Cameo Pancake and Steak
Staking out Rosewayâ€™s eastern commercial edge, the Cameo Cafe also looks East for inspiration in its offerings. The turquoise sign, cheerily painted patio area, and spiffy interior may speak to the classic American breakfast jointâ€”and the menu does list the standards, buttermilk stacks, Belgian waffles, and French toastâ€”but the heart of the operation is culinary adventure.
The menu suggests: â€œWe would like you to consider looking beyond traditional dishes and try some of our extraordinary unique offerings with strange sounding words.â€Â By now many of us have tasted kimchi, the Korean dish of fermented vegetables; the Cameo serves it in an omelette and a hash. Bypassing the language barrier altogether, patrons can order the New Korean Breakfast Special, which serves the standard meat and eggs fare with kimchi and rice. Rice and veggies also give the Asian spin for Sue Geeâ€™s Fusion Pancake.
Then thereâ€™s that pindaettok. Pancakes of mung bean batter come studded with vegetables such as zucchini, carrot, and onion, with savory spices and ground rice blended in. Just to make sure youâ€™ll stay full until dinner the Cameo throws on a couple eggs, bacon, and toast.
Owner Sue Gee marked 24 years running the restaurant in May, which has another location in Vancouver across the river. Beaming a bright smile, she pours on the personal touch, displaying a picture of her daughter meeting with President Obama recently at the counter, and crafting her own â€œOh Babyâ€ hot sauce and raspberry sauce for the restaurants.
Lunch provides a similar globetrotting mix, from Bulgoki Beef to the Portland Beaver Burger and Grilled Awesome Pot Stickers to the usual deli sandwiches and an impressive list of salads and soups including Long Life, Mandu Kook, and Soldier varieties.
Next time your palate craves a meal thatâ€™s out of this (Western) world, the Cameo awaits.
Cameo Cafe, 8111 N.E. Sandy Blvd., 503-284-0401, 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
A regular feature written by Roseway Neighborhood Association board member Margaret Davis, Roseway Works profiles the businesses that help make our neighborhood unique.