Bar Casa Vale Brunch

I’ve shared previously how I enjoy the tapas and the drinks at Bar Casa Vale, but this weekend they are launching a new weekend brunch. From now on they will be serving up, in addition to their all day happy hour on Sunday, brunch from 10 AM – 3 PM on Saturdays and Sundays. I recently attended a media preview that let us share a taste of some of the offerings, so here’s my report back on some of the items. As usual, the menu is subject to change – I think they do tweak the dinner options pretty often by swapping out what is on flatbread or toast and such, so go open-minded. Based on my meal here, I am sorta thinking this is now the best hungover brunch spot in Portland.
Bar Casa Vale Brunch is served on weekends, Sat and Sun 10-3 Bar Casa Vale Brunch cocktail of Tea Cobbler with Brandy, hibiscus, and citrus Bar Casa Vale Brunch Chocolate Toast with pistachio and olive oil Bar Casa Vale Brunch Grilled Sardine Toast with potxta beans, calcot, and 'nduja
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Biscuit Eggs Sausage and Cheese Breakfast Casserole

Every year I spend New Year’s Day watching the Rose Parade on TV if I’m in the US. Last year I was in Japan, but I was back to my tradition this January 2, 2017 (they moved it because they don’t ever hold it on Sundays traditionally). There was even a memorable year I was in Los Angeles and my sister (attending USC Law School at the time, now this year celebrating her first New Year’s as a mother to a 3 month daughter) even helped arrange my mom and other sister to get seats and watch it in person. It was incredible being able to see all the breathtaking details of the flowers, though I did miss a bit of the announcer highlights they narrate on TV.
Watching the 119th Rose Parade in Pasadena on New Year's Day Watching the 119th Rose Parade in Pasadena on New Year's Day Watching the 119th Rose Parade in Pasadena on New Year's Day Watching the 119th Rose Parade in Pasadena on New Year's Day

This year to accompany the bottle of sparkling that I cheered the parade on with as I watch, I also prepared this incredible Biscuit Eggs Sausage and Cheddar Breakfast Casserole. You can prepare everything for this Biscuits Breakfast Casserole the day before and then just pop it in the oven, which is perfect for a non morning person or after a long night up. I like how this casserole basically puts all of breakfast – like a breakfast that would have Biscuits and Sausage Gravy as one item, and Cheesy Egg on the side, all together in every bite.
Recipe for Biscuit Eggs Sausage and Cheese Breakfast Casserole

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My Review of Cravings by Chrissy Teigen

My review of Cravings by Chrissy Teigen is that it delivers on exactly what it promises in it’s title and cover. There’s plenty of photos that look Instagram ready, per someone who has such a social media following. There’s plenty of her enthusiastic foodie voice – that is, Chrissy is not a trained culinary professional, or in the food industry – she just LOVES food openly and unabashedly. And, her writing on every page is evidence of that love of all things delicious.
Cravings by Chrissy Teigen

The recipes vary over a wide range except for dessert. She and I are alike in that way of preferring savory foods especially our love of cheese or cream and eggs to sweets. The recipes are very homey that are a combination of things you would expect in a family, inherited from various people and passed down because people like it for everyday meals.

  • 11 things for breakfast, and I think it’s completely Chrissy’s fault that for the past couple months I’m in a breakfast craving period – I usually go straight to dinner type dishes, but this summer I’m all about breakfast and brunch dishes and lots of eggs. You’ll soon see because starting next Friday I have a whole Best PDX Breakfast Sandwich series I’m kicking off!
  • 7 soups,
    Cravings by Chrissy Teigen cookbook, recipe for Pot Pie Soup with Crust Crackers
  • 9 hearty salads,
  • 14 recipes under noodles and carbs,
  • 6 recipes of homemade Thai stuff from her mom Pepper in a “Thai Mom” section, which I adore her mom-love and that thsi section includes some unusual Thai choices – not Pad Thai or Fried Rice but Jok Moo (Thai Pork and Rice Porridge) and Pepper’s Pork-Stuffed Cucumber Soup
    Cravings by Chrissy Teigen cookbook, recipe for Pepper's Pork Stuffed Cucumber Soup
  • 15 of stuff for parties,
  • 8 short recommendations for stuff on toast on a two page spread,
  • 9 vegetable dishes,
  • 6 “things that intimidate people but shouldn’t”,
  • 17 dinner entrees.

The recipes themselves generally focus on not being healthy, but being crave-worthy – often tasting rich. A recipe for Cheesy Cheeseless Scrambled Eggs with burst cherry tomatoes uses 12 eggs and 1/2 cup of cream and blistered cherry tomatoes to make a rich tasting egg but distribute it over a big dish for many people. Same goes for her party dish of Steak Bites with Melty Blue Cheese Butter that pairs 1/2 pound of NY strip steak and 2 ounces of blue cheese to serve 4-6, or a trick of substituting potatoes with Cauliflower Mash with Roasted Garlic and Ricotta so it is still creamy and garlicky.
Cravings by Chrissy Teigen cookbook recipe, Pull Apart Buttermilk Biscuits with Sausage Gravy

Then there are the recipes that just don’t care. The same breakfast section yielded her Creamy Parmesan Skillet Eggs that are decadent with a cup of Parmigiano Reggiano and 1/2 heavy heavy cream for two servings of 2 eggs each for brunch. But damn if that wasn’t incredibly tasty. One of her soups is a Pot Pie Soup with Crust Crackers with multiple sticks of butter and 1/4 pound of deli ham and a pound of skinless rotisserie chicken meat. Her Chrissy’s Mac and Cheese with Cheesy Garlic Bread Crumbs boasts 3 cups each of grated cheddar and Gruyere or Swiss cheese *plus* 16 slices of American cheese.

Some recipes you can only trust must be incredible because how else would you come up with combos like Cheesy Jalapeno Tuna Casserole with Potato Chip Topping, or Yellow Cake Baked Oatmeal (with yellow cake box mix and oats and raspberries and peaches) or French Toast Casserole with Salted Frosted Flakes.
Cravings by Chrissy Teigen cookbook recipe, Yellow Cake Baked Oatmeal

The best part of this cookbook is her voice in how she isn’t afraid to be dorky about her food love. If you are into that type of voice rather than a knowledgeable one with lots of tips and tricks or history to a dish, and into a mix of recipes that are a bit all over the place, then you will think this cookbook is fun and enjoy it.

And, I really appreciate how amazing some of the food porn photos are. I eat with my eyes a lot and so it really encourages to make so many of these recipes.

Creamy Parmesan Skillet Eggs Recipe

Creamy Parmesan Skillet Eggs Recipe adapted from Cravings cookbook by Chrissy Teigen. I like it as sobering up food/get over a drinking night food over leftover rice like shown here
The recipe I’ve made most often from her book is the  creamy parmesan skillet eggs that are decadent with a cup of Parmigiano Reggiano and 1/2 heavy heavy cream for two servings of 2 eggs each for brunch. The change I made is that I took out her call for salt, as I think the cheese already adds a level of saltiness to it. This is currently my new hungover/drinking night recovery breakfast meal. The whole thing takes only 15 minutes so that relief for an upset stomach of alcohol is fast.

My favorite way to serve this is generally on top of leftover rice from some Asian delivery (usually Chinese – soften the rice, usually about 2-3 cups worth, in the pan for a few minutes with a sprinkling of water over it and set aside before making the eggs). She recommends dividing the recipe in half to make it in two 6 inch skillets to serve two people, mainly because it looks cute presentation wise. I don’t care about presentation and just make it all together.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup finely grated or shredded Parmigiano – Reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspooon chopped fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste as desired
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 eggs

Directions:

  • In a bowl, combine the 1 cup of grated or shredded Parmigiano – Reggiano, and 1/2 cup heavy cream, and teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper and mix. I’ve done this with both the grated and shredded Parmesan – if you want it a bit more creamy, the grated Parmesan is the way to go. If you want a more solid almost like a soft cheese crispy, use the grated. You’ll be able to see both photos shortly of what it looks like finished…
  • In a 12 inch pan, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Once melted, add in your cheese and cream mix and wait until the mixture is bubbling all the way through.
    Creamy Parmesan Skillet Eggs Recipe adapted from Cravings cookbook by Chrissy Teigen. I like it as sobering up food/get over a drinking night food over leftover rice like shown here
  • Crack the 4 eggs into the skillet and cook a few minutes until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still runny. I use a silicone spatula to loosen the bottom to make sure it is firm – you should see a bit of a caramelized crust from the cheese and cream under the eggs.
    Creamy Parmesan Skillet Eggs Recipe adapted from Cravings cookbook by Chrissy Teigen. I like it as sobering up food/get over a drinking night food over leftover rice like shown here
  • Remove from heat and serve in the skillet or pour the entire hot mess over rice on a platter. Top with more black pepper and chopped fresh thyme.

To the left, you can see the recipe with grated Parmesan, to the right is my version with grated Parmesan which you see has a more solid cheese layer that is a bit crispy at the edges.
Creamy Parmesan Skillet Eggs Recipe adapted from Cravings cookbook by Chrissy Teigen. I like it as sobering up food/get over a drinking night food over leftover rice like shown here Creamy Parmesan Skillet Eggs Recipe adapted from Cravings cookbook by Chrissy Teigen. I like it as sobering up food/get over a drinking night food over leftover rice like shown here

Do you know who Chrissy Teigen is? What do you think of some of the dishes she includes are recipes in her book that I have mentioned? What’s your go to food in the morning after a big drinking night to settle your stomach?

Disclosure: This book was provided to me as part of the Blogging for Books program, but I will always provide my honest opinion and assessment of all products and experiences I may be given. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are entirely my own.

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Pink Rose Happy Hour

Update: Pink Rose has closed

There have been a couple times as I was walking down NW Lovejoy that I’ve heard lovely music instead of the rumble of cars and the streetcar. Then upon getting closer to NW 13th I am distracted from my errands by the live musicians I  hear playing outside The Pink Rose on their outdoor patio that also has a waterfall and a fireplace.
Hearing the music of modern troubadour Brian McGinty from NW Lovejoy and 13th on the patio of the Pink Rose Hearing the music of modern troubadour Brian McGinty from NW Lovejoy and 13th on the patio of the Pink Rose

Although tempted to stop and have a drink, interrupting my errands, it was only when musician friend Brian McGinty was playing one late September afternoon last year that I finally I got to experience their happy hour (4-7 PM weekdays, and happy hour ALL DAY on Tuesdays).
Hearing the music of modern troubadour Brian McGinty from NW Lovejoy and 13th on the patio of the Pink Rose

Being able to sit outside with a cocktail and listen to live music without being boxed inside is a wonderful treat.
Hearing the music of modern troubadour Brian McGinty from NW Lovejoy and 13th on the patio of the Pink Rose Hearing the music of modern troubadour Brian McGinty from NW Lovejoy and 13th on the patio of the Pink Rose with the cocktail Lady Lovejoy with Medoyeff vodka, fresh pressed strawberry and champagne float

It was great, and since then I have been back other times for the tail end of happy hour on Thursdays when they have had live music (check the Pink Rose Facebook page for such events to see who is playing).

They have one standout happy hour item that is worth visiting again and again. And that’s the happy hour $6 pork cheese fries I had that includes Carlton Farms smoked pork, Tillamook cheddar, scallions, Sriracha aioli.
Pink Rose Happy Hour item of happy hour $6 pork fries I had that included Carlton Farms smoked pork, Tillamook cheddar, scallions, Sriracha aioli on fries

Smaller bites might be the Chorizo Stuffed Mushrooms with Painted Hills beef house chorizo and Manchego cheese ($5) or the Bacon wrapped Dates with Medjool stuffed dates, toasted almonds, Rogue blue cheese ($4).
Pink Rose Restaurant happy hour option of the Bacon wrapped Dates wtih Medjool stuffed dates, toasted almonds, Rogue blue cheese plus the Chorizo Stuffed Mushrooms with Painted Hills beef house chorizo and Manchego cheese Pink Rose Restaurant happy hour option of the Chorizo Stuffed Mushrooms with Painted Hills beef house chorizo and Manchego cheese

They also have a few interesting cocktails to choose from on their cocktail menu, like here when I had the cocktail Lady Lovejoy with Medoyeff vodka, fresh pressed strawberry and champagne float.
Hearing the music of modern troubadour Brian McGinty from NW Lovejoy and 13th on the patio of the Pink Rose with the cocktail Lady Lovejoy with Medoyeff vodka, fresh pressed strawberry and champagne float Hearing the music of modern troubadour Brian McGinty from NW Lovejoy and 13th on the patio of the Pink Rose with the cocktail Lady Lovejoy with Medoyeff vodka, fresh pressed strawberry and champagne float

Another favorite is the Patio Punch Mason Jar– because it is a quart sized mason jar that you can call whether it is filled with Sangria or Blueberry Basil, Citrus Sage punches with your choice of vodka, gin, tequila, rum, bourbon well or call. I’m not sure if these photos effectively communicate the scale of a jar you have to hold with two hands.
Patio Punch Mason Jar at Pink Rose Restaurant - a quart of your choice of Sangria or Blueberry Basil, Citrus Sage punches with your choice of vodka, gin, tequila, rum, bourbon well or call. Pink Rose Restaurant happy hour option of the Chorizo Stuffed Mushrooms with Painted Hills beef house chorizo and Manchego cheese plus Bacon wrapped Dates wtih Medjool stuffed dates, toasted almonds, Rogue blue cheese to accompany a Patio Punch Mason Jar (quart size!) of sangria

Besides Happy Hour, Pink Rose’s other main claim to fame is the $14 bottomless mimosas at their brunch, which they do not hold back on at all and serve Saturday and Sunday 9 AM – 3 PM.

Fortunately, you don’t have to go to brunch to enjoy their Fried Chicken and Waffle with Draper Valley Chicken that is buttermilk battered and fried, served on a malted waffle with bourbon syrup. The chicken and waffle entree is both on their regular weekday menu as well as at brunch, so you don’t have to wait until the weekend.
Fried Chicken and Waffle at Pink Rose Restaurant with Draper Valley Chicken that is buttermilk battered and fried, served on a malted waffle with bourbon syrup Fried Chicken and Waffle at Pink Rose Restaurant with Draper Valley Chicken that is buttermilk battered and fried, served on a malted waffle with bourbon syrup

As an extra perk, they hold a Best Instagram contest weekly on Sunday! You have to post your photo on Instagram and tag them with #pinkrosepdx & follow @pinkrosepdx. They select a photo entrant weekly to win a $30 gift card… which you can clearly consider using towards a happy hour pork cheese fries or a mason jar or bottomless mimosa.
Pink Rose Restaurant happy hour option of the Chorizo Stuffed Mushrooms with Painted Hills beef house chorizo and Manchego cheese, plus Bacon wrapped Dates with Medjool stuffed dates, toasted almonds, Rogue blue cheese to accompany a quart sized Mason Jar of sangria Pink Rose Happy Hour item of happy hour $6 pork fries I had that included Carlton Farms smoked pork, Tillamook cheddar, scallions, Sriracha aioli on fries

My favorite excuse though is still for those fries and a drink al fresco while supporting local musicians.

Pink Rose Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Eggs Benedict at Zell’s Cafe

I am not sure how I missed the memo on the fact that Zell’s Cafe offers some of the best eggs benedict in Portland. This oversight has been corrected. Now I know why some of the ladies in my Pulse PDX Zumba class are regulars here. And, now I wanted to share that option in case you are looking for a nice eggs benedict to spend time with your mom or because you’re a mom- but genius, they have this everyday, not just Sunday, so you can avoid the brunch lines. 

Zell's Cafe, Portland Zell's Cafe, Portland

Yep, Zell’s serves breakfast everyday, so you don’t have to wait for weekend brunch at this neighborhood spot – you can get this any day. And, coming on a weekday means a much calmer atmosphere and no wait. Make sure you check out what specials they may have for breakfast on the chalkboard.

Zell's Cafe, Portland Zell's Cafe, Portland

Shortly after you are seated, you are greeted with complimentary little biscuity scones with butter and raspberry jam as they quickly and efficiently understood our immediate need for coffee. Nothing says being mothered as much as immediately being fed these complimentary biscuity scones upon arrival, like a buttery hug to you mouth and tummy.
Zell's Cafe greeting of complimentary mini biscuits with butter and jam Zell's Cafe greeting of complimentary mini biscuits with butter and jam

They have other offerings- waffles, pancakes, German pancakes, lots of omelettes and hashes, and what I came for, the famous Eggs Benedict. I had mine actually as Eggs Florentine, so that instead of Canadian Bacon I had spinach and tomato.

I think the photos speak for themselves.

Zell's Cafe's Eggs Benedict, which I had Florentine style wtih Bay English muffin, Canadian bacon was switched out for spinach and tomato, hollandaise sauce, served with potatoes. Zell's Cafe's Eggs Benedict, which I had Florentine style wtih Bay English muffin, Canadian bacon was switched out for spinach and tomato, hollandaise sauce, served with potatoes. Zell's Cafe's Eggs Benedict, which I had Florentine style wtih Bay English muffin, Canadian bacon was switched out for spinach and tomato, hollandaise sauce, served with potatoes. Zell's Cafe's Eggs Benedict, which I had Florentine style wtih Bay English muffin, Canadian bacon was switched out for spinach and tomato, hollandaise sauce, served with potatoes. Zell's Cafe's Eggs Benedict, which I had Florentine style wtih Bay English muffin, Canadian bacon was switched out for spinach and tomato, hollandaise sauce, served with potatoes.

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