No “Fussy Finished!” at Bacon & Eggs
This was legendary fashion editor Polly Mellen’s response to Angelica Houston’s overdone, ostentatious jewelry at the Oscars a number of years ago. Clearly Michelle Adams and her partner Michelle Giannunzio channeled this when naming their breakfast spot simply Bacon & Eggs.
Giannunzio, longtime chef, and Adams converted a downtrodden convenience store into a Dwell Magazine-meets-Saveur worthy breakfast joint. The atmosphere is simple and urban – waxed cement floors, recycled wood counters, and retro light fixtures serve as the backdrop to food that is farm-to-table fresh and straightforward.
I had the Huevos Rancheros, which is a good example of B&E food that is simple, fresh and delicious. The dish was the opposite of tortillas floating in an ocean of canned ranchero sauce, eggs barely visible from the surface as if lost at sea. Being a savory gal, I also had a good look at the Chorizo con Huevos, which was refreshingly absent of dark pools of chorizo grease.
My friend was feeling sassy pants that morning (she had just gotten a “promotion” – which is a foreign term to me) and ordered the Crab Cake Benedict and the Brioche French Toast.
The Brioche was bathed in an orange-cinnamon batter before grilled perfectly, the result a divine texture combination: a wee crispy on the outside unfolding to light and fluffy yumminess. The restaurant didn’t skimp on the syrup -Vermont maple.
B&E serves Stumptown coffee, which I discovered a number of years ago in Portland’s Pearl District, and have been stumped by its quality ever since.
For those that live by the philosophy that it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere, Adams whips up serious breakfast cocktails, including fresh squeezed juices with vodka, and her Jim’s Fizz – a rendition of the classic Gin fizz. If bubbles are your thing, be prepared to deal with a ridiculous selection that beckons from the cooler.
Contrary to many yelpers out there, you don’t have to be a young hipster to enjoy the joint. I’m not exactly young and am a recovering geek from high school, and the staff treats me as if I’m completely normal.
I can picture Fran Lebowitz (famous for talking about writing more than writing) holding court at the bar, sipping cocktails while regularly feeding the cuss jar (Adams’ version of a tip jar) on the counter, and making up stories behind some of the quirky local finds. There’s an eye chart lit up (next to shelves filled with oodles of bottles of hot sauce), chairs from the legendary Pastime Café, and the benches in the entry are reclaimed pews.
I have no idea what they do to the bacon here – it’s crazy delicious. The stuff “I Love Bacon” bumper stickers and fan clubs are made of. I mean, it’s just bacon, right? But as with all good restaurant finds, there are always dishes – whether it be ingredients, preparation or both – that can never be duplicated at home. The mystery factor. So when Adams and Giannunzio needed to upgrade their range to accommodate their quickly growing business, I bought it, hoping its walls could talk…or at least tell me the source of the bacon.