Portland >Food & Dining > Byways Cafe
1212 NW Glisan St, Portland, OR | Directions 9720945.526424 -122.683594
Sat-Sun: 7:30am-2pm, Mon-Fri: 7am-3pm
Neighborhoods: Pearl, Neighbors West - Northwest
it has a very "soup Nazi" feel. Like they have enough customers and they don't need your business. I will go to one of the many other good diners that appreciate my business! And maybe they should lose the dirty hipster wanna be with the attitude seating people. Just a suggestion.
Worth finding parking :o) – We were greeted by a very nice guy who told us to sit anywhere. He was an excellent waiter.
I had the Byway Philly which wasn't a tranditional philly. At least where I am from. It was on rye bread which made me nervous cause I can't stand rye. I wanted the full experiance so I rolled with the punches. I am glad I did. My wife and I were sharing and I was whining to get my other half back. lol
She had the Round-up burger. She really liked it. I didn't care for it much cause I wanted my philly back.
It took us a while to find a parking spot but was worth the wait. Definitly check it out!
Down home, if you're home is in Northwest Portland! – We stopped in on Memorial Day, after a couple of closed signs and unappetizing dirty plates greeted us at other nearby breakfast haunts. There was a long wait, but my husband and I agreed that we didn't want to keep walking from place to place to search for food, and we might as well stay the course.
"It had better be good," my husband said. I had my fingers crossed because I knew he'd blame me if it wasn't.
Fortunately, this was not an issue. Breakfast was fantastic. My husband had eggs and biscuit and fruit. I had the special corn cakes with bacon and onion and other stuff. Who knew such a combination could be made even better with maple syrup? The place was packed, so service was kind of slow, but as I said above, we could have gone to a less crowded place that didn't look good, so I'm not complaining. Exactly.
I look forward to going again to try lunch. My husband is trying to get me up early for another breakfast. His theory is that we could beat the crowd if we get there before my normal rising hour of ten.
Really disappointed – We wanted to take my mother there who was visiting from out of town and also wanted to try it ourselves. We arrived at about 1pm on Saturday and was offered a table right away but was also informed then that they were only serving breakfast that day. He (the busboy/waiter/?) was gone before I could ask why. We were there for lunch and I had specifically checked their website that day to make sure they would be open since it was Memorial Day weekend, nowhere on the site did it say that they would only be serving breakfast. We left disappointed, they need to advertise changes like that. I can't say that I'm excited about trying it now.
Overrated. – I saw Byways on Food Network about a year before I finally made my first visit. I had high hopes for this place, only to be slightly disappointed.
I went on a Thursday morning and was seated promptly. My boyfriend ordered the Mt. Rushmore Hash and I ordered a Sunrise Special that included an egg, bacon, and 2 slices of amaretto french toast. Both the hash and french toast were featured on the show.
The food was okay, but nothing special. The french toast was good at first, but after a few bites, I find that the almond flavor was a bit overpowering and was too sweet to finish the entire portion (and I only had to slices as opposed to the 4 slices in the normal order). I also find that it was a little soggy/custard-like, but that is a personal preference as I like my french toast more on the dry side.
The corned beef hash was great... except for the corned beef. I found the meat a little tough and could have used a little more seasoning.
Service was great though. Our waiter was attentive and friendly. I couldn't have asked for a better waiter.
Overall, Byways isn't necessarily bad, but for something that was featured on television, I would have expected more. I probably won't be coming back.
Not worth the 2hr wait! – I will never come back. There are plenty other cafe's that wouldn't make you wait that long
bring your vacuum cleaner – admittedly we went sometime last year, but the grime on the air vents was over-the-top. i prayed we did not get seated anywhere underneath the thing.
look, i do not recall what i had to eat. i do recall, it was sort of ok. the two main things i do recall are 1) the long wait, the 2) sheer dirty-ousity of the place. i'm all for 'authentic', unless its just plain nasty.
You're a diner, get over yourselves. – I've been attempting a good experience at Byways for years. Each time I say "never again", only to go back months later hoping for improvement. The menu specials are always great on the chalk board and often times translate that to your plate. But the service? Why the bad service in such a small diner? Each time the same woman who seems to hate her job, or at least the customers, has this issue with where people sit. One time, in the middle of eating we were asked to move so they could accommodate more customers. Isn't that written on the holy grail of being a restaurant of what not to do?
It's diner food people, lighten up and stop running the place like it's an episode of Seinfeld with the Soup-Nazi.
Oh, the food was sooooo good – My wife and I visited on a Wednesday morning at about 8:30 a.m. and it wasn't too busy. It isn't a very large restaurant so be prepared to wait during busy times. Don't wait to be seated, find your own table.
I had the Mount Rushmore Hash and it was totally awesome. The corned beef has a sweet flavor (due to the brown sugar used in the prep at the restaurant) and a slight taste of mustard. The potatoes, peppers and onions mix to form a great tasting dish.
My wife had the Amaretto French Toast and, normally when you get french toast from a restaurant, you get about 4 half slices. But this was 4 FULL slices and it was definitely custard-like and you could taste the almond flavor. In fact it was so good, that the tastes that my wife gave me, I didn't even have syrup with it.
So, I know we will definitely be going back and I can hardly wait. After reading several of the reviews to see what others thought it was interesting to see that there might be a bit of inconsistency. So, we'll see after we visit for a second time. We happened upon it at just the right time, but it is possible that on certain days/times that the staff is not having a good day.
Say a little prayer – After a glowing review of Byways on the Food Network, my good buddy was ecstatic to try it out when she came to visit me. I love trying new places, so we had high hopes for this piece of Americana.
We went on a Saturday, and our rumbly tummies were not excited about the 20 minute wait, but we were patient. Once seated, my buddy was a bit grossed out by the amount of dust/grime, but I tried to view it as "authentic." The kitschy decorations were cute (in a dead-grandmother sort of way) and our waitress was great. We waited another thirty minutes for our food to arrive (so a total of nearly an hour).
My buddy was not impressed with the hash, even though the Food Network had made it look delish (disclaimer: she hates onions, and it was loaded with them). I ordered the special, Lily's Scramble, which was tasty, but not anything to write home about. However, what really hooked us was the blue cornmeal pancake we had ordered on the side. It was fantastic! In fact, it was so good that we decided to come back again before my friend left for home.
On Monday we went again, and were prepared for another long wait. Good thing, because we sat outside in the sprinkling rain for nearly half an hour (note to Byways--an awning would be great!) This time, we ordered nothing but pancakes. (I also ordered a raspberry scone, which the waitress forgot to bring, so I don't know if they're any good.) When our pancakes arrived (sans meat or eggs or other side dish--these are a la cart here), we dug in with gusto, only to discover that they were awful! My friend summed it up when she said they tasted like what she imagined kitty litter pancakes would taste like. There was also barely enough butter for half a pancake, let alone three.
In conclusion, make sure to double-check their hours (call ahead) and pray to god that it's not a bad day, otherwise the uber-long wait and overpriced meal will leave you feeling cranky.
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