By Gayl Biondi
Like many American institutions, the story of Elmer’s Restaurant, a local favorite, is a classic tale of good old-fashioned ingenuity. In 1960, Walt and Dorothy Elmer opened Elmer’s Colonial Pancake House in Portland, Oregon, and featured such popular offerings as Hawaiian Pineapple Pancakes, Stuffed Tomato with Deviled Eggs, Liver and Onions, and Sanka coffee. Legend has it that Walt Elmer paid $1,000 for the exclusive rights to his original pancake batter recipe and kept it locked in his safe.
Today there are 25 Elmer’s Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner restaurants going strong, each one locally-owned and operated. Born in the Northwest, Elmer’s has 17 locations in Oregon, four in Washington, three in Idaho and one here in Palm Springs. In 2012, Elmer’s was ranked one of the Top Ten Family Dining Restaurants in a nationwide survey by a leading consumer publication.
Elmer’s has always served comfortable, satisfying fare with an emphasis on fresh ingredients and traditional flavors. The menu cover changes six times each year to showcase seasonal entrées. Complementing the offerings are vintage photos and sayings like, “We’re glad you’re here” and “I have the Elmer’s spirit.” While the food is a star in its own right, it’s the service that makes customers smile. At Elmer’s, patrons are called Guests, with a capital G.
Elmer’s serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner featuring Northwest favorites like Boyd’s® Coffee, Oregon Marionberry syrup, Tillamook® cheese, and sausages from Portland-based Zenner’s® Sausage Company. Breakfast continues to be the big draw with fan favorites, including Northwest Blueberry Pancakes, Yukon French Toast, and the Saturday Market Skillet. Many Guests happily enhance their morning meal with a refreshing mimosa.
Local owner-operators Jacky and Fred Donnell met in the Palm Springs restaurant when Jacky was the manager and Fred was a Guest. The Donnells and their team delight in welcoming desert locals as well as Northwest snowbirds craving a taste of home. Elmer’s is open daily from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
1030 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264 760-327-8419
• “Looking for Sun” Omelet - With smoky chipotle bacon, jack and cheddar cheese, Northwest salsa and fresh avocado
• Bacon & Tillamook® Potato Cakes & Eggs - Topped with sour cream and green onions
• German Pancake That’s “almost as big as Crater Lake” - Topped with butter, dusted with powdered sugar, and finished with a squeeze of fresh lemon
• Ivar’s Famous Clam Chowder
• Organic Greens with Smoke-Grilled Chicken Salad
• The Cascade Club
• Prime Rib Dip
• Beer-Battered Fish & Chips
• Slow Roasted Rock-Salt Prime Rib
• Hazelnut-Crusted Alaskan Cod
• Pioneer Chicken-Fried Steak
• Chuckwagon Slow- Roasted Pot Roast
• Columbia Crest Chardonnay, WA
• Columbia Crest Two Vines Cabernet-Merlot, WA
• King Estate Pinot Noir, OR
• Widmer Hefeweizen, OR