Stepping Stone Café

2390 NW Quimby, 222-1132

This neighborhood joint is a great place to go for a mellow weekday breakfast or lunch, or if you don't mind waiting a few minutes on weekends. They have great big omelets, my favorite being the Cat, loaded with cottage cheese, tomatoes, and avocado, and accompanied by a pile of thin sliced fried potatoes. The burgers are dope, and the grilled vegetarian sandwich is a tasty smattering of mixed vegetables and cheese, which I love, but disgusts a friend of mine because it comes complete with the dreaded "celery." Sandwiches, refreshingly, come with a choice of soup, salad, or potatoes. Get there early, though, they're only open 'til 2 pm. KS

Olive Garden

11650 SW Canyon, Bvtn, 644-0607; 8700 SE Sunnydale, Clackamas, 652-1200

I know it's a chain restaurant, and I can tell you from experience that working there totally sucks, and that the clientele are for the most part what a friend of mine reluctantly calls "garbage wrapped in skin." But... the salad and breadsticks, and the Minestrone or Pasta Fagioli soup are damn good (order a side of Alfredo if you're feeling extra heathenous), and the all-you-can-eat soup, salad, breadsticks special is only $5.95 before 4 pm. If you end up shopping out in Clackamas or Beaverton, head in for a guilty corporate pleasure. I promise you won't run into anyone you know. KS

Soup and Soap

4236 N Mississippi, 281-3926

With a heavy soul food influence and crazy breakfast combinations (waffle, chicken wings, and eggs for $7.95 or potatoes, red snapper or catfish and eggs for $9.50) the Soup and Soap is completely unique. Highlights include the pan-fried breakfast steak, which is thin, lightly breaded, and just greasy enough. The devilish breakfast sandwich is served between two warm, toasted, giant pieces of sourdough bread, and is loaded with dripping grilled cheese, salty, crisp bacon (or ham), an egg, and crispy, shredded iceberg lettuce, and tomato. Also, try the delicious confections such as the sweet potato pie or the cinnamon roll. KS