Illustration by Sky Harris

Un-Carted Territory

“The Brunch Box” / SW 5TH & STARK

By Allie McRaith /// Features Editor,  Anya Hall & Russ Alton /// Staff Writers

When you combine two of my favorite things — breakfast and burgers — and sell them all day, it’s rare I’ll be disappointed. As we approached the Brunch Box, I heard “Devil’s Dance Floor” by Flogging Molly playing from the speakers inside the cart and I knew I’d found my new favorite place. After looking at an impressive menu for way too long, I decided on the Big Kahuna, a cheeseburger with grilled pineapple, ham, lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, mayo and BBQ sauce.

I’m currently dying of mono and haven’t been able to keep any food down in days, but when my burger was ready, I scarfed down that sucker like there was no tomorrow. There was a perfect ratio of grilled pineapple to hamburger to ham. And unlike the Grilled Cheese Grill, this place was completely affordable. So thank you, Brunch Box, for replenishing my health and bringing me back from the dead — if only for a moment. —AH

I love brunch. All things brunch, but especially the carbs —bagels, hash browns, French toast, ya catch my drift? I’d been to the Brunch Box restaurant before and had stuck with a more basic bagel sandwich. This time, I decided to venture outside the box (hehe) and ordered the Monte Cristo. Ham, Swiss, grilled onions, fried egg and maple syrup piled on French toast sounded like an intriguing combo.

The first few bites were great — a classic breakfast sandwich with a syrupy twist — until I encountered the grilled onions. The onions themselves were not the issue. These were heavily peppered and plopped in the middle, overpowering all the other flavors and clashing with the sweetness of the syrup. It was an unsatisfied pairing of the sweet and savory, but my prior love for the Brunch Box means I will return and have to order all the wiser. —AM

You know how it goes: throw the words “bacon” and “Thai” into a menu item and the people will come. I’ll admit it’s a wise marketing strategy, seeing how I took one glance at the menu at the Brunch Box and knew I wanted the Thai Bacon Burger. This was apparently a mistake. As someone who always craves Thai food — someone who went to Thailand for the food and not for the underage hookers or because of a racist misunderstanding of Buddhism — I was distinctly underwhelmed. What they meant by “Thai” was an excess of peanut sauce (read: liquefied peanut butter) and jalapeños. Yeah, because nothing screams “Thai” more than Mexican green peppers. Then again, as far as Portlanders are concerned, every country with spicy food is pretty much the same, right? As for the bacon, don’t even get me started. Slices of dead pig, contrary to buttons on the backpacks of a million basics across the globe, do not equal happiness.  —RA

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