Monday, June 8, 2009


I never used to be much of a breakfast person. If I ate it at all, it was something super simple – an English muffin with peanut butter, a bowl of cereal, maybe a pastry from the coffee shop on the weekend. If I was dragged out to breakfast, I ordered off the lunch menu whenever possible. I really didn’t have much interest in eggs or pancakes.

Something happened when I was pregnant. For the first time in my life I wanted to eat first thing in the morning. I craved a big breakfast and welcomed omelets, hash browns, French toast, waffles, all that hearty morning goodness!

These days, my non-pregnant self, again doesn’t like to eat much in the early morning hours, so most days I’m back to just coffee with something small and simple. But, I still love egg dishes, fried potatoes, and pancakes, and a little later in the morning, going out for breakfast is a great treat. A girlfriend and I try to get out for breakfast about once a month, but we’re both busy moms, so it’s really more like two (sometimes three) months between our outings. We have a few favorites...

Marco’s Café in Multnomah Village is one of our stand-bys. I like the Manhattan Scramble with lox, cream cheese, and red onion or the French toast made with homemade brioche topped with fresh fruit. Their specials too are reliably good. I once tried a smoked salmon Benedict that was absolutely delicious. (I noticed they now have Nova Scotia Benedict as a regular item on the menu – made with wild salmon lox.) I also watch for the Belgian waffles to appear on the specials board – they’re great with fresh berries.

Another favorite place is Helser’s on Alberta. My friend likes the mushroom hash, which is loaded with roasted garlic. I enjoy the russet potato pancake or the pear and havarti pie. We found Helser's by mistake when the wait at a place down the street was way too long. I’m so glad we tried it, and I look forward to tasting many more of their offerings.

This last weekend we went to Hash in Sellwood for the first time. It’s a small space, but bright and airy with a contemporary feel. Our coffee was served with tiny scones with sour cherries. They were yummy and much less sweet than a typical scone. The drip coffee was fair – I would have liked it a little stronger. Overall our food was lighter and less greasy than the usual breakfast fare. I ordered a two egg omelet (you can add an third egg for $1 if you want a heartier meal) with morels, arugula, and Taleggio cheese. It was truly delicious. My friend went for the seasonal mushroom hash. The bite I tried was very good.

I definitely hope to make it back to Hash to try one of their “Beni” dishes (eggs Benedict). And the apple caramel pancake balls at the table next to ours were awfully tempting too. If you get there before I, try them and let me know if they're as yummy as they sound.


  1. I will be honest I don't like a good portion of the ingredients or items that you said, but you describe them so good & make them sound so yummy it makes me want to try them. You should become a restaurant reviewer I think. Sounds like a fun tradition getting together with your friend for breakfast.

  2. Have you been to Arleta's Library Bakery and Cafe? Jim and I saw it highlighted on Diners, Drive-Thrus, and Dives. The sweet potatoe biscuits sounded yummy. --Erika

  3. Jen from Portland, OregonJune 15, 2009 at 7:40 AM

    Heard of Arleta's - yes. Supposed to be good. But haven't made it there yet. Had no idea it had been featured on that show.