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Restaurants & Bars 11

PDX - Eastside Breakfast - Cameo and Tosi's - long

Jill-O | Feb 10, 200304:04 PM

Sorry, I missed a week in my reporting, so here is two weeks worth: Cameo and Tosi's. Kept finding myself on the north end of the east side when wanting breakfast, and just as well - these two places were on my list to try.

The Cameo is diagonally across from the Grotto on Sandy near the 30 by-pass. It is tiny and is another open until 3pm breakfast place, but I think that they have lunch choices too. Prices here are a bit more than some of the other places I have been lately (like Fat Albert's or Junior's), but to be fair, portions here are enormous.

You order pancakes by the "acre" - the 1/4 acre is one enormous plate sized pancake...makes me think that a full acre is 4 of them...OY. The pancake was tasty - light and fluffy too but be careful when ordering!

My standard (eggs over easy, bacon crisp, burn the potatoes, toast) came almost like I ordered it...the bacon and potatoes, while dark, were not crisp. The eggs were fine and the toast was OK. They have a homemade brown bread, they call "strong" bread and I had that toasted. I thought it was OK, but nothing so fabulous I wanted to buy one of the loaves they have for sale.

The coffee, well, it sucks. Skip it if you go, get tea or something. The other thing that detracted from this breakfast was the taste of the grease they use on their grill. I have noticed that there are certain places that use nasty stuff on the grill (or stuff that was good that is now rancid - either way, who cares, it still tastes bad) and I hate the way it makes my spuds and eggs taste. Anyway, Cameo wasn't totally awful, but it won't make the cut for places we return to in the future.

Yesterday, however, was another story. I read a couple of write-ups lately, one I think from the Mercury, about Tosi's. Tosi's is on NE Sandy in the low to mid NE 60's. The write-ups kept making me think about the diners I miss in NYC. It suprises me how little I actually miss about NYC overall, but diners I kind of miss...

So we went yesterday for a late breakfast at 1:30 or so. Tosi's serves breakfast all day and I think that they are open to 9pm. One thing, right off the bat, was obvious - the service was EXCELLENT! Sure, it wasn't crowded, but still, I felt totally taken care of - was asked if I wanted more water for my tea...twice! Water was kept refilled. Server returned to check and see if we needed anything...twice! Wow. ('Cuz I agree with Leper's post below about the decline of "service" - anyone on the other side of a counter acts as if they were doing you a huge favor by serving you...and most of the time you'd prefer to serve yourself anyway!)

The usual came like I ordered it - all the way! Crispy bacon, crispy spuds, eggs over easy, rye toast buttered - YUM! Perfect. It seems like it should be easy, no? But y'all know it isn't! Didn't have coffee, so I don't know about it, but the water kept coming for my early grey. And the prices are great - one of the cheaper places.

So, thus far, my favorites are Fat Albert's, Tosi's, and Zell's. Cup and Saucer is OK too, and I like the Original Pancake House about once a year for a huge apple pancake fix. Yet to try is Bread and Ink and the Mt. Tabor Cafe.

Any others I should put on my list to try??

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