Saturday, October 29, 2011

Zeus Cafe

I have always been intrigued by this triangular building in downtown Portland. I always thought it would be so great if someone came in and spruced it up. McMenamins came to the rescue, once again. Thankfully they added breakfast to their menu this time. There was no wait the morning we went, which I believe was on a Saturday. I have only been once so far and they were fairly new so it may be busier these days.
I loved the presentation of their food and it tasted equally as good. They try to use local ingredients whenever possible and they practically have a little salad garden growing in the open kitchen. They bake their own bread and their pastries are from the Crystal bakery. They serve their own McMenamins roasted coffee.

If you enjoy people watching, you will really enjoy it here. There is always something interesting happening outside on the streets of Portland and they have plenty of big open windows to give you the perfect view.

303 S.W. 12th Ave.
Enter on Stark St.
Portland, OR 97205
Zeus Café: (503) 384-2500
McMenamins - Zeus Cafe at Crystal Hotel

Friday, October 28, 2011

Grain and Gristle

I found another place I know I can go anytime and there won't be a line. But that is no indication of the quality of the food here, they just haven't been discovered by the masses yet. My husband and I ordered the daily hash which on this particular day included braised pork, yumm! This is the first hash I've ordered in a long time and I'm glad I did, the pork literally melted in my mouth. I'm going to be disappointed if I can't order the same thing next time I go.
I loved the ambiance of this place. It is very rustic yet has an eclectic flare. Our server was polite, not overly nice but not rude by any means. Their menu is short and simple and changes occasionally based what they feel like cooking, or that's how I interpreted it. They serve Extracto Coffee, which is a local roaster actually located right next door to them. That's about as local as you get!
The music was a little loud the time we were here, but I'm not sure if that is a regular occurrence or if the staff was just needing some "pick me up" this particular morning. I could have been extra sensitive too, that happens. I tend to prefer a little tranquility while I'm savoring my food. But I digress...

I have not been here for lunch or dinner but their menu looks scrumptious. They also have an extensive local beer menu if that suits you. They enjoy pairing their food with the perfect drink to make your experience complete.
Grain & Gristle on Urbanspoon

Grain & Gristle

(503) 298-5007

1473 NE Prescott St Map

Portland, OR 97211

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hash Restaurant

I have been informed that Hash is now closed :(
Oh yum! This place is awesome. Hash fit all my criteria for a good breakfast experience. The ambiance upon walking in is very neighborhood cafe, warm and friendly feeling. They focus on getting their food as local and sustainable as possible. Their food is super tasty and they get their coffee from a great local roaster, Courier Coffee (same one featured in my Little Red Bike post). I love when I try new places and they suddenly become my new favorite!
Hash's prices are average to high but if you're trying to be frugal you can get a great breakfast at a great price by just ordering a la carte. The potatoes are so good, I didn't bother with portion control, I couldn't help myself. The Canadian bacon was amazing, I can never eat store bought again, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. I love knowing that they buy their food from local farms. I can eat and enjoy my food without wondering what this animal was fed and how it was treated.
I do have to say, my coffee was a little strong, which if you knew how I drink my coffee (with cream and sugar), "Mary coffee", as my father in law calls it, you might ask how I can even tell? I can tell when I have to keep adding cream. I've had Courier coffee before though and loved it, so I think it was probably just the type of bean and roast that wasn't my favorite. My friend ordered the hot chocolate which was made with hemp, coconut milk and agave syrup, interesting... not really my thing, but I love that they use unique pairings. Also, the jam is definitely homemade, but I'm pretty sure with no sugar, which is good, fruit has it's own natural sugar, but just be warned that it won't be as sweet as the sugar laden stuff you're used to.

We did not have to wait for a table and we arrived at 9am on a Saturday morning, but it was definitely hopping. The staff was very friendly and attentive as well as informative. Hash serves breakfast and lunch all day, 8am to 3pm, Tuesday-Sunday. They are closed Mondays.

It is a bit small, so I wouldn't bring too big of a group here, though they might be able to move some tables together to accommodate.

Please do try them out, and would you mind letting them know you read about them here at PortlandBreakfast, I'd be much obliged.

Open 8am to 3pm, Tuesday–Sunday
(Closed Mondays)

8728 SE 17th Avenue
Portland, OR 97202

Monday, November 15, 2010

City State Diner Coffee

Ok this is going to be a short post but I had to get this one on here. I had never heard of this place. I'm surprised how many places I just come across on accident, that end up being new favorites. My husband and I walked by City State when we were looking for the restaurant I had just bought a Groupon to, but had never been to. I was hoping this was the restaurant, it wasn't, but I made a mental note that they served breakfast. We came back the next day, which was Sunday.

I loved the little place upon walking in the door. We were seated immediately, I love that. It is definitely a favorite to many others besides myself, as it stayed busy the whole time we were there, but there didn't ever seem to be be people waiting. Although we were seated in the back so maybe I just missed the line. I actually didn't have any coffee here believe it or not. I didn't recognize the name of their coffee vendor, hopefully that meant it was local. My sister had a mocha and loved it, and she is a hard to please mocha drinker. My husband and I split the hazelnut french toast breakfast, four slices of challah bread, two eggs and a choice of meat. Those of you who have read this blog for any amount of time know that is my perfect breakfast, and is very hard to find, another reason they are a new favorite!

They serve breakfast all day, everyday and they open at 8AM. This is a great place for you solo breakfasters that just want to read your paper and not be bothered with conversation that early in the morning. City State is located on a quaint street, just off of burnside with a few cute little shops nearby. If you end up getting something savory for breakfast, save room for a scrumptious fresh donut just down the street at Staccato Gelato. Yum!

128 NE 28th
Portland, OR 97232
Neighborhood: Northeast Portland

Brasserie Montmartre

What a great place! My sister and I were walking by the Brasserie on one of Portland's beautiful sunny Autumn days. I noticed in their window, that they had a brunch menu and decided I had to come check them out. The day we went was an equally lovely day. It is wise to note that they don't serve brunch until 11am Mon-Sat and 10am Sundays.
It is a bit dark inside, to set the mood. So if you're the type that needs a bright cheerful place in the morning, this place would probably send you back to bed. There was hardly anybody here when we came, which I can only guess is because they haven't been open very long. They have just reopened since renovating after the building was condemned a few years ago. They've done a great job renovating. The interior is very French modern/eclectic with a little mysteriousness.
We enjoyed our breakfast with a little live piano music, always nice. Our waiter was very attentive and conversational, I like that. Their menu is not extensive, but it has a little of everything you're used to on a breakfast menu, even a little lox with your bagel if you're so inclined. Their portions are neither huge nor small. I could have easily shared a breakfast with my sister but ate a whole breakfast myself. They serve Illy coffee, which is good coffee, but I always wonder why people don't buy coffee local when there are such great roasters right here in Portland? That's fresh coffee! Oh well, at least it tasted good. There is plenty of seating here for big groups, which is hard to find at most breakfast places, that are worth going to, that is...
When I asked our waiter if he could tell me where they buy most of their food, he was very interested in getting me the information. I thought that was a great sign. He didn't have a ton of information, but he told me what he knew. It showed that they are making an effort. If you end up coming here be sure to ask them the story of the brick wall, it's interesting.

626 SW Park Avenue • Portland, Or 97205 • 503 . 236 . 3036

Monday, March 01, 2010

Sub Rosa (A Friendly Neighborhood Joint)

This was another birthday breakfast find. My husband was actually going to take me to Broder Cafe, which used to be Henry's Cafe. Broder's didn't open until 9am and we were there at 8:30am so we just walked around and found this little cafe, kitty corner to Broder. We actually came here once a few years ago when it was a little italian restaurant. I thought it was so sweet. I loved the little old town feel to the neighborhood. I'm so glad that it is a breakfast place now. They are typically a lunch/dinner restaurant serving salads, pizza and pasta and just recently started serving brunch, Sat-Sun from 8:30am-1pm. Their name says it well, it is definitely a friendly neighborhood joint. As we were sitting enjoying our lovely brunch, we watched a hip young couple getting ready to go for a run with their dog. A few ladies walked by the window at different times with their yoga mats, ready for their weekend workout. An older man had his dog tied up outside enjoying the glimpse of sunshine while he read his paper and drank his coffee at a table behind us and a lovely women walked by with her fluffy white dog all decked out in (I'm assuming) her little pink sweater.

I loved that their menus were lovingly used and
had coffee stains all over them. Perfect! I also loved that they listed the sources of their food and founders. How great is that. Shouldn't we all want to know where the food we are about to put in our bodies, is from and who is preparing it. Brilliant. It gave me an idea, along with watching Food Inc. (which every American should watch) to start asking where each restaurant gets their food and let them know that I will be posting their sources or that they would not reveal their sources. Would that interest any of you breakfast lovers out there?

I actually ordered the veggie sausage eggs benedict. I splurged, and I'm so glad I did. I would have never guessed the sausage was vegetarian, it had great flavor. Everything was so delish. My husband had the breakfast burrito which was also full of flavor and filling. The prices start around $9+ for most items, though you can get the basic eggs, potatoes and toast for $7. The coffee is Nossa Familia, which Petite Provence also serves. I'm pretty sure they are a Fair trade, local company. They were not busy at all, probably due to the fact that they just recently started serving brunch. It is a pretty small space, but they might be able to accommodate a somewhat larger group by moving tables together. Charming!

  • 2601 SE Clinton St
    Portland, OR 97202
  • 503-233-1955
  • Hours

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Little Red Bike Cafe (CLOSED...for now) :(

My sister heard about this place from someone who said it was their favorite breakfast place other than The Tin Shed. I figured they must have good taste, so we decided to find it and try it out. I was delighted to find out that it is located just off of Interstate in North PDX, because it is so close to Vancouver. Maybe I can get some of my local Couverites, who think Portland is "so far" to go here.

It is a little more quaint than I was expecting. It is actually more of a coffee shop that happens to serve breakfast. Their main breakfast choices are sandwiches, but they are scrumptious. You can always order items a la carte if you're not into sandwiches, but I highly recommend you give one a try. I always say you can tell when someone starts a business to make money and when they start a business because they love good food. These people love good food. One hint is that they pair things that you would never think of putting together like a fig spread on eggs, and the experience is exquisite. Like in the movie Ratatouille, "you can't just hork it down..."

Ok, last but not least, the coffee. Locally roasted, (check) smooth and velvety experience to the taste buds, (check) crafted with artful brilliance, (check). Loved it. And get this, the owner of the Courier Coffee Roaster, delivers fresh coffee beans in jars to people's door step by bicycle. If you live in the area, you should definitely check him out.

4823 North Lombard St. (between Fiske and Jordan)

Portland, Oregon 97203