Bakery Review: Salt & Straw, Portland, Oregon

The Salt and Straw isn’t a traditional bakery.  In fact, there is nothing traditional about this place; it’s half ice cream shop/half bakery.  We came for the infamous ice cream combinations like blue cheese and pear, chevre with marionberry habanero jam, and coffee and bourbon, but were pleasantly surprised to see it was a bakery too.

The location is in the Nob Hill section of Portland and the area is fantastic.  It’s one of those stroll down the street to window shop kind of places usually reserved along a coastline.  Salt & Straw has a lovely set up with wall to wall windows that open and give you the outdoor setting without the uncomfortable patio chairs.  It seemed like the place couldn’t go wrong.

With so many interesting combinations to choose from, it was exciting when the woman behind the counter asked if we wanted a sample.  We quickly listed through a couple each to get the full experience.  My friend accidentally dropped his little silver spoon (no plastic tasters here) which was met with a heavy sigh from the worker.  When she dished up my marionberry, a glob of jelly was about to run off.  In my attempt at a save, the ice cream fell off the spoon and another scowl was given.  I only made matters worse by being indecisive about my coffee too.  The one in the hat showed nothing but annoyance with my presence.  When a third co-worker made her way in she sighed she was back again and grumbled “It feels like I never left.”  There was one employee who excitedly talked foodie with the people in front of us in line and I wished he’d been my ice cream distributor.  He glowed the excitement of how the combinations were something different in the culinary norm.

While I know it’s work and if we all had the choice we might not do it, but this is service for freakin’ sake.  Although I like the foam art on the top of my latte, it wouldn’t kill you to be a little respectful or appreciative of the fact I dropped five bucks on it.  It was a thought Tia and I talked about most of the time we sipped our coffee and ate our ice cream.  We agreed for our made up bakery, if we are lucky to have employees, it will be the expectation they enjoy working there.  And not that fakey Subway Sandwich greeting of “HI! WELCOME TO SUBWAY!” you’re hit with when you walk through the door.  Something more genuine.  Like a simple smile of appreciation.

Is that flower giving me the bird?

5 Comments on “Bakery Review: Salt & Straw, Portland, Oregon”

    • I tried the coffee and bourbon and have to say it was really good. It would definitely be a good pick, but I have to think any of them would be.

  1. Hey there – Kim from Salt & Straw here. I’m terribly sorry that this was your experience. Ugh. We all work hard to treat each other well and create an environment that’s fun and supportive…obviously this includes our customers! I’m so sad to hear that you had anything but a terrific time. Just wanted to let you know that we’ve discussed what happened with the team so that they understand how they were coming across. We’ve been really busy since we opened and it seems that some folks might be a little on the tired side. This certainly shouldn’t be your problem! And just so you know, we’ve added more people throughout the day to help balance things out. Regardless, we really appreciate your feedback and I’d love to refund your purchase and treat you to a cone, coffee and pastry on the house. Please email me. I’d really like to hear from you. Thanks so much.

    • Kim, I really appreciate your comment and offer. This shows everyone who reads this review how classy you guys are. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  2. Oh no! How frustrating to get service like that. I realize this is from 2012 so I’m hoping you’ve gone back and tried them again. Even anotherr location. We take all our out-of-town guests here (typically to the one on Division) and the service is always great and the ice cream gets rave reviews!

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