Oh hey Tusk… newish Middle Eastern foodie chic eatery. I shared a dinner with a friend at your uber-cool Miami Vice colored dining room one night a few months ago. It was really good. In fact, it was mind-glowingly good. I actually typed mind-blowingly, but the auto correct changed it appropriately. I walked out with a glow. I can honestly say it was the best hummus I’ve ever eaten. Creamy, rich…sublime. Every part of the dinner was beyond my expectations. Then my sister told me that Tusk does brunch on the weekends. WHAT??!! My lovely friend Jackie came into town a few weeks later and asked me to pick a good brunch spot. DONE.
I love drawing food for a variety of reasons. I love eating. I love the vast variety of delicious food that Portland has to offer. Food is incredibly interesting visually. It has unique shapes, textures and details that make it terribly fun to render. When I travel I find myself drawing large sweeping landscapes, but when I document food I get to delve into the close-up intricacies of a dish. This type of sketching is an amazing exercise in observation. I generally like to draw ‘plein air’ or live, but with food, I understandably want to eat it. So the iPhone comes out and I get to look like a Millennial as I snap a few shots of my food. The one factor, however, that makes all the difference for a food illustrator, is, of course, presentation.
So, when Tusk served us their Lamama Moroccan Breakfast in a bevy of gorgeous ceramic dishes, the illustrator in me did a happy dance. Not only was the food the perfect blend of savory and sweet, the presentation was pure artistry. And, by the way, the coffee was fantastic. ( I mean, hey, it’s Portland…it has to be.)
I know you might doubt that a Middle Eastern restaurant can satisfy your brunch cravings, but trust me… they can. You might have an hour wait on a evening to sample their dinner fare, but Portland foodies haven’t discovered this brunch yet. And yet is the operative word. So high-tail it over there, and if there isn’t a line out the door… do your own happy dance.