In July, Don and I had a fun-homey meal at Dean's.
We had heard about the family owned cafe, from my sister. Jennifer sent a text last February, "Kate and I just ate at a place that you and Don would love!" She raved about the food and the folks running the place. Dean's went on my list!
Palms & Roses
Don and I were back in Portland in July and checked the place out, on our very last day. It was an easy stop, right off the highway on the way to the airport.
We parked and headed towards the sweet looking bungalow. What a palm! It made me feel like we were back in Texas. Those roses were mighty sweet, too! Bonus points!
Picnic Tables and Porch
Bonus points for picnic tables, too. Don and I are cautious travelers and diners, during these pandemic times. We appreciate outside options.
And oh how I love a porch, I guess we could have eaten out there too. But we were curious to see the inside of this cute place. We headed for the door. Luckily we had cash, since the sign told us they didn't take credit cards.
Eating in the House
We were greeted by a young bearded man, named Tyler. He was carrying on with a group of coffee drinking men, near the fireplace. Tyler invited us to sit anywhere. We peeked in the second room, which looked cozy with lots of old woodwork.
I was curious about the window that connected both rooms. Was that original? I could see through to the fireplace.
The front room had the fun fireplace, that would have been nice on a cold day. I was sort of amused by how the mantel was being used on a day in July. It had become a shelf, for holding napkins and carry-out containers.
I was more amused listening to Tyler, with the locals who were sitting near the fireplace. Tyler was across the room, but he conversed with the older gentlemen, as he moved from here to there. Don and I felt somehow included in some of the humor, that flew back and forth. The coffee drinkers seemed to egg Tyler on. At one point an old fellow stood and headed to the counter, with his cane. Tyler teased, "No running on the pool deck now!" There were some chuckles.
Sitting in the Front Room
Don and I were seated at a comfy table in the front room, with a view of the dining counter, below a display of old tools.
Next to the old saw and drill, there was a sassy little sign. "I'll have a cafe mocha, vodka, Xanax, Latte to go please."
I read a few more snappy sentences above the window. "Mind your own biscuits and life will be gravy!"
"Bacon makes everything better!" "Public Drunkenness Prohibited!"
As we sat and absorbed the atmosphere around us, I began to see how these signs set the tone for the place.
On the wall past the man at the counter, I spotted another sign, with yummy (and reasonably priced) food options.
The sign was surrounded by shelves of personalized mugs. Clearly, Dean's was a place where lots of locals enjoy breakfast. If it hadn't been so close to lunchtime, I'm sure more mugs would have been missing.
Chicken Noodle Soup
When Tyler came to take our order, I was able to compliment him on his t-shirt, with an amusing photo from the movie, "Step Brothers". He looked down to remind himself, then laughed. He seemed pleased that someone appreciated his goofy Will Farrell shirt.
I ordered Soup & BLT. My chicken noodle soup came so packed with noodles and chicken, I could have used a fork and knife. Moments later I heard a man nearby complain that his soup didn't have enough chicken. Tyler responded, by pointing to me. "Well, I gave all the chicken to her. It's her first time here!"
Don was pleased to have breakfast options for lunch. He was then perplexed about how to begin, with the massive serving on his plate.
Actually he was excited about his ham & cheese omelet and hash browns. There were no signs demanding that we clean our plates, so he was safe. I even helped him a bit and it was a yummy feast.
My delicious BLT arrived on sour dough. When I placed my order, Tyler suggested English muffin for my BLT. I hadn't caught on to his humor yet, so I said "Sure, BLT on and English muffin." Tyler shook his head and scolded that idea as if he hadn't given it to me. "What? You'll never fit 5 slices of bacon on that!" I scratched my head and ordered sourdough, which I loved. The sandwich was delish! And I wasn't a bit annoyed by Tyler's dry humor.
After lunch I explored on the way to the bathroom. I loved the old stairs and wondered about the family that once lived in this wonderful house.
Tyler saw me snapping photos and invited me to look at the framed photos of the Haberlach family.
How wonderful that these photos were preserved when the home was bought.
I did some internet searching later and couldn't find much info. But it looks like this family had some history with Tillamook Cheese!
Chatting with Tyler
Tyler checked us out and didn't reprimand us for not finishing our meal. He did ask where we were from though and said he might just have to charge us tax, since we were from Texas. His silly sarcasm reminded me of some of the old timer characters we've run across on our travels. But his quick and sassy remarks were somehow refreshing and kind.
I thanked Tyler for the great food and his fun humor. He seemed to genuinely appreciate that.
On our way out, we were stopped by a couple on the porch. They had overheard our conversation and seemed so pleased that we enjoyed the place. They told us, "We came all the way from Vancouver to eat today!" They agreed that Tyler was a fun and funny addition to the place. They also mentioned that Tyler's parents owned the place. "We've been coming to eat here, since Tyler was about 7 years old."
I loved ending our homey visit, with this extra little prize at the end. We drove off knowing that Dean's Cafe had been serving food for years in a couple other locations and in this cute house for about 10 years. I loved it that this couple knew Tyler as a little kid and had fun watching him grow up on their visits.
I tried to find more information on the internet, but found very little. Dean's is obviously a happy, homey business with lots of pleased customers. They evidently don't need lots of write ups and ads to lure people their way. Word of mouth got us there! The best kind of advertisement!
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.