Seattle >Food & Dining > Portage Bay Cafe & Catering
4130 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA | Directions 9810547.657652 -122.317705
Open daily 730am - 230pm
breakfast and brunch daily
Neighborhoods: Northeast Seattle, University District, Northeast
Great Breakfast Spot – Ok I get what everyone is saying about the service, its not always the best (I once called to order to go food and they told me they were to busy and hung up on me), but the food is amazing! My two favorites, crab caked eggs benedict and banana's foster french toast. I am a foodie and have traveled all over the world eating breakfast at what are suppost to be some of the most amazing places and Portage bay breakfast still sits at the top of my list. I know, I know the service is not always great, the wait is long, and the parking stinks. But come on, the food is amazing so lets cut them some slack! I definitly reccomend to at least give them a try. You will not be sorry!
Side note: I kind of feel like the bad reviews are from people who are sick of the long wait maybe trying to scare people off.
SNOTTY staff – I went for breakfast on the weekend. I understand it's a busy time, so I was okay when they told me it would be a 30-40 minute wait for our table for 2. I stood there and tried to be patient as I watched the host seat table after table of people who arrived AFTER my friend and I arrived. I finally asked how much longer it would be and he looked down at his list (which I could see, as well) and it was obvious that he was seating the people he knew, before us. He told me we were next (bullsh*t, because I could see the 5 names BELOW mine already crossed off). After an hour and 35 minutes, my friend and I were seated about 3 inches away from another table. Nice. The food was good but overpriced and not worth the RIDICULOUS wait. I have never been treated so poorly at a restaurant before. I've been ignored before, but never so blatantly lied to. Would never recommend this place to anyone because the service was so SH*TTY.
Just Hype – I went at a busy time on a Saturday morning because my friends insisted it was the world's best breakfast. It became obvious that this place was all hype. We were told our wait would be 35-40 minutes it ended up being more like an hour and 15 minutes, the hostess was rude, the waitress was rude, and we were treated like they were doing us a favor by serving us... Customer service needs work BIG TIME! I understand the craziness of busy resturant, I've worked in one before, but if the hostess can't take the stress, without snapping at customers, she needs to get a new job. one of our friends was pregnant and no one offered her a seat while we waited.
The food was nothing to write home about, all 5 of us got different things and nothing impressed any of us, none of us even came close to finishing our meals, and we were all bummed out. We went away feeling like we had wasted 2 1/2 hours of our Saturday.
why? why?? WHYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!! This place was a total joke. – We went for lunch. A very busy time, I get it. What I didn't understand, however, was how rudely my elderly companion was treated by the hostess and by our waitress. What absolutely BAFFLED me was the food. Let's start with the fresh squeezed orange juice I ordered--mind you, I made it a point to ask if the juice is freshly squeezed and the waitress blithely answered, "Of course." So I continue talking to my companion and happened to look in the direction of the waitress who was now pouring the orange juice out of a plastic gallon jug. I didn't interrupt my companion (as this was a business meeting). Quietly irked, I looked over again and saw that the brand of orange juice was: Freshly Squeezed Juices. Fine! Ok, a play on words/meanings. Whatever. I dealt with the lukewarm drink and proceeded to look through an array of very appetizing options. I settled on the duck special. It was a mistake. They served a knot of duck breast, drowned in a disgusting brown sauce, which sat atop hardened, dried out wheat berries (they used a biblical term for the grain). There were two tiny, withered, wrinkled red carrots decomposing on either side of the plate. The food, like the juice, was LUKEWARM. As I worked through the meal, I became more and more convinced that the dish had been served up and offered to another customer who, upon seeing it, roundly sent it back to the kitchen. Cheap people that they are, they must've let the plate sit under a warming lamp for the next poor, unsuspecting soul that wandered in and got taken in by the fancy description of the duck special. I was that fool! I hate to waste food, but I did. I couldn't finish the garbage they served and the waitress knew not to even ask the perfunctory, 'Was everything ok?' Like she'd care. I tell you. That was my first and last time at that overpriced dump. Don't be fooled by the long lines waiting outside; you must remember that this is Seattle! They're grateful for anything that they're served.
AMAZING Breakfast and Brunch Restaurant!! – This is, hands down, the best breakfast/brunch place in Seattle. Where do I start? Lots of complaints because it's busy, and it's busy because it's great.
The fresh fruit/berry bar is set up for people to go up and put them on their pancakes, french toast, oatmeal, etc. What a great idea! They have so many things to choose from on their menu, and they are creative. Their food is high quality; their service is phenomenal; those people work hard! They are busy, and they pull it off well. I would suggest this restaurant to anyone, and it's worth the wait of a few minutes.
quick, not excellent – I took my teen and preteen here on a Thursday morning, knowing they'd like the hip light atmosphere. Our waitress (with curly hair) was sincerely nice. The menu looked great, the breakfast bar clean, containing fresh-looking berries. Once we ordered, our food came in about 4 minutes, but the "roasted" vegetables in my corned beef hash were hard and the corned beef was merely sliced lunch meat. The blintzes were good, the blackberries were fresh, but the French toast was 2 inches thick and dry. Our over-easy eggs were just okay. The new potatoes were well seasoned, but oily and had no crispy brown edge to add flavor. My piece of toast was nice quality fresh bread but was only warmed up, not at all toasted. This restaurant appeared to be on the right track with what they were offering, but the dishes I mentioned above could have used more care in execution.
Can't handle high volume – We waited over one hour before we decided to leave. The barrista told me she WOULD make my latte, but it was going to take her a "really really" long time and I should probably just order drip. The Hostess initially told us 30 mins., then came to us about 40 mins. later and told us it would be another 30 mins. This restaurant does not respect the customer and they have not trained their staff on how to appropriately handle a busy restaurant. This restaurant is not prepared for high volume - if it's busy, then my recommendation is to go somewhere else.
They just gave up! – We arrived at 10am on Saturday morning. The place was relatively busy, but they said the wait would be "15 minutes, maybe less"-- so we waited, and waited and waited and finally about 45 minutes later we were seated. They later told us that if you call ahead you can make it on the reservation list and that we should call around 1/2 hour before showing up next time (ha!). We ordered-- I got the Swedish pancakes and a latte and my husband ordered their huge breakfast that comes with everything plus a side of pancakes. My latte arrived cold 20 minutes after I ordered it, which meant that it was made and the waitress just forgot it. Some of our food arrived about 15 minutes after that. It took 5 additional minutes to get silverware to eat it. My husbands first plate came out with smaller portions than others sitting near us and he did not received his pancakes at the same time as the rest of our food came out. We inquired about those and eventually they arrived, quite burnt, 15 minutes after his first plate came out. I asked if they usually sent out burnt food from the kitchen, but not wanting to wait for another 15 minutes to get a second order we just sent them back. They did not charge us for the extra pancakes. As we are waiting for our check some servers come out to clear the table next to us. They start throwing leftover coffee and water into the garden behind the patio IN OUR DIRECTION. My poor husband, of course, gets a whole glass of water thrown ON him and he gets soaked. I have to believe that they simply gave up on giving us good service-- once things started going wrong it felt like our waitress tried to cut her losses and focus on the other tables around us. Most everyone else seemed to be having a great time. This will not be a place that we will return to, not because it didn't look like a cool place, but because they obviously don't hold their customers in very high regard.
Yum Yum Yum – Now this is some good brunch. Whenever relatives come to town, I take them here. Get here early on the weekends. The parkling lot and the restaurant fill up quickly but grab a coffee or a latte and the paper and relax outside until you can seat. The breakfast bar is where to go on the first visit. Choose from an array of pancakes (buttermilk, whole wheat, buckwheat, etc) and then you get to go to a counter filled with delicious berries, whipped butter, whipped cream, nuts and syrup. You have to try an omelette or the challah french toast. Everything is fresh and northwest. Please go!
Alot to Choose from – Basically enjoyed our experience seeing as there aren't alot of interesting breakfast places in Seattle. A restaurant that is committed to serving food prepared with organic produce, chemical-free meats & sustainable seafood should be on your conscious consumer's list of places to patronize.
With that said, they need to greatly improve the bad-tasting potatoes that come with almost all the breakfast items. And the Eggs Benedict was served with one of the worst tasting sauces I've ever eaten.....it wouldn't be hard for them to upgrade that! Service was quick and it was a pleasant atmosphere.
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