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.
@jaymagun-Why would you possibly leave a review for a restaurant you didn't go to, but just read reviews of? Nobody cares that you decided not to go and your 1 star rating is reckless if you did not try the place.
The restaurant is good, the service is variable but Portland is a very strange city in regards to service. I've had awful/indifferent/inattentive service in many, many places. I've lived here for three years and have realized that if I want the food at the places I like, I'll put up with the service and just not leave a great tip, especially if the service was on the indifferent/inattentive side. If the wait staff is directly and intentionally rude, I wouldn't care to go back.
Back in Wisconsin, where I'm originally from, I would normally stop going somewhere if I received consistently bad service (which is generally rare there, probably because wait staff makes so little that tips are almost all their salary, compared to here where wait staff minimum wage is much higher, and should be.) but bad service is systemic here so unless I don't want to go to 75% of the restaurants in town, I just deal with it and enjoy the food.
Decent Food, Terrible Service – It was a beautiful day and my husband and I decided to spend it walking around downtown Portland. We passed by Bijou Cafe and liked the way it looked so walked in for breakfast. There were many open tables and yet we stood waiting for quite some time before we were waited on. That should have been my first sign that it was not going to be a good place to be. We finally got seated and our server never informs us of the specials or refills our water or asks how our meal is. She was so busy flirting with another table with two young men and really could not be bothered with us. We waited 15 minutes just to get a take out box to put our remaining food in. Finally, I just went up to the kitchen counter and asked for a box, only to be told one will be brought to us. It was another 5 minutes before we received it. Perhaps it's because we were the only couple of color in the restaurant? Be that as it may, we will not be returning to Bijou. What a disappointing experience to what began as a wonderful day.
We ate there 4 days for breakfast out of 7 – My wife and I really loved this place. Being a Chef from the South it really left a lasting impression on me. I'm going to Seattle this year and I may drive down one morning to eat.
Ask for the server that has gun holster for her order pad, she is the best.
Looking for a place for breakfast – Well - I was on Citysearch - looking for a place for breakfast - and the reviews on this place are so bad, I guess I wont even try it... Maybe the owner will read it too, and make some changes... The reviews here prevented us from even trying it....
My favorite brunch in Portland. – I visit Bijou for brunch every Saturday. Their food is consistently good, and the loose leaf black tea is wonderful. The boyfriend loves their muffins and vegetarian options.
One thing I don't like is that they won't make substitutions. I'm allergic to wheat, so I've asked before for extra salad instead of the bread item. Oh well. Double muffins for the boyfriend. They also missed our name on their wait list once, and seated some people before us who came in after us, but we were promptly seated next when I pointed this out.
Once in a while, I cheat on Bijou and try out another place, and I almost always regret it.
Bad Attitude, food nothing special – When you go out to eat, service ranks high. You can have mediocre food but outstanding service and still have a good experience. But when the staff acts like it is your priviledge to be there and asking the server for something is a bother then the whole experience is shot. The owners of the Bijou Cafe need to come off their high horses. The place and food simply are not that good to have such and attitude clearly exemplified by their staff. If your table is ready, they wont even seat you unless everyone is there standing at attention. They will simply pass you by to the next group. The atmosphere and food are not worth the attitude. There are plenty of better places in Portland to go for food and service.
Neat place, not much on the menu – i really liked the place. i went for breakfast and had the french toast. it was great. great for window watching, too.
I HAVE NEVER FELT SO UNWELCOME IN A RESTAURANT – I went to the Bijou recently, unfortunately at my own suggestion, with family who were visiting from out of town. I hadn't been there for many years.
I have never felt so instanly unwelcome in a restaurant in my experience, which has been extensive. I am in sales and my territory is quite large so I've entertained clients in many restaurants.
I glanced at the sign which I thought read, "Please be seated." It actually read, "Please wait to be seated." It was an honest mistake, I believe. There were several empty tables so I was making my way to one when I was stopped quite abruptly by the maitre d', a quite tall, slim, gray haired, middle aged man, with upheld hand, as if to say "stop where you are." He addressed me very curtly with, " The sign says wait to be seated". He was obviously displeasedand gave me a stern, and unwelcome look. I apologized and told him I misread the sign. I believe it would have been much more honest of him to just say, "Can't you read?" He then asked how many were in our party and I replied, "There will be seven", and the rest of our party would be arriving shortly. He then ushered the two of us back to the front door and said to sign in on the list even though there was no one else waiting.
If I hadn't needed to wait for the rest of our party to arrive I would have simply left at that point. It took longer than expected for the rest of our party to arrive. It was during Rose Festival and parking was difficult to find. After we were seated the two of us went ahead and ordered. Our waitress asked if the maitre d' told us if the rest of our party didn't arrive before two o'clock that they wouldn't be able to order at all. I called them on their cell phone to let them know. I ended up reading the menu to them and ordering their choices for them. Two of them arrived with plenty of time to have ordered without the phone call. I have to admit that the rest of our party didn't make it in time so we asked to have their orders boxed, which our waitress gladly did, and took them with us. The Bijou still received payment for seven orders. I felt more stressed having patronized the Bijou than I have been at my work for a very long time.
Upon arriving home, I got online to register my opinion and found four of the first five reviews on City Search for the Bijou were negative. I will definitely make it a habit in the future to read the reviews on the City Search website before I go out to eat. I certainly wish I had before our meal at the Bijou.
Even though a restaurant has been in business for as long as the Bijou has doesn't neccessarily mean it will continue to be. in this economic climate it's still very possible that the number of negative reviews that the Bijou has received on City Search could adversely affect their bottom line. There are many restaurants that have gone out of business recently and I don't believe the Bijou is immune.
i have been in sales management for many years and I can honestly say that if the Bijou's maitre d' had been in my employ and I witnessed the way he treated me, he would no longer be working.
Who wants to go to a restaurant expecting to have a relaxing meal only to be made to feel unwelcome and uncomfortable when there are 100's of others that are welcoming and have just as good if not better food?
I will never patronize or recommend the Bijou to anyone in the future.
Delicious Fresh & Healthy Food – Really pleasant resataurna t for fresh food, friendly people, and first rate french omelets, they're Always perfect - Well Done. Love the Baguettes and the Home Fries are always both soft & crispy.
Keep keepin' it simple!
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