Shakshuka — the new brunch darling
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.
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.