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Let’s say you were on a mission to uncover the best places in Portland for breakfast. Would you a) Google it; b) head to The Pearl; or c) hire a brunch sherpa? While Google may result in an array of choices and The Pearl may suffice, the correct answer is C. Why? Because hiring a brunch sherpa […]
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Wild Salmon Hash at Mother’s Bistro in Portland

Be Nice or Leave! That’s what the sign above the hostess station at Mother’s Bistro read. I reckon that’s how a mother would scold her kids, akin to: “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Perhaps it reminds people to be patient because the wait for this iconic restaurant can be considerable. Fortunately, we had arrived early and helped form an orderly, if not under-caffeinated queue on a quiet Sunday morning. My friends, Cory, Mary, their son, Jesse, Doug, Connor and I were about to have the comfort food to end all comfort foods!

Mother says…

But, before I dive further into this hashcapade, I must set the context. The night before, I had attended Michael Pollan’s lecture at the University of Portland with about 4000 other like-minded people. We were entranced by his simple dialogue on nutritionism, a “religious” belief system that has separated us from our cultural knowledge of food and interposed experts – scientists, dietitians and nutritionists – between us and our food.

Thankfully, the Slow Food movement has been reconnecting us to the land,  the farmers and the goodness of real food. (We in the Willamette Valley are truly blessed.) Summing up his talk, Michael recommended this: “Eat real food, not a lot, mostly plants.”

He also noted that a culture’s food anchor is Mom or Grandma (Nonna). So, newly recharged and thankful for my Mom’s “granola period” in the 70’s, this Mother’s Bistro hashcapade can continue in perfect congruence with Pollan’s simple advice!

No, this is not Michael Pollan!

Browsing Mother’s menu, is like consulting a holy work – awe-inspiring, yet daunting – and physically intimidating with its big, green, and solid binder with multiple chapters, and dense, yet simple culinary prose. Our high-priest, er, waiter guided us as we each selected the perfect choice. I opted for the Dungeness Crab Cake Eggs Benedict because I had ordered the Wild Salmon Hash on a previous hashcapade. So, today’s hashcapade supplicant, er, taster, was Cory, who does resemble Michael Pollan a bit!

Wild Salmon Hash & Dungeness Crab Cake Eggs Benedict

My notes on the hash describe it as superb with a creamy, rich sauce that reminded me of stroganoff. Cory’s interpretation:

In a nutshell, I would say that everything came together without one ingredient dominating the others – all while forming a harmonious “one”.

Spot on, mate, spot on!

Tell me – what’s your favorite dish at Mother’s Bistro?

Happy Hashcpades,

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