It’s a ballsy move, declaring your biscuits and gravy the best in Portland right there on the menu. But when the plate arrives, it’s hard to argue against a pair of fluffy sweet-potato biscuits drowning in rosemary-sausage gravy and topped, just for the hell of it, with thin slices of pork loin. But don’t sleep on the lunch items either, which include the Weezie, described as a “BLT on steroids.” MATTHEW SINGER.
5513 SE 72nd Ave., 774-4470, arletalibrary.com.
This downtown cafe was serving rock-solid plates of Northwest fare lovingly sourced from local farms a decade before it became a shrill call to arms. The oyster hash gets talked up, but the woodsy mushroom version, with crisp potatoes and a fresh salsa, is even better. Strong coffee, super-eggy cinnamon bread French toast and veggie-friendly lunch eats mean there’s still a wait for a table even on a Monday. KELLY CLARKE.
132 SW 3rd Ave., 222-3187.
The Country Cat
Montavilla’s monument to excessive pork consumption is good at dinner, but never fails to blow us away at brunch. Here’s why: house-cured ham with the eggs Benedict, a $7 basket of cinnamon rolls and poppyseed challah French toast. Here’s really why: The bloody mary is served in a massive beer mug and comes garnished with beef jerky. BEN WATERHOUSE.
7937 SE Stark St., 408-1414, thecountrycat.net.
Why choose J&M over every other funky brunch place in inner Southeast Portland? Well, its relative obscurity helps keep brunch lines down, and it’s so centrally located it’s not much of a trek from any quadrant. And there’s the J&M Plate, with melted cheeses and basted eggs laid over English muffins, crisscrossed by ridiculously succulent slabs of Willamette Valley bacon. CAITLIN MCCARTHY.
537 SE Ash St., 230-0463.
This make-your-own pancake joint, with its squeeze bottles filled with buttermilk, peanut butter and even gluten-free batter, is kid central. Luckily, the place caters to big kids too, with a first-come, first-served bar stocked with strong bloody marys and a globe-spanning menu of morning eats that have nothing to do with maple syrup, from congee and Benedicts to a good, spicy chicken tinga with oozy eggs. KELLY CLARKE.
4246 SE Belmont St., 477-4805, slappycakes.com.