Portland >Food & Dining > Fat Albert's Breakfast Cafe
6668 SE Milwaukie Ave, Portland, OR | Directions 9720245.474590 -122.648640
Neighborhoods: Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Program, Sellwood - Moreland Improvement League
Best Southern Style Biscuits & Gravy in Town – Being from the south (Arkansas) my husband and I searched Portland high and low for the best biscuits & gravy to replicate what we were missing from the south. Our favorite type of gravy is the white cream kind, no big sausage chunks. We found Fat Albert's to be the best, most authentic southern style biscuits and gravy. No pretentious paprika sprinklings or essence of sage -- just your basic yummy, fluffy biscuits and filling creamy gravy in hefty portions. And for cheap! FA's is kiddie friendly and family run. You need to be seeking a greasy spoon type atmosphere, not a gentrified yuppie scene. Therefore you do sometimes get a little bit of rudeness from the grandma waitresses, but heck -- it's a greasy spoon! The menu is nice and basic, with all the egg dishes and basic sweet stuff on one page. Yes it's sort of cramped in there and the wait is usually 15-20 minutes, but to me it's worth it. This is the authentic southern style greasy spoon i've been missing in Portland. I like a yuppie spot every now and then, but Fat Albert's is a standby, the one regular spot we keep coming back to. I guess 'cause it feels like home.
Never again – Fat Albert's used to be a great place to get the best of a good, basic breakfast - a neighborhood greasy spoon that almost filled the void created by the upscaling of Bertie Lou's (how could they?!?). Sporting four or five counter seats, six tables, a busy waitress, and a cook whose arms were fewer than seemed possible, FA's was just a comfortable place to go to get full of good food for a few bucks, and maybe pick up on some neighborhood news along the way.
That was then, this is now - there has been a major paradigm shift at Fat Albert's. The staff there seems to imagine they are a trendy Lake Oswego establishment, completely oblivious to the most basic concepts of customer service. A single diner has no chance for a table if counter space is open, no matter how many tables are vacant. Portion control has no meaning here - one day, it might be five healthy strips of lean bacon, the next it'll be three pathetic strings of fat. The older waitress(es) are uniformly rude and completely unaware that they are there to serve the customer, not the other way around. Prices are about the same as any establishment serving similar fare, which makes Fat Albert's very expensive, indeed.
Unless you're going to try and relive a fond memory, give Fat Albert's a wide berth. It ain't what it used to be, and its owner needs a serious wake-up call. Treat yourself instead to The Bomber or the original Pig & Pancake - these folks know breakfast and how to serve it.
Not all that it's raved to be. – I took my friend there for her birthday hearing that it was a good place to go and that they have the best home cooked style potatoes. We were fortunate enough not to have to wait for a table as it was pretty cold outside and there is no waiting room in the front unless you feel like getting real cozy with strangers and becoming part of their meal. Hearing they have quick service and can crank out the breakfast and clear seating sooner, we were surprised when we had to inquire if we could place our order after 15 minutes of watching the waitress walk by several times with no acknowledgement. It took 40 minutes for us to even get our food not to mention that we had also placed a to-go order and ended up cancelling it after our regular meal took so long (because they had packed the entire meal up "To-Go" rather than just the one order). More frustration set in while we watched everyone that was seated after we were, eating well before us. The apology from the waitress was given only so she did not have to hear our comments of disappointment rather than her actually giving any care or mind to the matter. We did get our ticket discounted a meal but the obvious lack of customer service (unless you were a regular) was all to discouraging for us to ever want to go back. I would have paid double what I had for better customer service so I hope they can work on their style more to accomodate for their guests. Their food options of being able to have an egg white omelette is a plus but you can probably go to IHOP or Denny's and get the same taste, better service and more seating options. Overall disappointment.
Rude Service, Never Going Back! – When a group of my girlfriends mentioned brunch, I had heard this was a great place to go. But when we arrived we had to stand akwardly close-- just inside the door and the people sitting at the table nearby. The woman at the counter was rude and when she sat us down, we were all feeling very uncomfortable and unwelcomed. I guess that sums up our entire meal: uncomfortable. The food was okay, nothing that I will remember a week from now. I was embarrased to have suggested the place and apologized to my friends.
Best Home Cooked Potatoes! – I love Fat Alberts! I love Debbie and the crew and I love the diner feel to the place. I love the community table. Think: bed and breakfast style...I have met the most interesting folks there...like the drummer for a famous Nashville artist..it's great if you are social!!! Just like the neighborhood, Westmoreland, it's a small town vibe in the big city! If your very sweet, the cook will grant your wishes to use egg whites in an omelette! The Kim's Fave is my hubbys fave, and mine is the Yuppie. The food is fresh, fast and comforting!
LOVE this place!
save yourself..not worth the wait – My wife and I thought we?d give this place another chance after going there on opening day several years back. I didn?t think it was possible, but the service actually got worse along with the same bland menu?.never again.
Turn back without hesitation! – I usually avoid this place like the plague due to the long wait, but now I will avoid it due to the WORST service ever! We just happened to arrive at Fat Albert's during a slow period and I thought it would be nice to try it out (it had been years since I'd been there.) The place was less than half full and we got a table right away- and that was it. There were four women on staff, and one cook. We were given water, menus and were never spoken to again. We gave the proper customer sign for "ok, we are ready to order now," by neatly placing our menus at the edge of the table. Nothing. We tried sending signals via ESP (staring at the group of wait-staff with that hungry look in our eyes.) Nothing. We tried making eye contact to give some sort of sign that NOW would be the time to take our order. Still nothing. We did everything short of directing a waitress towards our table with those orange flashlight things they use at the airport. After way too much time had passed without any contact from the "employees" of this place, we decided to leave. On our way out, they said nothing- just watched us walk out as if they were relieved. We both took a shower that morning so I know we didn't smell bad or anything, and I don't expect servers to bend over backwards for me, but I do expect some kind of contact. So down the block we went to the Springwater Grill. We were seated promptly, had a fantastic breakfast, and the service is great.
Not all that – I used to come here often before I converted to Junior's after moving to Hawthorne. I'd say that Junior's is the better bet but they're two separate places with their own personalities. The food here is okay, a little bland at times but I really like the atmosphere in this place. It's really relaxed, nice wood chairs, but it gets a bit noisy when it's crowded and everyone's talking. The scrambles are passable and they do toast well. Nothing really sticks out for being great here, just solid breakfast fare with a good eating atmosphere.
Hey! Hey! Hey! It's a local favorite breakfast spot in Westmoreland. – In Short
On weekend mornings, peckish customers pack into this long, narrow breakfast joint--at peak times, a line even spills out the door. Fortunately, the speedy service, low prices and family-friendly atmosphere make up for the inevitable wait. Hungry youngins' are kept happy with paper and crayons--their artwork is often displayed on the walls. Breakfasts range from the Yuppie omelet--a tangy combination of artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes and feta--to fluffy flapjacks and bottomless oatmeal.
We love Fat Albert's – Fat Albert's is a great family owned/operated breakfast joint. The blueberry pancakes are excelent as are the specials and omlets. If you catch a fresh biscuit, you'll be eating a little bit of heaven.
As with many small independent places, they thrive on turn over - hence the "No camping signs". So eat your meal and make your peace during rush hour. The older waitress acts very gruff, but she's a big softy. All an act.
We love the rest of the staff and really can't talk up the food enough. We're lucky enough to be able to walk there from home and know what hours are best.
It's the best.
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