Pambiche finds a third meal to finesse

Weekend!Food: Taste
by: JIM CLARK, Carrot cake at Pambiche brings smiles to those with a sweet tooth. Now the popular Cuban restaurant ups the happiness quotient with expanded hours.

What can a fellow do when he wants his restaurant to grow, but there isn't any room to spread out?

Anyone who's been to the very popular Cuban restaurant Pambiche (2811 N.E. Glisan St., 503-233-0511) knows that every inch of the space, including the sidewalk out front, already is being used.

But since Pambiche's owner, John Connell-Maribona, can't expand the restaurant's seating, he chose to expand the hours. As of last month Pambiche is open for breakfast and brunch from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Connell-Maribona adds, 'We should be open for breakfast seven days a week by the end of the year.'

It's not the typical Portland bacon and eggs or tofu scramble.

Desayuno Cubano, or Cuban breakfast, at Pambiche includes a large variety of options. Each week there's a new and different selection of pastries to choose from such as coconetes, a semisweet coconut scone made with fresh ginger, or pineapple corn cakes.

The breakfast menu also offers five sandwiches including sanwich Cubano, made with roast pork, smoked ham, Swiss cheese and dill pickle, toasted in a Cuban roll.

Breakfast entrees include pisto Manchego - chorizo sausage, smoked ham, shrimp, potatoes, asparagus and pimientos in a peppered egg scramble.

There are four Cuban omelets, two of them vegetarian, including one made with fried ripe plantains and caramelized onions.

Relatively early risers can score a deal at Pambiche. Between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m., breakfast entrees are offered two for the price of one.

Connell-Maribona is concentrating on Pambiche's breakfast now, but in 2005 he bought a building on Northeast Alberta Street. Those of us who remember his fun, short-lived West Burnside Street restaurant called Cañita were hoping to see a version of it resurrected in the new building.

At this point, however, it doesn't look like that's going to happen.

The dilapidated building (between Alberta Street Oyster Bar and Grill and Bernie's Southern Bistro) required a lot of work, and Connell-Maribona is fixing it up to be retail rather than restaurant space.

'You never know what the future will bring,' he says, 'but right now retail makes more sense in that space.'

Visit for restaurant information and sample menus.

Pambiche is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight Friday, 7 a.m. to midnight Saturday, and 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.

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Ernie Kent's new five-year contract with the Oregon Ducks basketball team may have received most of the media attention lately, but there's been a lot of personnel news at Portland restaurants, too.

Three Degrees Restaurant and Bar (1510 S.W. Harbor Way, 503-295-6166) in the RiverPlace Hotel has a new chef.

Andrew J. Voytko graduated from the Western Culinary Institute in 1995. After that he worked primarily in the San Diego area, most recently at a trendy restaurant called Rice in the W Hotel there.

While at Rice, Voytko produced a James Beard Foundation benefit dinner with two other W Hotel chefs. One of those chefs was Jack Yoss who, coincidentally, just has been named the new executive chef at another Portland restaurant, Ten 01 (1001 N.W. Couch St., 503-226-3463).

Ten 01 is the lovely, swanky restaurant that was opened last year in the Pearl District by Adam Berger and Michael Rypkema, who also own Tabla Mediterranean Bistro.

Plagued by bad press, Ten 01 chef Eddie Robinson resigned last month.

Since then Berger has been in the kitchen, but starting May 23 Yoss will take over. Yoss was executive chef at the Nine Thirty in Los Angeles' W Hotel, and before that he was the chef de cuisine at Postrio Restaurant in San Francisco.

In San Francisco, Yoss may have bumped into Thomas Dunklin, who was the executive chef at Kuleto's Italian Restaurant in Union Square.

Dunklin's culinary start came in his hometown of New Orleans at the storied restaurant Delmonico. Recently he was named the executive chef at Portland's Red Star Tavern and Roast House (503 S.W. Alder St., 503-222-0005) in the Hotel Monaco (previously the 5th Avenue Suites Hotel).

In other local restaurant news, chef Scott Shampine left Olea (1338 N.W. Hoyt St., 503-274-0800) in March to become the new executive chef at Gracie's (729 S.W. 15th Ave., 503-243-5623) in the Hotel deLuxe (previously the Mallory Hotel).

And Daniel Mondok left Carlyle (1632 N.W. Thurman St., 503-595-1782) to replace Shampine at Olea. Got that?

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On Sunday, April 22, the Berlin Inn German Restaurant (3131 S.E. 12th Ave., 503-236-6761) celebrates 15 years in the business of serving delicious späetzle, Wiener schnitzel and thousands of glasses of German beer.

For a restaurant to thrive 15 years is even more impressive than a marriage lasting that long. Join the celebration from noon to 6 p.m. with music, food, special desserts and, of course, plenty of beer. Visit for information.

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