Celebrity chef opens egg sandwich restaurant in Portland

Big E is located in Justin Sutherland in downtown Portland

Portland, OR. (KOIN) – Justin Sutherland of Minneapolis. He is a celebrity chef who has been in Top Chef and Iron Chef America. He is a big fan of Portland.

“I love Portland. I used to come here a lot before the pandemic. It’s one of my favorite cities,” Sutherland told KOIN 6 News. “It reminds me a lot of Minneapolis where I come from. I just think, you know, the culture, the art, everything about that I just got drawn to.”

What Sutherland has now drawn to Portland is his new downtown restaurant, Big E, near where the food carts are in downtown Portland at SW 10th and Alder. Big E is located in a place called Food Cart Alley inside the Moxy Hotel.

Eggs are king at Big E, but the breakfast staple isn’t limited to being a morning meal.

Egg sandwiches are king at Big E Sandwiches in Portland, owned by celebrity chef Justin Sutherland, June 25, 2022 (KOIN)

“Egg sandwiches, you know, awesome egg sandwiches, things from smoked salmon to crab meat to hot dog burger patties, vegan, I’m really trying to eat the egg sandwich, make it just not for breakfast,” he said. “I mean, it’s a concept all day long. We just put an egg on everything.”

An egg sandwich is a comfort food that also helps this busy chef explore a new place.

“I travel a lot for work. And in every town I go to, I always ask the bartenders and hotel concierge what is the best egg sandwich in town.”

As for the name, he credits the inspiration to his favorite rapper.

“I love Biggie Smalls, Notorious BIG so it was kind of a mix of egg sandwiches, music and Biggie and we got the name.”

Music is immersed in the menu, with sandwiches named after the lyrics. There are also local ingredients like Tillamook cheese and milk cakes from the Japanese bakery in Beaverton Oyatsuban.

“When you’re having a sandwich, you know, it’s messy, like an egg sandwich with liquid yolk and cheese and all that stuff, you want something that’s crunchy and strong enough to hold all the inside, but still soft enough, so you can kind of squeeze it and get Over that good bite,” Sutherland said. “And this cake is perfect.”

Inside Big E Sandwiches in Portland, owned by celebrity chef Justin Sutherland, June 25, 2022 (KOIN)
Inside Big E Sandwiches in Portland, owned by celebrity chef Justin Sutherland, June 25, 2022 (KOIN)

These are delicious touches to sandwiches that are hopefully a Portland staple.

“I think Portland has always been a great destination for food, and you know, the last couple of years have obviously been unfortunate for tourism and dining, in particular,” he said. “I hope we add anything to this community to help bring that back, and you know, to be a part of the community and just help bring it back to life.”

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