Originally, we were planning on paying Mother's a visit. No, not my mom nor Viv's mom. Rather, Mother's Bistro in Portland. However, I did not do my due diligence when organizing my eating schedule since Mother's is closed on Mondays. Okay, onto the backup plan. Since we were staying near Lloyd Center and were on our way to the Oregon Zoo, we needed something along the way. Well, right down the street from Voodoo Doughnut, we find Bijou Cafe. Last time, Viv had noticed this place while we were getting some coffee from Stumptown. This place fit the bill. It's along the way, accessible and kid-friendly. We found a parking space practically in front and made our way in. At first, we got the perfect table right beside the window. I was just remarking to Viv that it couldn't have worked out any better... when we were asked to move. A table of 8 was needed and our table was in the perfect location. The horror! Loss of perfect light for my pictures! Being the nice people that we are (at least we believe so), we obliged and for our troubles, beverages were comped. So if the lighting for the pictures don't look good, it's not my fault!
Despite the request to move tables, the service in general was very friendly and homey. We were made to feel comfortable and we were indeed so. Viv had one of their signature dishes in the Oyster Hash. I had remarked to Viv that this was their signature dish; but was corrected by our server that all their dishes were special. LOL. With 6 breaded oysters and a pile of cubed potatoes, this was not a small plate of food. Viv and I shared both of our meals and I was getting full on only half of the hash. I liked how the oysters were sweet with a nice cornmeal crust while the potatoes were laced with onions. Only thing I would change would be softer potatoes and maybe something savoury, like bacon in the hash.
Now, is it just me? Most of the omelets I've had are woefully overcooked with a tinge of brown that can rival any piece of toast. So, I need to applaud Bijou Cafe for making an excellent omelet. My Mushroom & Grafton Cheddar Omelet had eggs that were barely cooked. The result was a fluffiness only reserved for perfectly scrambled eggs. There were a mix of button and shitake mushrooms combined with plenty of white cheddar. This was a delicate omelet in taste and texture. For my bread, I got a choice of a Blueberry Muffin or toast. Not sure why I also got toast, when I chose the muffin. More food, no complaints here! Hey, it was a good muffin. Not too sweet and with a nice top, my daughter practically ate it all. We also got one for the road at no charge. For the kiddies, we got the ol' standby - Buttermilk Pancakes. We were told that there are 2 pancakes for the regular order. What we didn't expect were 2 pancakes the size of rims you'd find on a car. Really large and really fluffy. Excellent pancakes. If you're not that hungry, just order one of them.
What is essentially a modern diner, Bijou Cafe is homey and welcoming. The staff made us feel comfortable while the food was solid all-around. Located right in Downtown, it is a great place to grab a bite before sight-seeing. The prices aren't exactly the cheapest; but fair considering its location. The place was bustling on a weekday morning and it was still bustling as we left. Whatever they are doing here, they are doing it right.
- Friendly, homey service
- Good portions
- Solid food
- Seems to be very busy which will result in lineups
- Parking was easy for me, but could be difficult in this part of town