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Things To Do In Portland-Breakfast and brunch

Whether you’re a dedicated brunchie, a classic diner hound, or just looking for a place to eat breakfast on a weekend we’re all out for one thing; our ideal breakfast spot

Everyone is entitled to a good breakfast. Even after a bike ride I prefer to conclude it with some semblance of a meal. No better time of the day than to go on a couple dozen mile bike ride then to top it off with a hearty breakfast. Portland has many restaurants to chose from. I will be covering some well known and other not so well known as we take a tour of Portland breakfast places.

The day was April 18th, 2015. My buddy needed some help moving house from the east side over to Hillsdale. It wouldn’t take long. The truck needed to get picked up and was just shy of ten miles away so we opted to grab some breakfast nearby. It was a perfectly sunny morning and not too cold to fit in an early bike ride. We rode from his old apartment in SE over to the cafe.

Cricket Cafe

On the corner on Belmont and SE 32nd is the cozy early bird restaurant coined Cricket Cafe.This place makes great food and is one of Portland’s oldest and fondest breakfast and brunch haunts. The food is exactly how one expects breakfast if you love a plethora of food and amazing taste! Burritos are big and loaded with tons of flavor. Just about whatever you order gets a side of potatoes. The potatoes are cubed and perfectly fried.

Just know, there could be a little wait but the staff here is great and portions are more than satisfactory.

I recently found out that Cricket was closed a while but, thankfully, is now back and packing the house as before. I’ve haven’t been able to check out the new place as of yet but will be planning to in the near future. All indicators and reviews rave that the food is still just as good as it was before new management. Please go check it out the place and let us know what you think!

Recommendations:

Savory: Looking for something filling? Grab the Truck Driver Burrito.

Sweet: Check out the Honey Cinnamon French Toast.

Jefe

Our next recommendation is Jefe. It is located off the main artery off Boones Ferry Rd close to Kruse Way. Skip the croissants with brie with the hour+ lines at the Parisian brunch place next door. Treat yourself to this hip and urban brunchie favorite (Pease Note* Especially Weekly Brunchday, Sunday, there are still lines but the table turnover is still quicker than the place next door).

Is Jefe technically labeled Mexican Food? Sure, however, there there’s more than meets the eye. Jefe is versatile. The sous chef has implemented Jefe’s own variation of breakfast food. French Toast, Eggs Benedict, steak and eggs, tamales and eggs, omelets, and more. The food combines a minimalist focus on accents and flavor that does not disappoint.

Sunday is definitely the busiest day of the week to eat here. Saturday mornings seem to be less crowded and better the earlier you get there. To my recollection week days are usually a great time to go if you’re a stay-at-home mom looking to curb those at-home-blues. Jefe is a great option for a posh meal out, especially if you’re looking to go out with your friends but can’t stand another trip to another “Acme E-Z breakfast diner”.

Outdoor seating in the summertime makes this location a beautiful place to enjoy a meal outside. Inside there’s main seating with a circular bar almost in the center of the restaurant. Interior design combines minimalist with tactile. Bottles strung from the ceiling array light when backlit by the sun or from ceiling lights. There’s a fair composition of darkly stained lumber and pale masonry to really polish things off.

Recommendations: Modern pallets expect modern alterations, not least of which for breakfast. If you’re looking for a traditional breakfast with a twist I would try either the Mexican omelette or the Kuala Mexican Toast. If you’re looking for something new and experimental I recommend the Huevos Rancheros or the Barbacoa and Eggs. The house coffee here is great as well.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you could go to a breakfast place and make pancakes exactly the way you like them. Either perfectly golden or dough-tastic, you can make pancakes to your own preferred taste, all without having to leave the table. Sure, you can make pancakes at home but you don’t have a griddle built into your dinning room table! Isn’t the novelty of such a thing the reason why you would chose this place as your brunch destination? The place is called Slappy Cakes and it’s likely to be your next favorite place to make and eat pancakes since grandmas’s!

Chose from buttermilk, peanut butter, vegan/gluten free, seasonal and more. Then chose what “fixin’s” from chocolate chips to scallions and toppings from lavender honey to whipped cream (or goat cheese if you’re craving something tangy). Then you’re all set an ready to make pancakes.

Recommendation:

Savory: Country Fried Steak and Eggs… also whatever you get make sure it includes a side of Chicken friend bacon!

Sweet: The pancakes of course. Chocolate chip, strawberries, and whipped cream are a must.

Original Hotcake House

Speaking of grandparents, if your grandparents are coming into town, or even if you’re just the type who likes breakfast made in the way it has alway has, and always should be made then you’re going to want to check out the “Original Hotcake House“. Huge pancakes, fried chicken with biscuits and gravy. More than you can eat, omelettes. Omelettes with ingredients that just make sense like, the Meat Lover’s Omelette which is a personal favorite. French toast is perfect and you don’t need butter for these biscuits.

Try not to get throw off by the behind the counter ordering system. The folks here are very friendly and make some of the best breakfast in town.

Recommendations: Just about everything on the menu.

Savory: I would try the meat lovers omelette if you like eggs.

Sweet: The French toast are the next best thing!

Oliver’s Cafe

Portland’s Foster Street best is known for its 1980s era resilience. Not so much in a good way, but it a “miles of out of date and dilapidated buildings, store fronts, billboards, and empty lots” kind of way. Yes, there are exceptions to the rule and slowly but surely this area too will be absorbed into the greater Portland culture. The pocket which has already embraced this change is around the neighborhood between Mt. Scott and Lents in deep SE Portland and the breakfast place on our list is called Oliver’s Cafe.

Set in a modern brick building Oliver’s Cafe is the new standard for Foster St.

The menu embodies the classic breakfast choices of good ol’ comfort food with that home town style.

Recommendations:

Savory: Try the Country Chicken Friend Steak

Sweet: Belgian Waffles with Strawberries & whipped cream

Vivacé

If already covered the amazing-ness which is Vivacé in my previous coffee article you can check out here. But did you know that one of the best places in town to get crepes is undisputedly Vivacé. Sweet and savory; Nutella or mozzarella Vivacé does not disappoint.

Recommendations

Sweet: ice cream, chocolate sauce, banana, and whipped cream (Indulgent much? Yesss.)

Savory: The chicken crepe (with mozzarella, mushrooms, spring greens, tomato and creame pesto).

This, by no means, is a complete list, just places I’ve been and have really enjoyed. Let us know what you think of these and by all means, share your Portland favorite.

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