Portland has culinary stars. In fact, I would say culinary royalty – talent like Naomi Pomeroy, Gabriel Rucker, Andy Ricker and Vitaly Paley, to name but a few. And so it was on a brisk Sunday morning that I held the last hashcapade of 2012 at Chef Paley’s newest restaurant, Imperial. I knew we were in for a royal treat!
Located next to Hotel Lucia at 410 SW Broadway, Imperial has a rustic, yet sophisticated vibe. Ample space, polished concrete floors, a gorgeous bar, mirrors, and an open kitchen at the back establish the inviting atmosphere. I was particularly taken by the custom wood-fired stove from Florence, Italy that Brandon pointed out to me when I arrived. Other touches include chandeliers cleverly fashioned from chains – brilliant!
After the rest of my hashcapade posse arrived, we ordered endless cups of coffee (regal service) and amazing gin-based Bloody Marys (photo further below). According to Faith, our attentive waitress, the juice in the Bloody Mary is hickory smoked. It lends the Bloody a subtly smokey foundation for the gin to impart its signature juniper flavor – a definite must! In the upper right photo, Brandie and Mary raise their hands for more…
Acting like foodarazzi, we pulled out our cell phones and cameras to capture the moment as our food arrived. More Bloody Marys. French Toast, Fry Bread with Chorizo, multiple Imperial Pastrami Hash, and Strawberry Toaster Tarts made us feel like aristocrats at a feast! We also ordered dessert (lower right) – Sticky Toffee Gingerbread with caramel pudding, candied pecans and baked pears. Yum!!!
And now the Imperial Pastrami Hash. The pastrami itself is from beef that was finished with hazelnut feed before slaughter – talk about the royal treatment! Add mushroom, celery, red pepper, onion, crispy potatoes, and two poached eggs and we’re talking a meal fit for this King of Hash – well done, Imperial!
Thanks to the best hashcapade crew ever: Dave, Mark, Brandie, Hiro, Tony, Kristin, Lisa, Dustin, Lisa, Nitya, Himanshu, Dana, Tony, Cory and Mary; special thanks to Faith, Brandon and Amy for hosting our rowdy crew!