Portland >Food & Dining > Hawthorne Street Cafe
3354 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR | Directions 9721445.512062 -122.629772
Neighborhoods: Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Program, Richmond
I'd eaten at the Hawthorne Cafe before, and not been wildly impressed, but not incredibly disappointed, either. Today I was hungry, there was parking nearby, so I thought I'd try them again. Big mistake. The waitress recommended the smoked salmon benedict special (without giving a price), and as described it sounded great. When it came, though, it was far from great; it wasn't even good. The salmon didn't taste smoked, but had the texture and taste of canned salmon--very runny, so that the English muffin was so soggy I didn't want to eat it. The hollandaise was thin and watery, far from the rich eggy sauce served in decent cafes and restaurants. The upshot was that I paid $14 for an almost inedible meal (I did eat part of it, but only because I was really, really hungry; and also because, for various reasons, I don't believe in sending food back to the kitchen--though in this case I was very tempted). When the waitress asked me how I was doing, I told her that I couldn't really say I was enjoying the meal. Her response: "Well, at least you're honest." Not exactly what I expected; a "What's wrong?" or "Is there anything I can do about it?" would have been more appropriate. (She did later ask, as I was paying the check, what specifically was wrong with the meal, and I told her; but again, no offer of making things right was forthcoming.) I paid, left a smaller than usual tip, and vowed never to return. It was one of the worst meals I've ever eaten, as well as one of the most expensive breakfast dishes I've ever ordered. I won't make that mistake again.
Lovely setting, lovely people, good food – For all the years I've lived in Portland I somehow never got to this place, and I'm so glad I finally did. I really like the ambiance in the converted house: I like the plants and all the windows and the light light light. There's a welcoming feel and the staff were just the right touch of peppy and helpful. Food was excellent, prices were reasonable. I will recommend this cafe.
The negative reviews are absurd – I've noticed that negative reviews by random people can sometimes be absurdly harsh, so I thought I'd look up a place I know for comparison. I've been here, I'm sure nearly a hundred times. So let me say a few things about it:
The food is not going to make you swoon but it's good, it's extremely consistent (there will not be two hairs on your plate), and it is not over priced.
Like the food the wait staff is consistently above average, and never have an attitude.
I cannot warn you strongly enough about the coffee!
The owner is a character, he's foreign and the cultural gap is dramatic. Especially if he knows you well enough to come over and commandeer your table's conversation for 20 minutes, which will happen if you frequent the place . He can be hard on his staff but it's because he genuinely treats them like sons and daughters not because he's mean.
The ONLY customers I have ever seen him take to task are any that are abusive to his 'kids'. Otherwise he's one of the most friendly people I've ever known.
Terrific breakfasts – I've always loved this restaurant, and it's high time to share. The owner/manager is simply a wonderful man to have serve your breakfast. The food choices are interesting - always fresh & delicious. The coffee is strong & plentiful, the juice exceptionally fresh. Over the 20 years I've been enjoying having breakfast at this cafe, I've probably tried everything on the menu, but my favorites are the omelets. They are a perfect size, fluffy, light and the filling ingredients are of the highest quality. Fruit is always an option to have with any meal, and the side potatoes are marvelous.
We LOVE this place – This is a great example of why I love "mom and pop" businesses. The owner is often there greeting and waiting tables. He is professional and a complete pleasure. The food is great too. My husband and I just had an omlette and a marionberry pancake- scrumptious! One of the best omlettes I've had in a long time. To top off the experience, they had someone playing guitar and singing wonderful music- perfect atomosphere. I could have sat there all day. A must for Sunday morning brunch!
Do not eat here – Horrible food! We ate here on 8/30. I ordered a simple omelette; what I was served wasn't even close to my order. Server was very apologetic, and they made the correct one quickly. We could see and hear everything in the kitchen; the owner was verbally berating the cooks, who didn't seem to understand English. The owner was just awful to them. The accompanying potatoes were a strange orange color; I couldn't swallow them! My 13 year old, who was starving and eats anything, said his pancakes were disgusting, and he didn't eat anything but his side of blah ham.
Even the coffee was bad! The only thing I ate was the untoasted English muffin.
LOVE AT FIRST SITE!!! – Each weekend, we would search online to find a new cafe or diner to go to. Not too long ago, we were by chance, driving past Hawthorne Cafe while making our way to another location. We did not like the ambiance of our weekend choice, so we headed back to the beautiful antique corner house on Hawthorne. There we were greeted with smiles, welcomes, and "I Love You's" from the owner. We found the staff and owner to be refreshing, friendly, obliging and humourous. Our breakfast was so flavorful that we were wanting to hold onto the taste far into the morning. We returned the following weekend, where not only were we greeted in the same manner, but the owner remembered us, our order and our preference for coffee. We have been back numerous times now, and each has been a relaxing and enjoyable experience. The food is fantastic, the karma positive, and the staff incredible. So to you Moe, I Love You too!
never ever go to the hawthorne st cafe – The only good thing about this resturant is the server. My 3 friends and i went there for lunch today. I ordered the eggs florentine, and one of my friends ordered the chicken salad sandwich. My other friend had a chicken gyros. My eggs florentine was awfull!!!. Absolutely awful. My friend who had the chicken gyros also was greatly dissapointed as it tasted and smelt like fish. now, i understand that in a resturant things happen and sometimes the food may not be what one may expect, however, that is not the worst of it. The way that everyone involved was treated (including the server), was absolutely apauling. First off, i told the server that i did not like the taste of the eggs benedit. She appologized and then soon after the owner came to our table and became confrontational with me. He proceeded to tell me that hollandaise sauce is supposed to be served cold and so on. Then he turned around and yelled at his server in front of everyone in that resturant. I felt absolutely awful for that girl. It was not her fault that the owner does not know how to cook. I will absolutely never, ever return to this establishment again. This man has no idea how to treat a customer or his employees and his food is absolutely disgustind
Never been treated so poorly! – Visited Hawthorne Cafe today and couldn't believe how we were treated by the owner. Their marionberry coffee cake was burnt and the owner would not substitute another item or credit the bill a little. He, you will not believe this, cut off the black part on the bottom and returned it to our table. We left completely dazed and could not believe what had just happened. I highly recommend you skip this place!
Good place! Good People! Good Food! – I love the Gyros!!!! Was a wonderful taste. Almost ordred to of them. Owner is awesome. The people that worked for him were losers!
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