The Country Cat

If you haven't figured it out by now, we love brunch food and we love comfort food. That makes a trip to deep Southeast Portland to The Country Cat a must.

This actually wasn't our first visit to Adam Sappington's (he of the much respected butcher skills around town and winner of multiple Iron Chef-style competitions) house of goodness; it's our second brunch, but the first time we didn't bring a camera.

The Country Cat sits in the Montavilla section of southeast on the corner of SE 80th and Stark. You can pick it out pretty easily because of the gigantic calico cat on the sign.

I have no idea why, but this cat makes me smile every time I see it. It's not a Bengal, but he seems pretty cool.

You know what else is cool? Having Sappington himself cook for you. The first time we were there he was not, but on this mid-morning on a Saturday he was hosting a work meeting to one side of the restaurant for a group of servers - as far as we could tell it was about setting up and working a special dinner away from the restaurant, perhaps a wine dinner or something of that sort.

During their meeting there was only one guy working the kitchen - it's open to the diners - and he looked pretty harried. Sappington took over the meat cooking after his meeting, which kicked the other cook into high gear. Always happens when the boss is looking over your shoulder, I suppose.

Our first time here we ordered breakfasty foods - the French toast and the WT, with a side of house bacon and a basket of cinnamon rolls. All of it was so excellent we ate too much and couldn't wait to return. Oh man, that bacon was amazing.

This visit we opted for dishes more lunch-like. First up is the chicken fried steak that came with mashed potates, braised kale, and Worcestshire gravy:

Really, really good - the gravy was very smooth and flavorful, the steak cooked perfectly, and the potatoes were excellent. This was Wifey's dish and she said it was nothing like any chicken-fried steak she had had growing up (I had never eaten it before) - and that was a very good thing. Thumbs up.

My choice was the cast iron skillet fried chicken and toasted pecan spoonbread, which also came with a small side salad. (Sorry, the picture isn't one of my best.)

This chicken was fantastic. All white meat breast, still moist and juicy, and the breading had a nice balance of flavor without being too thick and dominating the meat. The spoonbread also was very good. I'd order this again in an instant.

As a side we ordered a basket of sweet cream biscuits with marionberry jam:

Again, excellent. Perfectly done with a nice crust while still being moist in the middle.

We both wholeheartedly recommend a visit to The Country Cat - it's worth the drive for those of you on the west side of Portland. And while brunch is fantastic our next visit will probably be for dinner - I hear great things about whole hog dish (and really, everything on the menu).

And by the front door you get greeted by the same kitty on the big sign:

Don't you just want to give him a hug? After your meal your tastebuds will.

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