If you’ve never been humbled by a plate of French toast, it’s time you make a trip to Byways Café, a 1950s diner at 1212 N.W. Glisan Street, right in the heart of Portland's ritzy Pearl District. The down-home café serves a killer plate of Amaretto French Toast — four thick, fluffy pieces of brioche served with honey pecan butter and maple syrup — piled so high you’ll have to take a moment to admire before you dig in.
Good thing we split a plate between the three of us. Trying to tackle servings solo would have done us in.
The walls and glass cases above the booths in the café are filled with the type of travel kitsch your grandmother would bring you home from summer vacation — snow globes, porcelain bells, commemorative plates. The decor gives the place a comfortable, retro feel.
The counter, during a rare moment when it'd cleared out
The wait staff was friendly enough that I forgave them for not bringing me a cup of coffee until the third time I asked (once it arrived, it was good).
Also on the breakfast menu: blue corn pancakes, biscuits and gravy, all sorts of scrambles and hash. Lunch is apparently available sometimes too, and on that menu, you'll find burgers, corned beef sandwiches, fried egg sandwiches and BLTs. Portions are hearty.
To know what's going on at Byways RIGHT NOW, find them on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bywayscafe.