It’s kind of a truism in Portland that the best eats are downtown, in the Pearl, or over on the east side. Or maybe, in a pinch, out in Lake Oswego. My friends call the western suburbs “foodie hell,” and I’m not sure I’d disagree; you’re more apt to find a MacDonalds than, say, a Pambiche or a Masu.

And so when you DO find a jewel out here, you tend to cherish it. My friend Kaitlyn and I lucked into Bethany’s Table last Sunday, and I think it’s gonna become my favorite west-side brunch place.

bethany-gobletsWe’d planned to hit up a fabric store–Kaitlyn’s making Lady Gaga costumes, among other things, and needed to get her sewing machine fixed. The store’s in Beaverton, so it seemed silly to go all the way downtown for brunch only to backtrack for shopping.

Unfortunately, my favorite westside brunch place–OCAC’s Hands-on Cafe–recently changed hands, and not for the better. The funky, student-made dishes and chairs have been replaced by cold, boring half-price cafeteria stuff. The food was better than a student cafeteria, but not by much. There was no sign of Hands-on’s formerly quirky, innovative-but-delicious dishes.

And HoC’s charming basket of pre-brunch nutbreads has mutated into a bad 1-inch strawberry tart, single cookie and 3 basil vinegar-soaked strawberries. How in the HECK do you split that between two people?

No point in going back there, so I hit up Open Table for a nearby brunch place; it suggested Bethany’s Table.


Nice pick.

This little cafe is in a strip mall in Bethany Village, not the most promising of spots.

Still, it was well-appointed and friendly, with a very nice looking cellar arrayed on one side. A Sharpei named Zoe greeted us at the door, and we were seated in what was funky cross between an elementary school library and a serious bistro.

Service was fast, attentive and friendly. It wasn’t overly crowded or noisy, i.e., we could hear ourselves think, and we chose to ignore the scaffolding festooning the outside of the building.

The staff left us alone to talk, but stopped by periodically to refill drinks and make sure we weren’t still hungry (we weren’t).

Kaitlyn ordered the hash, which had big chunks of corned beef and beautifully crusty potatoes. The corned beef was a tad dry, but well-flavored. Those potatoes more than made up for it, and they were topped with two poached eggs.

bethany-cakesI had the masa pancakes, two cornmeal pancakes topped with a barely-dead egg, grated cheese, ham and a spicy ranchero sauce.

The cakes were wonderful–light and chewy, not at all sweet, with a toasted corn flavor–and they soaked up the runny egg yolk perfectly.

I reserved part of one cake for the fresh butter and maple syrup they placed on the table and, I have to admit, I preferred them that way. (I’m not a huge fan of ranchero for breakfast, despite my origins) Next time, I’ll ask them to leave it off and let me concentrate on the cakes.

And there will be a next time. This one’s a keeper.