Portland >Food & Dining > Palio Dessert & Espresso House
1996 SE Ladd Ave, Portland, OR | Directions 9721445.508246 -122.648776
A great space, fine coffee and a huge selection of pastries, desserts, cold drinks and - if you're lucky - tarts! The prices are typical. Customer service can go from fine to wonderful depending on your attitude and other factors. I feel that things have gone from good to great in the last two years I've been coming here - so if you came a while ago and didn't love your experience, try it again. You'll be happy you did. Most beautiful location in Portland.
Rudest Barista and owner ever.
Rudest Barista and owner ever. 4 of us were having coffee at the place (each one of us had bought something) when 2 more arrived and joined us. A little bit later the barista came to our table demanding the 2 new people to order something so we could stay.
When I talked to the Barista about how we all felt about the incident, explaining how we did not feel welcome, he reacted a little angry at first and really rude at the end: "this is a business" he never really listened to what I had to say and kept saying over and over again that his boss would stand by him.
He could have said any of these things in a polite way, but he did not. He was angry, rude, arrogant and even impatient at the end. He just wanted me to call his boss and leave. It was horrible. The owner did not apologize and stood by his barista.
All of us vowed not to go back again, even though it was in the perfect location for our weekly business meeting. I have never been treated worse in a Restaurant, nor has a barista or a waiter ever disrespected a whole table the way he did, in my personal experience.
I am not the only one on the web that has written about him, may be he is the one that needs some manners and anger management classes?
Great Coffee House Minus the One Super Rude Barista. I love Palio. The Internet is good, the owner is extremely nice and the coffee and pastries are delicious. The cons are the drafty front room (bring a sweater) and the one uber rude barista. If you've encountered the chubby woman with short auburn hair in the afternoon don't take her as representative of Palio. She's extremely nice when the owner is present but completely rude when he is not. Today I went up and politely asked for a refill of hot water. When she handed the cup back to me I said, "Thank you" to which she replied, "here." Hopefully she'll move on soon and my Palio experience will be perfect.
The Apotheosis of Horrible Customer Service. The very apotheosis of horrible customer service! I will never countenance another visit to this lousy establishment. In trying to purchase a latte, I was very rudely informed that I would have to eat outside after the barista spotted my lunch (I was on my way to work, and had brought food for my meal (trust me when I assure you that I would not have wanted to linger any longer than necessary in such poor company!)). I then went to pay, only to be informed that there was a $5 minimum purchase. Whereas days prior, the same transactions would have yielded only snotty looks and an elaborate spiel about a transaction fee, I was brusquely dismissed! The last in a too-long line of desperately unpleasant interactions, I have had it. I am only glad that I subsequently discovered a much more genial and obliging coffee shop staff only blocks away that will, from now on, receive all of my business. Shame on you, Palio!
Rude Barista. I just got home, back to Portland, from school and decided I would get out of my house and walk to Palio's, a cute cafe just a few blocks away, to do some writing and reflect on my time away. I choose to settle at a small two person table even though some larger and probably more comfy tables were available because I knew I wanted to spend a few hours at the cafe and being only one person didn't want to take up to much space. I had been sitting for just over an hour when I was abruptly approached by the barista who said to me, "you can't sit at these tables and use our internet unless you buy something." That was all she said. No "Hello" or "How are you today" prefaced her demand. At first I thought she was coming over to ask If I would like something to drink, but she did nothing of the sort. I thought it was very rude how she handled the situation so I packed my things and spoke with her to let her know, as a customer, I think she could have approached me differently because she clearly assumed I would not be purchasing anything and that I just came to use the internet, which is in fact not true. Her response to my comment was, "you have been sitting there for an hour and a half and you haven't ordered anything, we have signs posted." Unfortunately I did not see the sign that said, "We offer horrible customer service!" If I didn't order speedily enough for the barista oh well, but if it really was an issue I wish the owner would have said something to me, maybe it would have come off better. I'm sure I will eventually go back to Palio's for some late night loose leaf tea and vegan dessert, but hopefully this barista will not be there because she was not very nice. Enough of my time and energy has been spent on this Palio's incident now I am going to get back to my writing. Don't let this comment turn you away from visiting Palio's because it really is a lovely cafe, just watch out for the blonde and order right when you walk in the door or wait to see what happens at your own risk, she could get nasty!
Redeemed by the owner.
We initially had given Palio's 1 star for HORRIBLE service we received. This review was ONLY redeemed because of the owner. Much of the info will remain the same though for the sake of the issue we had.
*Foods, drinks, desserts are good!
* Location and decor - quaint - just a good 'ole hole in the wall
* However, and unfortunately... as other reviews have commented - it smells of sour milk or something and needs & extreme odor eater intervention.
Situation: my wife wanted a kid's grilled cheese, but was told it would double the price, even though it's the same size. She was fine with it, but after ordering thought for same price she could get a better sandwich for the same price as the measly cheese sandwich, but was told "no"....the sandwiches come pre-made, and on top of that- it was covered in mustard, which my wife is allergic to mustard seed. This wasn't disclosed on the menu. After all the complications over a CHEESE sandwich - we were offered NO other options, just a sandwich my wife couldn't eat. Gee... THANKS "customer service" orientated employee!
The owner came in a while later, & started picking up dishes as he normally will do. He asked if there was something wrong with the sandwich, and told him my wife was unable to eat it. He took it away and immediately refunded us, AND... brought us dessert without us saying a thing. He just wanted to make it right.
The owner himself is service orientated, but needs to have his employees think the same - they're HORRIBLE with customer's. I also wish the owner would think more out of the box and get rid of his "fee" using credit or EVEN debit. Most stores do NOT get charged a fee for using debit card with your pin number. I hardly carry any cash anymore & keep track of spending with debit and credit.
You'll get use to the smell, and the food is good enough - just take a little patience for the employees
I love Palio's.. My favorite cafe ever. . great staff, good music, amazing variety of cakes (the vegan peanut butter cake is off the charts), and the spinach salad is huge. The new addition is great for quiet, the main room can get rowdy on the weekends, overall great atmosphere. If a barista was rude to you at this cafe, you must have done something to really deserve it because they are the sweetest kids in town.
Quaint and desirable coffee shop with distinctive European flair!.
I have come to Palio on many occasions and found the environment to be a huge draw. Located in the picturesque Ladd's Circle, the environment is both inviting and harkens one back to the day when coffee shops were establishments with personality, not homogenized, mass produced and characterless.
The staff has proven both knowledgeable and friendly on anything from a daily special to an espresso drink perfectly paired with a selection from the pastry case.
Another big draw is the fact that the owner is most always on premise. Where in today's world does one get to connect with business owners that take this much pride and invest this much time in their business?
If you're looking for a bit of old world charm, great coffee, nice service and a respite from the humdrum of everyday ... give Palio a look, you'll be glad you did!
cute location, poor service. Really like the location. Unfortunately the baristas and the coffee shop owner are all rude. They do not seem at all interested in offering even a small amount of customer service. If I'm going to spend $3.50 on a premium espresso beverage, there are ample other cafe's in the area. Their bad attitude has lost them a potential regular customer.
Great coffeehouse, awesome location, BUT.... Cozy and intimate setting, good prices, and nice options for drinks and snacks. Also a good place to have a cute little dessert-and-coffee-date. However, I must go there on certain days, due to the fact that there is one female server who is quite obnoxious, and is often under the impression that everyone in the room wants to hear her rather un-witty and uninformed "soap box" comments, or what she feels are funny/charming statements. The specific example that comes to mind is her loudly vocalized stance on being strongly opposed to abortion. I'll refrain from going off on some social or political tangent here, because everyone has the right to their own viewpoints, but I would suggest to this employee three things: 1.) Customers do not come to receive these broadcasted pseudo-lectures from you; 2.) Keep in mind that there just might be a patron or two who would be sensitive to this particular topic (eg, victims of forced intercourse); 3.) Rather than wearing clothing that falsely suggests you might be "punk-rock" or liberal-minded, wear something that would give a better indication of your narrow-minded, uneducated, unprofessional "Agro-ness" so no one is confused when they walk into this sweet little coffee house.
Sign in with Facebook Sign in with Facebook to see what your friends are up to!
Do you have a review of Palio Dessert & Espresso House on your blog? If you include the Citysearch image link (shown below) in your post, we'll automatically link to your review from the business profile page. Here's how our Linkback system works:
The Linkback system is free and automatic. It's really that easy.
To link to our business profile page, copy the html below to your web page.