Portal – A fresh Oakland experience – Oakland, CA

Until moving to West Oakland, I had no idea that there were so many restaurants in the area. There are quite a few hidden gems in Chinatown and a few noteworthy establishments in Berkley. This past weekend, we had brunch at Portal, a restaurant / beer garden with a large outdoor patio overlooking Lake Merritt. The boyfriend found the restaurant through Yelp, and I’m pretty sure we picked it not only cause of the ratings, but also because of the oh-so-important feature: bottomless mimosas.

We sat outside to take advantage of the surprisingly warm winter day and decided to share a few plates.

Pickle Plate (orga­­­nic local vegetables and an egg)  $6


I am all about pickles and these pickles were good. Tangy and crunchy. An interesting selection with bamboo, peppers, carrots, potatoes and green beans. Went really nicely with the perfectly boiled egg slices.

Stuffed Challah French Toast (caramelized fruit and ricotta filling with whipped cream, butter and maple syrup) $9


Boyfriend loved this – the challah was moist from being soaked in eggs and milk and it was a pleasant surprise to find the toast stuffed with bananas. This dish was not too sweet and well-balanced.

Portal Benedict (two poached eggs, grilled polenta, heirloom tomatoes, hollandaise, basil, crispy potatoes)  $9


This was divine. The yolks were silky and perfectly cooked. They married really well with the rich hollandaise and the creamy polenta. Absolutely delicious with a splash of tabasco.

Bottomless Mimosas $18 /pp


The mimosas were a bit pricy for this side of the bridge, but we made sure we got our moneys worth, and the staff were on top of it ensuring that our glasses were never empty. Good ratio of Champagne to OJ – saw the bar making a pitcher when we were waiting for our table.

All in all, a great place for brunch in Oakland. Five out of Five stars.