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Come for the mountains, stay for the Alpenglow (café, that is)


Living in Bend, I have a lot of out-of-town guests. After they spend a few nights in my guest room enjoying home-cooked meals between hiking and skiing, they inevitably extend an invitation:

The Visit Bend crowd enjoys breakfast at Alpenglow.

“We’d love to take you out to breakfast,” they’ll say. “Where should we go?”

Before they even finish the question, I’m waiting in the car ready to point the way to Alpenglow Café.

Alpenglow has been one of my favorite spots since I arrived in Bend 13 years ago, and things have only gotten better since they moved a few blocks to their roomier space on Wall Street and Newport Avenue in 2006.

Specializing in fresh, made-from-scratch dishes, Alpenglow boasts no canned or frozen ingredients. They offer a $1000 reward if you can find a can opener on the premises (though there’s a thinly veiled threat of death if you attempt to cheat and bring your own).

They make all their own breads and buy their milk, yogurt and cream from Central Oregon dairy cows. All bacon, beef, chicken and salmon are smoked in Deschutes County, and their pancake and waffle batters are made fresh daily with Oregon fresh eggs, milk, buttermilk and flour.

My favorite treat on the breakfast menu is Zeus’s Favorite Frittata. It’s made with fresh oregano, kalamata olives, caramelized onions, fresh tomatoes, feta, cream cheese and scallions and served with a side of Alpenglow’s amazing home fries. You also get your choice of fruit, toast, or their unbelievable coffee cake.

I’m not ashamed to admit I once stabbed someone with a fork after he tried to take one of my home fries. Consider that a warning.

Other great Alpenglow breakfast dishes include their divine Eggs Benedict or their scrumptious Potato Pancakes served with house-made applesauce.

Though I tend to think of Alpenglow as a morning hotspot, they’ve got incredible lunches as well. I’m a huge fan of their Smoked Salmon Quesadilla. It’s made with fresh house-smoked salmon, cream cheese, fresh dill, and scallions melted on a crisp flour tortilla and garnished with hollandaise and lemon.

No, that’s not a typo – hollandaise on a quesadilla. It sounds odd, but trust me, it’s fabulous.

Alpenglow is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. They don’t take reservations, and I suggest getting there a little earlier on weekends when things can get a bit crowded.

If you want to buy me breakfast at Alpenglow, I’ll gladly take you up on it. If you promise not to touch my home fries, I won’t even stab you.

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