Crescent Café




Crescent Café
526 Northeast 3rd Street,
McMinnville, OR 97128
(503) 435-2655
Breakfast and lunch only
No reservations accepted

The four of us arrived at the Café around 10:30 on Sunday and put our name on the list to be seated. There is no real waiting area so we waited outside in the cold watching all the diners inside enjoy their breakfast and coffee. One of the owners Michael kept us updated as to the progress of our seating. He was very warm, professional, and entertaining. People kept coming in and checking on wait times, many choosing not to wait. There was no sign of a bad economy in this place!
I am a stickler for service. You can have an average meal, but the service is what can make or break an experience. The service here did not disappoint. From the moment we arrived to the time we left, everyone was top notch in the attention to detail, and response to any needs.
At first glance you think the menu is a bit on the small side. Go with the flow here and recognize that while we have been conditioned to see lots of choices on a menu, it does not always translate to quality food. In fact from an operational point of view it is a sometimes detraction from quality if the kitchen cannot focus on doing a few things really well. Here is a sampling from the menu, caramelized banana pancakes, egg dishes with all fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables. Fresh squeezed blood orange juice, amazing homemade breads including English muffins, cornmeal molasses, and decadent fluffy biscuits. They have a few verbal specials daily to complement the menu.
My wife ordered the twice baked potato, stuffed with ham, fontina cheese, and vegetables, two eggs over medium, and excellent homemade bread. Her eggs were perfect, and I mean perfect. No dark color or lacy edges on the whites, and the yolks were at just the right amount of firmness. Our friend K had one of the specials, a scramble with trout, capers, and cream cheese. She commented that it was nice the way they place the cream cheese on the warm plate, and then put the scramble on top. It was a light taste, and the flavor of the trout came through. I wished I had ordered it after tasting hers. But I was in a Sunday morning, pancake mood. I had the Caramelized banana pancakes with a side of scrambled eggs and G had plain pancakes. This is the real deal; two big, fluffy scratch-made cakes, with real butter and yes, real maple syrup. I love that they caramelize the bananas. We were both very impressed. It is apparent that everything is made on the premises, and they shop local farmers markets as often as possible for their ingredients.
Even though the place was busy we never felt rushed. If you do not like to wait, get there early. You will get seated right away. This is on the top of our breakfast place, and I cannot wait to work my way through the menu. I have only one issue and that is they use Boyd’s high end coffee. I am a coffee snob, so it does not work for me. I asked Michael about bringing in a local coffee. The problem stemmed from the service and consistency they had gotten from the small roasters they had tried. In the end it was a business decision and a good one based on the idea that consistency is the key in the restaurant business. I just don’t order coffee, and don’t miss it since everything else is off the charts.
Apparently Danny, and Michael the owners, had a place in San Francisco, and the influence shows here in the experience, décor, menu and overall quality. They are winning the hearts and minds of diners, one dish at a time.
~SAS


12 comments:

Anonymous said...

this place sounds delicious! were there many vegetarian options?

Salem Man said...

Caramelize the bananas, I gotta try that next time I make them at home.

Anonymous said...

they should talk to allan brothers coffee.

SAS said...

They did have a few vege items on the menu and are very accomodating.

KandN said...

Have you been to Wildwood Cafe?

Linda Pierce said...

Danny and Michael at Crescent Cafe in McMinnville had THE place for breakfast in San Francisco in Ella's Cafe. People stood in line forever in The City for this restaurant's choice baked goods. McMinville has inherited a national treasure, baby!

Anonymous said...

Wildwood cafe is to crowded the tables and seats are so close together and they cram so many people into a such small place. The food is awesome and good tho. Crescent has only maybe 11 tables maybe a few more. It is not crowded elbow touching. the food is awesome at crescent also. The orange juice is to die for. They usually have three oranges mixed together. They have during the holiday blood orange juice. I like the chicken hash that is the best. Everything is local grown except for the oranges of course. Michael is always friendly and when you are seated he tells you the specials of the day. Danny some times comes by to greet the customers. Then have the waiters like Jared, Collen, Beverly and I do not remember the other girls name. Yes they use to have a place in SF called Ella's Cafe. There coffee cake is to die for so moist and just melts in your mouth.

Anne and Terry Stephens
Dayton Oregon 97114

Anonymous said...

Both Wild Wood and Cresent are not to bad, (I think Cresent is the better of the two) if you don't mind waiting. I know that Orchards Bistro is now serving Breakfast and also have a new Coffee Bar. Has anyone tried it?

Anthony

Anonymous said...

I had the pleasure of eating dinner at the crescent cafe at their once monthly dinner. Everything was exceptional and beautifully plated. The steak was angus beef locally grown, and the scalloped potatoes were the best that I had ever tasted. The cheesecake was to die for, so rich and creamy but not overwhelming. The service we recieved was exceptional. The prices were also reasonable given the quality of food.

Anonymous said...

I have walked into Wild Wood on 2 occasions and both times I left without anyone having acknowledged that my wife and I had entered. They were crowded but that is no reason to not have anyone on staff not at least greet someone who comes in the door. I have never gone back.

Crescent Cafe is on the other end of the spectrum. Michael has greeted us every time we arrive. He is gracious to all the patrons and the food is very tasty. Bit pricey if you are used to low-end diners. Freshly made meals take more time and cost a bit more but the flavor is worth it.

Anonymous said...

Good food but to darn crowded you are elbow to elbow to many people and to noisy. If they got rid of some tables than it might sort of little bit better....

Chuck Bradley said...

On the subject of McMinnville breakfast destinations, I understand the new Morning Thunder @ 619 NE 3rd ST is knocking them out of the park!