As you know, Jamie is a big brunch lover. I also appreciate a good weekend brunch here and there, but I don’t indulge too often as I haven’t found too many places that cater to my dietary needs and still have delicious, inventive food. Especially since I loooove sweet breakfast foods like pancakes and french toast and let’s be real, finding good gluten and dairy free pancakes isn’t always easy.
This weekend, we had a brunch date with a girlfriend, so we needed to pick a place that would work for everyone. Jamie suggested we hit up one of her favorites, Isabel, and I obliged without even checking the menu, hoping I’d get lucky and find something edible. Upon studying the menu when we arrived, I found that not only did they have things I could eat, the selection was fabulous and everything looked absolutely mouthwatering. I was surprised and delighted to discover that all their pancakes can be made gluten and dairy free, music to my ears!! They also had a creative cocktail menu teeming with seasonal drinks that sounded phenomenal…I’ll definitely need to go back and try a few of those 🙂
As usual, I had a ridiculously hard time deciding on something….thankfully our friend Meghan was down to get two entrees and split them. We ordered the gluten free version of their “King Cakes” which was a short stack of chocolate chip pancakes topped with peanut butter, and the Avocado scramble which was a plate of eggs, avocado, rosemary potatoes, black beans and salsa served with warm corn tortillas.
Gluten-free King Cakes
Obviously, the pancakes were my favorite, but I’m glad we shared because they were super rich, as you can imagine. Plus, it was nice to have a more well rounded breakfast with the savory scramble.
Avocado Scramble (with artichoke hearts added)
So unlike Sarah this was clearly not my first time to Isabel’s. This last summer, I actually made it to brunch there 4 weekends in a row… pretty impressive, I know. I suggested this place knowing they cater to all needs. I personally may not have any foods that I try to avoid, but considering both girlfriends I was meeting did, I knew Isabel’s would be the perfect spot.
I can’t begin to count all the people I’ve dragged to Isabel’s with me and not one has ever left disappointed. When it comes to the brunch menu, there aren’t many things I haven’t tried. Lately I have been sticking to one of their savory scrambles, either the avocado, jalapeno or artichoke. But the savory menu isn’t what hooked me. (It was the mimosa’s… clearly!) But seriously, I was on a brunch date when I got introduced to Isabel’s and the first thing that was a clear standout was the coconut french toast. To top that off the mimosas are actually the best I’ve had (which is saying something, I’ve had my share!) They will do any combination of their fresh squeezed fruits so I’m always trying something new. Some of my reoccurring faves: pineapple/blueberry, guava/grapefruit, anything with pear, pineapple/grapefruit or just straight pomegranate. It’s impossible to make a bad choice.
Besides a mimosa, what I highly recommend at Isabel’s is trying one of their specials of the day. After tackling majority of the menu items, I now typically go straight for the special. This last weekend that entailed me to switch back to the sweet side. Upon walking in, my eyes always dart right towards the specials board and what instantly caught my eye was these 3 words “Pineapple coconut pancakes.” Considering I am a huge fan of… well ALL of those I was sold!
Pineapple Coconut Pancakes
The pineapples were not on top as I expected, but cooked into the pancakes, which they managed to do without making them mushy. This was the perfect morning sweet treat and I will def be giving these a try at home. Besides one of my go-to scrambles, other faves include: the breakfast or power burritos, single happiness(with chicken), or one of their many Mexican-themed specials.
Single Happiness (w/ Chicken)
This is from a previous trip and more of a lunch, than a brunch item. The veggies included change daily, I’ve never received this menu item the same.
Also from a previous trip (and one of the chosen recommendations for Sarah and Meghan), the avocado scramble (sub flour tortilla for corn). + Pineapple/Grapefruit mimosa 🙂
The Skinny: Isabel Pearl
- Address: 330 NW 10th Ave Portland, OR
- Phone: (503) 222-4333
- Hours: Breakfast & Lunch: 8am-3pm, Happy Hour: 5-6:30pm, Dinner: 5-9pm
- Fun fact: All their pancakes can be made gluten free!
This place is easily one of our all around favorites and we can guarantee you will not leave disappointed… or hungry!!
❤ Jamie & Sarah