Kathy, Manda, and I have been hitting up a new (to us) restaurant in Portland every month for a few years now. It's one of our finest traditions, and one that I hope to actually document this year. Last month, following through on this tradition felt more important than ever. Post-inauguration of the President Who Shall Not Be Named, we were feeling depleted both mentally and physically from the news and our own acts of protest. And sometimes, even when it feels like the world is ending, you still need to go out for a good meal with your people.
Manda chose Old Salt Marketplace for our first pick of 2017, and she chose WELL. Located on NE 42nd (close by to Doggy Business, one of our favorite, uh, doggy businesses), it serves lunch and supper during the week and brunch on the weekends, as well as offering a bunch of fresh and gross looking meats at their butcher counter. We went for brunch, and I got these migas that...fam. I wasn't even expecting to love as much as I did. The squash that was in it was so delicious and different, and there was this creamy cheese sauce perfectly spread throughout that was delectable, and the tortilla strips added just the right level of crunch. It was positively delightful, let me tell you. There is also something special about their potatoes, which are just slightly smashed and vinegary and golden.
I liked this meal so much that I ended up going back a couple weeks later when my mom was in town, to discover that the migas...were no longer there. Old Salt, like most restaurants in Portland, uses fresh and local foodstuffs in their menus, but unlike other restaurants, this means their menu frequently changes as well. While I was obviously sad about the migas I had been craving, this actually makes me like them more. I had buckwheat crepes stuffed with ham and cheese the second time, which was NOT SHABBY.
Kathy's one complaint about the joint were its chairs. The second time we visited we actually sat at the bar, which is quite a lovely bar, but the first time we were at a table with wooden chairs that Kathy really, really hated, you guys. Just a heads up, Old Salt chair buyers.
Helping soften the blow of the chairs, though, is Miss Zumstein's Bakery, which is attached to Old Salt. After stuffing ourselves on brunch, Kathy found a chocolate cookie here that made her happier than most things in life have ever made her. Including me. Look, I saw the joy on her face. I totally understand.
Old Salt Marketplace: 5027 NE 42nd Ave, PDX, open 9-3 for brunch Saturdays and Sundays, walks-ins and reservations accepted.