Considering its near-constant listing on Groupon and its lack of vocal supporters, La Familia's departure from the Portland food scene is surprising only in that it took months for word to spread. Yelp reviews were generally positive — with two of the three negative experiences referencing issues with Groupon deals more so than low quality — yet there were only nine total. Diners who notice the loss at 906 Brighton Avenue seem unlikely to mourn for long.
The restaurant's replacement, however, could perk up some ears. Brunch cafe The Sinful Kitchen will capitalize on two popular dietary trends: gluten-free and Paleo. Owner Dave Mallari ran popular Brighton Ave. spot Francisco's Blue House Cafe until 2008 and hosts pig roasts as The Pig Kahuna. He has Celiac's disease, which prevents him from consuming gluten; it sounds like the cafe won't be entirely gluten-free, but the unfinished website stresses that Mallari is "VERY well versed in the preparation of gluten free options." The Paleo[lithic] diet is a fad that eschews processed or refined grains, sugars, even oils in favor of plentiful meat proteins and fiber.
Wondering, then, where the "sinful" part comes in? A preview of peanut butter cup waffles looks pretty devilish, even if the dish won't have glutinous tendencies. Could make Sinful Kitchen a new contender for the Brunch Map.
You'll likely get your chance to test out Mallari's alternative cooking chops next month; he'll be applying for a full liquor license and hopes to open his 35 seat cafe in mid-March, according to the latest estimate. The business will operate Wednesday - Sunday 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. for those who refuse to submit to societal pressures that brunch is only appropriate on weekends.