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.
Price Range: $$
Fred and Jacky Donnell, owners of Elmer’s Restaurant, Palm Springs, enjoy telling the stories behind all the historic Palm Springs photos that enliven the restaurant walls.
Known for their exceptional American-style breakfasts, Elmer’s favorites include (from bottom, clockwise) Strawberry Crepes with fresh whipped cream; Northwest Blueberry Pancakes dusted with powdered sugar; and “Looking for Sun” omelet filled with smoky chipotle bacon, jack and cheddar cheese, green onion topped with fresh salsa, avocado, and sour cream. Enjoy a glass of sparkling champagne mimosa or a cup of Boyd’s® Northwest Lodge blend coffee with your meal.
What People Are Saying
|This site is a member of the City & Regional Magazine Association Online Network|