Earlier this week, the Denver-based Punch Bowl Social franchise named Hugh Acheson culinary partner, and his new menu (see below) drops today at the Portland location—its mammoth 32,000 square feet taking up the entire top floor of the Pioneer Place shopping mall. Acheson is best known as a judge on BravoTV's Top Chef. While he hails from Canada, he has a sincere love for American Southern cooking, as evinced by a new menu stuffed with fried chicken, black-eyed peas, and house-made pickles.
Aside from Punch Bowl's biscuits and gravy and monkey bread french toast, the breakfast, lunch, brunch, and dinner dishes are all new, from Idaho trout with black-eye pea succotash, to a za'atar-spiced fried chicken sandwich served with Alabama white barbecue sauce on cheese biscuits.
Cory Chunn (Lincoln, The Groaning Board) is the chef at Punch Bowl Social Portland, and speaking with Eater, he said every dish in the restaurant is made from scratch and the new menu is a mix of familiar decadencies and dishes showing the lighter side of Southern cooking. There's Hugh's signature pimiento cheese, as well as a "classic" Canadian poutine served during happy hour for $8, but there's also the "Superfood" grain bowl, which Chunn describes as a riff on Korean bibimbap. It comes with fried farro, quinoa, pickled chiles, a poached egg, shiitake mushrooms, kale, and other fresh veggies and is dressed with miso-ginger vinaigrette.
"It's salty and sweet, with a touch of umami," says Chunn. "We want to be known for our food first, then, during a meal, diners will find the craft beers, cocktail punch bowls, and all of the different games and things to do."
In other developments, Punch Bowl Social tells Eater it has recently added seating to its two decks for al fresco dining, and as it gears up for the NFL Fantasy Football draft, it's offering a pretty solid deal for lovers of beer and wings: Hold a draft party at the restaurant and get all the wings and beer you can handle for $20 per person. And without further ado, here are the new breakfast, brunch, and lunch and dinner menus: