Portland >Bars & Pubs >
Lounges >Pause Kitchen & Bar
5101 N Interstate Ave, Portland, OR | Directions 9721745.559911 -122.682418
Neighborhoods: North Portland Neighborhood Services, Overlook
Pause is great for large parties, as the restaurant and servers are accommodating. The food is simple and comforting. Try the sliders, fries and a beer of your choice $8.50.
Pause has a real business-lunch vibe going on, so dress in your Friday casual & order the Everyday Special: sliders, fries & beer for $8.50.
Echo other reviewers: okay food + beyond bad service – I've been to Pause quite a few times since they opened and agree with others here: it's not what it used to be. The last time (and it def. will be the LAST time) we went the service we had was so bad we actually asked out server if they would like us to leave and go elsewhere. I can get faux-hipster attitude and lots of places in Portland - and put up with it because the food makes it worthwhile. Pause is not one of those places.
I can't get you out of my head! – I came here to write a simple review. I think about the chicken leg Runners at least twice a day. It's driving me crazy, they are so delicious. With one of your fab salads, a perfect meal. I have gone with large groups and have sampled a lot, but haven't even been able to bring myself to order anything else. What's up! It is impossible to be this hung up on a food item. My friends are tired of hearing about it.
I am sorry that others here have had bad experiences. I honestly have had a great time every time I've gone. Last time I went to Pause my friend and I thought the drinks were really strong. I remember commenting on it. Maybe as a service worker, I know how to make other service workers happy, thus the good service I have always received. Not sure. I too have issue with places that won't split bills, but haven't ever had them refuse my groups...maybe the below review had some effect on them.
Either way, Pause is busy enough (too busy sometimes), so anyone who doesn't want to go just makes it easier for me to get what I want. You've got a fan in me, glad to have a good neighborhood option!
I wouldn't ever come back even if they paid me to... – This place is ridiculous! I can't believe they still get business. This is the second time I've been to Pause and I can't believe they actually manager to disappoint me MORE the second time. This is definitely not the place to go if you want more than 2 people. Both times I came here it was with a large group of 5-8 people. The first time I reserved a table and they refused to allow anyone to pay portions of the bill. The second time, we didn't reserve a table. I arrived early around 5pm to hold a table. There was MAYBE 10 people in the whole bar. There were several large tables with no one sitting at them. I asked to have the table since I knew that there would be at least 8 people coming. The manager came up to me and said no. He told me that he would not give up the large table until at least 5 people showed up. So we sat at the bar... and waited... and waited... I should have known it was bad when as soon as we got to the bar, the guy next to us started telling us how bad the service was and how we needed to watch our drinks because they will purposely overcharge us and hope we don't notice!
An hour later enough people showed up and he STILL REFUSED to give us the table. He now said we needed to wait until all 8 of us were waiting at the bar! Keep in mind this bar isn't big enough to have all 8 of us just STANDING around it. Once enough people showed up we confiscated the large table.
The waitress (the blonde one with black glasses) was by far the RUDEST waitress I have ever met! She never acknowledged our table even when we asked for menus. She acted like we were annoying her just by asking for menus! Apparently, she just wanted to light our candles and leave! The rest of the night was TERRIBLE service. The waitress and the manager never acknowledged us and refused to answer us when we asked questions or tried to get anything! These people are snobs! Even the drinks were bad! Even though they tasted "okay" I found out that the same cranberry vodka that was ordered by 2 of us, came in totally different portions! And they charged us the same for both even though the second drink was twice the size of the first!
After we got our food, we never saw the waitress again until she rudely grabbed our plates and dropped off the check. I assume she wanted us to pay at the cashier because she never came back again. After we waited a while, 4 of us headed to the bar to pay. The manager and bartender stood at the bar talking and ignored us the whole time! Obviously if we weren't going to buy more drinks we were worthless to them. The waitress passed our group 4-5times before she finally shouted at us "Do you guys think you could NOT stand at the bar?" WHAT THE HELLL!!!!! First they wanted all 8 of us to stand at the bar, and now they got mad at us for wanted to pay with 4 of us standing! Everyone else got fed up and left so I was left alone to duel with the she-devil. I told her I wanted to pay and all of a sudden she wanted to play nice. She said sorry (of course she didn't mean it), and we tried to pay. Even though others had come up to the bar and paid a portion, the price hadn't gone down. I argued with her that the other people had paid and I shouldn't be charged double. She basically told me too bad it was done. My card was charged and she left my receipt and walked away.
WORST PART: One of the staff (I'm guessing the evil manager) had placed a large note next to the cash register that said: "No Code means, no sauce, no veggies, no sides, no service. Tell them to F*@K of & eat somewhere elsef" I CAN'T believe that someone who actually wants business would put up a message to inform staff to purposely be rude to customers.
THIS PLACE IS A JOKE!!! DON'T EVER COME HERE!
Poor, poor, poor service – This USE to be one of my favorite neighborhood restaurants but..... the last two times I have gone I have had terrible service. The waitress tonight actually made me feel like I was wasting her time. There were about six of us and she was terrible....slow.....not one smile or kind word.....food was average. Do not come here if you are looking for any sort of warm fuzzy feeling....they definately could use some new PLESANT staff! The first time I thought maybe the staff was having a rough night but I had the same experience again....too bad.....luckily there are many other plesant neighborhood restaurants me and my friends will frequent.
Pause is not Paws friendly – I have gone to Pause for the last three years since their appearance on Interstate. Food is mediocore pub grub. Drinks are a little weak too. But, Pause is a good place to get a burger, have a beer, and bring your family... But don't bring Fido. Take note at the sign in the front door. "No pets allowed." Yes, that means tied up outside. Are we in Portland Oregon, Best Dog City in the USA, or Hollywood CA? From the owners own mouth "It's mean to tie up your pet." By the menu, clearly hipocritical. The owner has no issue serving you animals hot off the grill. I guess he would prefer if you had left your dog at home, without a walk, after your long shift at work. Or, maybe he would rather have you leave your pet locked up in your car on a hot sunny day. Either way, Pause will deny you entrance into their establishment, because it's cruel to tie up your dog outside. And you might be lucky enough to be lectured by the owner himself on animal abuse.
I will not be coming back. I didn't appreciate the lecture on the street in front of other patrons. And the next time I plan on talking my dog on a walk and eating out, I think I will frequent a more dog friendly establishment like Good Neighbor Pizzeria, Rumpspankers, Thai Ginger, Saraveza, or E'njoni. Or, The Tin Shed who will actually let you bring your dog into their covered patio and serve Fido while you dine.
New Disappointment – What used to be a "brag about" restaurant has become a spiceless, tasteless blah food restaurant. Has Cap, the owner, fired all the good cooks for minimum wage kitchen help? I ate there last night and thought I had gone to food purgatory. The White Bean Stew with Confetti Chicken was noticeably unspiced and mediocre in taste. I can not recommend Pause any longer except for those who like burgers and fries. It seems as though Cap needs to re-evaluate the menu and the cooking staff.
Decent food. Unimpressive service, but not terrible either. – The meat loaf was OK, but not impressive. It didn't come with any onions or anything special to make me say "wow." The kids "free noodles with butter and cheese" came with about 5 pieces of grated cheddar cheese. Even my daughter was not impressed. It was not busy the night I went, but the staff seemed more interested in chatting with each other behind the bar. For a place that looks so hip, cool and fancy, I expected a little better service. I recommend going to a McMenamins for equally good food and way better service.
Great burgers and vegi-burgers – Pause is a great addition to N Portland. No frozen veg/meat burgers here, they use fresh ingredients and the burger that results is excellent. They have a fenced outdoor seating with picnic tables and a big grass area for the little ones to roam around in so it's become a pretty popular spot for us to meet up with other with-kid friends. The sliders, as mentioned previously, are a good value, the salads are good, the beer is cold, and the fries are good. I haven't tried anything I didn't like. The service is decent, but not spectacular. Good enough to get by but they won't stun you with their attentiveness. I am surprised to see Pause isn't on the list of best burgers in Portland. I'm sure that'll change soon.
my new favorite – Their burgers are addictive. I don't know what's in them but I am constantly craving them. And with their 2 sliders and beer deal for $7, there's no excuse not to go. Nice folks too. Not pretentious and they even have a full bar
Awesome! – Pause is a fantastic addition to North Portland. I haven't had a single thing on the menu that I don't like. Their house made veggie burgers are to die for. Wonderful beet salad, and great humus plate served with naan instead of pita and grilled veggies. Yum! The hamburgers are wonderful also! Cooked to order and made fresh. The service is always friendly and prompt. If you haven't tried it, do! My favorite neighborhood restaurant as of late.
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