Tucked away in Southwest Portland is a -tale residence. From the outdoor, it doesn’t appear to be something fancy. On the internal, however, is a restaurant that has captivated the Portland Trail Blazers franchise for years.
“I continually tell people,” stated former Blazer Clyde Drexler, “there may be this area you acquire to visit that is not going to blow your socks off outside, however, you’ll love the food: Cafe Du Berry.”
Cafe Du Berry is a family-owned eating place this is simply down the street from the Blazers’ old practice facility at Lewis & Clark College. Mike Andersen and his spouse, Lydia, opened it in 1984 and had five youngsters who have all labored there too. Mike Andersen can rattle off the cross-to orders from extraordinary Blazers. Drexler? Two orders of French toast and ham or pepper steak. Rasheed Wallace? A breakfast eggs mixture with pepper steak or salmon.
And it’s now not simply the Blazers who have enjoyed the food and agency of the Andersen own family. Mike Andersen said basketball legend Bill Russell has eaten at Cafe Du Berry multiple times after being added to the eating place by Drexler. The Boston Celtics icon’s common visits, that have come to be less common as he has aged, got here for the duration of pit stops at the lengthy drive from Seattle to California.
“One of my cherished clients was Bill Russell. He used to come right here all of the time,” Andersen stated. “Sometimes I didn’t recognize that he changed into in right here due to the fact I turned into so busy, but then I might listen to this giggle. I changed into like, ‘It’s Bill.’ My coronary heart commenced pumping because he’s my hero.”
The whole Detroit Pistons team within the mid-2000s, NBA scouts and executives, and Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant have also stopped in to experience the French-American cuisine.
“To at the present time, Cafe Du Berry is usually my first prevent each time I make it again to Portland,” stated former Blazers ahead Scottie Pippen.
Drexler changed into the first Blazers participant to consume often at Cafe Du Berry after Dr. Bob Cook, a former Blazers physician, invited him. Cook used to convey fish to the eating place that had been cleaned and cooked for him.
“It becomes farm to the table earlier than farm to the table. Everybody tries to mention that now, but Du Berry was like that in the ’80s,” Drexler stated. “They have the fine French toast within the international, and it got here with potatoes that had been extra special and clean strawberries and raspberries. I’d get a side of ham and a large glass of milk.
“I couldn’t wait to get there. It was my pregame meal and what I desired maximum mornings once I was given up. All my children cherished it too.”
Drexler went there so often that his own family has become near the Andersens.
“The entire own family, the daughter, the son, I knew them all,” Drexler stated. “They were like extended versions of our circle of relatives. Sometimes I might convey my children for breakfast and Mike’s son would join us for the day in a while. I’d deliver him returned before they closed. They were like own family.”
Eventually, the Blazers’ all-time leading scorer was joined by means of his teammates, consisting of Terry Porter, Buck Williams, Jerome Kersey, and Kevin Duckworth, Mark Bryant, and Tracy Murray, for breakfasts.
Porter, who enjoys the French toast and two eggs over smooth, said the Blazers bonded over that food.
“Clyde, Buck and myself all lived within the same place,” said Porter, now the University of Portland’s head men’s basketball instruct. “We would forestall there on our manner lower back after shootaround or earlier than. That changed into earlier than the times of getting a chef making your breakfast inside the exercise facility. We had to move to make it ourselves then.
“It has become a part of our sport-day recurring. We would sit there and communicate about our opponent, lifestyles, and cling out.”
While Drexler was the ringleader for the Blazers at Cafe Du Berry, he often drove his teammates crazy with his tardiness.
“He became always past due to the entirety,” Andersen stated. “Everyone could constantly give him a tough time, particularly Buck Williams.”
Blazers players regularly placed to-move orders too.
“They would sit down inside the stairways and customers could have trouble transferring round them,” Andersen said. “They might all sit down there and hang out due to the fact it’d be raining in Portland.”
The subsequent technology of Blazers persevered to dine at Cafe Du Berry as nicely, consisting of Pippen and Wallace.
“Everyone hated Rasheed Wallace due to the fact he wouldn’t talk to the press. He’d supply smartass solutions. But he became the nicest character right here,” Mike Andersen said.