Though there is some argument on the point, historians generally agree that breakfast was developed during the time of the Ancient Greeks, likely in the Middle to Late Bronze Age. Originally a simple diversion from the day-to-day troubles of swine herding and fearsome battle, breakfast quickly rose in popularity to the point where it had eclipsed “lunch” as the Grecian Isles’ favorite meal by the time of Bronze Age collapse.
Though there is some argument on the point, historians generally agree that breakfast was developed during the time of the Ancient Greeks, likely in the Middle to Late Bronze Age.
Originally a simple diversion from the day-to-day troubles of swine herding and fearsome battle, breakfast quickly rose in popularity to the point where it had eclipsed “lunch” as the Grecian Isles’ favorite meal by the time of Bronze Age collapse.
Breakfast continued its successful run throughout the height of the Roman Empire, but was eventually condemned as “the devil’s meal” by the Papacy after Rome fell to the Visigoths in 476 AD.
For almost 600 years breakfast was not only scarcely practiced, but in fact somewhat of a social taboo, until the late 18th century, at which point Neo-Classical thinkers revived the tradition, attempting to return to the high-reasoning methods of the Greeks.
The culinary institution has since thrived into countless permutations–some of which are listed below–and shows no signs of letting up momentum as we head into the exciting waters of a new millennia.
With the conclusion of that history lesson, here’s a look at what Portlanders can enjoy for “the devil’s meal.”
Beaterville Cafe (C) / $2201 N. Killingsworth Ave. / 503-735-4652M-F 6 a.m.-2 p.m. / Sat.-Sun. 7 a.m.-2 p.m.Beaterville has combined the grease of fried breakfast food with the (metaphorical) grease from a slew of classic automobiles to create a homey dining experience replete with mid-century charm. Though their breakfast offerings run the gamut from excellent to just so-so, their lovable staff is just so damned charming that it’s hard to criticize them too harshly.
Screen Door (A) / $$2337 E. Burnside St. / 503-542-0880 M-F 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m. / Sat.-Sun. 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m.In keeping with somewhat of a local tradition, Screen Door offers Southern-inspired delectables that can run between $6 and $12, depending on just how delectable you’re willing to get. Show up early on weekends, the lines for this one are epic.
Vivace (A) / $2287 N.W. Pettygrove St. / 503-228-3667M-Th, Sun. 7 a.m.-10 p.m. / Sat. 8 a.m.-11 p.m.For a place willing to serve you a crepe smothered in freaking ice cream, it’s fairly remarkable that Vivace maintains the class and coziness of one of Northwest 23rd’s best coffee joints. An excellent selection of crepes with night-owl-friendly hours make this a more or less essential stop for Pearl District residents.
Cadillac Cafe (B) / $$1801 N.E. Broadway St. / 503-287-4750M-F 6 a.m.-2:30 p.m. / Sat.-Sun. 7 a.m.-3 p.m.Though this joint is heavier on the families and lighter on the 20-somethings than most of our breakfast offerings, the Cadillac’s excellent selection of booze-infused lattes should not be overlooked, nor should their rotating selection of brilliant specials, which offer seasonal re-imaginings of steadfast breakfast staples.
Flavour Spot Waffle Cart (A) / $2130 N. Lombard St. / 503-289-9866M-F 6:30 a.m.-3 p.m. / Sat.-Sun. 8 a.m.-3 p.m.It takes the work of a truly eccentric genius to create so brilliant a thing as a waffle sandwich, and David Stokamer is just such a deranged visionary. His creations are unorthodox (think PB&J waffle) and his general disdain for the culinary luddites visiting his cart make Stokamer’s wares only that much more appealing.
Pine State Biscuits (B) / $3640 S.E. Belmont St. / 503-236-3346T-Sun. 7 a.m.-2 p.m.The sheer volume of carbs to be found at Pine State Biscuits is a little intimidating. But the belly-leadening prospects of their menu work effectively to serve up a full day’s worth of caloric intake in a single resplendent sitting. With such breakfast possibilities as a biscuit smothered in bacon and gravy, Pine State is nothing if not filling.
Tin Shed Cafe (B) / $1438 N.E. Alberta St. / 503-288-6966M-Sun. 7 a.m.-10 p.m.With ambitions to be a restaurant, concert venue, movie theater, catering service and general force for good in the world, one may be tempted to say that Tin Shed has bitten off more than they can chew. However, the beloved Alberta District breakfast spot has so far managed to pursue all these aims with at least some degree of competency, making them a consistent favorite for the neighborhood and outlying area.
Zell’s (B) / $1300 S.E. Morrison St. / 503-239-0196M-F 7 a.m.-2 p.m. / Sat. 8 a.m.-2 p.m. / Sun. 8 a.m.-3 p.m.Zell’s complimentary scones are a caloric hazard for anyone with an even marginally developed palate. The damned things are just too good to pass up, and the fact that the restaurant lays them out free of charge for anyone who plops their bum down at a table means that you’ll be leaving with a least a pound of the little fuckers in your belly. In addition, that is, to whatever entrees you sample from Zell’s exemplary and ever-changing “nouveau-gourmet” offerings.