We kept on driving past Junior’s Café on our way back to our hotel, and each time, Keith and Arjon would start bickering about whether or not they had been there during one of Keith’s previous visits. In order to put a stop to the dispute, I decided that it should be our next breakfast spot, so the following morning, we parked right in front of Junior’s. (As an unrelated side note, I swear I have never been to a city with as much available street parking as Portland. But, back to the point…)
Aesthetically, Junior’s has a sort of hipstery vibe to it, just like most of Portland. The walls are papered in a mustard-and-ivory damask print, over which ornately-framed mirrors are hung. Even though none of them match, they’re all brought together since each frame had been painted the same burnished gold. While all of this was quite cool, my favorite part of the café were the booths; covered in glitter-speckled gold vinyl, they made me think of bowling balls.
As usual, I couldn’t make up my mind as to what I wanted to eat. Finally, I resorted to my favorite method of decision-making: asking someone else to choose for me. The friendly, cheerful and hugely pregnant woman taking our order was a little hesitant to be in charge of my meal, but when I explained which dishes I was debating over she quickly said which was her favorite. Now I’ve got to say that the Pans three-egg scramble with pesto, spinach, garlic, roasted red peppers and Parmesan ($8.50) is my favorite too. It was so fresh and bright, and a terrific way to start the day.
Keith and I also split Junior’s “famous fruit cup” (low-fat yogurt, seasonal organic fruit topped with toasted almonds and honey, for $5.00). Oregon is one of the country’s top berry-producing states so we were hoping to have some amazing strawberries, blueberries and raspberries; while we only were able to satisfy our strawberry craving, it was probably the most intense strawberry I had eaten in a while. My only wish — aside from wanting more, more and more berries — was that the almonds had also been drizzled with honey, or sweetened somehow. Everything else in the cup was so fiercely-flavored that the almonds almost disappeared.
Another thing I really enjoyed about Junior’s was its people-watching potential. Over coffee, I was able to observe a young mother with her equally-young fuchsia-haired little girl, a trio of tattooed bike-riding women in pretty floral sundresses and bespectacled boys lounging in the sun. And to think, that was only during the course of half and hour. What would a day sitting in the café’s window bring?
1742 SE Twelfth Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97214