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Potato, leek and bacon gratin is topped with yolky eggs at Over Easy. Photo by Nick Morgan

Over Easy serves 'pop-up' brunch Sundays

As much as I've raved about the unique breakfasts at Morning Glory, Brothers Restaurant and Smithfield's, they come with a small caveat: they're in Ashland. I, along with about 77,000 others, call Medford my home.

Those spots mentioned above are well worth the short drive south for big city flavors and chef-prepared breakfasts, but I took notice when I heard about "pop-up brunch" restaurant Over Easy setting up shop in the taste kitchen at Downtown Market Company, 231 E. Main St., Medford. Chef Braden Hitt has the resume to impress most local gourmets, having worked at Portland's Veritable Quandary before relocating to Southern Oregon to help chef Neil Clooney open Smithfield's in 2011. He's since worked at Elements, where he met his fiancee Stephanie Wilson, who runs Over Easy with Hitt on Sundays. He currently works at Larks of Medford and hosts cooking classes at Downtown Market.

Over Easy offers a short and always changing selection of adventurous sweet and savory dishes Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., or when they run out of food, whichever comes first. Last Sunday's menu included a potato, leek and bacon gratin, Portuguese baked eggs and pear and cinnamon pancakes with pecan syrup. I went for the gratin ($12).

Waits at the 17-seat dining area seem like they could get lengthy, especially for parties greater than two, but it took less than 10 minutes for me to be seated in a table for one. Hitt said he expects to be able to accommodate more diners once the market's outdoor patio opens in the spring.

I sat at the bar where I could observe Hitt put my dish together on the other side of the counter. He made conversation with guests as he assembled my oven-baked gratin, layering it with yolky eggs over easy before topping it with fresh pea shoots to balance everything out. I also took home their sweet offering of the pear pancakes ($12) in a to-go order.

"We want to make it kind of comfort food, but something you can't get anywhere else," Hitt said.

Food this unique can be uncommon in the Rogue Valley, and less common in Medford. Over Easy earns our fullest recommendation.

Nick Morgan

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