Having traversed the four-mile bridge over the Columbia that links Washington and Oregon, and suddenly encountered a string of assholes on the road, I pulled over for a restorative breakfast at the Columbian Cafe, which everyone says good things about.
They're not wrong. House baked toasted sourdough is very good, and comes with a plate of three jellies (en; jams): garlic, jalapeno and cayenne. They absolutely kick ass. It's exactly this kind of inspiration I'm looking for on my travels. The rest of the breakfast is good enough - beans are great, spuds are less so. But the bacon is wonderful. They cure and smoke it themselves, with brown sugar and maple. There's nothing worse than over sweet pork products, but this just hints at it, the pigginess winning the day.
The grill man is a girl. She used to be a cook, she said, then she went away and trained as a massage therapist and did that for a few years, and now she's back. I can't be sure that she did the right thing without having her stick her elbows in my back, but she's a natural on the grill. In a brief lull between orders she looked genuinely agitated. People shift, she told me. They want different things, go away and do them. But the universe shifts too, she said, and best of all is when they shift together.
Amen to that, with garlic jam on top.