Posts filed under 'Coffee Shop'
Bonjour, mon ami…!
Welcome back to the breakfast blog. Sorry to keep you waiting for the next installment. LIFE happened and then suddenly, I find myself in a new year. Seems like yesterday when I was on the open road sampling High Desert America.
Two friends joined me today to help me relaunch my breakfast bunch. On this glorious sunny morning (a rare find this time of year in the Pacific Northwest) we visited the Mon Ami Coffee shop where they specialize in homemade crepes, baked goods and quality coffee drinks. I’d visited here once before for lunch and enjoyed my crepe tremendously. They claimed to do breakfast so I had high expectations for my morning meal.
How very sad to have those expectations dashed. Really folks – even though Urbanspoon followers seem to find great joy at Mon Ami, my companions and I were disappointed throughout our meal.
First of all, I wouldn’t say this place qualifies as a breakfast establishment. Sure, you can eat a muffin with your coffee for breakfast. However, the menu sits firmly in the lunch and dinner categories. There are meat and vegetarian options with a variety of fresh ingredients. There is not an egg is sight. Not a breakfast meat to be found. This is all forgivable to the Breakfast Bunch if the following had not occurred:
- All three crepes, while beautifully presented, arrived cold or barely warm. The Brie, Pear and Ham crepe was bland. The Creamy Smoked Salmon arrived with the tomatoes IN the crepe and not on the side as requested. My Turkey, Roasted Red Pepper and Feta tasted great – it just wasn’t hot. There was some disappointment at the sweetness of the crepe batter: great for dessert crepes, not so great for savory.
- Cristina’s hot chocolate was tasteless and thin. Sadly, the beautiful chocolate design in the froth does not make up for taste.
- For the first time in a review, Stumptown coffee earns a 3. Why? It was weak. Not the fault of the coffee. Entirely the fault of the coffee maker.
- All crepes came with a barely-dressed salad of mixed greens that looked healthy, but were not at all tender. These salads all went into composting.
- My Cheese and Chive biscuit was cold right out of the bakery case. Warming really didn’t improve its taste.
- Just one last thing…Mon Ami seems to be THE PLACE to go for hip moms and their little darlings. At 10am, I would say this place was more like a creche than an eating establishment.
Ok – that’s enough grumpiness for one day. On a happy note, Mon Ami IS a friendly place. It’s clearly busy and popular and it does seem to draw a crowd. Perhaps when it’s less busy, the food will be hotter, the coffee will be stronger, and the tea won’t be served with a soup spoon.
Spendy Scale: $
Coffee Rating: 3 (Stumptown)
- Local Art
Contact Information1906 Main St. Vancouver, WA (360) 750-5693
Mon – Fri: 7:30am-5pm
We’ve been to Price, Utah so many times that I thought there was no breakfast place could surprise me enough to write about it. During this trip, we went back to the Balance Rock Cafe (reviewed previously) and while the food was good – as before – the service was dreadfully slow. So slow, that I’ve decided it’s not quite worth a return trip on future visits to the area.
Then, we stumbled up Café Ricardo’s at the Greenwell Inn & Convention Center in Price just a few hundred yards from the Best Western Carriage House where we were staying. We were heading south to Zion National Park and we wanted to start off our day with a good breakfast. My aunt recommended Ricardo’s (so not exactly a “stumble upon”).
Ricardo’s specializes in coffee drinks so it was Skinny Mochas and Americanos all around (except for me of course – a breakfast lover who doesn’t like coffee.) Both traditional and south-of-the-border flavors are available on this menu.
My husband enjoyed his mushroom and ham omelet, but ruined his hashbrowns with the cheap ketchup offering on the table – Ketchup is nothing to skimp on, folks. My daughter ordered a short stack of pancakes which appeared large and fluffly, but tasted dense and gummy. My son had no complaints as his scramble was loaded with diced ham. Mr.Meat was happy indeed.
I suppose I was happiest of the bunch as I decided to venture into the unknown. I ordered the Machaca Con Huevos – a Mexican omelet with shredded beef and Pico de Gallo. It was tasty, indeed. Be warned – this baby packs some heat!
Spendy Scale: $
Coffee Rating: 4.5
- Lunch & Dinner
- Full Bar
655 East Main
Price, UT 84501
So here we are again, back on the road with most of the Hatton family. This time we are tackling the Western States with short stays in Utah and Colorado.
The first leg of our journey is more about getting to a Utah destination and with one driver for the first half of the trip, we’ve broken up the road into smaller portions. I am, after all, traveling with kids – great travelers, my kids, but there are times… Well let me just say I’m thankful for hotel pools to wear the darlings out.
Today, we ate at the Best Western Hotel restaurant – The Sunridge – “The place to eat” (their slogan) when the place you intended to eat at is closed (my little addition to that slogan). We intended to go to the Baker Bistro on Washington, but sadly it was closed. Will someone let me know what we missed?
The Sunridge is a friendly coffee shop type place. I wouldn’t say it was gourmet, but the portions were certainly plentiful. Jessica enjoyed her Continental Breakfast with banana muffin and fruit bowl. Fresh fruit, but a bit too much melon for my non-melon-lover girl.
Cameron’s pancakes were loaded with blueberries and his take on the bacon? Perfect! I ordered the Gourmet Omelet – loaded with all the things a lactose intolerant acid reflux sufferer shouldn’t have, but hey – I’m on vacation! That’s what pills are for. I have to say the highlight was the hashbrowns and the lowlight was the frozen butter which I had to tuck under my tea cup to melt. Rather a funny situation when I think back on it…
Spendy Scale: $ (Especially if you stay at the Best Western Sunridge – $2 off per person for breakfast or dinner)
Coffee Rating: not reviewed
- Lunch and Dinner
- Next door to a bar and grill
- Room service for guests
Contact Information1 Sunridge Ln
Baker City, OR 97814
Vancouver does quite well whipping up a basic good breakfast at several locations Downtown and in East County. However, Rosemary Cafe & Espresso goes just a bit beyond the basics at an amazingly affordable price. Nothing on the breakfast menu is over $8.95.
Our breakfast bunch included a small army of kids this week and thankfully, Rosemary Cafe is kid-friendly. It was no trouble to pull together a kids table and a separate table for the adults who enjoy grown-up conversation from time to time. Our server was pleasant though for awhile, she was a one-man band – hostess, cook and server. Fortunately, she was an efficient one-man-band and we didn’t have to wait too terribly long for our meals.
The menu wasn’t vast by any means, but it offered up fresh ideas for breakfast. All breakfasts come with FREE (yes, FREE) house coffee and a serving of their homemade applesauce. I ordered the Grilled Breakfast Burrito and in spite of my hesitation to have spicy food for breakfast, this was a wise choice. It was delicious and fresh tasting – a grilled tortilla packed with three eggs, olives, onions, sausage, potatoes, cheese and a mild salsa – a hearty platter for only $7.95.
My fellow diners ordered the Everyday Breakfast (with all the usual breakfast suspects), french toast, Made-t0-Order Scrambles and a Breakfast Sandwich. There wasn’t a disappointed person in the bunch.
Spendy Scale: $
Coffee Rating: (Cafe’ Vita - Portland)
- Beer and Wine
1001 Main Street
Vancouver, WA 98660-3150
Breakfast served until 10:30 am
Goodness! It’s been awhile since I’ve been on here. BAD Stevie!
After two weeks on the Canadian road, I was simplifying my breakfast life. All I wanted for about two weeks was cereal and toast. I needed cholesterol recovery, but now I’m back with two visits to report.
The Bantam & Grouse is a gem – a hidden surprise in another Vancouver gem, Shorty’s Garden and Home. It is so much like the tea shops I used to visit across the pond in the UK, that I was literally gushing with enthusiasm at the owner, Gail Burks. In their own words, they offer up “A European Twist to Tea and Coffee”. What a pleasure is was to enjoy a full tea-cosied pot of Yorkshire Tea. Coffee drinkers – do not despair. They make mocha’s and lattes featuring Caffé Darte brand tea.
B & G has a sweet little menu which should cheer the hearts of the local British population and those who simply wish they were British. I’ve tried the traditional meat pasty [pas-tee] and for breakfast their Breakfast Pasty of ham, cheese and potatoes. Baked just right, it has that lovely crumbly crust that makes a pasty, perfect.
Other offerings for breakfast include a breakfast sandwich and bagels and cream cheese for the truly unadventurous. I encourage you to take your time. Enjoy your “cuppa”. Take a stroll through the gardens and them GO BACK for lunch and/or a homemade scone. You’ll have just created the perfect day.
Spendy Scale: $
Contact Information10006 SE Mill Plain Blvd.
Vancouver, WA 98664
Located within Shorty’s Garden CenterTelephone:
Monday-Saturday 10 am-4pm
Sunday 10 am-4pm
- David Douglas Park
- and not much else I’m afraid, but the Shorty’s gardens are a beautiful botanical adventure.
When the idea of a sit down restaurant/diner in the typical sense doesn’t work for you, Summit Cafe, makes a nice change. While typical breakfast meals are found on their giant bulletin board menu (they are paper free), you’ll be presented with some nice alternative breakfast choices.
Summit Cafe is first and foremost a coffee shop, offering a large variety of specialty coffees and baked goods. In fact, the baked goods look so good, it was difficult to settle for what’s on the menu when a muffin might have served me just as well. Frankly, muffins, while being quite tasty, do not serve me well and so I opted for a plate of protein.
My husband and I ordered the special of the day. Essentially, it was a traditional breakfast of eggs, hash browns and toast, but instead of the usual meat choices, it came with Tuscany Sausage. It was very good! And a nice change from the skimpy strips of bacon we’ve been seeing throughout our Canadian travels.
The rest of the menu seemed to have a strong South-of-Two-Borders (Mexican) flavor to it with at least four dishes served with salsa, sour cream and other typical Mexican ingredients. They also had a nice variety of bagel breakfast sandwiches.
Can’t really say anything against the place. The locals love it and when it’s a nice day, it’s pleasant to sit in the outdoor seating area. The only thing that throws a spanner in the works is the placement of the coffee bar which is situated before you get to the cashier. Folks who don’t “get” that you are meant to fill your cup prior to paying, find themselves swimming upstream in the long line of people waiting to order. Very strange…
Spendy Scale: $
Coffee Rating: 3 (Mountain Blend Coffee Roasters )
Tea Rating: 4 (Two Leaves & a Bud)
- Outdoor seating
- Bakery items
Contact Information102 1001 Cougar Creek Drive
Canmore, Alberta, Canada
Phone: (403) 609-2120
6:30 am-6 pm
Well time got away from me and since I am on vacation after all, I’m going to combine my Jasper breakfast notes into one (hopefully coherent) blog entry.
We had two wonderful nights and days in the area with many eating choices. It was hard to choose where to go first. Our hotel, the Jasper Best Western Inn & Suites, had it’s own restaurant, the Inn Restaurant (clever, I know). We ate dinner there the first night and even though they offered us a slick deal as Best Western members for the morning buffet, we decided to hold off on that until the following day.
Instead, we had our first breakfast was at Papa Georges at 400 Connaught Drive. It’s part of the Astoria Hotel which is owned by the great grandson of George Arthur Andrew whose picture hangs in the middle of the restaurant. It’s a beautifully designed establishment and I really wanted to love it. Admittedly, it was my own fault for not reading the menu properly. I ordered Papa’s Skillet and failed to notice that my favorite ingredients would be smothered in sour cream and salsa – two ingredients I absolutely can not tolerate in the morning.
Since it was close to the end of breakfast which finishes at 11:30 am, our server stated it was too late to redo my meal and since it was my error, I didn’t complain – I just scraped the offending sour cream (not a fan) off the top. I think most folks would say that it’s very good and I did do quite well working through the heaping portion of home-style potatoes, spinach, feta, tomatoes and cheddar cheese.
The rest of the family fared only marginally better. They all ordered pretty standard fare and could only report that the pancakes where the best thing going. I think the price of the food is what put us off completely. Definitely a $$$ place and for what you got, certainly not value for money. The bacon was a disgrace, being some of the thinnest, fattiest specimens I’ve seen in a long time.
After that experience, I decided to keep my eyes open for other breakfast ideas. While waiting for our boarding time on the Jasper Tramway, I noticed a real meal deal on a bulletin board. For $29, if you visit the Tramway between 9:00 am and 10:30 am, you get breakfast and you tramway ticket (plus taxes). We’d just paid $29 for an individual ticket and I was doing a mental head slap when I learned I could have had my breakfast for free along with a morning tramway ride. Albeit, it probably wasn’t going to be a gourmet breakfast as the menu stated pretty much the basics: scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage, hash browns and toast. But it would be a much cheaperdeal than doing both things separately in Jasper.
If you prefer more of a continental style breakfast…or should I say, the bagel and cream cheese with massive coffee type breakfast, I recommend the Bear’s Paw Bakery (two locations). We stopped by for a quick afternoon break and I have to say, the baked goods are phenomenal there. I should have forgone the distinctly average Inn Restaurant buffet and just trotted down the street for the sweet and the savory of the Bear’s Paw.
Two days in a row, my Plan A restaurants have failed me. The restaurant I was supposed to go to today was closed – permanently closed and has been for two years. Guess I was going by some old data when I did the research…
Hello Toast was an extremely good Plan B. In the middle of downtown Kamloops, Hello Toast is a bustling little place run by three busy ladies – Tina Lange, Amy Stiles and Karen Stiles. The walls are covered with photos of children – their children. These massive photo collages are all about family and they add a lot of cheer to the place.
They have a great menu with some interesting twists to the usual breakfast fare. They offer Green Eggs and Ham (pesto being the reason for green, thank goodness!), Aussie Breaky (two eggs, sliced tomatoes and multi-grain toast), a variety of scrambles and Benny’s (Eggs Benedicts).
I ordered their World Famous Hot Cereal. Now, I don’t know if it is truly world famous, but it was a hearty blend of baked brown rice, pot barley, flax seed, rolled oats, cinnamon and raisins. This came with sides of brown sugar, sunflower seeds and milk. It was tasty and if there were just a few more raisins, it would have been perfect – for me.
Tony ordered Pleasure Toast. Sounds sexy, doesn’t it? It’s actually sliced cranberry sourdough bread soaked in egg, (cooked, obviously – though the menu left that step out) and served with mulled cranberry sauce. It looked great and Tony claimed the sauce was different in a good way – tangy with a hint of cloves.
My daughter, Jess, had Bonjour Toast (aka French Toast). This is the first time during this trip that she cleared her plate. That pretty much says it all to me. It was good!
The only thing that didn’t meet expectations was the two side orders of bacon. For $3, you get two ordinary, nothing remarkable slices of bacon. That made things a bit spendy for me, but I’ll rate it on the high end of one $. Don’t let that scare you, however. This is definitely a Plan A place and I encourage you to visit. You won’t be disappointed.
Spendy Scale: $
Coffee Rating: 4 (Was not able to get a definitive answer on the brand of the coffee, but it was good)
- Breakfast served all day
- Lunch – apparently known for their soups.
Contact Information428 Victoria Street
Kamloops, British Columbia V2C 2A9
Joy! Rapture! Another wonderful breakfast place that I would recommend to friends and family - a place I can honestly say, “If you come to Portland, you simply must eat here.” We visited on recommendation from our newest Bunch member, Jessica, who had this to say as a way of introduction: “I love breakfast more than life itself.” Jessica, welcome to the Board!
Costello’s Travel Caffe’ may be situated on NE Broadway in Portland, but when you walk through the door, you feel transported to a European cafe – albeit, bigger than a European cafe, but then everything is bigger in a America, right? The travel-themed decor suits this travel-lover perfectly. I couldn’t help but wish I could escape to the places filmed around the world by the Costello’s and displayed on flat-screens around the room. It’s a match made in heaven – beautiful scenery and beautiful European inspired food.
The best deal on the menu is the Backpacker’s Breakfast. For just $7.95 you get a hearty serving of quiche, a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice, and a choice of freshly-baked morning pastry or bagel. The quiche of the day was zucchini, black olive and bacon. My only regret about this was that I ate it too fast. It was unstoppable goodness. I chose the muffin for my pastry and I have to say that I’ve never tasted a flavor combination so perfect: Mexican chocolate and zucchini.
Jessica ordered the crepes made with fresh strawberries, marscarpone cheese and berry coulee. Beautifully arranged on a large plate, this giant duo looked more like dessert than breakfast. Jessica was lucky to get a taste by the time the platter was handed around the table.
I can’t wait to go back to try Costello’s lunch and dinner menu. I just wish Vancouver restaurants would take a note from this family’s book: It’s GOOD to think outside the box. Perhaps Costello’s could be persuaded to open a second location…
Coffee Rating: 4.5 out of 5 (Caffe’ Umbria)
Spendy Scale: $
- Lunch & dinner
- Beer & wine
- Free Wifi (not available Sat. & Sun)
- Kid friendly
- Evening events: Foreign films, Conversations, Live music
Contact Information2222 Northeast Broadway
Portland, Oregon 97232
Breakfast served until 12pm weekdays and until 1pm Sat – Sun
Mon: 7am – 8pm
Tue – Thur: 7am – 9pm
Fri: 7am – 10pm
Sat – Sun: 8am – 4pm
This is NOT an eatery. I stumbled upon this searching for another cafe in Portland and I think these crocheted coffee cup cozies (or hot cup sleeves) from the Coffee Cozy Cafe are neat-o. Even better, they are eco-friendly.
This is a great gift idea for the coffee/tea/chocolate lover. I’d pair this with a gift card to the recipients favorite beverage spot.