Don’t you, forget about me; don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t! Song from The Breakfast Club or memories of St Johns’ glittering past embodied in James John Cafe? You’ll be surprised because the answer is both, but in more ways than one. We’re talking vinyl, we’re talking potato vaults. We’re talking Molly Ringwald, we’re talking gold. Believe me, this will all make perfect sense!
Located at the end of N Philadelphia Avenue and N Lombard Street, James John Cafe funnels the art deco vibe of St Johns Bridge through the windows and into this funky coffee house and restaurant. Once a bank, its ceilings retain the embossed tin roof and elegant chandelier from days long gone. Back then, gold shipments ferried along the Willamette River were spirited from St Johns’ docks to the bank vault via tunnels. Today, the vault serves as storage for the cafe and houses a new kind of gold (from my hash-obsessed perspective), potatoes!
“This is all very fine, Clark, but what’s with The Breakfast Club reference?” you wonder as you start to hum Simple Minds’ anthem from 1985. Well, feast your eyes on a blast from the past – the soundtrack from The Breakfast Club was on deck and queued up for a spin. Hashcapade. The Breakfast Club. A joint. Hash. The ironic coincidence is not lost on me!
Speaking of hash, we ate some. Lots of it. In fact, Aaron Solly created no fewer than four outstanding hashes (clockwise from upper left) – Smoked Trout Hash made from house-cured trout, Corned Beef Hash made from house-brined Cascade Organic Beef, Sweet Potato Hash made from organic white and garnet sweet potatoes, and Chicken Hash made from Draper Valley chicken, all topped with poached eggs. Except for one rebel, channeling Judd Nelson and opting for Eggs Benedict Florentine, we all ordered hash!
How was it? Delicious! I ordered the Smoked Trout Hash with lovely morsels of salty & smoky trout, flavorful roasted potatoes, tasty onions, spices and luscious poached eggs. Aaron also provided two complimentary plates of the Chicken Hash for us to sample, thank you very much! My breakfast club nee hashcapade posse enjoyed every bite, accompanied by Water Avenue Coffee, freshly squeezed orange juice and very peppy Bloody Marys.
Thanks to my always adventurous hash posse: Mark, Janel, Mary, Dana, Tony, Jess, Brian, Ryan, David, Maria, Blake, Kristin, Cory; special thanks to Chefs Suzanne Bozarth and Aaron Solly anchoring the kitchen and Chavon Rose, Mike Weary & Cole Bowen out front for a fabulous brunch…we won’t forget about you!
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