Cool nights and colorful leaves – fall is just around the corner in Portland. Time to crank up the hashcapades and take advantage of summer’s final days. What better way to do just exactly that? An al fresco brunch in the heart of The Pearl. I’m talking about the new incarnation at the northwest corner of Jamison Square, the aptly named Jamison.
I was excited about our first get-together since the official release of my cookbook, Hashcapades: The Art of the Perfect Hash Adventure. Walking from my parking spot on a stunningly crisp and bright morning, I spotted Jamison’s inviting outdoor seating area, just begging for a potato hash extravaganza. No problemo!
I was met by James, the Floor Manager, who assured me that the restaurant was not named after him. As I fretted about the cool morning temperature, he graciously offered to move us inside. However, the thought of communing with other patrons who were already enjoying a perfect morning outside was simply too powerful to ignore!
What to have? I simply couldn’t decide. Everything sounded delicious. Dan, our waiter, probably thought we’d never eat and likely starve from indecision! But, when all else fails, a round of coffee and libations can work wonders. Properly caffeinated and “primed”, the hashcapade posse wasted no time in rattling off a cornucopia of brunch goodness – Heirloom Tomato Eggs Benedict, Mushroom Scramble, Oatmeal Pancakes with Fennel Sausage, and Biscuits & Gravy.
“What?!?! No hash?” you whine. “Well of course there was hash and lots of it, silly!” I reply. Imagine this – Broccoli Raab, Pancetta, Fingerling Potato and Caramelized Onion Hash – yussss! Jamison also offered a Johnson Ham Hash, but our table was oddly intent on eating its broccoli – our Mamas done taught us good! My mouth was watering as Dan placed the hash in front of me. Perfectly portioned, I expertly prepared the perfect bite with most of the ingredients represented on my fork. Wow! The grilled, smoky raab coupled with the salty pancetta and roast fingerling potato was stellar. My next bite included the egg and caramelized onion, a bite which barely cleared my gaping maw, but I managed. Superb!
What had been a noisy breakfast fiesta fell silent as we all tucked into our brunch, an indication of a tasty treat. Jamison’s manager, Darren, stopped by for an extended chat. Formerly with Cafe Nell, Darren described the month-old brunch service and how much attention and effort went into perfecting each dish. That focus certainly showed in the flavor and presentation of each dish – well done!
Thanks to my hashcapade posse: Kristin, Maria, Lisa, Jeff, Paul (see his review here), Lidia, Mark and Gina; special thanks to James, Dan and Darren for helping us kick off our fall hashcapade season in style.