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Violet's Cafe - 40 Reviews - 5204 Ne Sacramento St, Portland, OR 97213-2666, Portland, OR - Restaurants Reviews - Phone (503) 281-7933

Violet's Cafe

5204 Ne Sacramento St, Portland, OR 97213-2666
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 281-7933
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Violet's Cafe - Portland, OR


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I wasn't expecting much when I walked into Violet's this week. The cheeriness of my waitress, who I believe was named Lydia, was a wonderful way to start out the meal. She said al...


I like Violets food, but I rarely go there because every single time the wait staff have far more importanbt things to do ( gab about so-an-so, last nights date, etc) than to take...

Breakfast or lunch Great NE Location with reasonable prices, dedicated staff & outdoor seating 9/8/2008

PortlandParadigm Provided by Partner
When I want breakfast in the Northeast without a wait, I go to Violets. The portions are plenty and I like being able to sit outside. More than anything else I like feeling like I am in a small town for a little while. The bar stools offer quick seating or the booths offer a comfy diner experience. I know that the managment has changed in the past 6 months, and the quality of food and service shows it. No more waiting. If you must have a drive up and park in front of the door experince to have a good breakfast dont go here. This is for locals that dont mind parking a block away or walking from their home to keep from having to cook. This is a place to take your out of town friends for the Portland experience, like you found it on your own. Pros: Service, layout, outdoor seating Cons: hard to park within 50 ft more

fantastic 7/27/2008

MartyP Provided by Partner
It was a great morning place. Nice atmosphere. Indoor & Outdoor seating, local color, The wait staff were fun and engaging. The Coffee was good. The Homemade Cinnamon Buns were incredible. more

A formerly great breakfast spot bites the dust 7/6/2008

hrg51675 Provided by Partner
My husband and I have frequented Violet's for year. In the past, we've had great food and lack-luster service. That has changed. While we had the kindest service ever, the food completely sucked. My english muffin wasn't toasted, the hashbrowns were not at all "browned" but rather still raw and wet potato. The server even brought us replacement potatos, but they were still undercooked. The eggs chewy. The variety of fruit that one garnished the plate is now a single orange slice. The coffee was weak. Real sugar (C&H or Raw) wasn't available at the table, and upon request we were given a total of 4 packets to restock the table and use in our two coffees. The kids toys have been removed for fear of dirt, or so we were told. The good news, you don't have to wait for a table at Violet's anymore. Pros: They finally got the service right Cons: The food was bad. more

Great Food and Incredible Service 6/7/2008

Danielkw Provided by Partner
I wasn't expecting much when I walked into Violet's this week. The cheeriness of my waitress, who I believe was named Lydia, was a wonderful way to start out the meal. She said all the right things. I've always believed that the attitude of the server is what impacts your dining experience the most, and Lydia was second to none. The food came promptly and was great quality for the price. Good size portions too. Overall a near perfect dining experience. I'd suggest it to all that appreciate good food and good people. Pros: Service, value, service. Cons: none. more

worst breakfast EVER!!!!!!!!! 5/28/2008

izokv Provided by Partner
wow this place use to it sinks so bad i cant believe we didnt just walk out .the staff are is so rude the food has little to NO flavor at all and the prices are sky high.please do the world a favor and close this restaurant asap go across the street to biscuits they rock Pros: it had working lights Cons: they let people eat here more

renewed!! 5/25/2008

laxler07 Provided by Partner
Don't worry avid violets fans! As of the beginning of june 2008 violets will yet again be under new ownership. Lets hope it works out this time!! more

Horrible, horrible, horrible 5/3/2008

eliot503 Provided by Partner
I should have read the reviews before I choose this restaurant. The service was horrible from the time I walked in the door, and I should have walked out then. After we got seated, it took a good 10 minutes before anyone greeted us at our table, another 5 or so minutes before we had coffee, and when our food arrived, it was...horrible. The "home fries" were RAW. When I mentioned it to the waitress, it took another 10 minutes for her to tell us the cook is "new" and she explained how she has told him over and over how to cook the potatoes, but he just doesn't understand. She didn't offer us any other substitutes, and had the nerve to give us a 10% off coupon for our next visit. The potatoes were almost half the meal, why wouldn't she comp a portion or the full meal? When I asked her if she would at least comp the scone, she had to go ask the manager. Needless to say, I will never return to this restaurant, it's a waste of time and money, and a terrible place to start my Sunday morning. Pros: can't think of a single thing Cons: terrible service, expensive, food was raw more

Good Food - horrible service 3/26/2008

Citysearch User Provided by Partner
I like Violets food, but I rarely go there because every single time the wait staff have far more importanbt things to do ( gab about so-an-so, last nights date, etc) than to take my order of bring me a check. The last time I went ther I had to get up, walk across the room and ask for service - then I got a very snarly, rude, feaux goth person to take my order. If you do - sit at the bar where you can at least reach out and grab someone to take your order. more

Service was ok, food was very sad 3/23/2008

kbgire Provided by Partner
I have not been to Violet's since the new owners took over, which I understand was sometime last fall, so about 6 months ago? It was one of my favourite places to go when we moved into the neighbourhood about 6 years ago. First with our dog - he would get a bowl of water and a treat. Then with our first child, and then our second. I took both my girls for an Easter breakfast yesterday morning and I could have cried on my way home. I had a simple breakfast of two fried eggs, home fries (teeny portion - before, they would have been overflowing on the plate) and 2 pancakes and the two driest looking pieces of bacon I've ever seen! The eggs were undercooked, the home fries were soft and tasted a day or two old and the only fruit on the plate was a couple of orange slices. And, all this for $9!! Also, I should have known something was amiss when it was after 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning and I had a choice of seats! It is very sad to see the ratings on here go from 5 stars to one over the course of a couple of months. I thought it was just a bad luck of the draw on my part until I came on here. I really hope they can save it or get the magic formula from the old owners. I miss them! Pros: None any more, unfortunately Cons: Food and value for money more

Higher Prices Lower Quality Food , Very Sad 2/22/2008

badether Provided by Partner
Violet's used to be a delicious place for super fresh tasty breakfast NOT ANY MORE. We have been going to Violet's for years and understood when they switched owners that there was going to be some growing pains well 5 mos later and things have gotten worse. The menu prices have gone up, things once included in dishes like the fruit cups are now an additional charge. The orders came out at different times, bacon was cold & so greasy it was limp, home fries were so old they were like dehydrated potatoes-there was no potato in the middle! Oh, but they so seem to be adding more eggs to everything as if that will make up for the fact that there is less of anything fresh. If I want a huge tasteless meal I'd have gone to Biscuits across the street. The wait staff seem to be trying to be attentive however we received our bill before we received our water! This was a really sad miserable breakfast. WE ARE PLEADING WITH THE OLD OWNERS TO OPEN A NEW JOINT! We miss you!!!! Pros: You no longer have to wait in line! Cons: EVERYTHING more

Terrible food, worse service 2/16/2008

jgayla Provided by Partner
I used to enjoy taking my daughter for breakfast here when it was under different ownership. My family recently had breakfast here and not only did it take a long time to be seated, it took forever for the food to arrive too. When we asked the waiter a question about something on the menu, he said, "I don't know the answer to that." I heard him tell someone else nearby who had a question, "I may or may not know the answer to that." Nice. The food was simply gross. The eggs were undercooked, the coffee was lame. We will never go here again. Pros: fairly good location Cons: bad food, annoying service more

So sad that Violet's has changed - for the worse 2/12/2008

jcc123 Provided by Partner
We've been going to Violet's probably 20x/year for three years. Until the new owner took over. I read an article when the family sold the business that said the new owner vowed to keep everything the same and not wreck a great thing. Unfortunately, that hasn't seemed to happen. The coffee, once strong and your cup always full, is much weaker and I don't even know if it's the same kind any more. The home fries used to be so delicious and a staple to any weekend order. Now they're bland and the quantity on the plate seems much smaller. The prices have been raised--up to $2 per dish! The service was garbage--dirty, unbussed tables everywhere, wait staff doing who knows what while customers wait around. The food took a long time to come to the table. And when it arrived, we were so sad because we realized it was probably the last time we would go to Violet's. It used to be a secret gem in the neighborhood, great reliable food, wonderful staff, quick service, and the long wait outside was worth it because of your experience. Now I'd call it mediocre and to be honest, I'd rather find a new special breakfast place than always compare this new iteration with the old, incomparable Violet's. I would suggest to the new owner that she try to get some assistance from the previous owner's (maybe the daughters?) to try to regain some of the old flavor. Cons: It's gone downhill since the family sold the business more

New owner needs to wise up and get some experienced help 2/3/2008

shamansgirl Provided by Partner
I was a loyal fan of Violet's for many years, and recommended it to everyone and took any out of town family and friends there for breakfast. The food, service and coffee were all outstanding and the former owner was wonderful and wanted people to come back. My husband and I are within walking distance and used to go early (7am) before it got too crowded. One morning we walked down and the place was nearly empty (maybe 3 tables and two stools at the counter were occupied). The sign in front still said "Please Wait to be Seated" and we were ignored by 3 different staff members before one of them rudely said "Oh you wanted a table? Why didn't you just sit down?" Unfortunately, that was the only contact we had from anyone. We sat at a table for 15 minutes while the same 3 people continued to ignored us (prompting my husband to ask me if we were invisible). No water, no coffee, no menus. We were polite and tried to catch someone's eye as they waited on the two other tables in the room. This place was not busy and there was no excuse for this behavior. We simply got up and walked out without a word. I am horribly disappointed that such a wonderful neighborhood restaurant has become the place we will now avoid. I hope the new owners wise up and make some changes. It's very obvious they have never had owned a restaurant or even worked in one. I hate to see them fail in this venture, but if they don't do something soon the doors will probably end up closing forever. Pros: None until they show some improvements Cons: Service, service, service.....didn't get a chance to rate the food. more

Dude, where's my breakfast 1/17/2008

spotspot Provided by Partner
This used to be one of the best spots in NE for a leisurely breakfast. The new owners, however, have turned it into some kind of Purgatory, where you wait forever to be seated, wait to get menus, and sit hopefully while waiters meander past and don't take your order. The waiters are nice enough, but they all behave as if they've been smoking the green stuff behind the building on their break. You figure the waitstaff are hopeless, but that once your order has been taken, the cooks will take over and all will be well. Then you wait. And wait. 35 minutes later, the food begins to arrive. Most of it is cold, and it never arrives all at once. By the time the (lukewarm) sausage arrives, you have finished eating your eggs. The toast is triumphantly placed on your table after the entire meal has been eaten, and yes, it too is cold. After a long wait and some gentle prodding, the check finally appears and you can't read the total. There are no apologies for the atrocious wait times, no comped coffee for their mistakes, and no interest at all as to whether or not you enjoyed your meal. It is a culinary disaster of Biblical proportions. Unless, of course, eating in Purgatory is your thing. If so, well, enjoy the wait. more

Not really worth it. 12/28/2007

ylatandeens Provided by Partner
We decided to try violet's again after a bad experience last summer with our names being crossed off of their list by another customer, so we never got a table. we heard about new ownership and hoped they at least took names themselves, but they still have it where anyone writes their name on the list, and basically anyone can come in and cross your name off, even if you hadn't been called. Today we were seated in about 5 minutes, but where we were sitting was freezing cold and we had to keep our coats on the entire time. Which was a really long time because we waited for at least 40 minutes for our food. My husband's and kids' dishes were still warm, mine was cold. The food wasn't really that great, either. Not worth the wait, I felt. My husband said the pancakes reminded him of microwave pancakes he ate when he was little, and my baja breakfast was pretty flavorless and came without the tomatoes the menu said were supposed to be there. We are probably not going to be giving violet's another shot. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't even really good, you know? It was The wait and the freezing cold didn't really make it worth it. Bummer. We live right down the street... Pros: nice location. Cons: extremely poor service, cold food, nothing really fantastic. more

worst breakfast ever, twice 12/16/2007

johnsondies Provided by Partner
this place has the worst service i have ever had. or rather never had since i was one of about 8 people waiting for a table and the five dirty tables were obviously not going to get cleaned off any time soon by the servers who were just a little busy drinking coffee and chatting amongst them selves. the time that i went prior i did get to sit and it was the worst service and terrible food. i had the veggie scramble, the wateriest thing i have ever seen called eggs. i wanted to pull the cook aside and ask him if he knew what he was doing. actually by the end of that experience i wanted to stand up and scream "Do any of you know what you are doing." well my second trip back showed me that they don't. i heard that they changed owners and this is the reason for the decline in and general lack of service. who bought it? and do they not like making money. i work in the industry and i can tell you there are so many mistakes going on over there they would be better off just shutting the doors and saving what money they have left. Violet's smells like a dying business. i wish i could give zero stars but this review page won't allow it. maybe the next business the new owner of violets gets into she will know a little about or at least care, you don't even have to care a whole just a little is ok but care for crying out loud, how about this, maybe they should act like they care. ya know kinda how the servers pretend like there at work. i mean you take over a restaurant that has been open for what 6-7 yrs and just turn it into something awful. i used to eat hear 2-3 days a week now i go else where. what a dump this place has become. Pros: not a whole lot. this place is a culinary abortion Cons: pretty much everything, no baby changing station in a restaurant full of diaper aged children more


klm83 Provided by Partner
A little "fyi" for those customers new to Violets. For the last two weeks Violets has been under new management. For all of the newer customers who didn't recognize this change, it happened very quickly. I have been a customer at Violets for a long time and am extremely close to the old owners. For six years the same family owned and opperated this cafe. The mother a cook, both daugters worked the front of the house, the son bussed, and the husband, on the weekends, was the host/busser. I have never in my life seen such a hard working family. Occasionaly someone got "not the best service" most likely on a Sunday, but the regulars kept the business going strong for a very long time. So farewell to the old staff! I love you guys! Those of you who choose Violets, please keep in mind the staff/owners are new to this business. So if they look like they have been "smoking green stuff" they probably just haven't the faintest what they are doing. Give them a break. It may take awhile for them to figure out how to run that place. They have HUGE shoes to fill believe me. Cons: newer staff more

worst service ever 10/26/2007

chloeneko Provided by Partner
We had the same experience with people on 10/21 review. We waited more than 45 min when we saw more than 3 tables available. Those tables weren't clean for over 15 to 20 min. After we were seated and orders were in, another hour to get our food. Our waiter acted as though it was his first time to work. We actually overheard one waitress saying to another table that she has never done this before. And it showed. Nobody seemed to know what's going on. Food was OK, but definitely not worth the wait. They will not be seeing us again. more

Good food, terrible service 10/20/2007

foxyroxy1494 Provided by Partner
My boyfriend and I waited for an hour outside with our daughter on a cold Sunday afternoon. As we were waiting, one of the waitresses came outside to chat with her friends. I wasn't sure if she was on a break or what. We overheard her saying that "it was really bad inside." While we were still waiting, we noticed an empty table that was vacant for about 30 mins, and were not exaggerating either. When we quesitoned someone about the empty table, we were told "Oh really?" by the manager. If there is a empty table, shouldn't it be seated right away by patrons instead of left vacant? Arrgggh. The potatoes were perfect, crispy on the outside, tender on the inside. The fruit bowl was delicious and beautifuly presented. When I emptied my water glass, I put it on the edge of the table hoping the waitress would notice. I waited and waited and had even put my boyfriend's almost empty glass next to mine but she never came by to refill. My boyfriend ended up going to get a refill himself at the bar. He never got a refill for his coffee either. The busboy seemed to take his job seriously. He meticuously cleaned and emptied tables in an extremely, slow paced manner while hungry customers waited outside in the cold. When he wasn't cleaning, he was walking around aimlessly. He could've been refilling coffee or water. When we paid, the busboy acted like just smoked some green stuff and didn't know how to run a credit transaction. Overall, the service was terrible. The waitstaff didn't seem to be very friendly, or really care about their service. Although the food was good, I don't think Violet's Cafe will be seeing us anytime soon. I would suggest that Violet's Cafe employees take some training classes on customer service. Pros: Great food, decent prices Cons: Long wait, terrible service, more

the new violet's cafe 10/7/2007

laurelhurst5 Provided by Partner
well violet's cafe is back and the food is wonderfull as ever ......... BUT when we go to a restaraunt to eat one wants to relax, eat and not have to think about the life around .. just take in the quirky atmosphere or art and smile with cuteness ..... the new art in violets NOW HAS CREATED A NON RELAXING ATMOSPHERE ... the anti government poster art in my opinion caters only to mad hostle people and a restaurant that is in public servicing has more than that class of people coming in and wanting to enjoy the food ...... i sincerely hope violets changes the art or gives equal time to other "for government " art so the balance is back to the energy of the restaurant . our 10 member family and many friends that ate there from time to time will not return .... what was cool and quirky is now a hostle to the senses kind of place.. pg more
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  • Neighborhoods:

    Rose City Park, Central northeast Neighbors Incorporated