Sunday, December 23, 2007

Breakfast Around Town

I've been on vacation the last couple of weeks. I meant to do a bit more writing buuuuttt we all know how that goes. I also meant to spend a bit of time with Steve while his sabbatical vacation wound down. It's been nice to relax, get some things done around the house, and go out to eat together. Steve's been on a breakfast food kick, so we've been going to various diners around the city. He's found that if he eats a really big breakfast, his day goes better. Me, I have more energy if I have a light breakfast of fruit, and I usually like to eat the traditional breakfast food for lunch.

We found that the restaurant around the corner, Sckavone's, the place I like for an easy-going place to hang out, use the wifi and maybe have a spiked Italian soda, has a decent pancake, along with the other breakfast usuals.

Steve's really been into the pancakes. I usually like eggs, potatoes, toast, but like a taste of the pancakes. I get to have a few bites of his. The best place for pancakes was, wait for it, The Original Pancake House. I don't mean The Original Hotcake House, a place closer to home that we don't like to go to anymore...they have great pancakes but cheap syrup and bad coffee. I don't mean just any Original Pancake House either, but the original Original Pancake House. We saw the chain featured on a travel channel Top Five breakfast show. Krissy got the chance to go with him first when she took some time off work last week. (Steve took my photo at TOPH.)

Steve told me he used to go all the time to TOPH when he was a kid in Aurora, Illinois, and here I thought he'd first heard about it on the show. He just hadn't tried it here in Portland because there usually is a seriously long wait. In Aurora, he told me, they never had to wait. He went there with his grandpa, who was a cop. The waitstaff always hustled them to a table, and somehow he got it into his child's head that people were waiting because they wanted to wait. If he'd known they got to skip waiting in line because his grandpa was a cop, he'd have been embarrassed.
Another day, we tried TOPH again, but this day the wait was indeed too long, so we went to a diner a few blocks away that serves breakfast all day, and which we'd figured was a backup plan for people who couldn't get in down the street. The Golden Touch became our own backup plan. I was fascinated by the decor, most of which didn't seem to have changed since mid-century. The food was good enough. Steve appreciated that his over-medium eggs were actually over-medium, and not runny. I especially liked my lunch choice, which seemed to me a carnivore's attempt to provide a vegetarian option without being too familiar with usual vegetarian offerings. It was called a veggie melt, and was scrambled eggs with onion, peppers, some other vegetables maybe, and cheese on a sandwich. It never occurred to me to put scrambled eggs on bread before, even though I like a fried egg sandwich.
Before I get to today's restaurant, let me think. Did we go anywhere else? We must have. Well yes, of course, we went to Genie's several times over the course of Steve's vacation. Gotta love their Eggs Benedict.
Funny thing is, Steve just walked in, and he told me he's been wanting to go to The Original Pancake House for oh 15 years. He's mentioned it to me, to Krissy, to previous girlfriends, but none of us expressed any particular interest in going there. I don't remember. Maybe he pointed to it in passing and I didn't know what he was pointing at. Suddenly within 24 hours both Krissy and I wanted to go there. I was interested because the tv show featured the Dutch Baby pancake that came out of the oven kind of like a souffle. I'd never eaten such a thing. Steve got the buttermilk pancakes, yummy unto death. I want to go back to try the sourdough pancakes.
Oh, there was at least one late night visit to the Jubitz truck stop. We were reminded of that place because of another travel show, the top 10 truck stops around the world. What a hoot. Steve liked the diner food there more than I did.
I'm sure I'm missing someplace. Today, we went to Sanborn's. Krissy introduced Steve to this place. The pancakes were great, I got my usual taste from Steve. I decided to go for the breakfast burrito with a mimosa. I remember getting breakfast burritos in the sleaziest casino on the river in Laughlin, NV sheesh 18 years ago, Don Laughlin's Riverside Resort Hotel and Casino. (That place incidentally is where I saw Dick Tracy and got my T-Shirt for a ticket. The theater inside the casino served booze before serving booze was cool in movie theaters. If my ex secretly reads this, that will take him back.) Quick things with scrambled eggs, beans, cheese, and green chiles. This was not that breakfast burrito. I could choose my insides, and I chose eggs, green chiles (of course), and jack cheese. On the outside I also got black beans, sour cream, guacamole, mango salsa, and lime. And Santa Fe style potatoes on the side. Yum. Mee.

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