Wednesday, February 21, 2018

BEND, Ore. - McKay Cottage revisited

During a recent visit to central Oregon, my wife and I returned to a favorite breakfast place we'd discovered about four years ago. Happily, the atmosphere was as pleasant, and the food as tasty, as we remembered them.

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 originally picked McKay Cottage because of its high ranking on various social media sites and were not disappointed. Our return visit, now based on our previous experience, was no less delightful.

On our latest visit, on a Friday morning in February, we enjoyed the complimentary coffee as we waited on their heated porch for about five minutes. Had we been willing to brave the cold but clear weather, we could have eaten outside, around one of their cozy fire pits.

Fire pits for outdoor dining in cold weather
Ushered to our seat indoors, we found the arrangement cozy, if 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.

The biggest problem we had was that so many things looked so good!

While we considered the biscuits and gravy, crepes or French toast, or one of the varieties of eggs Benedict from the “Benedicts/Hash” section, we decided to split a Mt. Bachelor omelette. Along with a Mango mimosa for me and coffee for both, we were quite satisfied.

Our server also brought a bottle of the house-made ketchup, which was a bit sweet for my taste, though not nearly as sweet as the most popular commercial varieties.
One half of the Mt. Bachelor omelette

On a previous visit, we enjoyed 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.

McKay Cottage clearly updates its menu periodically to keep things fresh and new. The Paulina hash has been replaced by other varieties, including the Hoodoo Hash and the Baja Chicken Hash Stack.

In addition to the Omelets/Scrambles and Benedicts/Hash selections, the restaurant also offers 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.

All the servers at McKay Cottage seem to take care of whomever needs to be taken care of. After we asked the server who brought our coffee to give us a few minutes with the menu, a different server came by to check on us and took our order. Other servers kept our coffees filled, and another ultimately brought our bill. High marks for excellent service all around.

It is difficult for restaurants to keep things updated and in sync with current tastes and trends, buy McKay Cottage seems to manage it quite nicely. Next time we're in Bend, we'll definitely be back.

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Photos by Carl Dombek
Click on photos to view larger images

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