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Down To Earth Cafe can get pretty busy but the food will make you forget the wait.

SUMITTED PHOTO JONATHAN YOUNG-ELLIS - Down to Earth before the crowds arrive.

Often enough, people who live in close proximity to such things as a landmark tourist destination or some such location will tell you they've never been there. My home is a ten-minute walk to Multnomah Village. Georgina and I take that walk at least once a week. Typically, we end up on the center street of the Village, Capitol Highway. We've happily visited many of the shops and restaurants on the main street. More than a few of those places have found their way into this column. A couple of locations off the center street have also attracted our attention but in three years, there are a few we've missed. There is no good reason for such neglect on our part other than, like many people, we get used to going back to places we already love. That, of course, is the problem since it keeps us from expanding our vision.

A couple of weeks ago, Georgina, her brother, Josh, and his wonderful fiancée, Ruth, and I took a long hike (to hear Josh tell it we went on a very short stroll) through Woods Park and then guided by Georgina's solid pathfinder skills, we happily wandered along autumn-leaved side-streets and alleys into the Village proper. Our intention was to work off any potential calories we might ingest at brunch beforehand. Good idea!

The Down to Earth Café has been in its location since long before we came to town. The owner's son-in-law, Masoud, told me that the place has been there for eleven years! In all this time it's been right under our noses, and yet, well, let's just say that there's a first time for everything.

From the outside, it's just another attractive little business in the midst of other attractive little businesses. We stepped through the front door at just the right moment (big surprise, right?). In spite of the restaurant being packed, our luck came in the form of a four-top just being cleared. We were seated immediately. Like I say, the place was already jumping, and we did have to wait a while before our server could get to us, but we were happy enough to sit, gab, and watch enviously as others who'd already been served dove into different delicious-looking brunch-related delights. Ultimately, we ordered, our drinks were delivered, and we looked on as the kitchen got slammed. Everyone on the staff was gracious and attentive, even as they hurried to get to everyone. Even as we waited, a line was forming out the door and down the street. Clearly, our timing was immaculate. Just as clearly, there are already plenty of folks who know what this place is all about. The food is fresh and prepared with a flair. Everything we ordered came to the table looking like culinary works of art. The rest of the gang ordered healthy vegie style omelets and what-all, while for my part I went out on a limb and ordered the Bacon version of Eggs Benedict. Let's just say that when our brunch arrived, Josh offered that it was the most attractive plate on the table. I win!

Sitting at a table in the warmly decorated Down to Earth Café feels much like relaxing in the soft colors of a sunrise. The staff is a diverse mix, and so are those who dine there. The food also reflects this diversity in little ways which makes it that much more interesting than the usual brunch fair. The menu includes gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan options. So, step off the beaten track, break your routine, and step into this little gem for breakfast, lunch Monday through Sunday 8AM to 3PM. There's so much here to make it worth your while!

Website: downtoearthcafe.com

Rating: Very Sincere

If you know of a business here in Southwest Portland that you think might meet our criteria please send their information to me HYPERLINK "mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I can't promise to write about them though, as that in itself would be, well, you know… insincere.

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