I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts the other day - By the Book - and Jolenta and Kristen were recounting their attempts to become morning people, and how it may or may not have worked for them. Then they had Gretchen Rubin on, and she shared her insights into morning people vs. night people, or in her words, larks and owls, and it got me thinking... Do I love brunch and all things related to morning food and beverages because I'm a morning person?
I mean I can ALWAYS get excited about breakfast foods, not nearly as interested in dinner. And what's not to love about a meal where coffee by default is the drink of choice and it's perfectly acceptable to eat dessert first thing in the morning?
Night people, do you like dinner more than breakfast? Is the love for a specific kind of meal tied to our circadian rhythm? So. Many. Questions.
So as you can tell by the title of this post, it's time to talk brunch. More specifically, brunch at pop-up spot Hunnymilk in NE Portland. This sweet spot is a bit off an oddball in that they only do brunch, it's a fixed menu, and each meal always includes a sweet and a savory option. J and I LOVED that, and think all brunch spots should adopt this model. I could see how other people may not love it so much.
That said - we thoroughly enjoyed it and were quite impressed with the flavors and portion sizes! The way it works is you walk in, and while you wait for your table, write an inspired haiku or take to the coloring books.
Once your table is called, take a seat, and take a look at their pre-fixed menu. Each customer gets the option of a beverage, a savory dish and a sweet dish. Pre my sister's recommendation, I started brunch off with their caramel hot chocolate, with house made marshmallows and let me say... it was delightful! J went with the classic black coffee.
We were given a few minutes to enjoy our drinks, we perused the menu and decided on what we wanted to order. I went with the buttermilk biscuit with chorizo gravy, topped with a sunnyside up egg, wilted kale and spinach and a spicy maple syrup for the savory option, and then for sweet, I couldn't turn up the cinnamon crusted french toast with a whiskey caramel sauce, poached apples and whipped ricotta. Um. Hell yes.
J decided to go with the "brunchy" quesadilla with bacon, peppers and pepper jack scramble, that was paired with a re-fried bean fritter, and the typical sour cream. For his sweet entree, he went with the vanilla bean cheesecake waffle, dipped in honey butter, with a cranberry compote, blueberries and a graham cracker almond crumble. Again... Hell. Yes.
Once we got our order in, we relaxed with our beverages, taking in the ambiance, If you're looking for a NICE brunch spot to go on a first date, or to take your parents to, Hunnymilk is not the place to go. It's casual. Almost a little... underwhelming. But the food makes up for that. It's a perfect spot for a casual Sunday morning jaunt, where you know you'll get something delicious that hits the spot.
We'd heard about Hunnymilk from my sister, who is another brunch addict, and she hyped it up quite a bit, so we had pretty high expectations, and it lived up to it. The portions were the surprisingly large, and seriously delicious. And for the first time ever, J commenced the sweet dish to be the best entree of the entire meal. He ALWAYS goes for the savory dish and could not stop talking about the vanilla bean cheesecake waffle. Don't get me wrong, it was good. But if J is saying it was better than chorizo biscuits and gravy, you know its GOOD.
The only major complaint that others seem to have with Hunnymilk is the price. The prefixed meal does come in at $22 per person, which is a bit steep. But if you think about it... you go to any brunch spot and order a coffee or cocktail plus an entree and you're coming to $17-$20 anyways. In this case, for $22, you're guaranteed a drink (granted not an adult beverage) and a tasty spread of both sweet and savory that serves more than enough food for one. Neither J or I could finish our entire meals!
Bottom line, Hunnymilk secures a spot on the Balance in Bridgetown recommended brunch list!