Many thanks to Epif for hosting this brunch. As always, all opinions are my own.
Epif has long been one of my favorite restaurants in Portland as every meal I’ve experienced there has been incredibly memorable. For starters, the restaurant is built around a giant tree limb, and you enter the space through a hand carved door that was shipped here from Peru. Husband and wife team, Pepe Arancibia and Nicolle Dirks, crafted every meal at Epif as an artistic experience, from the stunning presentation of the plates to the playful, but cozy aesthetic of the restaurant.
If you’ve been following the Portland food scene, you might remember when Epif transitioned from a vegetarian restaurant to a fully vegan restaurant in April 2017. In a Veganizer interview, Nicolle said that they realized that 90% of their menu was already vegan, and with so many alternatives on the market, it felt like the right thing to do. The staff at Epif were 100% on board with the change, and the response from the local food and vegan communities were overwhelmingly positive. Epif’s regulars remained regulars, and the shift to a 100% vegan restaurant brought in new customers.
Inspired by the Andes region of South America, Epif takes traditionally meat and seafood heavy dishes and transforms them into creative vegan versions while maintaining the essence of the original dish. I can always count on Epif for an excellent vegan pisco sour (where aquafaba is used in place of egg white), and some of my favorites dishes include the causa and mushroom ceviche. Oh, and who could forget the empanandas with aji verde salsa?!
It’s no secret that the dinner menu at Epif is top notch, but the Sunday brunch menu that’s available between 9:30am and 1:30pm is not to be missed. I recently had an opportunity to enjoy the Epif brunch menu with a few local vegan bloggers and share that experience with you. I have to say it’s tough to pick a favorite from the brunch menu, so we’ll just start at the top of the menu and work out way down…
Epif Vegan Brunch Menu
No brunch menu is complete without a breakfast sandwich, and Epif offers a tasty breakfast sammie with their fabulous biscuit, scrambled chickpea eggs, vegan mozzarella, sauteed onions, spinach, tomatoes, and aji verde sour cream. Pro tip: it’s a messy sandwich that is best eaten with a fork and knife.
I love how Epif has taken the brunch classic, biscuits and gravy, and given it a delicious twist. Your choice of a biscuit or fennel cornbread (gf), topped with mapel glazed soy curls, mushrooms, onions, and plenty of cauliflower sage gravy. Mmm, savory creamy gravy meets the sweetness of maple.
While most restaurants are doing tofu scrambles, Epif stands out with their soy-free, light and fluffy scrambled chickpea eggs. The scramble is served on top of fried potato yam dill cakes, then drizzled with aji verde salsa. I know what I’m getting on my next visit to Epif for brunch…
The huancaina wrap is Epif’s take on a breakfast burrito. Tucked neatly inside this flour tortilla, you’ll find potatoes, soy chorizo, spinach, and nutritional yeast cream. There’s a subtle hint of heat in this wrap, and it’s served with aji amarillo salsa, aji verde sour cream, and olive onion pepper salsa.
If you like to mix and match, or you’re feeling a little indecisive, you can opt for Epif’s brunch combo plate. Choose three sides from the following: biscuit and jam, cornbread and butter, scrambled chickpea eggs, fruit salad, green salad, fried potato yam dill cakes, and mini parfait. This combo plate below features tasty dill cakes served, a refreshing green salad, and the mini parfait.
I wouldn’t think to order a parfait at Epif, but the combination of salted granola, fruit salad, and tangy mango cream were very enjoyable. It’s tough to find a vegan cinnamon roll, but if you’re craving one, give Epif’s a try. It’s not overly sweet, and the thin apple slices hiding between the layers of the roll are a lovely surprise.
Note: This post is in collaboration with Epif. I was invited as a guest to this establishment and received a complimentary meal. This was not in exchange for a positive review and all opinions expressed here are my own.