Dive-bar brunch is one of the most slept-on food phenomenons in Portland. Venerable Old Portland institutions like Holman's, Yur's and the Trap pioneered the concept of "scumbag breakfast," but roll in before noon and you'll still find those spots near empty most days.
Occupying the tin shed that formerly housed Wild Abandon, Blackheart aims to create a safe space for Star Bar and Conquistador regulars who'd rather die than be seen waiting in line for Screen Door, with an all-hours menu of booze-infused brunch staples and cocktails christened with names that wink at the Clash and Bad Brains.
Chef Brian McKnight—no, not the R&B singer—hits the mark with the Chicken & Waffles ($9), a generous heap of juicy boneless chicken perched atop a Bulleit bourbon syrup-drenched waffle. Said waffle was a tad underwhelming, with a texture not unlike store brand Eggo knockoff, but the syrup is a bona fide stroke of genius that owner Justin King is absolutely correct in adding to as many menu items as possible.
It appears on the cocktail menu in the Agent Orange, which includes an inversion of the syrup in the form of maple-infused Bulleit, paired with a chaser of OJ and a garnish of bacon and a waffle wedge. Alongside the Minor Threat—a rich and hearty bloody mary made with jalapeño-infused Luna Azul tequila—you've got all the hangover cures covered regardless of what time you decide to stumble in.
The décor is a grown-up nod to a punk-as-fuck past, with colorful hanging lights, deep-blue paint and a handful of oversized gig posters from Goldenvoice's pre-Coachella glory days of booking SoCal hardcore shows.
It's a respite from My Father's Place at the very least, and a vital stop on any Belmont bar crawl where a boilermaker and an eggs Benedict made by a real chef is just what you need to keep raging into the wee hours of the morning.