Every day is like Sunday at the new Gigi's Cafe in Hillsdale. (Well, every day except Monday when they're closed.) That's because the entire menu is a brunch-worthy collection of scrambles and hashes with a heavy dose of Belgian waffles.
"We live in Southwest Portland," says owner Charlene Wesler, "and one of our main complaints was there wasn't a ton of good brunch options on our side of the river. So part of opening this was to provide brunch to the west side."
As we reported in September, Wesler also owns the popular Gaufre Gourmet liege waffle cart Downtown, but Gigi's is her chance to branch out beyond waffles a bit, though they still take center stage. The menu boasts eight waffle combos, with more to come in the next month or so. "We had a Kickstarter and one of the rewards was people could create and name a waffle. So we'll have 10 new waffles that we're working on with those people," she says.
The Kickstarter was launched to help build out a proper soda fountain where they can prepare house-made sodas, floats, milkshakes, and sundaes. But that addition is still a few months away, as they deal with upgrading the electrical system. "We need a couple months to get the electricity working properly. We're overloading it."
For now, they're using local Atlas Soda Works syrups for their sodas. "No Pepsi or Coke. When we get a handle on things then we can start making our own." There are also fresh juices, coffee custom-blended by St. John's Roasters, plus beer, wine, cider, and mimosas.
Gigi's had its grand opening on November 22 and has been packed ever since. "We just kind of turned the light on and unlocked the door and people started flooding in," says Wesler. "So we're trying to keep up and keep people happy."
In time, she hopes to add some occasional dinner hours to the mix. "We may do some popup dinners with other food carts, because that's where our roots are and it would be fun to collaborate."
Gigi's Cafe: 6320 SW Capitol Hwy., Hillsdale. Hours: Tuesday-Friday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; closed Monday. (Closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Day)