To celebrate my friend Alyssa’s birthday, my large group of girlfriends and I gathered at Mother’s Bistro for brunch this morning. This is definitely one of the best places for brunch in Portland, so despite having to deal with the craziness associated with the Rose Parade downtown, we were all pretty excited when we were able to get a reservation somewhat last minute.
While waiting for everyone to arrive, I couldn’t help myself but stare at the bakery case – homemade cinnamon rolls smothered in frosting, fresh rhubarb galettes, and giant fresh-baked cookies. I was trying to not eat sweets this week (ok, not the smartest idea when you are writing a blog all about desserts) but I totally caved when I saw these cookies. They looked incredibly delicious and I figured my friends would have some of it too, plus it was for “research,” right? Well I’m glad I ignored my diet plan for the day – the Chocolate Chunk Walnut cookie I got was one a tasty appetizer!
Once everyone arrived at the restaurant, we sat down and were greeted by a fantastic waiter. He was friendly, funny, and made our group feel very welcome, which is often not the case as we talk super loudly and almost always ask for multiple substitutions per dish. All of our meals were delicious, especially the Crunchy French Toast, Crab Cake Eggs Benedict, and Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onion Omelet.
Then the best part came out – a giant slice of Devil’s Food Cake with candles just for the birthday girl! Alyssa hates attention, especially at restaurants but since we love to pick on her, we sang Happy Birthday as loudly as we could and even got a few neighboring tables to join in. (We also tried to make her wear a tiara but that was much less successful.) We all shared the cake which was a good idea – it was incredibly decadent chocolate cake with thick chocolate ganache separating each of the three layers. The fresh whipped cream was the perfect complement to help balance out the richness of the cake. While you might be stuffed after your main course, you might want to save room for at least a couple bites of this dessert!
Happy birthday Alyssa!
What to Get:
- Crunch French Toast: My friend Sarah described it perfectly when she exclaimed “Some genius made this!” after tasting this dish. Thick challah bread dipped in cornflakes then grilled to golden brown perfection.
- Chocolate Chunk Walnut Cookie: Large, crisp cookie with tons of walnuts and giant chunks of chocolate.
- Devil’s Food Cake: Decadent chocolate cake topped with thick chocolate ganache frosting.
- Hours: Breakfast/Lunch – Tues-Fri: 7am-2:30pm; Sat-Sun: 8am-2:30pm; Dinner – Tues-Thurs: 5:30pm-9pm; Fri-Sat: 5pm-10pm
- Reservations: Weekend brunch reservations are highly recommended as this place gets packed on Saturdays and Sundays.