Portland >Food & Dining > Junior's Cafe
1742 SE 12th Ave, Portland, OR | Directions 9721445.510169 -122.653589
Neighborhoods: Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Program, Hosford - Abernethy
I have yet in all my visits to be thrilled with the service at Junior's, but I sure do love their gold booths and if my housemate weren't so close-minded about my amazing interior design ideas, I'd have a row of the same in my dining room. Good scrambles too. Go early if you don't like waiting for your shot at a gold booth.
Savory Breakfasts – Let me say that I dig the decor in Juniors quite a bit. Gold is the main color here & the place gives a feel of kitsch & luxe at the same time. The waitstaff was direct and friendly and all quite lovely little hipsters that you could feel okay having your granny meet. I must admit I've been there twice & had the same dish. But it was so good the first time I couldn't help myself. I had a potato dish called the Spicy. I added an egg & a side of chicken apple sausage to go with it & experienced a kind of breakfast bliss I have not known in a while. The potatoes are cooked to a browned happiness and the home-made salsa was some of the best I've ever had from anywhere. Infact many breakfast themed places could take a lesson from Juniors on how salsa should taste. And when I cut up some of the sausage & put it on the spuds...Oh joy indeed! Tried the Spicy without the chix sausage & it was a bit more flat than the the few days prior, but good all the same. My dining partner liked her breakfast too but I forgot the name of it. What was interesting too was how darn good the toast was. I got the italian both times & the toast light & cooked perfectly with just the right amount of buttery goodness. When I went to Juniors this past Saturday the place was busy yet nothing was compromised & my other 3 dining companions finished theirs meals completely and all were very happy. I'll go back soon & maybe try something else.
Exactly Right – The portions are perfect for a HEALTHY person. Big even. Hipster service that isn't hipper than though, I thought that was nice. Excellent fresh food, a lovely neighborhood gem. Yay Juniors.
Average at best. – When someone asks for vegan food, it would be nice to NOT get butter on toast. Also, less grease and salt would be good. Maybe increase the mini sized portions a bit?
I'm still hungry.
Best service and great brunch (vegan options too) – I love Juniors. It is comfortable and tasty. The staff is the best and most consistent in town. The new owner is one of the servers which I think adds the familial touch and keeps all of the service above par. Owners changed a year or two ago (i think) and I know they tried changing the menu a bit, only to go back to what the people loved. They have tasty vegan options for those who partake and they don't taste gross (vegan french toast on the list). The scrambles all around are awesome!!
Love the gold booths and the velvet wallpaper and lights!
Great to go with kids – Every time I go there there are kids dancing in the aisles. The servers are great at indulging (and dodging them!). The food is fantastic and the kids slurp it down. Fresh fresh juices, rather underpriced high-quality food, great service, fun as all get out. Bring the kids!
DINING PERFECTION!!!! Definately a 10++ – Junior's Cafe is the best. The price is right, the people are amazing and the food is SO GOOD! I'm getting hungry just sitting here typing this! If you haven't gone you should definately treat yourself to a good time. The owners are incredible and have done fantastic with keeping Junior's a place you can always go to feel welcome. You can't even do Junior's justice in writing! Just Go Go Go and check it out for yourself and I know you'll feel the same!!
Like Eating at your Friend's house – The Junior's staff always welcomes me with open arms. The servers know what kind of tea I drink and even my name. These folks never fail to serve me and my friends warm toast and hot delicious eggs topped with fresh herbs and a side of organic fruit if we feel like it. The new menu shakes things up a little, but all of the old favorites remain. Besides, you can't miss with additions like polenta, poached eggs, braised greens and the fennel leek hash. I'll keep coming back again and again and so should you.
Used to be the best in the city, now it's a joke. – Junior's Cafe was bar none my favorite breakfast restaurant of all-time, for many years. The heaping plates of spuds, sizzling hot with tons of cheese and spinach, were a godsend on sleepy Sunday mornings.
All of that seems to be gone now. I went to Junior's a couple days ago for the first time in a year (recently moved back to Portland) and it was like night and day. For starters, their menu has been changed to add a few more items, but the annoying thing is they got rid of the old names of the Spud Melts... So now instead of just saying you want the "Greek Spuds" you have to say you want the "Roasted potatoes with spinach, feta, garlic and tomatoes", and then once you're through communicating that to the waitress, she just writes "Greek Spuds" on the ticket anyway. What the hell was wrong with the old name of the dish??
Now on to the food itself. As a longtime Junior's devotee I was really excited for another big tasty plate of potatoes, but what I received was anything but. For one thing, the portion size was about 1/3 what it used to be. The potatoes pretty much only covered the very center of the plate, whereas before it was all the way to the edges and piled high. Secondly, the potatoes were way undercooked and almost rock hard in the middle. The potato slices were also gigantic, requiring you to slice through their rockhardedness to fit them in your mouth, instead of just being able to eat regular size spuds like the old days. My wife ordered a different spud dish from me and hers was exactly the same way. Tiny portion, undercooked and underwhelming.
Someone mentioned that this place had new owners. I have no idea who they are, but they completely blew it. They've ruined a great Portland breakfast institution and I'm never going back.
Go for the spuds – I love this place, I used to love it a lot more before I started making my own special spuds. The best thing here is probably the special spuds with the pork loin instead of bacon, or spuds with spinach, mushrooms, feta, and pork loin. The owners changed recently but the food hasn't. The service is friendly, the wait can take a while if you don't come at the right hours, but hey just ask to sit outside or smoke a cigarette or something, it's worth it. You will be full if you eat a plate of spuds. The waffles are great too, though not as filling as the spuds. The scrambles are all right, but a step below the spuds. If only this place served mimosas...
It's cheap, chic and just off Hawthorne's beaten path. – In Short
With its Victorian wallpaper and gilt-edged mirrors, Junior's semi-retro atmosphere attracts a crowd of young parents and Eastsiders who know a bargain when they see it. The gold vinyl booths also add a special touch. Breakfast offerings include hearty-sized egg scrambles loaded with treats like feta, garlic and spinach. Waffles are light and crispy, but there are no pancakes. Lunch fare includes a good selection of sandwichesm, including vegetarian options, and minestrone soup.
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