Gravy stands out among an infamously fanatic Portland breakfast scene. Even if you need to wait outside for a few minutes, it’s worth it.
The most eye-catching aspect of breakfast is hash browns. The crisp patty of shredded potatoes is so good that we even get them alongside an already-starchy portion of corned beef hash. This may be potato-headed, but the different textures of the crisp potato cake and the softened hash potatoes do make the plate interesting.
The corned beef hash is famously excellent, not just because the corned beef is expertly made in-house, but because those shards of potato are incorporated into the fry-up. It’s special enough that we refer any serious hash hunters to Portland to try something genre expanding.
Gravy’s Monte Cristo is even more impressive: substantial layers of turkey and ham over extra thick challah French toast, glued together with Swiss cheese and crowned with eggs. The French toast looks like about a quarter of a loaf of challah, and the stack ends up about four inches high. For those who like meat with maple (a classic Portland combination), we can’t imagine a better breakfast. The stacking method makes it a more enjoyable dish than sweeter, greasier deep-fried versions we’ve had.
If you’re looking for a more healthful breakfast, or simply something that you can feasibly finish in one sitting, try a scamble. The eggs have large fluffy curds and are generously topped with one of several combinations. We like the vegetarian Desario Scramble, which has broccoli, roasted garlic, chilies, and cheddar cheese. This is probably the way we’d eat on active mornings, saving the more opulent hashes and stacks for days when napping is on the schedule.
Pancakes are a disappointment. Like the other food, they came out in a giant, photogenic portion, but they can taste burnt. Perhaps our portion was simply a miscue. We’ll give the cakes another chance just based on how good everything else is.
This being Portland, ketchup and hot sauce are made from scratch. The hot sauce has nice cumin flavor and lingering heat.
A second location is at 3101 NE Sandy Blvd. in Portland. (503-327-8806)