Zell's Cafe is located at the corner of SE 13th and Morrison in Portland, Oregon.
Every so often, I will search for a breakfast spot with a bunch of positive ratings. Zell's, with its homey and still slightly old-school vibe inside, checked all those boxes. Arriving around 9 AM on a Saturday morning, not all the seats were filled. I took a seat at the counter.
Zell's breakfasts are mainly pancakes (from the traditional to German-style) and omelets/scrambles. The German pancakes will take a while to prepare, and the server mentioned that any option with berries tends to be popular in summertime.
I also of course got my cup of coffee ($2.75). They will probably refill it as many times as you want, but I had my eyes set on another coffee place right after this.
You will get two small scones and what appears to be marionberry jelly before your order arrives. Wonderfully prepared. Golden brown on the outside and the ideal texture on the inside. Scones are usually naturally dry, so the sweet jelly is an ideal spread for this.
I ordered the portobello scramble ($11): eggs mixed with sliced portobello mushrooms, spinach, and tomato, topped with shredded Asiago cheese. It comes with a side of their sauteed diced potatoes.
Everything in the scramble cooked nicely. The slightly pungent Asiago works very well here to uplift the scramble. Those potatoes nearly stole the show, though. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The potatoes looked they were cooked on a flattop grill instead of a pan to get all those crispy bits (but hey, I just eat food). Everything seasoned to my liking.
The only thing it missed was a bit of heat, but some hot sauce took care of that. The portion size was about right, maybe slightly on the smaller side for my liking.
The place filled up even more as I left, and as I drove past Zell's one last time, it looked like a waitlist had formed. I probably got there before the crowd showed up. No parking lot, just find a space on the street as close as you can.
I figured Zell's Cafe would be great, but even I was not expecting it to be this awesome. Check it out! 8.75/10
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