Portland >Food & Dining > Papa Haydn
701 NW 23rd Ave, Portland, OR | Directions 9721045.527805 -122.698722
Mon-Thu 11:30am-10pm; Fri-Sat 11:30 am-12am; Sun 10am-10pm
Neighborhoods: Neighbors West - Northwest, Northwest District
Decadent, rich, beautiful desserts abound here. A sweet spot along NW 23rd to enjoy coffee and dessert.
NOT THE SAME PAPA HAYDN ANYMORE. After many, many years of being regulars at Papa Haydn (and recommending it to many others), we have become so disappointed in/disillusioned with our once favorite restaurant and have severly cut down on our visits! So disappointed in all the menu changes. Papa Haydn just isn't the same anymore. We keep revisiting every month or so, but each time we leave disappointed and with the resolve to not return. So sad. Regarding the menu, the prices have climed way too rapidly and steeply!!!! There are a lot of other quality restaurants in the area now and I believe PH hasoutpriced itself. Aside from prices, the menu is much smaller and so many of our favorties have been removed. Especially, the chicken club - which was a staple and has been replaced with a different version that no one we know likes. If you're listening "Papa Haydn", we especially miss the chicken club, chevre pate, and creamy tarregon dressing. And I have to agree with another reviewer, the Croque Monsieur is no where near as good as it used to be - not the same quality of ham, so little cheese I had to check to see if there really was any, no parmesan on the outside and very greasy. Bring back your former chefs!! And PLEASE change your menu.
Horrible Food – I took my out of town guest to Papa Haydn's and was horrified with the food. We started with the pate which was so hard I had to crush it with a fork to try and get it on the hard bread which had been cooked in rancid oil - oh my!!! The waiter, reluctantly took it back. Then we had the Croque Monsieur sandwhich which was so soaked in oil that we couldn't eat the bread and just picked out the ham. When I complained to the waiter he presented the bill. I was a regular customer, now I will never go back. The food at least used to balance out the snobby waiters, now the whole place is a mess. Management, what have you done?
Disappointed – I was psyched to try out Papa Haydn after hearing glowing reviews from several other Portlanders. Unfortunately, I found the experience fell flat of the hype.
My issues with Papa Haydn can be summed into three points:
First, it is the mark of a good pastry chef to balance and accentuate the unique flavors of their creation through proper proportioning of each component. Unfortunately, this was not the case at Papa Haydn. The two desserts we tried (Raspberry Gateaux and Autumn Meringue) seemed as if the proportions of different component had been determined either by aesthetics or by whim alone. The gateaux was disappointingly dry and lack luster and relied on the raspberries and raspberry sauce, of which there was depressingly little, to create moisture and interest. The Meringue, on the other hand, was overwhelmingly rich and sweet, and suffered from an excess of chocolate "mousse" and, again, a lack of zippy raspberry sauce to counter-balance it. The meringue, which had exquisite texture, was almost lost in the layers of mousse, and its subtle orange flavor went unnoticed until almost half of the dessert had been eaten. Also, saucing seemed more about appearance than taste. Chocolate sauce was squiggled in the common, extraneous way across most plates I saw come out of the kitchen, despite the fact that it detracted noticeably from both of the desserts we ordered.
Second, a good dessert should always leave you wanting one more bite. You should crave a return visit to your patisserie almost before you leave it. Unfortunately when a dessert, and particularly a very rich dessert like those at Papa Haydn, is very large the diner is able to indulge the desire to eat "one more bite" and actually eat the dreaded "one bite too many". This leaves one, at the least, wishing they had eaten one bite less and, at worst, leaves one wishing they hadn't come for dessert at all. Thus was my experience at Papa Haydn. When our desserts came out, I was shocked by the enormity of each (in fact, my date remarked that they looked more like "cheese cake factory"-sized desserts). Besides the classlessness of their appearance, the desserts were so large that, my appreciation of each suffered from over indulgence. I do realize that Papa Haydn creates most of their desserts in large cake form, as opposed to in individual servings, which is a great time/cost cutting measure- a savings which they seem to pass on to the customer through their enormous portions. However, I think that if Papa Haydn were to cut the size of their desserts in half, they would been much better for it.
Third, and this is a most minor point, the desserts were not properly represented by their descriptions. As someone who has extensively studied and eaten French pastries (mostly in France), I have very defined expectations about the application of certain French terms. For example, when I order a dessert that is described as including layers of pot de crème and chocolate mousse, I do not expect to experience any confusion about which is intended to be which. I do appreciate the right of each chef to express themselves creatively through their medium, but I also expect to be handed the dessert described to me. It's not a big deal if the dessert doesn't exactly match some French standard, just use a different word to describe it.
I must say the ambiance was very pleasant, with a very welcoming lighting scheme and a cohesive design concept. Wait staff was terse, but not unpleasant overall. Gluten-free options were plentiful and well marked.
pretty good – Love the desserts.. Wish the seating was better.. The burgers are to die for.. Bocona Dollce.. Ymmm
Desserts are King. – One of our my favorite places for dessert. AA+++ A group of friends came here after a wonderful evening. And this just wrapped it up with sparkly ribbons. Now (several years later) the only part I remember of the night is this restaurant. I would definitely go back! The desserts were all we had but the quality was better than anywhere I've been. I mean Serious gourmet here. Wow!! The key lime cheesecake is to die for, as well as the chocolate rasberry cake.
Long wait... Worth it. – I have been to papa haydn's several times, both locations. We call it "Cake Town".
The Sunday brunch is great, as are all the entrees. I have never been unsatisfied when going. The prices are what you would expect for Portland fine dining.
My husband always orders the Baked Alaska. He says he wish we could have gotten it for our wedding cake... (Hmm. Move over cupcakes- new wedding trend is icecream cakes? ha-ha).
I prefer a heavier desert... Mmmm Peanut Butter and Chocolate anything!
One day I am going to be daring enough to try the "chocolate cube". It may last several days!
I love this place, and always reccommend it to out of towners.
Portland Tradition – This is always a favorite place for dessert, and as we live close this is fairly often. The staff never has impressed me, especially if they're new - they have no idea of the old traditions that this place is known for nor does the management seem to want to preserve it. That's a shame.
For dinner, it's pretty hit and miss if you don't have favories. It's a little too artsy for me, as I want to eat my dinner and not look at it.
But it's the desserts that this place is famous for, and for good reason. If the staff would return to excellent service and be friendly (hear that new people???), this would be a 5 star review.
The addition of outside seating a few years ago was a huge plus in their favor, esp in the summer evenings. It's wonderful.
best place for dessert – I went here with my boyfriend. Being that he is from Texas he was not impressed by the amount of lamb he received for the price. With that being said, we still enjoyed our experience and of course the dessert! I will defiently come back for dessert.
Panna Cotta heaven!!! – I ordered the panna cotta with some reservations, but was so pleasantly surprised that I want to go back tomorrow! It will not let you down! Just get it!
Wedding Cakes past and present – The cake they made us for our wedding was spectacular. just the way I wanted it. it was moist, the hazelnuts were finely minced. the filling was flavorful. the icing was a great butter cream flavor.
The anniversary cake they made for us was terrible. the cake was dry and full of hard chopped hazelnuts. the icing was flavorless and hard. the filling was a hard creamy nothing, and the piping was hard and was braking off and old tasting. never mind the fact it wasn't anything like the one we had for the wedding to remind us of that day. Never mind the fact it was supposed to be the highlight of our evening together.
I am very disappointed in papa Haydn and not sure if we'll use them again.
Go back to the Old Baker!!!!
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