I’ve always been a bit offended by the concept of a light brunch. Light breakfasts make all the sense in the world, and a light lunch is just what you often need. But brunch, by its very definition, seems to call out for foods that find their footing in the heartier end of the food spectrum. And if we’re looking at the etymology of the meal, it damn near demands substantial sustenance: Traditionally taken late in the morning or early in the afternoon, brunch by definition means pretty hungry by the time you reach the table.
Which is all to say that, for the kind of brunch that sticks to the proverbial ribs, and that offers nourishment for the belly as well as for the soul, Porto is just about perfect. Located on the corner of 11th and Wharton, and calling out like a sunny-sky beacon with its electric Portuguese-blue facade, Porto is exactly what you need after a night out.
Savor a crunchy fried chicken breast lavished with sweet-spicy maple jalapeño yogurt glaze, all of it sandwiched with bacon between the geometry of house-made cheddar waffles. It’s called the “Yo Cuz,” and no hangover is a match for its crave-able charms.
The cheesesteak is rendered as the “Ultimate Sin,” a green piri-piri-streaked ribeye beneath a crown of St. George cheese and cosseted in a perfect Portuguese roll. (That piri piri will eventually be available for purchase here in its own individual bottle.) The side of roasted potatoes, tangled up with their caramelized onions and peppers, are standouts in the city’s brunch-wars. Porto BLT (a lunch dish, and therefore available after noon) would have been better with more aggressively seasoned pork belly, but no worry there: The entirety of the construction, with its farmers cheese crumbles and horseradish-yogurt drizzle sweetened up with caramelized shallots, works regardless.
Brunch is served all day, lunch from noon until closing at 4pm. You’ll be satisfied whenever you go—and yes, there are lighter options on both menus—but for the full selection of hearty stuff, I’d personally hold off until noon. The better to gorge yourself, and to benefit from all of the soul-comforting charms of a great new addition to the neighborhood.