Thursday, February 12, 2009

I was wandering around Seattle this morning before we headed up to Whistler. My friend lives near Seattle U., so I let nostalgia get the best of me and decided to have breakfast in my old dining hall. It was horrible. How I let myself get fat on rubbery omelets and hard pastries during my college years is a mystery to me now. I wasn't about to have a bad coffee though, so I went walking through the neighborhood where I first fell in love with coffee shop culture. And that is where I found Cafe Presse. A French cafe with a tall marble bar, a rack of international magazines, and a sweet little menu with things like baked eggs and simple salads (and a baguette with butter for you, Mele). I loved the décor, with one of those big clocks that you'd see in a train station and soccer match schedules posted on a chalkboard. I only wished I hadn't eaten that institutional breakfast-I tried to forget it with a Cafe Vita americano and a thick issue of the New Yorker.

Cafe Presse
1117 12th Avenue
Seattle, WA

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Since I’ve tried it all , and can’t eat ANY of this right now (don’t ask), I thought I’d share my list of the my 25 favorite things to have for breakfast in Portland, the breakfast-craziest town I’ve ever known. They are not ranked in order of greatness:

1. The mini-egg sandwich at Detour Café (scrambled egg, thick cut bacon, tomato and basil on a scallion cheddar biscuit - it’s perfect, and I don’t think it’s on the menu).
2. The Oregon croissant at Ken’s artisan bakery (their quiche is pretty killer too).
3. Seasonal fruit hand pies at Baker and Spice.
4. Pig in a blanket at the Portland Farmers Market from Northwest Heritage Pork (see photo below).
5. Eggs Benedict or granola (two items most likely of the same caloric content) at the Heathman.
6. Homemade sausage on a biscuit at Pine State Biscuits on Belmont.
7. Scones at the Lavender Tea house in Sherwood.
8. Espresso drinks and the house recipe chai at Crema.
9. Organic decaf espresso from Portland Roasting Company (first decaf that tastes like the real thing!)
10. French pressed coffee from Blue Gardenia roasting company and bakery (I like the Brazilian the best).
11. Bloody Marys at Broder.
12. Broder.
13. Hot drinking chocolate at Cacao.
14. Simpatica Dining Hall, I mean, they make their own bacon, among everything else.
15. The two egg breakfast at Petite Provence Bakery on Division—fresh baked bread for toast, a homemade herbed pork sausage patty and a little potato cake beside.
16. Zell’s for an oldie but goodie (I love the fluffy mini scones they serve when you sit down and all the savory choices of daily specials).
17. A poppy seed bagel with scallion cream cheese, cucumbers and mixed greens at Kettleman bagels.
18. Dutch Babies and the crazy apple German Pancakes at the Original Pancake House.
19. Voodoo donut’s apple fritters (and I admit I really like the Tang one).
20. One of the countless coffee cake variations at Jim & Patty’s. And their “Pig Newtons.”
21. Breakfast sandwiches and all of the interesting pastries and drinks at Moxie Rx on Mississippi.
22. Bacon (thick cut, pepper) Egg (free range ) croissant (the flakiest, butteryest in town) sandwich (with homemade tomato jam) at Grand Central Bakery.
23. Pancakes at Fuller’s coffee shop (they make their own white bread, old-school style!).
24. The Garden Scramble at genies (I don’t usually like fake meat, but their garden sausage is delicious)
25. Toast. The best breakfast in Portland (they are the ultimate in local with all of their purveyors listed on the menu - they even serve Courier Coffee).