BEND, OR: McKay Cottage has the best breakfasts!

During a recent visit to central Oregon, my wife and I decided to venture out for breakfast rather than take the easy way out and eat at our hotel. Were we ever glad we did!

Exterior, McKay Cottage Restaurant
McKay Cottage Restaurant in Bend is situated in a beautifully restored historic craftsman cottage that was formerly the home of Bend pioneers Clyde and Olive McKay and their son, who later became Senator Gordon McKay. Relocated from its original site to its current location on O.B. Riley Road across from the Deschutes River, the establishment offers what it calls “creative comfort food.”

Being breakfast lovers, we picked McKay Cottage because of its high ranking on various social media sites and were not disappointed.

Arriving shortly after 9 o’clock on a Sunday morning in early September, we had a wait of about 15 minutes for the “first available” table: either inside or on the lawn, which the restaurant uses when weather allows. While there was a bit of seating for those who were waiting, most of us just milled around and enjoyed the ambiance. The establishment provided complimentary coffee and water while we waited.

Bellini and Mimosa
Ushered to our seat indoors, we found the arrangement cozy, if not a bit cramped. Still, everyone seemed in good cheer, so the close proximity to other diners contributed to a more convivial atmosphere that I would have otherwise expected.

As we were “on vacation,” we indulged in a Bellini and a Mimosa while we perused the extensive menu. $5.95 each.

The biggest problem we had was that so many things looked so good! A glance at other tables revealed that the portions were also quite generous, so we decided to share an order.

Paulina Hash
While we considered the biscuits and gravy, an omelet from the “Omelets/Scrambles” section of the menu, or one of the varieties of eggs Benedict from the “Benedicts/Hash” section, we settled on the Paulina hash: diced Yukon gold potatoes griddled with smoked Farmland ham, Tillamook cheddar cheese and red onions, then topped with poached eggs and maple bacon hollandaise. We asked for classic hollandaise sauce, which the establishment gladly substituted. Served with fresh fruit and a homemade butter scone, the dish is $12.95. We decided to substitute a blueberry muffin for the scone for an additional $1.75.

In addition to the Omelets/Scrambles and Benedicts/Hash selections, the restaurant’s breakfast menu also included sections with more traditional "Egg dishes"; "French toast, Pancakes and Crepes"; and "Fruits/Bakery". It also serves lunch from a menu with a wide selection of sandwiches, salads and soups, and specialties including tacos and fish ‘n’ chips.

Despite the craziness of a Sunday morning breakfast crowd, service was prompt and attentive. Our server, Ally, brought our drinks promptly, gave us enough time to peruse the menu, had the kitchen split the entree we'd mentioned we'd be sharing, checked back to be sure everything was in good order, and got us on our way quickly when we were ready to go.

It is difficult, if not impossible, to fairly judge a restaurant by a single visit. But based on our first and only visit to date, we will definitely be back.

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Photos by Carl Dombek
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