Portland >Food & Dining > Cafe Nell
1987 NW Kearney St, Portland, OR | Directions 9720945.529247 -122.692426
Neighborhoods: Neighbors West - Northwest, Northwest District
Brunch can be classified as a hobby here in Portland and Cafe Nell is definitely has a following for this hobby. You must start with the cornbread muffins with jalapeno butter, every thing melds together in your mouth and leave you happily satisfied. Sausage and sage has comes out in a casserole dish with ingredients that compliment each other but do not mush together to leave each indistinguishable from one another. The eggs benedict are offered in 2-3 ways, each sounding wonderfully tempting, the kids devoured the chocolate chip pancakes that had the perfect amount of chips to pancake ratio. The brunch atmosphere is lively, the service is attentive and the food is traditional, kicked up a notch!
Crap-tastic! – I got a gift certificate from my dentist and my mom and I went today for lunch. Why was there a 40 minute wait for our food and the place was almost empty! We told the waiter we had to get back to work and we ended up taking our food to go. Which by the way was cold and my turkey hamburger was inedible. Sure it was free but please Cafe Nell do not punish me by offering another meal if I come back. Unless of course you can give a gift certificate to Bluehour or another restaurant.
Poor service for a 90.00 dinner – I just came in for dinner this evening and was extremely disappointed. I could have chosen a number of different places to eat, but I chose to eat with you. Originally my friends and I set out to have happy hour in the bar, but settled on sitting in the dining room when there was no seating in the bar. My friend asked if we could order off the happy hour menu because there was no seating in the bar, the waiter answered no, which we all understood, so we chose to eat off the dinner menu. A few moments later one of the wait staff informed us seating in the bar had opened up, so we ended up back in the bar. When we went to order (off the dinner menu) we were informed that we couldn't order that in the bar. Seriously we moved twice, and were told no twice, and I even think that the waiter got snippy and rolled his eyes as we were trying to order. So we ended up back in the dining room. I informed the waitress that this was ridiculous we've moved twice, she was rather unsympathetic to our situation. My friend and I ordered off the 3-course special because someone suggested it, both of us ordered salads to start, only to find out that the burger's came with another salad. The desert was excellent, and so was the burger. The reality is that, none of us will be back after this experience. It seems that there are a number of different places willing to host our company without the hassle. I am a strong believer in customer service, it can make or break an experience, especially on the spot problem resolution. Unfortunately I won't be able to recommend this place to anyone either.
I took the time to write this so that hopefully someone else doesn't get to have this same experience and fork over 90.00
My favorite place to day drink – I love the food, bright fresh flavors. Chef Andrew is amazing. One of my favorite places in Portland. Drinks are amazing-try the bloody mary.
Fantastic Happy Hour – Cafe Nell has become my go to place. I live in the Pearl, and it's about a 5 block walk from my house, which (1) makes it pretty convenient, but (2) the food is super good and good value. Happy hour sliders are 2.50. and good. There's always a $2 beer at happy hour, the french fries are incredible, the staff is fun and attentive, and if I don't feel like walking, there's a small parking lot in the back. They also have a pretty stellar happy hour all night long on Saturdays, and when the weather's good, you can't beat the outdoor cafe or a seat in the windows in the bar.
Love CAFE NELL – Cafe Nell is my favorite brunch spot in Portland.
The french toast is AMAZING, and their bloody mary, called the Mary Nell, is a killer of a drink that is practically brunch by itself, since it comes filled with pickled veggies, chorizo, shrimp, cheese. YUM. You can't beat it.
over priced and not so good – Went here with a friend for lunch to try it out. The atmosphere is great and there is lots of outside seating.
The server was attentive and very nice.
Our food however was so so. He got the Neuske bacon omelet w/o tomatoes and onions and I got the Lamb meatball grinder and a cup of the Crawfish bisque. First of all when they say you get a cup of soup for $2.5 you actually get a 3 oz ramekin. The soup itself was not creamy as a bisque should be. The roux was separated from the cream and it was gritty and bitter tasting. I could tell as soon as my meatball grinder was put in front of me that it would not be good. It would have been tasty if the meatballs weren't way over cooked so that they were dark and crunchy outside and super dry inside. The salad served with it was just mixed greens and a light vinaigrette. Nothing exciting.
My friend liked his omelet, but as he was eating it he found a few pieces of tomato. Guess the cook didn't read his ticket and noticed after starting it that there were to be no tomatoes and he just picked them out. Good thing my friend wasn't allergic! The potatoes that came with it were overcooked too. They weren't burnt, but fried past that crispy light golden brown to a too dark golden brown that imparts a bitter taste.
The lemoncello lemonade cocktail we had was delicious and refreshing. I really wanted a bloody mary, but skipped it because it was $10 and came with all this crazy stuff as garnish. What ever happened to the simplicity of the plain old celery stalk.
Most of the items on the menu are way overpriced for the quality of fare you receive.
As others have said, there are so many other great places to get the same type of food that is easier on the wallet, delicious and is prepared by qualified and competent cooks.
I will not be back.
THE BEST FOOD – I go to Portland about every other month for business and about 6 months ago, someone took me to dinner at Cafe Nell, and since then it has become my favorite "must go to spot" every time I come to town.
The food is always great and its such a fun spot and its always busy, but not too busy. I love it.
Great Turkey Burger – I was entertaining customers in town for lunch, and they suggested Cafe Nell, after driving around looking for parking, because there was a parking lot in the back.
It's a great little neighborhood surprise, and the turkey burger I had was excellent. It comes with grilled onions, but I added avocado and goat cheese. The french fries were addictively fantastic and the chocolate pudding was waaaay too good.
Fabulous Dinner – I was in Portland last week for 3 days on business and Cafe Nell by far was the best dinner I had.
Super Fun Brunch Place – Friends and family took me to Cafe Nell for Sunday brunch for my birthday. Ten of us were seated in the center of the room at a long communal table. It was really busy and buzzing with energy, which made for a fun birthday morning. There are really great windows that look out onto the street, and a fireplace. I had the Monte Cristo sandwich, which was delicious. Several people had gigantic mimosas, and the owner brought me a special new drink to try for my birthday, a pink lemonade made with their own lemoncello, which was incredibly delicious. The service was warm and friendly. We had a great time and I highly recommend it.
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