I confess slipping, occasionally, into a Portland-centered state of mind. In fact, when putting together the new edition of Breakfast in Bridgetown, I kind of skipped over the suburbs entirely. But I still get the question: What are some good brunches in Beaverton or Gresham?
Well, now I can say that I know of at least one good brunch in Beaverton – at Cafe Murrayhill.
I’ll admit it: when I think suburbs, I think “diner ” and “chain.” And when I think “intersection of Murray and Scholls Ferry,” I think “Traffic nightmare – and where the hell is that, anyway?” It sounded dangerously close to a mall or something.
So imagine my surprise when I saw the cafe across a nice little lake, with a park on the far side, and this cute couple waiting for their own meal:
Inside, I found an attractive, colorful space filled with people, as well as a nice view across the lake.
I even saw, on a TV behind the bar, an English soccer game!
Now, you may think, “Who cares?” But I am in the process of researching a guidebook about watching soccer in England, and when I see a place like this showing games on a Saturday in spring, it makes me think America really is taking to soccer – English soccer, anyway. I suspect it’ll be a long time til they’re showing (non-Timbers) MLS games there.
Anyway, the brunch! Murrayhill serves breakfast seven days a week, and the breakfast part of it doesn’t change at all on weekends. They just add lunch items: soups, salads, sandwiches, pasta, and a couple of entrees. The Crew and I, of course, hardly recognize the existence of such things. We are Breakfast People, after all.
The menu features 10 egg dishes, the most interesting of which were the Dungeness Crab Eggs Benedict ($15.75) and the Sausage Hash ($11.25) with potatoes, caramelized onions, red bell peppers, cajun hollandaise, two eggs, and biscuit or toast. (I threw down another dollar for a single buttermilk pancake.)
Aside from the eggy stuff, there’s also chicken fried steak, biscuits and gravy, a burrito, steak and eggs, waffles (including bacon waffles), pancakes (blue corn and buttermilk), French toast and “light and fresh” stuff like granola and oatmeal — which the Crew also doesn’t recognize.
I got the sausage hash, which, as described, would have been good enough. But they didn’t mention some of the potatoes are sweet potatoes, and they seem to have been boiled til soft, then crisped on a grill. The sweet of that and the red peppers, mixed with the spice and creaminess of the cajun hollandaise, plus a little kick in the sausage, made this one of the best things I’ve eaten in a while. The pancake was fluffy and delightful, as well. Quite the meal for $12.25.
Some shots of other dishes ordered, all of which were enjoyed:
This was one of those Crew outings where I was having too much fun, and enjoying the food too much, to take any notes of consequence. I’ll just say that, setting aside my feelings about suburbia, it was mighty nice to sit by a lake and have a tasty meal with friends, and on top of all that keep an eye on happenings in the Premier League.
Cafe Murrayhill is at 14500 SW Murray Scholls Drive in Beaverton, and online at cafemurrayhill.com. Breakfast is served 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, and a weekend brunch adds lunch items. Drinks: Illy coffee, Two Leaves and a Bud Tea, espresso, Mimosas. Wait: A little, and they don’t take reservations. Payments: All major cards. Outside seating: Some tables on a patio overlooking the lake.
Please help me publish the new edition of Breakfast in Bridgetown! Contribute to my Indiegogo campaign, and you and secure a signed copy with your name in the Acknowledgements, as well as a copy of the new edition of 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Portland, a gift certificate to a breakfast place in the book, and other cool perks.
The campaign, again, is right here.