Service – 4
Byway’s Cafe is just that, a cafe…more of like a diner actually. I don’t compare a diner to, lets say, Ruth Chris. They’re completely 2 different types of restaurants. I’m going to Compare Byways to other diners and whatnot. The service at Byways was actually what I would want out of a diner. I wasn’t greeted or acknowledged walking in but knowing Portland’s brunch scene, I knew to put my name on the list and wait. When I came to check where I was on the list however, a server noticed and asked what my name was and told me that I would be seated shortly. The server always kept a eye on me and looked at the table he had planned for my party.
Once seated, my actual server was loud, funny and quick, which is again, what I would expect out of a diner. My server didn’t do anything over the top, checked up on my party to refill coffees and waters but for the most part, left us alone. At a higher end restaurant, most people would not expect this, but when I come to a cafe/diner, you come in, order because you SHOULD know what you want, eat and leave just as quick as you came. That’s the point.
Ambiance – 3.25
Byways definitely had that old school, route, theme. There were license plates everywhere, old school booths, little trinkets. Honestly, kind of felt like I was in an antique shop or like a grandma’s house who is the type that hoards everything. It was cool to get that diner vibe when walking in but all the plates, license plates, and whatever felt a little dirty just because it was clustered. The tables and counter seating was a nice touch to the theme.
Wait – 3.5
There are no reservations here, just first come, first serve. On a Saturday morning, the wait of course is going to near an hour. This place is also on the smaller side (which isn’t always a bad thing) but my party of 3 definitely waited around 45ish minutes. Luckily, since it is that cafe/diner style, most people ate quickly and didn’t linger. Thank goodness. I hate the people that linger… it’s like… Eat your food slower or take that convo outside because if I see you just sitting there AFTER you got your check… I’m about to just stare you down until you finish… Like go grab a coffee or something and chat it over…there’s a bar next door, take it there…
Anyways, after ordering food, it came in an okay amount of time. I noticed some people who came after me got their food before me but I can hope it was because I ordered a good amount of food? Actually, this better be the reason why because that’s bullshit if a party of 2 gets their food when they got seated and ordered 20 minutes after me. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.
Food – 3.75
They definitely had some simple dishes but hey, don’t fix what isn’t broken? Is that the saying? I mean they had your traditional biscuits and gravy, scrambles, omelettes, and pancakes. You’re not going to find an egg benedict, quiche, frittata type items here. I’m not going to complain. I got myself some biscuits and gravy with a side of french toast…yeah, yeah…I’m a fatty. Now you know why my meal took so long to get out. Another person got blueberry pancakes and another got an omelette with a side of gravy. I thought the gravy was good, my biscuits a little dense but I guess that’s what the gravy if for.
My french toast was pretty basic but the PECAN BUTTER… L I F E. Anytype of butter gets me goin but pecan with that french T…on point. The pancakes were typical pancakes. They were big and with the right amount of butter + syrup… yum. I’m not a huge omelette person and this omelette didn’t change my mind to make me a connoisseur of omelette goodness. I definitely had to load it up with some gravy and hot sauce.
Overall – 3.5
Being in NW Portland, it definitely is a little diner gem. You have the older trader Vics, across the street, starbucks around the corner, and so many other upscale eateries. I had driven by this place S O many times, not knowing that it even existed. It definitely gives you a small town feel. Sometimes I’m not always in the food for a sit down, brunch, sometimes I just want to eat and get the fuck out of there. I did L O V E the mason jars for all sorts of drinks like cold brews. That gave it a little PDX touch. The food was hearty breakfast food that will leave you wanting a nap after. Definitely try it for yourself…I recommend some outside seating, sun hitting your face with a bloody mary in one hand perhaps? Remember babes, Eat Rich or Die Tryin.