Portland >Food & Dining > Bijou Cafe
132 SW Third Ave, Portland, OR | Directions 9720445.522031 -122.673489
Monday To Friday From 07:00 AM To 02:00 PM Saturday To Sunday From 08:00 AM To 02:00 PM
Neighborhoods: Old Town - Chinatown, Neighbors West - Northwest
With its blue gingham tablecloths and old-fashioned counter seating, this homey cafe is a small town throwback in the heart of the (little) big city. Interesting seasonal fare is trés PNW, like the oyster omelette and cauliflower black kale hash. Weekday breakfast commences at 7am, weekend brunch at 8am.
don't believe the hype – today was my third and final visit to bijou. i'd heard great things so tried it for the first time about 2 years ago. it was okay food okay service. a year or so later i tried again. my waitress was a gray haired angry looking woman. she was VERY friendly to the two tables of obvious regular customers i was situated between. apparently if you're not a regular of her's you don't receive friendly service or a refill of coffee or water. food, check that's it. she did however constantly refill the tables surrounding me. after waiting 10 minutes or so to pay i put on my coat and stood by my table waiting to pay while she sat at the table next to mine finishing her conversation. today i tried again. i stood at the door and made eye contact with 2 of the wait staff. they were talking to customers and looked away. finally i was motioned to a table. my order was taken promptly, drinks delivered quickly then my food came out. first thing i noticed was they only serve one piece of toast which was cold as was the butter which i had to butter my toast with. (i hate that) and the potato portion was about half the size it use to be. i asked for another piece of toast. i know were in a recession but i'd rather be charged more than nickled and dimed on the portions. 10 or so minutes passed during which time my server refilled coffee to the surrounding tables and when back to his conversation. i was almost finished when he returned and i asked for more coffee and a piece of toast. at that point my egg was cold and i was irritated. the toast came out cold as well. so if your looking for a place with great service and hot & delicious food to spend your hard earned $$ during this difficult time this isn't the place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I don't get why this restaurant gets decent reviews – So we had brunch at Bijou Cafe, which has good overall ratings on this and other sites. The first thing we see is this short haired, angry blond woman in a military type ballcap behind the open view grill that is literally snarling out at the customers and chewing her fingernails...I'm so glad I'm not a germ freak. She seemed quite angry. This made me immediately uneasy and slightly concerned about the overall quality of our pending orders (and to the placement of the aforementioned chewed nail as well).
Our server was a longhaired blond girl who, when asked, informed us that an omelet on their menu could not be made into a scramble (I understand that substitutions can be a pain but turning an omelet to a scramble is ridiculously easy). She seemed utterly indifferent to whether we were happy or not and I would have had to dress in a clown costume and repeatedly threaten to tickle her to eek a forced smile out of her. Between the cook and the server it seemed like they were about to walk out or possibly something else was going on behind the scenes to cause them this much unhappiness. Perhaps they were battling post holiday hangovers...who knows.
I felt that, for what we got, our food was overpriced and seemed to be the same kind of food that we could honestly get at any Denny's...I don't often eat at Denny's but the exaggeration is very slight. Which is sad sad sad for how much we paid, not to mention that, with one smile, the service at a Denny's could easily have surpassed what we received at this highly rated downtown cafe. I guess we paid as much as we did for the sheer fact that we were downtown.
If this were the standard in their service then I would not recommend waiting in line to eat there. For the money, you could go to one of the local markets and make yourself a feast at home.
Abysmal Service – We walked in to Bijou, dressed in Sunday clothes, on a Sunday at noon, and there were about four people waiting in the foyer. It looked moderately busy. Three staff completely ignored me, so I politely asked a server with his hands empty how long to expect to wait for a table for two. He pointed at someone who looked like a manager, told me "I don't know, but he will", and turned on his heel and walked away.
I caught the manager's glance, who had his hands empty and didn't look hurried, and said, "excuse me, sir". He literally put his hand in my face, and walked the other way. My wife and I turned and walked out. I have NEVER been treated so poorly at any Portland restaurant at any time of day. I don't care how good your reviews are, if my $50 brunch and drink ticket isn't worth 5 seconds of your time, I'll make sure none of my friends spend a dime in Bijou.
in europe – when i was in eastern europe, i rode my bike everywhere. When cars decided not to stop for me i would proceed to molllest the vehicle with my umbrela by means of beating on the windshield therefore shatering it.
not what I expected – being one of the highest rated breakfast joints in Portland I expected this place to be out of this world but it was far below my expectations. For a Sunday morning the wait was fine, about 15-20 minutes for a table for 3. I ordered a pecan sticky roll and a side of sausage- the sticky roll was more like sponge cake soaked with carmel sauce. It wasn't bad, but it was brought out before all the other food even though it was my main meal. The sausage was not breakfast sausage, it had fennel in it and tasted like it should be in spaghetti sauce instead. My friend's omlet was undercooked, runny, and unedible and when she complained, the waitress claimed that they made their omlets "french style," even though my other friends omlet was cooked fine. My other friend ordered one of the daily specials, a butternut and kale squash omlet, and she complained that it lacked any flavor whatsoever. I was not impressed with Bijou and am very surprised that it is so highly rated. If you want a good breakfast place try Genie's, Juniors, or Simpatica.
Best breakfast in Portland! – We were in Portland staying at a downtown hotel and we heard about bijou so we went there for breakfast and it was fantastic. Our family liked the french toast and pancakes, but most of all we loved the fluffy omelets.There can be a bit of a wait though, so walk there when they open at 7 am and you'll have no wait. Also great lunch.
Bijou's Brunch? Excellent! – I went to Portland for the weekend with 3 girlfriends where we stayed at a downtown hotel. Late Saturday morning we walked to Bijou's from the hotel, which whetted our appetite's, and when we arrived there was a 10 minute wait for our table. It was packed for Saturday brunch, and the aroma wafting down the street only intensified our freshly aroused hunger :o)
Inside was wonderfully cozy! Bright, friendly and informal, the 'son and pop' atmosphere was delightful, with the chef/owner taking the time to chat it up with guests. The rustic bread was divine, the coffee excellent, and the service friendly. I had an omelet with cave-aged Gruyeres, tarragon, potatoes and it was uniquely the best I'd ever had (sorry mum!!).
Was the food really that good, or was I just with my girlfriends for a weekend without our husbands and having such a good time with them nothing could have been bad? Maybe, but for me it was that good......
For my friends? Well, two of the four said they thought it was pricey........of course, they would have preferred a Grand Slam from Denny's.....my other friend was very appreciative of the food quality, including the fresh organic eggs, and we both felt the prices were reasonable for this special occasion.
I am gregarious by nature, and loved the hustle and bustle. The ten minutes in line allowed us to chat it up with wonderful strangers, the closeness of the tables led to conversations with our neighbors.....and all of this culminated later in the afternoon by running into "new friends" at the Saturday Market.
Bottom line? If you are a people loving person, appreciate good breads and cheeses, perhaps are looking for a bit of an adventure, I strongly recommend going to Bijou's for a fantastic Saturday Brunch. If crowds aren't your thing and you need your space; loosen up! Reach out and say "Hi :o)" Be the initiator and enjoy a wonderful Portland afternoon!
Great chef and sweet staff – I have been to Bijou a few times now and I have to say that it is getting better and better with every visit!! The food options are creative, local, natural/organic, and the sweet and efficient staff make the experience an overall must for a great starting point of my day. I will return.
Not as good as expected – Ok, it was Saturday morning, therefore the place was pretty busy, but the service wasn't very friendly, and my husband's Illy capuccino was way too bitter. My decaf coffee was surprisingly good, and the food was all right, definitely not 5* though! Also, if I'm allergic to anything, it's the waiting stuff getting friendly right at the point of giving you a bill, which only suggests that they care only about the tip, no matter how neglected you got during the whole breakfast. Don't think we'll be back for a while.
Excellent food. – A friend treated me to bijou, cafe which was a definite plus because the prices seem pretty astronomical for what they're serving. However, I had one of the scrambles and it was really delicious. My only complaint is that, if you are sitting next to the kitchen as we were, you have to listen to the ding of the bell every single time an order is up. That really ruined the overall dining experience for me because they were busy that morning and consequently the bell was going off every thirty seconds or so. If you can get a table further away then I'd say give it a try - it's good food and nice servers.
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