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Bridgeport Brewpub


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#1 mczlaw

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Posted 22 July 2006 - 07:41 AM

Had forgotten about the Bridgeport after trying and liking it once a short time post-remodel. Visit this last week with a few friends. The score: caeser salad--good; everything else--bad.

Mezza plate: three dried out falafel balls; bland chunk of feta; baba ghanouj that was nearly inedible due to excessive garlic (I adore garlic) such that the wondrous smokey eggplant flavor was indiscernible. Other elements were merely OK. A ripoff at $11.

Pork loin: ordered medium, came well done. Dried out and flavorless.

Service: friendly, but clueless. She disappeared for long periods for no apparent reason. The dining room was not very crowded.

Dining room policy: the idiocy that says "sorry, no pizza or other light eats" in the dining room--even though the pizza ovens are visible from the dining room--can only be based on fear that no one will want to order the excuse for fancy food being served in there. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Here's an idea: kill the high-end concept or hire a real chef who can make it work.

--mcz

#2 krispenn

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Posted 22 July 2006 - 08:28 AM

We had a similar experience a couple of weeks ago. [begin rant]
Our "server" took all our food orders (we were 6 people at order time), w/o writting them down (generally in high end places, this impresses me - at a loud post-HH time in a bar, not so much). So yes, he misheard one diner's order and completely forgot my SO's.

This also happened with a couple of our beer orders. Bridgeport isn't my favorite beer in town, so it wasn't like the anticipation was heightened in the wait for it.

All and all for the night, we had one beer comped, and a "sorta" apology for the late/missing entree (not even an offer of bringing some bread or something to snack on while the missing meal was prepared). I couldn't tell you how the food was b/c I was distracted from eating by wondering how long it would take my next beer to arrive.

We were sitting the in bar area, which was full the night we were there. The dining room was empty that night (we were there until about 10:30).

I happen to like the Bridgeport over on Hawthorne (granted I can walk to it), it's much cosier and friendlier than the "hipper-than-thou" Pearl version.
[end rant]

ok, back to my coffee!
--kris

#3 Angelhair

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Posted 22 July 2006 - 10:56 AM

I noticed when we were sitting in the bar area that people actually got up from their tables (where they had a server) and went to the bar themselves. The service is rotten.

I have been to the dining room at lunch, and the service was much better. But the food, overall, is not worth the price. I did like the pizza, though.

I really like Bridgeport on Hawthorne, too! Good food, great service.

#4 Amanda

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 07:07 AM

I was at Bridgeport in February and was not impressed in any way. I miss the old casual feel it used to have. The food is sad and the service is pathetic. John wasn't even that thrilled with any of the beers.

We're not likely to make it a meal or even a drink destination in the future, I'm afraid.

Best regards,

Amanda

#5 Calabrese

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 09:41 AM

Prior to the remodel, I used go here every so often for beers and pizza to chat with an old friend. I haven't been since the remodel though some co-workers had a really rotten experience about a month after it reopenned. Nothing I have heard or seen makes me want it go back.

#6 syrahgirl

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 11:05 AM

Thaks for the insight, we will not be trying this place! :blush:

#7 Sarah

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 11:29 AM

I wonder has anyone contacted them to let them know that their 'concept' isn't working? We went with friends shortly after the remodel and our impression also was that they were trying too hard. Our friends ended up writing them a letter encouraging them to rethink the menu or the service, because they were not working well together. Perhaps a letter campaign from concerned foodies is in order!

I agree about the Hawthorne location, though every time I get a chicken sandwich and beg them please don't overcook it, it still comes out dry dry dry. I've given up and just get a burger for lunch or whatever special is on for dinner...

#8 vj

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 12:52 PM

I can't imagine that they don't know. The beer bloggers have universally condemned the place. I've talked to some folks involved, and they know that there is huge trouble in the kitchen, not the least of which is that the kitchen is the same size as it was when they were just making salads and pizza.

Though, if anyone at the top is aware of it, they're protecting their staff from it. The servers seem entirely unaware of how Bridgeport used to be or what their history is in Portland.

And I can't forgive them for turning their back on the streetcar. WTF? Not having bicycle parking is pretty stoopid in this town, but not even having an entrance on the streetcar track? Sheesh.

#9 Egads

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 02:18 PM

I hate to add to the bad vibes, because I like to support local businesses, but word on the street (to be more precise, Hawthorne Street, 3 blocks from where I live) is that the menu redesign @ the Hawthorne Ale House is off to a less-than-stellar start. My friends were in there Friday night, at 6.30, and the place was empty. 6:30, on a super hot day, and you can't get people in Portland to come to an air conditioned brewpub? Something's wrong.

#10 loofahgirl

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 02:26 PM

Have they changed the menu at the one on Hawthorne in the past month or so? I've always had good service and the food, while not going to win any James Beard awards, has been solid fare.

#11 karmalaundry

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 03:43 PM

Wow, I really haven't visited them since they adjusted the Broadway Bridge "offramp" and the Pearl took over. And it sounds like I should be glad I haven't. It used to be a nice little hole in the wall where you could get a good pizza and a good beer.

Looks like the yuppies and asshats took over. :\

#12 cdevs

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 03:57 PM

I for one had a surprisingly good roasted veggie sandwich there a month or two ago at the Marshall Street location, with a very nice pint of the Surpris, which shines on tap. As for the aesthetics -- let's just say that 'trying too hard' seems to be a theme. my $.02

#13 krispenn

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 04:05 PM

I heard that one of the chef's formerly of Southpark hopped over at the Hawthorne Bridgeport. Maybe they are experimenting with some new menu ideas? I haven't been in the Hawthorne one in the past few weeks.

In this heat, the thought of drinking a few pints of beer and returning to a non-ac'd house makes my stomach turn :)

#14 pdxnewbie

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 05:04 PM

Too bad, I remember reading somewhere ( maybe here) when they first re-opened ...someone did a pub crawl and I thought they liked Bridgeport..
krispenn, I know what you mean...just walking out the door over here kind of makes me sick.

#15 chefken

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 06:56 AM

Always thought their beer was pretty decent, and that their pizza used to be one of the better options around. Sounds like they fucked it up.

I don't really get this thing about "trying too hard." What does that mean? How can you try too hard? Does it mean that someone's incapable of doing something well, but just keeps trying, futilely? Or that they're succeeding, but overdoing it so that they're becoming obnoxious? Or that they're not focused and kind of all over the place with their efforts, to the point of confusion? I really don't get it. :)

And what about those who don't try hard enough? Can they still be good? And what would happen if they tried just a bit harder? Would someone stop them before they tried too hard? Huh? There must be a specific line that's crossed between trying too hard and trying just enough. Do you think people know when they've crossed it? And can you really blame them, because they must have pretty good intentions? I mean, they must be saying to themselves, "I'm trying really, really hard here, but I'm just going to try just a little harder!" And bam! There they go...all of a sudden they're trying too hard, and it becomes a negative thing. Of course, it needn't always be a negative thing. Maybe they're terrific, and trying too hard made them even more terrific, but maybe they really don't have to be that terrific. Maybe being that much more terrific is just wrong for their market, or is making their competitors - some of whom are their friends and neighbors and just can't get themselves to try any harder than they do - a bit jealous and worried. Or maybe their competitor is sick, or had a death in the family, or, I don't know, is an amputee, or something. Maybe they can't try too much, and lose their business, and are forced to get a job in, like, I don't know, the post office, or something. Then what happens? You can't really try too hard in the post office. Really, I checked! If you try too hard the other postal workers get in trouble for falling behind and someone gets fired or suspended, and comes in the next day with an AK-47 or something and a lot of innocent people die. But maybe they wouldn't if they had been where they were supposed to be, that is, at work trying hard. But then maybe they'd be tempted to try too hard, and you know what happens then...?

I'm trying really hard to understand this. :)
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#16 Epicurious

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 07:19 AM

Ken,
I think you''re "trying too hard" to understand the previous comments. I think what some folks are saying is that the primary focus of a brewpub should be good beer, and simple, yet well-prepared food. Bridgeport seemingly looked to Henry's as some sort of model for the "bigger is better" argument, and in the process poured most of thier energy into the decor. I think a good argument can be made that Bridgeport is, in fact, trying too hard to be something that is really doesn't need to be. I agree with the one of the previous posters that suggested they drop the "fine dining" concept altogether. It's a big reach for anyone, let alone a brewpub.

#17 chefken

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 08:07 AM

I think you have no sense of humor, whatsoever. You need to try much harder! :)
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#18 chefken

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 08:08 AM

But I do agree with you. :)
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#19 cdevs

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 08:34 AM

I don't really get this thing about "trying too hard." What does that mean? How can you try too hard? Does it mean that someone's incapable of doing something well, but just keeps trying, futilely? Or that they're succeeding, but overdoing it so that they're becoming obnoxious? Or that they're not focused and kind of all over the place with their efforts, to the point of confusion? I really don't get it. :)

And what about those who don't try hard enough? Can they still be good? And what would happen if they tried just a bit harder? Would someone stop them before they tried too hard? Huh? There must be a specific line that's crossed between trying too hard and trying just enough. Do you think people know when they've crossed it? And can you really blame them, because they must have pretty good intentions? I mean, they must be saying to themselves, "I'm trying really, really hard here, but I'm just going to try just a little harder!" And bam! There they go...all of a sudden they're trying too hard, and it becomes a negative thing. Of course, it needn't always be a negative thing. Maybe they're terrific, and trying too hard made them even more terrific, but maybe they really don't have to be that terrific. Maybe being that much more terrific is just wrong for their market, or is making their competitors - some of whom are their friends and neighbors and just can't get themselves to try any harder than they do - a bit jealous and worried. Or maybe their competitor is sick, or had a death in the family, or, I don't know, is an amputee, or something. Maybe they can't try too much, and lose their business, and are forced to get a job in, like, I don't know, the post office, or something. Then what happens? You can't really try too hard in the post office. Really, I checked! If you try too hard the other postal workers get in trouble for falling behind and someone gets fired or suspended, and comes in the next day with an AK-47 or something and a lot of innocent people die. But maybe they wouldn't if they had been where they were supposed to be, that is, at work trying hard. But then maybe they'd be tempted to try too hard, and you know what happens then...?

I'm trying really hard to understand this. :)


Ken, I have one word for you: decaf :D

#20 mczlaw

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 08:36 AM

But I do agree with you. :)


Nice try.

--mcz