Portage Bay Cafe

Written by on April 21, 2010 in I Eat Seattle, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

(portagebaycafe.com) – University District

How I heard of this place: As long as I have been in Seattle I have known about the Portage Bay Cafe, though how exactly I came to know of it is a mystery.

Type of cuisine: Food sourced from local, clean and sustainable farms and producers. Type of cuisine you would choose if you give a damn.

Ambiance: Very casual and simple. The space is large but somehow the set-up of tables and chairs around the Cafe give a cramped and crowded feeling. Open space with large windows and high ceilings should feel more like space is available to move about rather than bumping elbows with your neighboring diners.

What I ordered: Each time I come to the Portage Bay Cafe, I am inclined to order one of the all day brunch items. Pancakes, French toast and waffles are found aplenty. But if you are looking for something with protein, you have one of three limited all day breakfast options: Phil’s breakfast, Rancher’s breakfast or migas. I tend to stick to either the Rancher’s breakfast (which gives a little of everything for those of us who are hard-pressed to make a decision) that allows a trip to the toppings bar, or the migas. Today, I opted for the migas at the recommendation of my dining companion. The migas is a warmed-flour tortilla stuffed with three organic scrambled eggs with smoked chipotle peppers, organic medium and sharp cheddar, cumin, fresh basil, homemade pico de gallo and sour cream. Served with fresh, fanned avocado ($12). My dining companion chose an item off of the lunch menu. The Tofu and Soba Noodle Salad came with chilled organic soba noodles tossed with organic marinated and baked tofu, organic tomato, mushrooms, greens and organic seasonal vegetable in a ginger vinaigrette ($10).

What I loved: I loved that we were seated immediately (first time that has happened in all of my visits) and the food was served relatively quickly. I have to admit that you never know what to expect from Portage Bay Cafe – whether it will be a day that the food is great or one that the food preparation is somewhat off. Today, sadly, was an off day. The seasoned breakfast potatoes on my plate were cold, the tortilla dry and difficult to cut through and the portions inside the large tortilla folded in half meager. Our server was also having an off day – at least I hope – since she was unavailable, never visited our table to check on us (no water refills) and did not smile once.

Why I loved it: I loved that my dining companion’s piled high salad looked fresh and colorful. I love the company of my dining companion and I loved that I had a smidge of avocado on my migas.

Cost: On an on day the price is average. On an off day it feels overpriced. Overall it is average to high for a limited brunch.

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