A cozy cross between an American diner and a French country restaurant, the Bijou is one of Portland's favorite brunch palaces for some very good reasons. Hearty dishes like oyster hash and a French-style omelette with Cypress Grove goat cheddar fuse imaginative ingredients with rustic tastes, and the housemade sausages can't be beat. Brunchtime greatness does come with a price—the wait can be long (up to an hour on weekends), but the staff is happy to keep the coffee or mimosas flowing while the dining room bustles around you. On weekdays the lunch crowd comes for similarly creative concoctions like the grilled steak sandwich with kalamata ailoi, sautéed onions and arugula, and the buckwheat noodle salad with julienned vegetables and hijiki.
IDEAL MEAL: Nancy's yogurt and fresh fruit; French omelette with cheddar, roasted onions and potatoes; sparkling wine. 32 SW 3rd Ave. 222-3187.