Sunshine Tavern is an American place over on Division Street in Southeast Portland. Just this past weekend they started a brunch service that also features many of their dinner items. Wifey and I can't stay away from brunch and we had been meaning to check out this place anyway, so we stopped in just after 11am on a Saturday.
Maybe because it was the first day and they just opened, maybe because it was still early, or maybe because it was a holiday weekend, the place was pretty dead when we walked in (it did fill up later). Our waiter was David, who is also the co-owner with his wife, Jenn (also the head chef). They also own Lincoln, a restaurant that has been on our list for awhile but we haven't made it to yet.
The space fronts on Division Street and the entire front of the restaurant opens up to allow in the fresh air. Early on a hot day, this was pretty nice. Pok Pok is just a short distance away and the smells from their outdoor grill wafted in to mix with Sunshine's own smells from their open kitchen. Yes, it was heaven.
David dropped these buttermilk biscuits by the table first. They were complementary for the first day of brunch, and they were excellent. Light and fluffy, but still with a soft crunch and fresh out of the oven, they came with butter and a marionberry (I think) jam, which worked great for dipping.
We didn't order biscuits and gravy (theirs comes with egg, pork gravy, and fontina), but given how good these were I'm sure it is fantastic.
Wifey ordered the fried chicken sandwich with blue cheese dressing, celery, red onion, and chili mayo. This normally comes with a side of fries, but for $3 more you get those fries topped with the pork gravy and fontina. The fries by themselves were just fantastic - nice crunch, good flavor. Definitely one of the better fries we've had in Portland. (Better than Potato Champion? Need a side by side taste test...)
We felt a little bad because this pile of fries was monstrous and we barely touched the sandwich. The logic was the sandwich would be better reheated than the fries, so we focused on eating those. David asked us at the end of the meal if it was all okay, since we didn't eat it all. David, we promise, it was phenomenal, both fresh and reheated - but we had to save room for dessert.
My entree was the pizza with two eggs, oregano, tesa, and olive oil. David asked if I might want to make that a true bacon and egg breakfast...of course I would, so upgraded from tesa to bacon. Just look at this magnificent pizza (and ignore the fact these were cell phone pictures with too much direct sunlight) - great char on the crust, wonderful presentations. The eggs were just barely done so the yolk could be popped and spread all around. The bacon was thick and smoky, the perfect complement to everything else. In short, the pizza was fantastic.
Just for fun, another view, to illustrate the sunlight.
We only ate about a third of this too; those fries were very filling (and super damn tasty). And, as I mentioned above, we wanted to save room for dessert. And why is that?
Sunshine does soft serve ice cream, a honey and vanilla combination people have raved about all over the internet. You can order it with a magic shell chocolate topping or a hazelnut crunch, but we opted for plain. The conclusion? Excellent. The honey didn't overpower the vanilla, as it can sometimes, and the ice cream has a perfect creaminess.
The entire meal cost us $32 plus tip, which for the amount of and quality of the food (hey, we had two more meals each out of it at home) we thought was a great deal. We will absolutely be returning to Sunshine and recommend it to friends.