Sometimes you want something fancy to eat, and other times you just want a hearty, flavorful breakfast fit for a lumberjack. If you want to experience a true Portland dining experience, hop on over to Stepping Stone Café at 2390 NW Quimby Street (tucked into a residential corner of Portland’s trendy Nob Hill neighborhood, accessible by the Portland Streetcar and the #15 TriMet bus).
This adorable café goes by the cheeky motto “you eat here because we let you,” which belies how welcoming and hospitable the owners and staff of this café truly are. Stepping Stone’s pride and joy, the overwhelming 13-inch Mancakes, have been featured on the Portland edition of “Man v. Food” -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEMZWw3L2aQ -- and are a must-try item when dining here. Most people can only finish a sliver of the giant pancake that covers the outside edges of the plate, let alone a stack of three ($8.50). Are you up to the challenge?
Breakfast is served all day, and can include (in addition to Mancakes), Cajun-style New York Steak with two eggs, Chicken Fried Steak and Gravy, a monster haystack of Corned Beef covering Stepping Stone’s hash browns, with poached eggs smothered in hollandaise on top or Three Egg Omelettes like the Grazing Goat (spinach, portabella, artichoke and feta) or the Absolute (mushrooms, onions, peppers, tomato, avocado, cheddar, jack and swiss). If you have a sweet tooth, enjoy the Cinnamon Roll French Toast, Banana Nut French Toast, Belgian Waffle or Cheese Blintzes. Add a Bloody Mary or Mimosa, if you like!
Swinging by later in the day? Stepping Stone also serves delicious lunch entrees – try one of the awesome burgers, like the One Eyed Jack (with bacon strips, jack cheese and a fried egg), the Southwest Chicken Sandwich or a Big Salad on organic greens that would make Elaine from Seinfeld proud. From 5:00 pm onward you can tuck into dinners like Meatloaf or Chicken Fried Steak served with an organic salad, seasoned vegetables, mashed potatoes and garlic cheese bread.
Stepping Stone Café is the sort of place that makes you feel like you have stepped back into the ‘90’s Pacific Northwest music scene, or into that video from the show Portlandia about how the dream of the ‘90’s is still alive. The staff will also make sure that you have a memorable experience and want to return for more Mancakes, even though “you eat here because they let you!”