Thursday, 30 June 2011
The Little River Cafe in Portland became an unofficial outpost of our conference last week, especially around breakfast time when it filled up with students (like me!) looking to avoid the expensive hotel breakfast buffet.
I enjoy waking up to a cooked breakfast, and it's fun to try out different local variations when I travel. This place had enough variety to keep me happy for the whole conference week: I had three different kinds of pancakes on different days and twice I had poached eggs with potatoes and toast. I'm not yet sufficiently in-tune with US culture to have eggs and pancakes in the same meal, although the option was available.
The eggs were perfectly to my taste, with soft yolks, and the potatoes were cooked with a nice mix of gentle spices. They had three kinds of bread for the toast; I opted for sourdough which was fresh and had just a slight tang of the 'sour' to it.
The pancakes were fluffy and huge, six or seven inches across. I tried blueberry, raspberry, and candied walnut. They were dusted with icing sugar and served with butter and syrup, thankfully provided on the side since I used less than a third of the generous syrup provision and no butter (usually - I tried it once just to see why it was there). The berries were fresh and really juicy.
On Sunday I wanted to eat something substantial enough for brunch to stop me getting hungry at the airport, so I went for the 'Wilamette Scramble'. This was cheesy scrambled egg served on a heap of spiced potatoes and vegetables (broccoli, courgette, onion, peppers), with toast on the side. The vegetables were fresh and cooked al dente, and it was a great meal that filled me up and made me wish I'd ordered it earlier in the week so I could have it more than once.
Another reason to keep going back there was the coffee - tasty, organic, and with free refills across three varieties. I was almost tempted to pop out and grab more coffee during the afternoon break (the conference provided flasks of Starbucks, and I'm just not a fan).
There are tables outside, but my favourite spot was sitting in the window and looking out at the river, while still keeping out of the sun/rain (depending on the day!).