Portage Bay Cafe

★★★☆☆
  • 4130 Roosevelt Way NE

    Seattle, WA 98105

    Map & Directions
  • 206-547-8230

Food

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What's with the long lines?!

I thought for sure I found a gem. I finally found a decent priced brunch to attend on those hangover days.

Huge portions and a fruit bar full of toppings for your pancakes or thick cut french toast!

After a really long door wait, a long wait to order, and an even longer wait to receive the food... it arrives... Cold poop.

If you cover poop with fruit and whipped cream from the fruit bar, it just makes for fruit and whip cream covered poop.

1
★★☆☆☆

What's with the long lines?!

I thought for sure I found a gem. I finally found a decent priced brunch to attend on those hangover days.

Huge portions and a fruit bar full of toppings for your pancakes or thick cut french toast!

After a really long door wait, a long wait to order, and an even longer wait to receive the food... it arrives... Cold poop.

If you cover poop with fruit and whipped cream from the fruit bar, it just makes for fruit and whip cream covered poop.

Pros: In the Neighborhood

Cons: Busy 24/7.. don't go hungry

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I was disappointed. Our food arrived quickly but was cold! Toast, potatoes, pancakes and the plate all cool or downright cold to the touch. WTH?!! My corned beef hash was a roasted vegetable variation. My guess, the ingredients are all pre-cooked and tossed in a skillet for a quick warm up before service. In my case too little warm up and too much pre-cooked. As mentioned elsewhere, the corned beefed was sliced lunch meat chopped and tossed into the mix to reheat. Chunks of unseasoned and un-browned potato complete the "hash." The whole was oily, wet, unappetizing and expensive. The pancakes were okay for flavor but cold, again. Service was cheery but there were many plates stacked on the warming table waiting a long time to go out. Weirdly, the warming lamps on the warming shelf appeared to be turned off. Not a place I am going to return to or recommend.

1
★★☆☆☆

I was disappointed. Our food arrived quickly but was cold! Toast, potatoes, pancakes and the plate all cool or downright cold to the touch. WTH?!! My corned beef hash was a roasted vegetable variation. My guess, the ingredients are all pre-cooked and tossed in a skillet for a quick warm up before service. In my case too little warm up and too much pre-cooked. As mentioned elsewhere, the corned beefed was sliced lunch meat chopped and tossed into the mix to reheat. Chunks of unseasoned and un-browned potato complete the "hash." The whole was oily, wet, unappetizing and expensive. The pancakes were okay for flavor but cold, again. Service was cheery but there were many plates stacked on the warming table waiting a long time to go out. Weirdly, the warming lamps on the warming shelf appeared to be turned off. Not a place I am going to return to or recommend.

Pros: pleasant atmosphere

Cons: Kitchen staff unskilled, servers understaffed

.

Portage Bay Cafe has the BEST BREAKFAST in town. If there is a line, WAIT! It is worth it. Food is ample and delish! Pricing is okay - but you do get a lot of food for your money.

5
★★★★★

Portage Bay Cafe has the BEST BREAKFAST in town. If there is a line, WAIT! It is worth it. Food is ample and delish! Pricing is okay - but you do get a lot of food for your money.

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.

Imagine trying to re-brand a university cafeteria as a mom-and-pop brunch destination, and you pretty much end up with Portage Bay Cafe. It suffers from this identity crises in that they are trying to be all things to everyone- a mass eatery with community sensibilities. I love the idea of local and organic going to the masses, but the problem is in the the execution of the idea. Consistently hit-or-miss dishes (stay AWAY from the Swedish pancakes), loud impersonal atmosphere (think food service cafeteria), really overworked servers, and a very obvious commitment to keeping things this way. Want brunch? Go somewhere else.

1
★★☆☆☆

Imagine trying to re-brand a university cafeteria as a mom-and-pop brunch destination, and you pretty much end up with Portage Bay Cafe. It suffers from this identity crises in that they are trying to be all things to everyone- a mass eatery with community sensibilities. I love the idea of local and organic going to the masses, but the problem is in the the execution of the idea. Consistently hit-or-miss dishes (stay AWAY from the Swedish pancakes), loud impersonal atmosphere (think food service cafeteria), really overworked servers, and a very obvious commitment to keeping things this way. Want brunch? Go somewhere else.

Pros: focus on local/organic, some decent options

Cons: Cafeteria style atmosphere, some sub-par and over-$$$ food

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Portage Bay Cafe is a great location tucked away near UW. My girlfriend brought me here during lunch and we had to wait about 45 minutes to get seated. Sipped on a latte and spoke with people around me while waiting. When I got our food it was amazing and everything is organic. You definitely must try out the french toast w/ trip to the fruit bar along with the eggs benedict. If you go there during an off-hour (around 9-11am) or when it's rainy you don't have to wait in line. This place is growing on me the more I go.

2
★★★★☆

Portage Bay Cafe is a great location tucked away near UW. My girlfriend brought me here during lunch and we had to wait about 45 minutes to get seated. Sipped on a latte and spoke with people around me while waiting. When I got our food it was amazing and everything is organic. You definitely must try out the french toast w/ trip to the fruit bar along with the eggs benedict. If you go there during an off-hour (around 9-11am) or when it's rainy you don't have to wait in line. This place is growing on me the more I go.

Pros: Organic, Fruit Bar, and Clean!

Cons: Long lines if you go during lunch time.

.

this cafe is awesome. the food was great. the challah french toast is delish! i would definitely come back, although the wait can be tiresome, but it's worth it.

2
★★★★★

this cafe is awesome. the food was great. the challah french toast is delish! i would definitely come back, although the wait can be tiresome, but it's worth it.

.

Well, it wasn't terrible. But, not worth the wait. The seating is rather chlosterphobic and noisy. The coffee is not tasty (organic is not synominous with good tasting, folks). The food wasn't anything beyond regular ol' breakfast fare. In fact, I would say my pancakes were rather bland and floury tasting. Also, the "fresh" fruit bar--hm, the berries I added to my plate were partially frozen. And I would agree with previous reviews, too, that the service was not particularly friendly. I can understand it's stressful to be busy with a lot of customers, I've been there, but hey, when you are in a customer service position, you have to go out of your way to be friendly and welcoming. Earn your tips, folks!

1
★★★☆☆

Well, it wasn't terrible. But, not worth the wait. The seating is rather chlosterphobic and noisy. The coffee is not tasty (organic is not synominous with good tasting, folks). The food wasn't anything beyond regular ol' breakfast fare. In fact, I would say my pancakes were rather bland and floury tasting. Also, the "fresh" fruit bar--hm, the berries I added to my plate were partially frozen. And I would agree with previous reviews, too, that the service was not particularly friendly. I can understand it's stressful to be busy with a lot of customers, I've been there, but hey, when you are in a customer service position, you have to go out of your way to be friendly and welcoming. Earn your tips, folks!

Pros: I left full.

Cons: Read my review.

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After several great reviews from friends, my boyfriend and I decided to go for a late Sunday brunch at Portage Bay. First, they said the wait would be a 10min wait, but in reality the wait was 25-30 mins. When they took us to out table in the back room it had the same feeling as a high school cafeteria, and we weren't served water or utensils for at least 15 mins. The staff was less than welcoming. I ordered hot coco, and it was only steamed milk with the slightest tinge of chocolate. When the food arrived, I was sad to see that my organic mushroom hash was at least two thirds celery. My boyfriend's salmon omelet was fine, but nothing worth 13 dollars. The only thing I really enjoyed was the toast with organic preserves.

Next time when I want brunch, I'll just ask my 21 year old boyfriend to make it because it's a lot cheaper, tastier, and a better atmosphere.

1
★★☆☆☆

After several great reviews from friends, my boyfriend and I decided to go for a late Sunday brunch at Portage Bay. First, they said the wait would be a 10min wait, but in reality the wait was 25-30 mins. When they took us to out table in the back room it had the same feeling as a high school cafeteria, and we weren't served water or utensils for at least 15 mins. The staff was less than welcoming. I ordered hot coco, and it was only steamed milk with the slightest tinge of chocolate. When the food arrived, I was sad to see that my organic mushroom hash was at least two thirds celery. My boyfriend's salmon omelet was fine, but nothing worth 13 dollars. The only thing I really enjoyed was the toast with organic preserves.

Next time when I want brunch, I'll just ask my 21 year old boyfriend to make it because it's a lot cheaper, tastier, and a better atmosphere.

Pros: Close to U-dist

Cons: Many.

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After reading the reviews and seeing the ever present long line over the weekends, we decided to try this place. First of all, the wait is absolutely insane!! And after a long wait of 45 mins to an hour, you would expect the food to be really good or atleast good. I had the greek omlette, it had to have the saltiest bacon I have ever tasted. I waited almost 10 minutes for the waitress to notice me and bring sugar for my coffee by which the coffee was cold. Another 10 minutes for my water refill and 15 minutes before they noticed that we were done with our food. After which, the waitress comes in and plonks the check and walks away... we weren't even asked if we would like to eat anything else.. the staff is so snotty and presumptous. Needless to say, you are not going to see me there ever again.....

0
★☆☆☆☆

After reading the reviews and seeing the ever present long line over the weekends, we decided to try this place. First of all, the wait is absolutely insane!! And after a long wait of 45 mins to an hour, you would expect the food to be really good or atleast good. I had the greek omlette, it had to have the saltiest bacon I have ever tasted. I waited almost 10 minutes for the waitress to notice me and bring sugar for my coffee by which the coffee was cold. Another 10 minutes for my water refill and 15 minutes before they noticed that we were done with our food. After which, the waitress comes in and plonks the check and walks away... we weren't even asked if we would like to eat anything else.. the staff is so snotty and presumptous. Needless to say, you are not going to see me there ever again.....

Pros: no pros

Cons: everything possible

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I find that I am re-itterating most of the poor reviews for many of the same reasons that others below have written. We also decided to go there at 10:30am on Sundy the 1st of June at the new SLU location. I will begin with what I liked about this and why I find myself being forgiving. The food was good, I throughly enjoyed the style and taste. The problems we saw were lack of organization on taking names and seating. Then, on a busy day, they had no clear way of indicating that orders were ready for pick-up. Many orders packed the window at times two plates high. In turn it took 40mins to be seatted another 30-40 mins to receive our food after beeing seated. While I understand that this is a very busy time of day, I don't agree with a new location falling into such poor habits after only a month of serving. These problems need to be fixed if they want to appeal to the changing area of South Lake Union and grow the name of Portage Bay Cafe. I will be expecting some changes before I return.

1
★★☆☆☆

I find that I am re-itterating most of the poor reviews for many of the same reasons that others below have written. We also decided to go there at 10:30am on Sundy the 1st of June at the new SLU location. I will begin with what I liked about this and why I find myself being forgiving. The food was good, I throughly enjoyed the style and taste. The problems we saw were lack of organization on taking names and seating. Then, on a busy day, they had no clear way of indicating that orders were ready for pick-up. Many orders packed the window at times two plates high. In turn it took 40mins to be seatted another 30-40 mins to receive our food after beeing seated. While I understand that this is a very busy time of day, I don't agree with a new location falling into such poor habits after only a month of serving. These problems need to be fixed if they want to appeal to the changing area of South Lake Union and grow the name of Portage Bay Cafe. I will be expecting some changes before I return.

Pros: Good food, great concept (local, sustainable, organic)

Cons: Poor service

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Ok I get what everyone is saying about the service, its not always the best (I once called to order to go food and they told me they were to busy and hung up on me), but the food is amazing! My two favorites, crab caked eggs benedict and banana's foster french toast. I am a foodie and have traveled all over the world eating breakfast at what are suppost to be some of the most amazing places and Portage bay breakfast still sits at the top of my list. I know, I know the service is not always great, the wait is long, and the parking stinks. But come on, the food is amazing so lets cut them some slack! I definitly reccomend to at least give them a try. You will not be sorry!

Side note: I kind of feel like the bad reviews are from people who are sick of the long wait maybe trying to scare people off.

2
★★★★☆

Ok I get what everyone is saying about the service, its not always the best (I once called to order to go food and they told me they were to busy and hung up on me), but the food is amazing! My two favorites, crab caked eggs benedict and banana's foster french toast. I am a foodie and have traveled all over the world eating breakfast at what are suppost to be some of the most amazing places and Portage bay breakfast still sits at the top of my list. I know, I know the service is not always great, the wait is long, and the parking stinks. But come on, the food is amazing so lets cut them some slack! I definitly reccomend to at least give them a try. You will not be sorry!

Side note: I kind of feel like the bad reviews are from people who are sick of the long wait maybe trying to scare people off.

Pros: Amzing food, huge portions, healthy alternatives

Cons: parking, long wait

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I went for breakfast on the weekend. I understand it's a busy time, so I was okay when they told me it would be a 30-40 minute wait for our table for 2. I stood there and tried to be patient as I watched the host seat table after table of people who arrived AFTER my friend and I arrived. I finally asked how much longer it would be and he looked down at his list (which I could see, as well) and it was obvious that he was seating the people he knew, before us. He told me we were next (bullsh*t, because I could see the 5 names BELOW mine already crossed off). After an hour and 35 minutes, my friend and I were seated about 3 inches away from another table. Nice. The food was good but overpriced and not worth the RIDICULOUS wait. I have never been treated so poorly at a restaurant before. I've been ignored before, but never so blatantly lied to. Would never recommend this place to anyone because the service was so SH*TTY.

0
★☆☆☆☆

I went for breakfast on the weekend. I understand it's a busy time, so I was okay when they told me it would be a 30-40 minute wait for our table for 2. I stood there and tried to be patient as I watched the host seat table after table of people who arrived AFTER my friend and I arrived. I finally asked how much longer it would be and he looked down at his list (which I could see, as well) and it was obvious that he was seating the people he knew, before us. He told me we were next (bullsh*t, because I could see the 5 names BELOW mine already crossed off). After an hour and 35 minutes, my friend and I were seated about 3 inches away from another table. Nice. The food was good but overpriced and not worth the RIDICULOUS wait. I have never been treated so poorly at a restaurant before. I've been ignored before, but never so blatantly lied to. Would never recommend this place to anyone because the service was so SH*TTY.

Pros: None.

Cons: Snotty staff, tiny parking lot, LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG wait.

.

I went at a busy time on a Saturday morning because my friends insisted it was the world's best breakfast. It became obvious that this place was all hype. We were told our wait would be 35-40 minutes it ended up being more like an hour and 15 minutes, the hostess was rude, the waitress was rude, and we were treated like they were doing us a favor by serving us... Customer service needs work BIG TIME! I understand the craziness of busy resturant, I've worked in one before, but if the hostess can't take the stress, without snapping at customers, she needs to get a new job. one of our friends was pregnant and no one offered her a seat while we waited.

The food was nothing to write home about, all 5 of us got different things and nothing impressed any of us, none of us even came close to finishing our meals, and we were all bummed out. We went away feeling like we had wasted 2 1/2 hours of our Saturday.

0
★☆☆☆☆

I went at a busy time on a Saturday morning because my friends insisted it was the world's best breakfast. It became obvious that this place was all hype. We were told our wait would be 35-40 minutes it ended up being more like an hour and 15 minutes, the hostess was rude, the waitress was rude, and we were treated like they were doing us a favor by serving us... Customer service needs work BIG TIME! I understand the craziness of busy resturant, I've worked in one before, but if the hostess can't take the stress, without snapping at customers, she needs to get a new job. one of our friends was pregnant and no one offered her a seat while we waited.

The food was nothing to write home about, all 5 of us got different things and nothing impressed any of us, none of us even came close to finishing our meals, and we were all bummed out. We went away feeling like we had wasted 2 1/2 hours of our Saturday.

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We went for lunch. A very busy time, I get it. What I didn't understand, however, was how rudely my elderly companion was treated by the hostess and by our waitress. What absolutely BAFFLED me was the food. Let's start with the fresh squeezed orange juice I ordered--mind you, I made it a point to ask if the juice is freshly squeezed and the waitress blithely answered, "Of course." So I continue talking to my companion and happened to look in the direction of the waitress who was now pouring the orange juice out of a plastic gallon jug. I didn't interrupt my companion (as this was a business meeting). Quietly irked, I looked over again and saw that the brand of orange juice was: Freshly Squeezed Juices. Fine! Ok, a play on words/meanings. Whatever. I dealt with the lukewarm drink and proceeded to look through an array of very appetizing options. I settled on the duck special. It was a mistake. They served a knot of duck breast, drowned in a disgusting brown sauce, which sat atop hardened, dried out wheat berries (they used a biblical term for the grain). There were two tiny, withered, wrinkled red carrots decomposing on either side of the plate. The food, like the juice, was LUKEWARM. As I worked through the meal, I became more and more convinced that the dish had been served up and offered to another customer who, upon seeing it, roundly sent it back to the kitchen. Cheap people that they are, they must've let the plate sit under a warming lamp for the next poor, unsuspecting soul that wandered in and got taken in by the fancy description of the duck special. I was that fool! I hate to waste food, but I did. I couldn't finish the garbage they served and the waitress knew not to even ask the perfunctory, 'Was everything ok?' Like she'd care. I tell you. That was my first and last time at that overpriced dump. Don't be fooled by the long lines waiting outside; you must remember that this is Seattle! They're grateful for anything that they're served.

0
★☆☆☆☆

We went for lunch. A very busy time, I get it. What I didn't understand, however, was how rudely my elderly companion was treated by the hostess and by our waitress. What absolutely BAFFLED me was the food. Let's start with the fresh squeezed orange juice I ordered--mind you, I made it a point to ask if the juice is freshly squeezed and the waitress blithely answered, "Of course." So I continue talking to my companion and happened to look in the direction of the waitress who was now pouring the orange juice out of a plastic gallon jug. I didn't interrupt my companion (as this was a business meeting). Quietly irked, I looked over again and saw that the brand of orange juice was: Freshly Squeezed Juices. Fine! Ok, a play on words/meanings. Whatever. I dealt with the lukewarm drink and proceeded to look through an array of very appetizing options. I settled on the duck special. It was a mistake. They served a knot of duck breast, drowned in a disgusting brown sauce, which sat atop hardened, dried out wheat berries (they used a biblical term for the grain). There were two tiny, withered, wrinkled red carrots decomposing on either side of the plate. The food, like the juice, was LUKEWARM. As I worked through the meal, I became more and more convinced that the dish had been served up and offered to another customer who, upon seeing it, roundly sent it back to the kitchen. Cheap people that they are, they must've let the plate sit under a warming lamp for the next poor, unsuspecting soul that wandered in and got taken in by the fancy description of the duck special. I was that fool! I hate to waste food, but I did. I couldn't finish the garbage they served and the waitress knew not to even ask the perfunctory, 'Was everything ok?' Like she'd care. I tell you. That was my first and last time at that overpriced dump. Don't be fooled by the long lines waiting outside; you must remember that this is Seattle! They're grateful for anything that they're served.

Pros: um...the windows facing south

Cons: FOOD! FOOD! FOOD! it's never a good idea to serve food that looks like it sat out for days

.

This is, hands down, the best breakfast/brunch place in Seattle. Where do I start? Lots of complaints because it's busy, and it's busy because it's great.

The fresh fruit/berry bar is set up for people to go up and put them on their pancakes, french toast, oatmeal, etc. What a great idea! They have so many things to choose from on their menu, and they are creative. Their food is high quality; their service is phenomenal; those people work hard! They are busy, and they pull it off well. I would suggest this restaurant to anyone, and it's worth the wait of a few minutes.

Go here!

2
★★★★★

This is, hands down, the best breakfast/brunch place in Seattle. Where do I start? Lots of complaints because it's busy, and it's busy because it's great.

The fresh fruit/berry bar is set up for people to go up and put them on their pancakes, french toast, oatmeal, etc. What a great idea! They have so many things to choose from on their menu, and they are creative. Their food is high quality; their service is phenomenal; those people work hard! They are busy, and they pull it off well. I would suggest this restaurant to anyone, and it's worth the wait of a few minutes.

Go here!

Pros: Quality of Food and Service, Creativity, AMAZING Food!

Cons: None: Get Used to Waiting for a Great Brunch on Weekends in Seattle

.

I took my teen and preteen here on a Thursday morning, knowing they'd like the hip light atmosphere. Our waitress (with curly hair) was sincerely nice. The menu looked great, the breakfast bar clean, containing fresh-looking berries. Once we ordered, our food came in about 4 minutes, but the "roasted" vegetables in my corned beef hash were hard and the corned beef was merely sliced lunch meat. The blintzes were good, the blackberries were fresh, but the French toast was 2 inches thick and dry. Our over-easy eggs were just okay. The new potatoes were well seasoned, but oily and had no crispy brown edge to add flavor. My piece of toast was nice quality fresh bread but was only warmed up, not at all toasted. This restaurant appeared to be on the right track with what they were offering, but the dishes I mentioned above could have used more care in execution.

0
★☆☆☆☆

I took my teen and preteen here on a Thursday morning, knowing they'd like the hip light atmosphere. Our waitress (with curly hair) was sincerely nice. The menu looked great, the breakfast bar clean, containing fresh-looking berries. Once we ordered, our food came in about 4 minutes, but the "roasted" vegetables in my corned beef hash were hard and the corned beef was merely sliced lunch meat. The blintzes were good, the blackberries were fresh, but the French toast was 2 inches thick and dry. Our over-easy eggs were just okay. The new potatoes were well seasoned, but oily and had no crispy brown edge to add flavor. My piece of toast was nice quality fresh bread but was only warmed up, not at all toasted. This restaurant appeared to be on the right track with what they were offering, but the dishes I mentioned above could have used more care in execution.

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We waited over one hour before we decided to leave. The barrista told me she WOULD make my latte, but it was going to take her a "really really" long time and I should probably just order drip. The Hostess initially told us 30 mins., then came to us about 40 mins. later and told us it would be another 30 mins. This restaurant does not respect the customer and they have not trained their staff on how to appropriately handle a busy restaurant. This restaurant is not prepared for high volume - if it's busy, then my recommendation is to go somewhere else.

0
★☆☆☆☆

We waited over one hour before we decided to leave. The barrista told me she WOULD make my latte, but it was going to take her a "really really" long time and I should probably just order drip. The Hostess initially told us 30 mins., then came to us about 40 mins. later and told us it would be another 30 mins. This restaurant does not respect the customer and they have not trained their staff on how to appropriately handle a busy restaurant. This restaurant is not prepared for high volume - if it's busy, then my recommendation is to go somewhere else.

Pros: they were trying

Cons: unacceptable service

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We arrived at 10am on Saturday morning. The place was relatively busy, but they said the wait would be "15 minutes, maybe less"-- so we waited, and waited and waited and finally about 45 minutes later we were seated. They later told us that if you call ahead you can make it on the reservation list and that we should call around 1/2 hour before showing up next time (ha!). We ordered-- I got the Swedish pancakes and a latte and my husband ordered their huge breakfast that comes with everything plus a side of pancakes. My latte arrived cold 20 minutes after I ordered it, which meant that it was made and the waitress just forgot it. Some of our food arrived about 15 minutes after that. It took 5 additional minutes to get silverware to eat it. My husbands first plate came out with smaller portions than others sitting near us and he did not received his pancakes at the same time as the rest of our food came out. We inquired about those and eventually they arrived, quite burnt, 15 minutes after his first plate came out. I asked if they usually sent out burnt food from the kitchen, but not wanting to wait for another 15 minutes to get a second order we just sent them back. They did not charge us for the extra pancakes. As we are waiting for our check some servers come out to clear the table next to us. They start throwing leftover coffee and water into the garden behind the patio IN OUR DIRECTION. My poor husband, of course, gets a whole glass of water thrown ON him and he gets soaked. I have to believe that they simply gave up on giving us good service-- once things started going wrong it felt like our waitress tried to cut her losses and focus on the other tables around us. Most everyone else seemed to be having a great time. This will not be a place that we will return to, not because it didn't look like a cool place, but because they obviously don't hold their customers in very high regard.

0
★☆☆☆☆

We arrived at 10am on Saturday morning. The place was relatively busy, but they said the wait would be "15 minutes, maybe less"-- so we waited, and waited and waited and finally about 45 minutes later we were seated. They later told us that if you call ahead you can make it on the reservation list and that we should call around 1/2 hour before showing up next time (ha!). We ordered-- I got the Swedish pancakes and a latte and my husband ordered their huge breakfast that comes with everything plus a side of pancakes. My latte arrived cold 20 minutes after I ordered it, which meant that it was made and the waitress just forgot it. Some of our food arrived about 15 minutes after that. It took 5 additional minutes to get silverware to eat it. My husbands first plate came out with smaller portions than others sitting near us and he did not received his pancakes at the same time as the rest of our food came out. We inquired about those and eventually they arrived, quite burnt, 15 minutes after his first plate came out. I asked if they usually sent out burnt food from the kitchen, but not wanting to wait for another 15 minutes to get a second order we just sent them back. They did not charge us for the extra pancakes. As we are waiting for our check some servers come out to clear the table next to us. They start throwing leftover coffee and water into the garden behind the patio IN OUR DIRECTION. My poor husband, of course, gets a whole glass of water thrown ON him and he gets soaked. I have to believe that they simply gave up on giving us good service-- once things started going wrong it felt like our waitress tried to cut her losses and focus on the other tables around us. Most everyone else seemed to be having a great time. This will not be a place that we will return to, not because it didn't look like a cool place, but because they obviously don't hold their customers in very high regard.

Cons: service, wait times, experience, tables, noise, burnt pancakes

.

Now this is some good brunch. Whenever relatives come to town, I take them here. Get here early on the weekends. The parkling lot and the restaurant fill up quickly but grab a coffee or a latte and the paper and relax outside until you can seat. The breakfast bar is where to go on the first visit. Choose from an array of pancakes (buttermilk, whole wheat, buckwheat, etc) and then you get to go to a counter filled with delicious berries, whipped butter, whipped cream, nuts and syrup. You have to try an omelette or the challah french toast. Everything is fresh and northwest. Please go!

2
★★★★★

Now this is some good brunch. Whenever relatives come to town, I take them here. Get here early on the weekends. The parkling lot and the restaurant fill up quickly but grab a coffee or a latte and the paper and relax outside until you can seat. The breakfast bar is where to go on the first visit. Choose from an array of pancakes (buttermilk, whole wheat, buckwheat, etc) and then you get to go to a counter filled with delicious berries, whipped butter, whipped cream, nuts and syrup. You have to try an omelette or the challah french toast. Everything is fresh and northwest. Please go!

.

Basically enjoyed our experience seeing as there aren't alot of interesting breakfast places in Seattle. A restaurant that is committed to serving food prepared with organic produce, chemical-free meats & sustainable seafood should be on your conscious consumer's list of places to patronize.
With that said, they need to greatly improve the bad-tasting potatoes that come with almost all the breakfast items. And the Eggs Benedict was served with one of the worst tasting sauces I've ever eaten.....it wouldn't be hard for them to upgrade that! Service was quick and it was a pleasant atmosphere.

2
★★★★☆

Basically enjoyed our experience seeing as there aren't alot of interesting breakfast places in Seattle. A restaurant that is committed to serving food prepared with organic produce, chemical-free meats & sustainable seafood should be on your conscious consumer's list of places to patronize.
With that said, they need to greatly improve the bad-tasting potatoes that come with almost all the breakfast items. And the Eggs Benedict was served with one of the worst tasting sauces I've ever eaten.....it wouldn't be hard for them to upgrade that! Service was quick and it was a pleasant atmosphere.

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This establishment has received rave reviews not only from myself personally and the family, but also relatives from out of town. Each time they come into town we HAVE to go here (practically every morning). They call, asking us how Portage Bay is doing. I don't know if I should even go on...
EVERYTHING is good. The breakfast bar is great, offering lots of fresh fruit and tons of whipped cream. However, my all time favorite is the chicken basil sausage. You haven't done your visit justice if you have not ordered this as a side.

2
★★★★★

This establishment has received rave reviews not only from myself personally and the family, but also relatives from out of town. Each time they come into town we HAVE to go here (practically every morning). They call, asking us how Portage Bay is doing. I don't know if I should even go on...
EVERYTHING is good. The breakfast bar is great, offering lots of fresh fruit and tons of whipped cream. However, my all time favorite is the chicken basil sausage. You haven't done your visit justice if you have not ordered this as a side.

Pros: great attention to organic and natural foods, great eats

Cons: very busy on the wkends, so get there early or make a res

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My friends and I have never had a bad experience at PBC in the 3 years we've been going there. Service was always prompt and friendly and the food superb. In fact, any time I have out of town visitors, I take them to PBC at least once. The wait can be a little long sometimes, especially on holidays and sunny days, but it's well worth it.

2
★★★★★

My friends and I have never had a bad experience at PBC in the 3 years we've been going there. Service was always prompt and friendly and the food superb. In fact, any time I have out of town visitors, I take them to PBC at least once. The wait can be a little long sometimes, especially on holidays and sunny days, but it's well worth it.

Pros: free parking, great food and service

Cons: high popularity on weekends leads to long waiting lists

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I'm not sure how this place managed to get its positive reviews - maybe the U. District clientele just doesn't know what good food and service are. Definitely a case of style over substance. Pro: If you want a couple of giant, decent-tasting pancakes with syrup and berries, this is your place. Cons: At 10am on a weekday, the potatoes were overseasoned and dried out, the coffee weak, the poached eggs an unappealing and watery mass, the service slow, and the waitresses abrupt and inattentive. The prices seemed rather high for the usual breakfast kind of thing (eggs, toast, potatoes, etc.) and if you want to split a meal with a friend, that will cost you an extra five bucks.

1
★★☆☆☆

I'm not sure how this place managed to get its positive reviews - maybe the U. District clientele just doesn't know what good food and service are. Definitely a case of style over substance. Pro: If you want a couple of giant, decent-tasting pancakes with syrup and berries, this is your place. Cons: At 10am on a weekday, the potatoes were overseasoned and dried out, the coffee weak, the poached eggs an unappealing and watery mass, the service slow, and the waitresses abrupt and inattentive. The prices seemed rather high for the usual breakfast kind of thing (eggs, toast, potatoes, etc.) and if you want to split a meal with a friend, that will cost you an extra five bucks.

Pros: Is trendy and has a high ceiling

Cons: Service, food quality

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The throngs of people waiting outside Portage Bay Cafe should be your first indication of its excellence; although the wait is generally twenty minutes or more, it is well worth it! With deliciously unique egg scrambles, and a fruit bar for your pancakes that is to die for, this is my first choice for a birthday breakfast, or a place to hang with my friends Sunday morning after a Saturday night out. Weekdays it is quieter, and a perfect place to chat, or take a date.

2
★★★★☆

The throngs of people waiting outside Portage Bay Cafe should be your first indication of its excellence; although the wait is generally twenty minutes or more, it is well worth it! With deliciously unique egg scrambles, and a fruit bar for your pancakes that is to die for, this is my first choice for a birthday breakfast, or a place to hang with my friends Sunday morning after a Saturday night out. Weekdays it is quieter, and a perfect place to chat, or take a date.

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Amazing breakfast, huge pancake/waffle bar with fresh fruits and berries. I had the Bananas Foster Pancakes which were to die for (more like dessert than breakfast though) and two others at our table had various scrambles which were really good as well. They use different and really fresh and tasty ingredients. Service was good, I recommend calling ahead for a reservation on the weekends.

2
★★★★★

Amazing breakfast, huge pancake/waffle bar with fresh fruits and berries. I had the Bananas Foster Pancakes which were to die for (more like dessert than breakfast though) and two others at our table had various scrambles which were really good as well. They use different and really fresh and tasty ingredients. Service was good, I recommend calling ahead for a reservation on the weekends.

Pros: Food, service, outdoor patio

Cons: crowded, wait time

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I was surprised by the creative menu options, and the food was excellent. Also, BRAVO to the owners and staff for Portage Bay's commitment to organic and sustainable food sources!!! The brunch is excellent, but expect to wait for a table, the place gets pretty packed. The cafe is very bright, with big huge windows and warm wood, a very inviting atmosphere. Don't expect to eat here for dinner though, they close at 3pm.

2
★★★★★

I was surprised by the creative menu options, and the food was excellent. Also, BRAVO to the owners and staff for Portage Bay's commitment to organic and sustainable food sources!!! The brunch is excellent, but expect to wait for a table, the place gets pretty packed. The cafe is very bright, with big huge windows and warm wood, a very inviting atmosphere. Don't expect to eat here for dinner though, they close at 3pm.

Pros: yummy food options, all the food is organic and from sustainable sources when possible

Cons: over-busy staff, crowded, a bit pricey

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Need more quality control. I noticed some inconsistency in the
Mache salad, such as missing a half egg, or pine nuts.
Sometimes the greens are not very fresh.

2
★★★★☆

Need more quality control. I noticed some inconsistency in the
Mache salad, such as missing a half egg, or pine nuts.
Sometimes the greens are not very fresh.

Pros: organic ingredients , mostly well made dish, good ambience

Cons: inconsistency, missing ingredients , some dishes are salty

.

It's a little breakfast and lunch cafe! You sit down....they come around to take your order (they don't smile or say good mornig or anything) and then they bring the food (and the check while you are eating). It's usually pretty good if you don't care about having more personalized service. Well, I don't think that you should ask for much when you are paying below $ 10, good food should be the reason to go....

2
★★★★☆

It's a little breakfast and lunch cafe! You sit down....they come around to take your order (they don't smile or say good mornig or anything) and then they bring the food (and the check while you are eating). It's usually pretty good if you don't care about having more personalized service. Well, I don't think that you should ask for much when you are paying below $ 10, good food should be the reason to go....

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I went for weekend brunch. You'll probably have about a 30-45 minute wait on weekends, like many brunch places. Their new menu (spring 03) is enticing, but not very memorably executed. It's good, but it's not great. The service, on the other hand, was terrible. The maitre d' runs the front of the house very well, but I dont knwo what it is with the servers. Surly, brusque, forgetful...I had to get up and find a knife and a spoon, and our plates sat under the warmer for 15 minutes...passed by by at least five servers and utterly ignored by our own. She never even came back to check how we were doing after she dropped off the dried-out plates. I looked around, and I didn't see this restricted to just our section. Perhaps it's better on weekdays, but I'll skip it for weekends and go to Maltby instead.

1
★★★☆☆

I went for weekend brunch. You'll probably have about a 30-45 minute wait on weekends, like many brunch places. Their new menu (spring 03) is enticing, but not very memorably executed. It's good, but it's not great. The service, on the other hand, was terrible. The maitre d' runs the front of the house very well, but I dont knwo what it is with the servers. Surly, brusque, forgetful...I had to get up and find a knife and a spoon, and our plates sat under the warmer for 15 minutes...passed by by at least five servers and utterly ignored by our own. She never even came back to check how we were doing after she dropped off the dried-out plates. I looked around, and I didn't see this restricted to just our section. Perhaps it's better on weekdays, but I'll skip it for weekends and go to Maltby instead.

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I had the best breakfast of my life in this place. The new chef is a young genius. The menu includes both simple, familiar dishes and creative innovations. Everything is made with fresh, high quality ingredients and is delicious! I've been here many times and would happily eat at Portage Bay every day if I could.

2
★★★★★

I had the best breakfast of my life in this place. The new chef is a young genius. The menu includes both simple, familiar dishes and creative innovations. Everything is made with fresh, high quality ingredients and is delicious! I've been here many times and would happily eat at Portage Bay every day if I could.

Pros: Fantastic food, Fair trade coffee, Affordable

Cons: Busy on weekends

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A nice place to go if you want to wait for a table for a half-hour before being told the host forgot to write your name down. Not a gracious or organized host to say the least. A waste of time.

1
★★☆☆☆

A nice place to go if you want to wait for a table for a half-hour before being told the host forgot to write your name down. Not a gracious or organized host to say the least. A waste of time.

Pros: good food

Cons: crowded, disorganized, wait time too long

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Breakfast here was so yummy! The bananas foster french toast is amazing -- three huge slices of challah with caramelized bananas in a sweet rum sauce with a big dollop of real whipped cream to top it all off. My husband's corned beef hash was great, too -- everything was fresh and high quality. Plus, no long wait, efficient service, and a pleasant room. Can't wait to go back next weekend!

2
★★★★★

Breakfast here was so yummy! The bananas foster french toast is amazing -- three huge slices of challah with caramelized bananas in a sweet rum sauce with a big dollop of real whipped cream to top it all off. My husband's corned beef hash was great, too -- everything was fresh and high quality. Plus, no long wait, efficient service, and a pleasant room. Can't wait to go back next weekend!

Pros: Great breakfast, Fast service, Prompt seating

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Portage Bay Cafe serves the biggest, most delicious breakfasts around! We stumbled upon it over a year ago and have been regulars ever since. The bananas foster French toast is to die for!

2
★★★★★

Portage Bay Cafe serves the biggest, most delicious breakfasts around! We stumbled upon it over a year ago and have been regulars ever since. The bananas foster French toast is to die for!

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December 2006:
This place used to be one of my favorites, but recently it seems the owners care more about feeding as many people as possible than providing a good dining experience. I've had numerous bad experiences here as of late, from waiting 45 minutes for ANY service (no water, coffee, menus...waitresses just walked right by) to burnt panckes. The latest let down was being escorted to the auxilary seating area (hotel conference rooms the owner leased on weekends to seat more people) ... I felt like I was at the Knight of Columbus for a pancake breakfast! There was a white board and projector screen in a room of card tables covered with white paper, surrounded by folding chairs!! It was really sad. I would like to think that the owners care about their clientele and did this to minimize the wait time on busy weekends, but based on other factors (the poor service and the hurried food preparation) I'm starting to think this place is just trying to get as many mouths fed as possible and has lost all sense of ambiance and character. Why not just rent out a bingo hall and cater to 500 people? Come on Portage Bay....you're better than this.

1
★★★☆☆

December 2006:
This place used to be one of my favorites, but recently it seems the owners care more about feeding as many people as possible than providing a good dining experience. I've had numerous bad experiences here as of late, from waiting 45 minutes for ANY service (no water, coffee, menus...waitresses just walked right by) to burnt panckes. The latest let down was being escorted to the auxilary seating area (hotel conference rooms the owner leased on weekends to seat more people) ... I felt like I was at the Knight of Columbus for a pancake breakfast! There was a white board and projector screen in a room of card tables covered with white paper, surrounded by folding chairs!! It was really sad. I would like to think that the owners care about their clientele and did this to minimize the wait time on busy weekends, but based on other factors (the poor service and the hurried food preparation) I'm starting to think this place is just trying to get as many mouths fed as possible and has lost all sense of ambiance and character. Why not just rent out a bingo hall and cater to 500 people? Come on Portage Bay....you're better than this.

Pros: good food, consistency, freshness

Cons: ambiance and service

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A friend of mine once brought me to this cute little cafe, and now everytime I visit Seattle I have to go! The food is awesome and the service has ALWAYS been great. I recommend sitting outside if weather permits. It's charming and a bit more peaceful out there. (and try the bananas foster!) :)

2
★★★★★

A friend of mine once brought me to this cute little cafe, and now everytime I visit Seattle I have to go! The food is awesome and the service has ALWAYS been great. I recommend sitting outside if weather permits. It's charming and a bit more peaceful out there. (and try the bananas foster!) :)

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Food is wonderful, the service is horrible. I have never been to a restaurant where I have been asked to leave because they needed table space.

We took a friend to birthday lunch, hardly saw a waitress, food was cleared and we were not asked if we would like anything else. A few moments later, a waitress walked up and asked us to leave, even though there were empty tables and other individuals who had completed their meals. I will never return.

0
★☆☆☆☆

Food is wonderful, the service is horrible. I have never been to a restaurant where I have been asked to leave because they needed table space.

We took a friend to birthday lunch, hardly saw a waitress, food was cleared and we were not asked if we would like anything else. A few moments later, a waitress walked up and asked us to leave, even though there were empty tables and other individuals who had completed their meals. I will never return.

Pros: great food

Cons: Rude wait staff

Message from Portage Bay Cafe

Portage Bay Cafe & Catering strives to provide wholesome, delicious and wonderful menus using fresh, local and organic ingredients. Fresh squeezed juices, real maple syrup and local dairy products are just a few of the quality items we offer to our guests. Stop in for a great cup of coffee, pancakes of the day, and a warm smile.

More about Portage Bay Cafe

Offering breakfast, brunch and lunch menus using fresh, local, and organic ingredients. Catering for events and parties of all types and sizes, as well as boxed lunches.

Editorial from

In a neighborhood best known for inexpensive ethnic food and funky bars, this bistro is a delightful surprise and one of the University District's better options for brunch or lunch. The light-filled interior is spacious and pleasant,…

 

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