McMenamins Zeus Cafe – Perhaps you should wait
I will admit, I went to McMenamins Zeus Cafe in the new Crystal Hotel about a week after it opened. The food was decidedly unimpressive for the cost, but I decided to wait until it has been opened for a while. Last week, the Portland Mercury critic Tony Perez weighed in with a similar experience and few classic lines-
For an entrée I ordered the grilled pork chop ($21). The flavor was nice this time, and the plum chutney was a great complement, but, as Zeus’ father knows too well, a rock wrapped in swaddling cloth is still a rock. The chop was a chore. My serrated butter knife was no match for its gristle. The server had that awkward moment when he picked up my plate wherein it’s obvious that much of the dish was inedible. There was a violence to it. I should note also that the bed of cheese grits resembled, in appearance and flavor, the bland scrambled eggs they used to serve at camp.
As those of us who have had the pleasure of a McMenamins dining experience in the past know, everything about the McMenamins is excellent except the beer, the wine, the food and the service. I think sometimes that the food is more an expression of employee dislike for their employers than anything else.
Food Dude says
Best comment in some time!
Carolyn Madson says
Thank you. I could take more credit but the topic was just too suggestive and the opportunity too good to pass up
Mcmenamin’s properties have their charm, but the quality of the food and the service is rarely a part of that charm, with a few exceptions. (I have had tolerable meals at the Mall 205 and the Chapel Pub in NE Portland.)
Otherwise, the food ranges from mediocre to ghastly. (Yes, I’m looking at you, Mission Theater.)
My ex-wife once was at the Black Rabbit on some business lunch. She asked what the tortellini was stuffed with as she was a sort-of vegetarian. She was told they weren’t stuffed with anything. She said that she was sure that they were most likely stuffed with something or they probably weren’t tortellini. The waitress insisted that they weren’t stuffed and they were tortellini.
We went there together once for dinner on a Sunday, the dining room was less than half full, we were seated after about a 5 minute wait at the worst available table (right next to the kitchen door) and were promptly forgotten about. We gave them 10 minutes during which time not a single person came to our entirely bare table. We got up and walked past the hostess who had sat us the 10 minutes before and she gave us a nice smile and a “thanks for coming in” as if we had eaten dinner in the 10 minutes we sat there totally unattended. Yes, that is (was) the flagship restaurant of the empire.
What a shame, another crappy effort (lack of) on the McMenamins chain.
Only thing charming is the building, which I look at and keep on walking to a better meal up the street (not Jakes)
Well,I’m glad I ran across this review! I am relocating to Portland next year and was about to send my resume in for a Chef’s position with them.Phew! Are there any good restaurants I should be on the look out for to work for?Back of the house that is.I have alot of experience!
Kristi Nash says
Made reservations as was looking for a decent Christmas breakfast on our way to day of volunteering at OHSU hospital. What we got was so disappointing overall. Ordered their special of the day, quiche with fruit. Got a luke warm/cold quiche and fruit with the skins… that would be KIWI with skins, whole kumquats, grapefruit, and some overripe pineapple (although that did have skin removed). Sent quiche back while my husband finished his breakfast before mine came back (his food was ok as he ordered over easy eggs and toast which they got right). My second quiche was warmer, but it was the mushiest grossest thing I’ve (tried) to eat. Could only do a few bites, and the fruit was not good either. Ordered a side of bacon so I would have something in my stomach for the day. That was soooo fatty and greasy we couldn’t figure out what they did to it to be that bad, and I even like a little bacon on the under side! I only ate one of the three pieces of that. Coffee was expensive for only getting one refill as server was never around, and everyone else rushed by even though I asked someone for a refill, they never came back. Manager did take my quiche off our bill. I will say, we did share a decent cinnamon roll before the breakfast got delivered, so that’s something. We won’t be back and don’t recommend it to others. It’s a shame as we normally love a McMenn’s (even had wedding and reception at Edgefield with great food then). Merry Christmas Zeus… thanks for a bummer start of what we did salvage to be a good day despite you & your food.