We tried Charlie’s Little Italian the other week and saw Burdock & Co. (facebook) down the street where Cafeteria used to be and made a mental note to check this place out. The opportunity came so we went for brunch. Great stuff!
On the side of the Burdock & Co. building. Play on the “Keep Portland Weird” sign. They even emulated the typeface. I never noticed this marking before but it made me chuckle.
Here we are! They weren’t uber busy but it got busier as we ate. So it’s not one of those places where you have to line up like Jethro’s or Slickity Jim’s…neither of which I’ve bothered trying to eat at.
Small plates for the price of regular sized plates! 😉 But I don’t mind if the cooking is done well.
I like what they’ve done with the room. Lots of rustic wood, dark enameled metal accents, white painted brick…
They even have hooks at the high tables.
Cool yet understated lighting. Their sound system was high quality and balanced too. No trying to fill a space using only one or two blaring speakers…they had at least six or eight speakers placed around the room.
Dishware was rustic, tactile, touch of vintage. Real handmade feeling.
Silverware looks vintage. I think they need a trip through the dishwasher. They felt kinda reactive/tinny in my mouth.
Fried chicken with pickles. I could easily eat two plates of this! The chicken is done Japanese katsu-style. The charred chili vinegar complemented great. The pickles were a sophisticated mixture of beets, mushrooms (variety of which I’ve never seen before), a bit of endive(?) and some sort of celery-like veg that I might’ve had before. One of Burdock & Co.’s signature dishes and I can see why.
Beef brisket ramen with poached egg and strip of candied bacon. The noodles were of the great pre-made variety and I really don’t mind at all as long as they cook them correctly, which they did. The broth had big flavours of beef and mushroom. Quite a dark ramen broth, so it’s really a different take on ramen. Usually we’d be hesitant to order faux-Asian dishes in non-Asian restaurants but they really made a kick-ass dish. The candied bacon was thin and crispy, coated with a sweet whisper-thin glaze. Excellent. The highlight was the massive chunk (divided in two) of beef brisket. Very tender and finished off with third-degree grill marks. My half was succulently moist and fatty. The egg was cooked well but a touch salty when eaten on its own. Eggs at Japanese ramen places are never this salty, but I let it slide cuz it worked with the dish as a whole.
These two dishes made me think about the interesting, well-executed food we’ve had in San Francisco and Portland. In fact the whole room has a bit of a PDX vibe. I’m liking this place.
“Coronation Grape Clafoutis, Rosemary Maple Syrup, Cream”. Clafoutis is like a custardy, flan-like thing. Good thing Wendy didn’t notice the rosemary description on the menu cuz she would’ve freaked. Luckily it didn’t stand out enough to be a turnoff for her. Eating this reminded me of chinese egg tarts (“dan tat”). Even the crusty bits on the edges reminded me of the pastry parts of chinese egg tarts.
Can’t wait to come back to this place and try dinner! Things to look forward to: Heritage Pork and Burdock Sausage, Slow Roasted Bison Ribs, Braised Lamb Neck…gaaahhh!! 😀