10-3 Sunday