Pollo Bravo in 2022 feels like an particularly happy ending to two not primarily happy Portland dining stories.
Just one was the pandemic and its result on the full cafe organization. The next was the dissolution of John Gorham’s Toro Bravo restaurant group in 2020, despite the fact that on that entrance, Pollo Bravo was really unaffected. While the rotisserie chicken location was started by Gorham and longtime Toro Bravo chef Josh Scofield in the spring of 2016, it grew to become independently owned by Scofield and his spouse, Sarah (who’d managed Toro Bravo), at the stop of that exact yr.
In phrases of the pandemic, Pollo Bravo caught it out for a even though with takeout and shipping and delivery out of Pine Street Market place, with the downtown food items hall—built on crowds and conviviality, to say absolutely nothing of travelers and business office workers—largely emptied out. Now, after a 10-thirty day period hiatus, it is a stand-alone cafe in North Portland, taking above the previous Garagiste Wine Bar place on the exact extend of North Killingsworth Road as Haymaker and Up North Surf Club. The signature chicken and stalwart sides (radicchio salad, patatas bravas, sauces) are back again, and so are choose tapas and Toro Bravo favorites, including padrón peppers, chicken-and-ham croquettes, and a rebooted Bravo burger.
Pollo experienced its roots in a investigation excursion to Spain that Gorham and Scofield took in 2013. In research of Toro inspiration, they had been struck by the ubiquity and simplicity of the country’s rotisserie hen, spiced with pimentón de la vera, and considered Portland could use far more of that kind of thing—an observation that proved to be appropriate. Pollo Bravo opened two a long time just after the authentic location of the Mexican-influenced Pollo Norte, and around the very same time as Providore’s Arrosto, but preceded Big’s Rooster and much more the latest places like Mama Hen and Rotigo (there’s also El Inka Peruvian Cuisine, a Portland rebirth of the longtime Gresham restaurant Pollos à la Brasa el Inka).
Experientially, the new place usually takes Pollo just about full circle, back to its shorter-lived second spot at Southwest Alder Road (at what is now referred to as Yalla, and experienced been Shalom Y’all). It is a perfectly informal very little counter-assistance space with an open kitchen area, indoor and outdoor seating and a mere 9 products on the foods menu, additionally a few cocktails, six beer and wine decisions, eight wines by the glass or bottle, and intensive non-alcoholic selections (kombucha, ginger beer, CBD, Italian and New York Seltzer sodas). You can also buy beverages from Up North Surf Club.
In its Toro Bravo incarnation, the Bravo burger was a single of Portland’s OG extravagant burgers, with appearances on numerous “best” lists, in addition to having initially in the bistro group of WW’s 2017 “Burger Madness” bracket. Briefly available in Pollo’s early times (right before Bless Your Heart turned the Pine Road burger solution at the time), it arrives with manchego and romesco sauce, as often, but alternatively of bacon, a a lot more sensitive slice of speck, and in its place of bread-and-butter-model zucchini pickles, a pile of zesty pickled padrón peppers ($12). In some strategies it is a burger that is all about the toppings, but with a pretty powerful basis: new-floor Angus chuck cooked on the uncommon facet of medium rare, and an great Dos Hermanos sesame-seed bun.
Pine Avenue Pollo Bravo followers will also be happy to listen to the rotisserie pork loin sandwich with griddled manchego, caramelized onion, and romesco ($10) is also back again. For added veggies, there’s broccolini a la plancha ($10) and rotisserie cauliflower ($10).
Of training course, in the conclude, you’re likely to get some rooster. The heirloom chicken (sourced from Cooks Undertaking, which Sarah Scofield claims is a “leader in sustainable regenerative farm practices”) is available in various configurations, from the entire-chicken Familia Evening meal, with a huge salad, patatas bravas and two sauces ($49), to the Winner Winner Rooster Meal ($15), which is a quarter rooster with a smaller salad and one sauce. You can also get it à la carte (quarter $9, fifty percent $16, total $30).
Flavorful but not aggressively spicy, the rooster is cooked on a Rotisol rotisserie and gets its juicy tenderness from an right away rub/marinade using both equally the restaurant’s household-fermented sizzling sauce paste (designed from chiles, onions, carrots and spices) as well as brine from fermented padróns. Equally the rooster and the radicchio salad—a longtime Toro/Delicious favorite—travel effectively if you are finding takeout or shipping and delivery (the latter is only just about to be readily available yet again), nevertheless the patatas bravas could need some re-crisping.
And here’s the real solution to Pollo Bravo: the sauces, which consist of the aforementioned warm sauce, decadent aioli, creamy eco-friendly goddess and romesco, as well as bone broth and brava sauce. Practically anything on the menu is ready to be dipped. In simple fact, most dishes are far more or a lot less condiment-shipping and delivery cars.
“Some may possibly say it is all about the sauces,” Josh Scofield acknowledges.
Try to eat: Pollo Bravo, 1225 N Killingsworth St., 503-477-8999, pollobravopdx.com. 11:30 am-9 pm every day.