Seattle >Restaurants >
Buffet >Portage Bay Cafe & Catering
391 Terry Ave. N, Seattle, WA | Directions 9810947.621933 -122.337463
Neighborhoods: Lake Union, South-Lake Union
Sleek and stylish in South Lake Union, this location is the hub for their extensive catering options and home to the equally large toppings bar. Plenty of large party seating, friendly for vegans and gluten-intolerant eaters as well as meat-lovers.
What's the hype? – I’ve been to this place twice, once 6 years ago and 2 weeks ago. The only 2 things I remembered from my first visit were unmemorable food and overprices. But since my friend wanted to have lunch there I figured why not give it shot.
I asked the server about several sandwiches and she recommended the burger for $13. I must say, I looooove a good burger. BUT, I would have been much more pleased with a Dick’s burger (of which is not even that great in my opinion).
I felt cheated. I paid $13 for a mediocre burger where the server claimed that it was the best item under the sandwich list. At least I’ve confirmed why
Citysearch Editorial Review – With three spacious locations, Portage Bay Café is a Seattle institution for breakfast, with long lines snaking out their doors on any given day. The big draw? A trip to their famous “toppings bar” which features wonderfully fresh chunks of fruit, berries, organic maple syrup, and nuts—all yours for the heaping, with any order of pancakes, or French toast. (Celiacs rejoice—there are also two gluten-free pancake options on the menu!) Portage Bay Café bills itself as a sustainable breakfast/lunch option, with organic eggs, bread, and potatoes being used on the hot sides. Also on the menu: a veritable smorgasboard of various omelettes, Eggs Benny, scrambles, and hashes, all dished up in gut-busting portions. The South Lake Union location is the largest, with seats for up to 125 hungry patrons, high ceilings and wrap-around windows. With a menu this diverse, you can bet their loyal patrons run the gamut for young families to hungover hipsters still sporting last night’s guyliner, and everyone in between.
Be sure to make a reservation! – I’m a huge fan of a great brunch, especially something that is a pick me up after a fun night out on Friday or Saturday. My friend has been to Portage Bay a ton of times and was surprised I hadn’t gone yet – well, I hadn’t really heard about it. I love that she had known about it because she knew to call and make a reservation for us about a half hour before we arrived.
You must try the eggs benedict or the SW Scramble – both big plates and great for the price. Don’t forget to begin your meal with a mimosa! Unlike other breakfast/brunch joints, theirs were light and I really think I could’ve just stayed there all day drinking them. I’m already planning on going back this weekend with a few more friends to see if I can convert them from our usual brunch joint to Portage Bay.
Things to remember: Call ahead and make a reservation (we only had to wait about 5 min before we were seated) * try not to have more than 4 people * don’t forget the mimosa!
The Owner Needs to be More Professional – I went to this place with 3 friends for brunch, and we were told that the wait was "about" 30 minutes. There were around 25 people waiting to be seated, and the restaurant was packed, so we were happy to wait.
We were not so happy an hour later, as we were still waiting to be seated, and had witnessed several groups of people that had arrived after us get seated before us. The man that was seating people didn't seem to know what he was doing. At one point, he went up to a family of 3 that had arrived 40 minutes after my group had, and told them that they would get the next table. He was apparently friends with the man, and talked to him for several minutes...right in front of everyone that was waiting. I was not pleased.
When we were seated, I asked our waitress if the man was the manager, and she informed me that he was actually the owner. I laughed. He needs to be more professional...or at the very least, make sure that no one can hear/see him being unprofessional.
I liked our waitress. She was attentive and nice. The food was pretty good, but it's nothing to get overly excited about.
You call this healthy food?!!! – The yellow curry tofu scramble looked like a healthy choice, but when it arrived sopped in oil, it was anything but appetizing. I had to wipe the grease off my mouth after every bite! GROSSS!!! I won't be going back there!
Citysearch Editorial Review – Hearty brunch fare, including an unlimited toppings bar for pancakes and waffles, leads to long lines at all three of this Seattle restaurant's locations.
Best Breakfast in Seattle – Spectacularly good food. The lines on Sunday a.m. tell the tale. Get there at 1:30 or so to get a seat on the outdoor patio on Sundays... earlier and you will have to wait. Delicious. Go there.
Never again – Slow service
Very poor accoustics-horribly loud
The quality of food wasn't wrth the 50 minute wait to get it after we sat down.
Delicious, Nutritious, and Cheerful! – I ordered the "Rancher's Breakfast," which included home fries, eggs, bacon, and French toast -- the meal was so huge that I was able to forego my lunch! The delicious toppings bar for my French toast (and pancakes, and waffles) offered lots of fruity selections to dress up my food! The waitress was a bit sassy, but tolerated me when I took forever to decide upon my food. Unfortunately, the acoustics in the restaurant (maybe thanks to the exposed, high ceilings?) make the place quite loud, even when there aren't that many customers present. Go for the good food, but expect to yell if you want to converse with your tablemates. :)
I love this place! – This place is great-their breakfast menu is well rounded, including omelets, waffles, pancakes, bacon, sausage....everything you can think of...and they have a *delicious* breakfast bar as well!
Good coffee-it's strong and they always bring out cream.
The ladies working this joint are all sharp and very nice, even though you can tell it must get stressful with the high volume.
In order to avoid the wait, get here early.
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