Shak­shuka — the new brunch dar­ling

The Phoenix - - COMMUNITY - By Jen­nifer Graue Spe­cial to Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

When chef John Gorham put shak­shuka on the­menu at Port­land’s Tasty n Sons when it opened in 2010, the dish was vir­tu­ally un­known in the United States. You might spot this break­fast en­tree of poached eggs nes­tled in a sa­vory, not­too-spicy tomato-pep­per stew at an Is­raeli or Mid­dle Eastern restau­rant, but shak­shuka was far from a week­end brunch sta­ple.

“I thought we were push­ing it,” he re­calls think­ing when his busi­ness part- ner, Is­rael-born Ron Avni, urged him to add it to the menu.

D i she s such as shak­shuka and Burmese pork stew turned the typ­i­cal eggs-potato-toast for­mula on its head — and put Tasty n Sons on the map.

“We re­ally were try­ing to dis­rupt the whole brunch mar­ket,” Gorham says.

Now the col­or­ful dish, which orig­i­nated in­Tu­nisia be­fore spread­ing across the Mid­dle East, has be­come a Bay Area brunch dar­ling. You’ll find a harissa-spiked ver­sion at Berke­ley’s Re­vival Bar and Kitchen, for ex­am­ple, and a shak­shuka for­ti­fied with chick­peas at Oak­land’s Shakewell. There’s even a green shak­shuka, made with eggs baked in creamed kale — a flir­ta­tion with eggs Floren­tine — at Oren’s Hum­mus Shop in Moun­tain View.

I was dip­ping a hunk of bread into the shak­shuka at Tasty n Sons re­cently, soak­ing up the spicy-sweet stew and yolks like liq­ue­fied sun­shine, when it oc­curred to me that this dish would be so easy to make at home. It’s high time to dis­ruptmy own brunch rou­tine.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF DAVID REAMER

When Port­land’s Tasty n Sons put Shak­shuka, a poached egg and tomato- pep­per brunch dish, on the menu, they launched crav­ings up and down the West Coast.

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