Dahlia Café

3000 NE Killingsworth, 287-4398

I hadn't been to the Dahlia Café since shortly after it opened. When I passed by recently I realized I'd completely forgotten it existed way out there on Killingsworth. But I have good news to report. 1) It does exist 2) the food is still great and 3) they serve liquor now. Hurrah. I had one of their specialty cocktails the other night, the Sarah Beth Collins (Absolut Citron, lemon juice, pineapple juice) and it was fantastic. Not to mention the tasty vegetarian Rueben I wolfed down, and the expertly crafted homestyle fries. They offer vegan options, too, plus regular burgers, bacon, eggs, etc. They're a good spot for breakfast with specialties like the Northwest eggs benedict with rich salmon, and homemade baked goods. But I must say, I think it's time for you to try their cocktails. Like now. KS

Bridges

2716 NE MLK, 288-4169

Slowly but surely, Bridges has become my favorite breakfast place in town. Not only is it in walking distance of my house, but they have a healthy breakfast of grits topped with poached eggs and fresh vegetables like spinach, bell peppers, and onions for $6--plus this breakfast helps you cut down on carbs by not offering toast. Other great items are the cheesy eggs fiesta served with salsa on a bed of potatoes, the huevos racheros, and if you're dining light, they serve a fantastic fresh fruit bowl. KS

Hoda's Middle-Eastern Cuisine

3401 SE Belmont, 236-8325

Hoda's great triumphs come from the oven. Baba gannoujh is smoky decadence for only $3.50 with all the fresh pita you can eat. Oh, and the bread. Baked within seconds of being consumed, it is light enough to float off the plate, subtly tangy with natural leavening, and an integral part of the meal. Without an obscene amount of garlic, Hoda's hummus leaves you able to identify the flavor of chick peas, which sink into the rich tahini. Hoda's hummus as a metaphor for the restaurant itself; virtue is found in simplicity. RR