Last weekend we made an impromptu trip to the Oregon coast. On the way down there we stopped in Astoria to pick up provisions and grab a bite to eat and found ourselves at the counter of the Columbian Cafe. There were only three seats available in the restaurant and they just happened to be right in front of where the chef prepares the food behind the counter which turned out to be the best spot in the house. The menu consists of a lot of your average breakfast items but on one page they walk you though their chef's choice (Mercy) option where you get to choose from a vegetarian Mercy, seafood Mercy, or Mercy Mercy which could be vegetarian, seafood or meat. Then you choose your spice level and the rest is left in the hands of the chef depending on what ingredients are fresh, available and align with what they feel like making. As the menu says, this option is not for control freaks.
We ordered the Mercy Mercy and watched as the chef created a beautiful rice and bean mixture topped with chorizo, fried eggs and avocado. It was incredible! My mother in law ordered the same chef's choice option but she ended up with a plate covered in a lacey sheet of grilled shredded potato topped with chicken sausage, red potatoes, sundried tomatoes, fried eggs and fresh basil pesto. Absolutely gorgeous and delicious.
It's been a while since I did a restaurant related post but I had to share the spot with you guys. If you are passing through Astoria and in need of breakfast or lunch I can't recommend this place enough. Just make sure you have plenty of time because there is only one person cooking and each ticket is made to order with a lot of care so it is far from fast food. If you can swing it try to snag a seat at the counter so that you can watch them work their magic. We didn't even mind having four orders ahead of us because we were so entertained.